- 1 Here's a Quick Video Tutorial on How to Read (& Fill Out) a Call Sheet
- 2 How To Fill Out The Most Complicated Tax Form You'll See At A New Job
- 3 What’s My Adjusted Gross Income? (or, How to Fill Out Your 1040)
- 3.0.1 Are you in the National Guard, a fee-based government official or a performing artist? (Line 24)
- 3.0.2 Have you moved for a new job in the last year? (Line 26)
- 3.0.3 Are you self-employed, have you received tips or wages, or are you a church employee who received payment for your services? (Line 27)
- 3.0.4 Do you have a SEP, SIMPLE or retirement plan other than an IRA? (Line 28)
- 3.0.5 Are you self-employed with health care under that business? (Line 29)
- 3.0.6 Have you withdrawn from a retirement account, bond or CD? (Line 30)
- 3.0.7 Have you have made contributions to a traditional IRA? (Line 32)
Here's a Quick Video Tutorial on How to Read (& Fill Out) a Call Sheet
Call sheets let your cast and crew know where they need to be and when during filming -- so, yeah -- they're pretty important if you want to effectively assemble your team on a given day of shooting. If you don't know how to read one (or fill one out), this video from RocketJump Film School tells you everything you need to know:
Not all productions need as detailed a call sheet as the one used in the video -- if I would've busted one of these babies out during a production meeting with my college buddies, they would've said I was trying too hard and left me to pay the bar tab. Call sheets are meant to inform your team of all pertinent information for a day of shooting, so you'll probably want to make sure to include (at least) the following stuff on yours:
- Call times
- Parking information
- Where base camp is
- What scenes are being shot
- Which actors are in which scenes
- Lunch time
- Directions to nearest hospital
- Weather info
- Contact info
- Next day's schedule
RocketJump is working on making the call sheet they used in the video available to the public, but until then, you can check out this free template download.
How To Fill Out The Most Complicated Tax Form You'll See At A New Job
Not every part of a new job is fun. Sebastiaan ter Burg/Flickr
Starting a new job is exciting.
All the paperwork that comes with it, not so much.
A W-4 is a common form that you're asked to fill out when you start a new job.
It tells your employers how much they need to deduct out of your pay for federal income tax, determined by the number of withholding allowances you claim.
The more allowances you claim, the less money you'll have taken out of your paycheck for federal income taxes and vice versa.
These allowances are not set in stone, however. You can and should change them at any time according to any major life changes, such as getting a second job, marrying or divorcing, or having a child.
Navigating the W-4 can seem intimidating, which is why we're giving you a guide to fill out this form.
Page 1 of form W-4. IRS
Before you start, decide whether you will be filing a joint tax return with a spouse who also works for the current tax year. If so, Kiplinger offers a handy tip: Start by filling out only the first portion of the W-4 together: the personal allowances worksheet.
This will determine how many personal allowances you can claim as a couple; you will not turn that worksheet in to your employer. Divide that number of allowances between the two of you, and when you each fill out a separate W-4 for your employers, enter only your portion of the allowances when prompted.
While the allowance worksheet is for your use only, it's a good idea to keep this part for your records.
Actually filling out your Personal Allowances Worksheet is pretty straightforward, if you follow the directions on each line. However, the following resources might come in handy:
- Line D: If you have dependents other than your spouse - such as children - you'll enter how many you have in line D. The IRS has a great set of questions to help you determine the dependents you can claim.
- Line G: If you're single and will earn under $65,000, or if you're married and will earn under $95,000, enter 2 in line G for each eligible child you have. If you have three to six eligible children, subtract one from the original number you calculated. For seven children or more, subtract two. You can find a complete explanation of the Child Tax Credit and who counts as an eligible child on the IRS website.
Read the instructions under line H carefully - they'll let you know whether you can finish the rest of the page and stop, or whether you need to complete the form's second page as well.
This is the first part of the W-4 that you'll actually be giving to your employer.
Fill out steps 1-4 according to your current address and marital status. If you've just recently married and changed your name, but haven't gotten a new social security card, check the box in step 4 and call the number listed for a new card.
For step 5, enter the total number of allowances from part H (if you're filing jointly with a spouse, this is where you enter only your portion of allowances). Step 6 is a way for you to have additional money withheld from your paycheck if not enough is being withheld. When not enough money is taken out of your paycheck, by the time April rolls around, you'll owe money on your federal tax return. Step 6 can help you avoid this.
Investopedia presents a clear guide of how to figure out whether you need more money withheld from your paycheck.
An exemption from withholding prevents your employer from withholding any federal income tax from your paycheck. Chances are, if you're exempt from withholding, you'll know because you will have received a complete refund for the amount withheld on your taxes last year. eHow provides a complete explanation of tax liability, if you're still unsure.
If none of the criteria listed under line H from the personal allowances worksheet apply to you, all you have to do to complete the form is is sign and date it. However, if you want to itemize your deductions, are single with multiple jobs, or have a spouse who works, continue to the second page of the form.
Page 2 of form W-4. IRS
4. Fill out itemized deductions, if you're using them.
Note that you should only fill out this section of the form if directed here by the criteria under line H on page 1.
Deductions are amounts taken out of your taxes to reduce your taxable income. The exact amount of standard deductions - blanket sums for people without particularly complicated tax situations - differ from year to year and depend on your filing status. The amounts for 2014 are listed in step 2 of the deductions and adjustments worksheet of the W-4.
The IRS presents some cases in which you aren't allowed to take the standard deduction, and instead must itemize, or list out your individual deductions line by line. Some people prefer to itemize their deductions, if doing so means they'll end up with less taxable income.
Calculating your specific itemized deductions doesn't happen on your W-4 - you do it on your primary tax filing document, form 1040. Figuring this out takes some legwork, and you'll need actual proof of your expenses in case the IRS asks for it. If you plan to itemize, you might be particularly well-served by working with an accountant.
On the W-4, however, begin by estimating the amount of your itemized deductions for 2014 and entering it on line 1. The amount of itemized deductions is limited, depending on your income. About.com has a comprehensive list of these limitations and how they work, as well as examples of what counts as an adjustment to income. Then, follow the section's directions, line by line.
If you're not either single with two jobs, or married to a spouse who has a job, you're done. However, if you fit any of the criteria just mentioned, move on to the last part of the form, the two-earners/multiple jobs worksheet.
5. Figure out how much additional withholding you need.
Again, note that you should only fill out this section of the form if directed here by the criteria under line H on page 1.
For the two earners/multiple jobs worksheet, refer to the instructions and two tables provided. If you read through the instructions completely, filling out this part of the form should be relatively straightforward.
What’s My Adjusted Gross Income? (or, How to Fill Out Your 1040)
While doing taxes is a chore (even for us), there’s something the government does that makes it a little more bearable: It doesn’t tax us on our whole salary.
We report our income, but then the government subtracts various things from it, like our education expenses or IRA contributions, to finally arrive at the amount that it will actually tax us on. That amount is called the Adjusted Gross Income, or AGI.
So, where do we do all these subtractions? Right on the main tax form, the 1040 (you can download one here).
The amounts in lines 23 to 35 will be subtracted from your income to calculate how much income you’ll be taxed on. These are called your “above the line” deductions because they are above the literal line just underneath your Adjusted Gross Income. There’s another type of deduction known as “below the line.” For now, the above the line deductions are important because they apply to every person who files taxes, whereas below the line ones only apply to some.
Above the line deductions are also important because the IRS and some states use them to decide the rate at which you are taxed. You can claim above the line deductions for expenses like student loan interest, contributions to an IRA or contributions to a health savings or flexible spending account. Read on to find out if any of them apply to you.
Many of these items require you to fill out a separate form for that specific deduction and file it along with your tax returns, so we’ve linked to them here so you can print out the forms that you need as you go. Ready to get started?
If you are a K-12 teacher, principal, counselor or aide who worked for at least 900 hours during the school year, you can deduct up to $250 (or $500 if you file jointly and your spouse is also a qualified educator) for books and supplies that your employer didn’t reimburse you for. Enter the amount on this line, up to the maximum allowed.
Are you in the National Guard, a fee-based government official or a performing artist? (Line 24)
If so, fill out Form 2106 or Form 2106-EZ. Enter the final number here. (A “fee-based government official” is someone who performed services as a state or local government employee and was paid entirely or in part on a fee basis.)
If you have a health savings account (HSA) that is not part of a retirement plan, fill out Form 8889.
Note: This form tells you to fill out Form 8853 if you have an Archer HSP or a Medicare HSP. If you aren’t sure what kind of health care plan you have, but you know that your employer offers one, the 8853 Instructions explain qualified health care plans in depth and is a good place to look if you have questions about whether or not your health care plan qualifies for tax breaks.
Have you moved for a new job in the last year? (Line 26)
If you have moved sometime in the last tax year because of a new job, this deduction may apply to you. Your new home must be at least 50 miles away from your old home.
Note: The IRS calculates this by subtracting the number of miles from your old home to your old workplace from the number of miles from your old home to your new workplace. If that number is 50 or greater, then you can apply for this deduction by filling out Form 3903.
Are you self-employed, have you received tips or wages, or are you a church employee who received payment for your services? (Line 27)
We recommend going to Schedule SE, and completing that before filling in this line. On the form, the IRS carefully explains who needs to fill out Line 27. Put the final number that you calculate from that form into this item.
Do you have a SEP, SIMPLE or retirement plan other than an IRA? (Line 28)
If so, we recommend reading over Pub. 560 for an in-depth description of who can use these deductions. The chart on the second page of this publication is extremely helpful to figure out how much can be deducted.
Are you self-employed with health care under that business? (Line 29)
If you own your own business and you have health care under that business, you should fill in this line. The insurance plan must be established under the business. Tally up your total premium payments for the year and deduct that number here. If you aren’t sure what your total premium payments are, they should be listed in your W-2.
Have you withdrawn from a retirement account, bond or CD? (Line 30)
If you have withdrawn from your retirement account, bond, CD, etc. and have had to pay an early withdrawal penalty, you need to fill in this line. You should use Form 1099-INT (the form you use to report interest income), to come up with the number you need. The number in Item 2 on this form is the dollar amount of your early withdrawal penalty. Put this amount in the line for Item 30 on your 1040.
If you have paid alimony (not child support), you should fill in the amount you have paid, along with the Social Security Number of the person you paid it to.
Have you have made contributions to a traditional IRA? (Line 32)
This is a big one. If you have made contributions to a Traditional IRA (not a Roth!) this year and you have an earned income (this includes things like wages, salaries, tips, etc.), you should fill this out.
Note: There are limits on how much of that contribution is deductible. If you are covered by a retirement plan at work, this chart spells it out clearly for you. If you are NOT covered by a retirement plan at work, look at this chart for an explanation. If you aren’t sure if you are covered by your employer, box 13 on your W-2 will tell you.
You can deduct up to $2,500 for the interest you paid on your student loan last year. If you did, you should have received a form 1098-E from the entity to which you paid interest. Do you fit these qualifications?
- You are not filing under the status “married filing separately”
- Your AGI is less than $80,000 if you’re single and $160,000 if you’re married
- You can’t be claimed as a dependent on your parents’ tax returns
Do you fit all of these qualifications?
- You’re a student
- You are not filing under the status “married filing separately”
- Your AGI is less that $80,000 if you’re single and $160,000 if you’re married
- You can’t be claimed as a dependent on your parents’ tax returns
If all the above are true, then you should fill out a 8917 Form. If you still aren’t sure, read the form to find out the exact requirements.
Note: You can’t use both this deduction and education credits for the same student in the same year, so you should compare the tuition fees deduction to education credits for which you qualify to determine which one will give you the bigger break. The IRS explains.
Yes, we realize that is an oddly phrased question. This is what it really means. You need to fill out Form 8903 if you have:
- Produced real estate
- Provided architectural or engineering services
- Sold, leased or produced film or audio recordings
- Sold, leases or produced electricity, natural gas or water
Additionally, make sure you fall under these qualifications.
- If your product was electricity/natural gas or water, you must have produced or extracted it—distributing it or transmitting it does not apply.
- You produced the product, instead of just selling food and beverage at a retail establishment. (For example, while the companies Frito-Lay or Coca-Cola can claim this deduction, restaurant owners cannot.)
- If selling, leasing or distributing a tangible product, that product cannot be land.
- It must have been produced, sold or leased in the U.S.
You’re almost done! Now just add all of your deduction amounts together and enter the total on line 36. Then subtract line 36 from line 22 (your income). Congrats! You have calculated your adjusted gross income.
This story was updated on February 16, 2017.
This publication is not intended as legal or tax advice. Taxpayers should seek advice based on their particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor.