Members of the Maryland Association of Certified Public...


February 04, 1997

Members of the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants are answering readers' tax questions through April 15.

Q: How much is the personal exemption for 1996?

A: Each exemption you claim on your 1996 tax return is worth $2,550, up $50 from 1995. Certain higher-income individuals may lose part or all of the $2,550 deduction if their adjusted gross income exceeds the threshold amount for their particular filing status. Phase-out begins at $117,950 for single individuals, $176,950 for surviving spouses and marrieds filing jointly, $88,475 for marrieds filing separately and $147,450 for heads of household. Any child under 14 years of age with more than $1,300 of unearned income is limited to a $650 standard deduction.

Q: We inherited my mother's house, and paid inheritance tax. When we sell it, do we have to report any money from the sale as income?

A: If you sell the house for more than the value reported on the inheritance tax return (presumably the fair market value on the date of death), then you must pay tax on the gain resulting from the difference.

The above advice is for general purposes only and is not intended as legal, accounting or tax advice. Specific situations may vary.

To ask a tax question, call Sundial at (410) 783-1800. Call 268-7736 in Anne Arundel County, 836-5028 in Harford County and 848-0338 in Carroll County. Using a Touch-Tone phone, punch in the four-digit code 6225 after you hear the greeting.

Readers also can e-mail questions through The Sun's Website -- Visitors to the web site will be able to access an archive of the questions and answers, as well as other useful tax information and links.

Selected questions will be answered in the Business section. No questions will be answered by phone.

Pub Date: 2/04/97

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