Members of the Maryland Association of Certified Public...

Tax questions

February 19, 1997

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

Q. I inherited my mother's home in January 1993, and its fair market value at that time was appraised at $51,000. I used the home for about seven weeks each year as a vacation home until I sold it last September for $49,000. It was never rented out. Being that this was not my primary residence, can I list it as personal property and claim a $2,000 loss on Schedule D?

A. No loss is allowed in the sale of the vacation home because it was used only for personal purposes. For individuals, a loss on a sale is only allowable for property used in a trade or business or held in a transaction entered into for profit.

Q. Can you pay your federal or state income tax by credit card? How about quarterly estimated payments?

A. No. You cannot pay either Maryland or federal income tax or estimated tax by credit card; payment must be by check or money order. The IRS now allows you to pay electronically; however, you must enroll with the IRS first. Call 1 (800) 945-8400.

The above advice is for general purposes only and is not zTC 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 Web site -- www.sunspot.net.

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

Pub Date: 2/19/97

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