...and so I ask you, the obvious tax experts:
1) if my partner and I got an oregon state tax refund last year which this year has to be claimed as income on federal taxes, but we got the refund jointly and are filing federal singly (cause they don't recognize us jointly and all), are there rules about how it gets divided, or can we do it however we want (i.e. do we have to split it in half or can one of us take the whole thing?)?
2) net operating loss. I'm familiar with this situation theoretically, but my free-file online folks are telling me it might apply to me because my income is less than my deductions, or something like that. This is because my "income" has been student loans, which aren't considered income. This online folks are telling me I can carry my net operating loss forward, reducing my tax liability next year (I could carry it back but I had no tax liability last year either; I will probably have a tax liability for 2010).
Does any of this make sense? Do I actually have a net operating loss or am I confused? Is it really an option for me to carry me NOL forward and reduce next year's tax liability? That would be pretty sweet. I generally don't think of the IRS as being that nice, you know.
(ETA: I did take a stab at reading IRS document 536 but still find myself confused.)
Has everyone heard of the pilot program Clean Energy Works Portland, in which you can have your home weatherized and the costs are loaned to you, you pay the loan back over 20 years with payments added to your utility bill. Very helpful for those who are interested in weatherizing but don't have the capital to make it happen on their own. I believe you still get all the pertinent tax credits etc. Check it out:http://www.cleanenergyworksportland.org/