Submitted by Joseph A. Clark on Thu, 05/23/2013 - 3:00pm
Federal taxes are up. So are some state taxes. Yet in response, opposition is rising, especially on the state level. With luck, the tax burden might recede.
But meanwhile, brace yourself. Years ago, I received valuable insight into Internal Revenue Service practices. The IRS was auditing a client of mine, who was late on his returns. The fines he faced were daunting. My argument was that the client, a small businessman, was taxed too heavily to stay in business.
Submitted by Jim Blankenship on Mon, 04/22/2013 - 12:00pm
Tax season is over with April 15 behind us, but it isn’t really. If you have income that an employer does not withhold on your paycheck, it’s wise to make quarterly payments based on estimates of this revenue. Here’s a guide.
The important take-away: When you have income from sources other than traditional employment, you must make estimated tax payments to the Internal Revenue Service throughout the year to avoid a massive tax bill and penalties next April.
Submitted by Ara Oghoorian on Tue, 04/09/2013 - 12:00pm
The top tax rate on capital gains went up this year. If you and your advisor are smart with tax planning, you don’t have to pay this rate at all.
Should you make more than $400,000, and you sell an asset that increased in value, the tax on your gains is now 20%, up from 15% last year. This includes securities that rise in price, dividends from stocks and profit from a home. If you make between $36,250 and $400,000, the tax is 15% and if you make less than that, you don’t have to pay taxes on capital gains.
Submitted by Sam Cohen on Fri, 04/05/2013 - 3:00pm
With less than two weeks until taxes are due, you may find yourself scrambling to get your return filed. Here are some tips, tricks and reminders to make your filing a little easier, and make sure that you get the best result possible this year.
1. Determining which 1040 to file. Taxes are complicated, and figuring out which forms you need is a yearly headache as your financial situation changes. Look at this quick breakdown of the main individual tax return forms and who should file each one:
Submitted by Jim Blankenship on Wed, 03/27/2013 - 12:00pm
If you adopted children, be aware of some changes to the adoption credit for the 2012 filing season. In some ways, the credit is more restrictive.
In the past, for tax years 2010 and 2011, the adoption credit was refundable – meaning that you receive the entire credit regardless of the amount of tax you have to pay. For example, if you had $10,000 of adoption credit and you owed $6,000 in overall taxes, you claimed the entire credit and received a refund of $4,000. This was in addition to any overpayment you may have made on your withholding.
Submitted by Nathan Gehring on Wed, 03/20/2013 - 3:00pm
This tax season, remember to take the long view as you reduce your final bill. Short-term focus might reduce total taxes in the present year, but at the cost of higher taxes in the future.
Advisors look at your financial picture over many years and decades, sometimes recommending that you give up current tax savings to target bigger savings over the long-term. This is why an advisor's suggestions are often at odds with that of your tax preparer, who focuses on the past and current years.
Submitted by Neil Vannoy on Fri, 03/15/2013 - 9:00am
Getting a tax refund is an opportunity to make some smart financial decisions. This money can beef up savings and whittle down debt. But the wisest course is to adjust your withholding to avoid getting a refund in the first place.
The average tax refund was $3,000 in 2012, so many people receive enough to greatly enhance their financial situation. Here are a few smart ways to use your tax refund.