Stopping Tax-Related ID Theft

Identity theft is rampant. You can become a victim not only after carelessly using passwords and your personal information but also if you’re in the wrong electronic place at the wrong time, such during Target stores’ data breach last holiday season. You have little information more sensitive than that you write – and sometimes send electronically – on your tax return.

Best Retiree Cities, Financially

You’ve probably seen dozens of lists of places to retire in, but they seldom focus on financial factors, which are important when you live off your savings.

Due to warm weather, beaches and the absence of a state income tax, locations in Florida are heavily over-represented on most such lists – I even included one here. But I took the liberty of assuming that not everyone wants to live out their golden years in the Sunshine State, and broadened the list to cover the country.

Overpaying Income Tax?

If you start a job in the middle of the year, chances are you will be over-taxed. You get a refund, but it’s not an inefficient use of your money. To prevent this problem altogether, use something called the part-year withholding method.

When you get a job, you file the W-4 form, aka the employee’s withholding allowance certificate, with the new employer. This form instructs the employer how much tax to withhold for the Internal Revenue Service from each of your paychecks.

Mechanics of 401(k)s (Pt. 3)

Yes, you can tap your 401(k) for a loan even before your legal withdrawal age, although turning elsewhere to borrow is usually a better idea. You should know the rules and pitfalls built into 401(k) lending. They are many.

Who Really Is Rich?

Wealth is defined by net worth, not income. A high income doesn't equal wealth; it equals a better opportunity to build wealth. Not everyone is wise enough to take advantage of that opportunity.

"How much money do you make?" We don't ask people that question, but we'd love to know the answer. In this country, we fixate on a person’s annual income. That's the primary measure we use to determine social status and define success.

Mechanics of 401(k)s (Pt. 2)

How do you take money out of a retirement plan? This is tricky, because one wrong move can cost you in taxes and penalties. The process is complicated, to say the least.

Summer Job Tax Tips

School’s out and for teens and young adults taking summer jobs it’s time to gain experience, earn some cash and learn a bit about adulthood. No better grown-up subject to start with, of course, than taxes.

Whether you’re new to summer work or been at it for years, here are eight tax tips you need to know from the Internal Revenue Service.

1. Don’t be surprised when your employer withholds taxes from your paychecks. That’s how you pay your taxes when you’re an employee.

Capital Gains: More Complex

How you deal with the new capital gains rates hinges on your tax bracket. Strategies to deal with capital gains differ for each level – part of their new complexity starting last year.

When you sell certain assets, such as stocks and bonds, you may incur capital gains. A capital asset also includes most property you own and use for personal or investment purposes. If the original purchase price of the asset plus associated expenses (the cost basis) is less than the proceeds you receive from the sale, you incur a capital gain.

10 Tax Tips for Farmers

There ain’t much an old country boy or girl like you can’t hack – except for a hefty tax bill. Crop problems, hired hands, pregnant livestock and busted tractors all complicate your return. Fortunately, the Internal Revenue Service offers numerous benefits if you own a plantation, ranch, range or orchard to raise livestock, poultry or fish or grow fruits or vegetables.

Here are 10 tips for farmers’ tax returns:

Recovery? Look at Income

Hold off on the victory dance. The 2014 “Economic Report of the President” and many media reports indicate that the U.S. economy has finally recovered. But has it? Not if you look at one measure of economic health: household income.


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