Refund wrong. What now? — Your refund from Uncle Sam finally arrived, but it's not what you expected. Now what? Here's how to handle a tax check form the Internal Revenue Service that's too big or too small .
7 property appraisal appeal tips — Homeowners want their homes to appreciate in value when they get ready to sell, but not so much when the tax appraiser comes around. That official value of your home could be too high, meaning your property tax bill also will be inflated. These steps, however, could help you appeal your appraisal and lower your real estate taxes.
529 plans perks and pitfalls — Looking for a good gift for a high school graduate? Contribute to the soon to be college student's 529 plan. This tax-advantaged college savings account can help them cover many higher education costs. But beware of potential pitfalls, especially when withdrawing the money or applying for financial aid.
Education tax breaks overview — The high school diplomas have been handed out and mortar boards tossed in celebration. Now it's time to think about college and how to pay for it. Your Uncle Sam can help, thanks to a variety of tax-favored educational tax breaks.
The scoop on paying estimated taxes — The U.S. tax system is based on Uncle Sam getting his cut as you earn your money. Millions make sure that happens by paying estimated taxes four times a year. Here's the scoop on the estimated tax system, with an eye on the looming June 15 deadline.
10 tax tips for newlyweds — After saying "I do," newly married couples face a list of tax to-do's, too. Here are 10 tax things couples who are planning their weddings or who have already exchanged vows should think about. (June 21, 2017)
Deducting moving expenses — Americans have always been mobile. Our restlessness is even encouraged somewhat by the Internal Revenue Code, which offers a tax deduction for moving expenses. (June 28, 2017)
Teens, summer jobs and taxes — Summer employment is a time-honored coming-of-age tradition for teenagers. It also could create tax consequences — and opportunities — for young workers. (July 5, 2017)
Higher fees to set up tax installment plans — Taking a tip from tax-owing boxing champ Floyd Mayweather and looking to pay off your Internal Revenue Service bill over time? Take note of the new, and sometimes dramatically higher, IRS installment payment plan fee hikes that took effect this year.
Tax breaks can help cover adoption costs — If your family is growing via adoption, be sure you take advantage of the tax breaks — tax-free financial help from your employer and/or the adoption tax credit — that can help you cover the often high costs of this legal process.
Income, timing affect capital gains tax bill — Investors must weigh many factors, not just a surging stock market, when selling assets. A key consideration is tax ramifications. What you owe Uncle Sam in capital gains tax depends not only what to sell, but when you sell and your overall adjusted gross income.
The importance of taking a pre-disaster inventory — We’re about to head into the heart of the Atlantic hurricane season. That means it’s time to get ready, including taking a thorough inventory of your personal and business belonging. This information is critical if you must file insurance and subsequent tax loss claims related to a tropical storm or any other disaster.
Why and how to adjust your withholding — Did you get a big refund this year? Or owed Uncle Sam more than you expected when you filed your Form 1040? Then it's time to adjust your payroll withholding.
Getting tax help for disaster losses — Hurricane Harvey is still wreaking havoc, but some folks in hard-hit Texas are starting to dig out. The tax code can help by letting you claim some of your natural disaster losses.
Recreating tax records — Records, tax and financial, are often among the property damaged or destroyed in a natural disaster. If you lost, or never kept, these documents, you'll need to recreate them to take advantage oftax-related storm relief.
Digitize your tax records — Are your tax records out of control? Digitize them. Electronic records free up physical storage space and generally are easier to organize and retrieve. That could be important if you ever have to produce them to prove to the Internal Revenue Service that your filing was correct.
Beware of charity scams in the wake of disasters — The train of tragedies just keeps rolling. In the United States alone this September, we've had back-to-back major hurricanes hit the mainland, not to mention another Cat 4 raking U.S. island territories and two deadly earthquakes in neighboring Mexico. The calls for help are coming nonstop and the good-hearted are still giving to relief efforts. Be careful, though, that you don't fall for fake charities.
5 tips for choosing workplace benefits — October is the start of open enrollment season at most U.S. companies. Here are some things to consider as you pick your employer-provided benefits, many of them with specific tax savings, for the coming year.
10 tax extension filing tips — Are you one of the millions of taxpayers who got a six-month extension to file last year's tax return? If so, your time is almost up. Your 1040 must be e-filed or postmarked by Oct. 16; that's a day later this year since Oct. 15 is on Sunday. These 10 last-minute filing tips could help you get the job done and save some tax dollars.
5 amended tax return filing tips — If you discover you made a mistake on a tax return, it's a good idea to file an amended one, even if it means your tax bill is a bit bigger. These tips can help you get your 1040X just right.
2018 income tax brackets — The 2017 tax year still has two months left, but every fall the Internal Revenue Service announces tax provisions for the next year that are affected by inflation. You can find those changes as blog posts in a 10-part tax inflation series. The first post, which contains links (or will as soon as they're posted) to the other nine, has details on 2018's tax rates and brackets.
Avoiding estimated tax penalties — Paying estimated taxes is hassle enough, but if you mess up your quarterly amounts, you could face a penalty. Here are some ways to avoid owing the Internal Revenue Service more than what's due on your 1040-ES vouchers.
Tracking tax reform 2017 — With House passage on Nov. 16 of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Congress seems to be closer than it's been in 31 years to making major changes to the Internal Revenue Code. But nothing's final until a bill is signed into law. Track the different tax bills and their legislative progress with this collection of tax reform blog posts.
Do mom and dad need help? — A lot of adult children are seeing their parents for the first time in months (years?) over the Thanksgiving holiday. It's a good time to gauge whether they need some help dealing with financial and other responsibilities. Here are some areas to consider in assessing aging parents' needs. (Nov. 23, 2017)
5 ways to spend FSA money — If you have a medical flexible spending account (FSA) with a Dec. 31 use-or-lose deadline, get to your pharmacy now! Here are 5 ways to spend your FSA money so that you don't waste it.
Buy a car by Dec. 31 — If you claim state and local sales taxes as an itemized deduction, buying a car or other vehicle could boost that Schedule A tax write-off. But act soon. Thanks to just-passed tax legislation, many filers will find that 2017 is the last tax year for a while that this deduction will be worthwhile.
An overview of the coming 2018 tax law — The bill formerly known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is now law and will mostly affect 2018 taxes. But there are some provisions that could make a difference on 2017 returns. This index of recent tax reform posts gives you an idea of what's in the law and what the changes could mean for you now and next year.