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Taxes

Am I Required to Report All Income to the IRS?

by Luke Landes

In general, if you have to ask whether you need to report certain income to the IRS, the most likely answer is, “Yes.” Here are some examples, courtesy of MSN Money. Q. I hosted a party to sell products to my friends (and use my social circle for multilevel marketing from some corporation), and the ... Continue reading this article…

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How to Claim the $8,000 Home Buyer Tax Credit of 2009

by Luke Landes

Claim the tax credit with Intuit TurboTax or H&R Block At Home. Are you claiming the home buyer tax credit with your 2009 income tax return? Read these new instructions. The credit has been extended and expanded to qualify for more people, including long-time homeowners. I’ve included some of the basic information below. Because the ... Continue reading this article…

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Understand the Recovery Rebate Credit

by Luke Landes

According to the Internal Revenue Service, 15 percent of 2008 income tax returns that have been filed already have errors involving the recovery rebate credit. Here is what the government wants you to know: Some tax returns erroneously claim the credit, do not claim the proper amount of recovery rebate credit or mistakenly enter the amount ... Continue reading this article…

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How Will You File Your Taxes?

by Luke Landes

I’ve started receiving W2s, 1099s, and a variety of other tax-related documentation in the mail and online, which means one thing: It is time to get serious about determining my final tax liability. If I planned right, I will have paid just enough between estimated taxes and withholding to avoid an underpayment penalty, but it’s ... Continue reading this article…

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Filing Your 2008 Taxes With the Economic Stimulus (Recovery Rebate Credit)

by Luke Landes

If you didn’t received a payment from the economic stimulus that was devised by the United States government last year and your situation now qualifies you for the credit, you should claim this amount when filing your 2008 taxes. On the 2008 tax filing forms, there is a line designated to enter this amount, listed ... Continue reading this article…

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Rich People are More Likely to Cheat on Income Tax Returns

by Luke Landes

According to a new study by Joel Slemrod, a professor at the University of Michigan’s business school, and Andrew Johns, an IRS researcher, the more you earn, the more likely you are to cheat on your taxes. The study compiled data from tax returns from 2001, audits, and unpublished data from the Internal Revenue Service. ... Continue reading this article…

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Income Tax Filing Deadline is Today for Those Who Have an Extension

by Luke Landes

This is a reminder in the form of an article I posted a few weeks ago. If you’ve filed for an extension for reporting your 2007 federal income tax, your deadline is today. Here are some important resources to help you file today without a penalty. File your taxes for free. The Free File Alliance ... Continue reading this article…

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Deadline for Income Tax Extension Filing, October 15, is Almost Here

by Luke Landes

If you’ve filed for an extension for reporting last year’s federal income tax, your deadline is quickly arriving. Here are some important resources to help you make that deadline. File your taxes for free. The Free File Alliance allows residents in most states to file for free as long as the taxpayer meets certain qualifications. ... Continue reading this article…

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McCain Proposes Summer Gas Tax Holiday (Again)

by Luke Landes

The presidential candidates are fighting hard for your vote, and the economy seems to be one of the top issues. To soothe jitters over an economically turbulent near future, Senator Barack Obama proposed a second economic stimulus payment, similar to the one proposed and passed by President Bush and Nancy Pelosi earlier this year. It’s ... Continue reading this article…

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McCain vs. Obama: Your Future Tax Bill

by Luke Landes

The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center released a report yesterday that explains in detail the effect that a McCain presidency and an Obama presidency would have on the tax bill for American households. The data are stratified by income range and reflect a wide difference in stated policy between the two candidates. In addition to making ... Continue reading this article…

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If You Had Filing Fees Deducted From Your Tax Refund, You Will Receive a Paper Check Rebate

by Luke Landes

This has been noted on Consumerism Commentary many times in the last month. If you filed your taxes using third party software like TurboTax or H&R Block, were owed a tax refund, had your filing fees or tax preparation fees deducted from your refund, and qualified for an economic stimulus payment, then you will not ... Continue reading this article…

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Didn’t Receive Your Economic Stimulus Payment Yet?

by Luke Landes

Welcome to Consumerism Commentary. If you are new here, consider subscribing to our RSS feed (more info here). Consumerism Commentary always has the latest information about the economic stimulus payment. Several disappointed people contacted me today. They expected to receive their economic stimulus payment deposited into their bank account today but they have not seen ... Continue reading this article…

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What to Do With Your Economic Stimulus Payment (Or Any Found Money)

by Luke Landes

This week, the Internal Revenue Service of the United States will begin sending direct deposits to those who qualify for the economic stimulus tax payment and checks soon after. Everyone who is interested in the tax ramifications of this payment should now know that the money received as a result will not be counted as ... Continue reading this article…

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My First Economic Stimulus Payment Notice Has Arrived

by Luke Landes

Over the weekend, I received a notification from the IRS about the economic stimulus. The notice isn’t personalized; it contains only general information about the new law. The text of the letter is straightforward. Rather than get into the details, particularly the facts that the law authorizes a new credit to 2008 income taxes and ... Continue reading this article…

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W-4 and Your Working Spouse

by Smithee

It’s possible that this advice might be considered common knowledge, but I just learned it at age 32, so feel free to forward it to your friends who recently became part of a working couple. The first time I saw a W-4 form at age 16, I had to take it home and ask my ... Continue reading this article…

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How to Waste $42 Million (and Blog Roundup)

by Luke Landes

“The check is almost in the mail.” Shortly, the IRS will send letters to everyone who filed a tax return for 2006 to let them know about the economic stimulus rebate checks. The actual checks won’t be in the mail until at least May. On one hand, it’s good to get information into the hands ... Continue reading this article…

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Hiring Our First CPA

by Smithee

At the age of 32, with our household income breaking the $100,000 (US) mark for 2007, I was finally convinced by family and friends to take our tax preparation to a specialist, a Certified Public Accountant (“CPA”). I was always wary of the idea, primarily because since I started filing taxes at age 16, I ... Continue reading this article…

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H&R Block Catering to Younger Taxpayers

by Luke Landes

This year, H&R Block has assembled an online community to promote its tax preparation products and services. The H&R Block Digits website is a forum where visitors can talk with each other about taxes as well as other random topics, like the one titled, “When You’re All Done Having the Babies.” This new site is ... Continue reading this article…

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Is it Better to Receive a Tax Refund or Owe the IRS?

by Luke Landes

When you work for a company that manages its payroll properly, federal and state taxes are withheld every pay period. The companies estimate your total tax bill based on your annual salary and divide that amount by the number of pay periods within the year. They get some help from the W-4 form you filled ... Continue reading this article…

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Tax Rebate Calculator Updated (and Blog Roundup)

by Luke Landes

I’ve updated the economic stimulus tax rebate calculator. The old version, taken from PBS Newshour, did not take into account changes included by the Congress before passing the bill. The complete details of the economic stimulus package are provided at the Library of Congress. Take a look at the new calculator to find out how ... Continue reading this article…

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