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Taxes

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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File Taxes for Free With I-CAN!, But is it Accurate?

by Luke Landes

The popularity of filing tax returns online has risen in the past few years thanks to online programs that make it incredibly easy. Unfortunately, the IRS doesn’t let you file your taxes online directly, you have to go through third parties like H&R Block or Intuit to do so. My third part of choice over ... Continue reading this article…

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How the Economic Stimulus Tax Rebate Will Affect 2008 Tax Returns (Updated January 26, 2009)

by Luke Landes

This article is for tax year 2008. For 2009 and beyond, see our roundup of 8 (or more) Ways to Benefit from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (AKA Stimulus Plan). If you’re trying to understand the recovery rebate credit or why it seems like you owe your stimulus back to the government, ... Continue reading this article…

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I Received a Surprise 1099-INT

by Luke Landes

The other day, I received a tax form (1099-INT, income from interest) in the mail. The form came from Bank of America. I was not aware of having an interest-earning account at Bank of America. My only experience with this particular financial company was when a Wachovia credit card I have (unused but held to ... Continue reading this article…

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ING Direct Tax Forms Available Now

by Luke Landes

I just checked my ING Direct savings account and noticed that the bank has its customers’ tax forms ready to download now. Banks are required to generate 1099-INT forms, which report the amount of interest earned, for anyone who has accumulated more than $10 in interest throughout the year. I love the convenience of obtaining ... Continue reading this article…

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5 Stupid Financial Mistakes I Made in 2007: Failing to Balance Rental Property Income with Deductible Expenses

by Sasha

2007 may be my worst tax year ever. Not only did I fail to qualify for the full energy credit and fall out of touch with my tax accountant, but I made it worse by having a great year with my rental properties. A great year which I did not sufficiently offset, and that’s my ... Continue reading this article…

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5 Stupid Financial Mistakes I Made in 2007: Failing to Utilize the Energy Tax Credit

by Sasha

Sure, I’m much more aware of my personal finances now, and made some very positive changes in 2007, but looking back, I realize I’ve also made some very-avoidable mistakes, for which I’m kicking myself. My first mistake is also the most annoying to me, since I’ll be feeling the impact of this particular poor decision ... Continue reading this article…

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The Candidates’ Income Tax Plans: Republicans

by Luke Landes

I started taking a look at the proposals for revision of the income tax code being tossed around by the latest presidential candidates yesterday. The Democrats are in favor of continuing the Bush administration’s tax cuts, but only for certain individuals. They also support a number of tax cuts that I’ll write about in the ... Continue reading this article…

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The Candidates’ Income Tax Plans: Democrats

by Luke Landes

Now that we’ve looked inside the financial reports of the major candidates for President of the United States, let’s take a look at the Democrats’ plans for reworking the income tax system if elected. They are as one would predict, very similar. Hillary Clinton wants to eliminate the “Bush tax cuts” for those earning more ... Continue reading this article…

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Year-End Tax-Saving Move: Charitable Contributions

by Luke Landes

In a recent article with tips for last-minute savings on the tax bill, CNN Money suggests qualifying for a deduction by giving to charity. Donations given to a tax-exempt organization can be deducted from your income when filing your taxes. There’s a catch, though. If your total deductions including the charitable contribution don’t exceed the ... Continue reading this article…

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Year-End Tax-Saving Move: Time Your Bonuses

by Luke Landes

Here in the United States, it’s Thanksgiving. I hope all readers are able to spend time with their family or friends. I’m still in California visiting my relatives and enjoying a relaxing vacation. Well, it’s relaxing in some sense. I’ve actually been working hard at moving some of my major websites, like pfblogs.org and the ... Continue reading this article…

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Year-End Tax-Saving Move: Tax Breaks for Saving

by Luke Landes

The government, when not encouraging spending to spur the immediate economy, encourages saving to keep the future economy on target. This encouragement comes in the form of tax breaks given for directing money away from consumerism today towards retirement (consumerism later). The first tax break you can get, and generally should get, is for a ... Continue reading this article…

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Year-End Tax-Saving Move: Reduce Capital Gains

by Luke Landes

As the year draws to an end, I start turning my mind more towards taxes. I’ve been thinking about taxes this entire year, as a matter of fact, thanks to my underestimation of income. I believe I’ve made the adjustments necessary to avoid facing a large tax bill and penalty, and CNN Money has provided ... Continue reading this article…

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Year-End Tax-Saving Move: Green Energy

by Luke Landes

CNN Money is offering seven suggestions for reducing your tax, all possible before filing your 2007 taxes. The first suggestion is to “re-energize” your home. You can reduce your tax bill by up to $500 if you install insulation, windows, doors or central air conditioning that meet certain energy conservation standards. You also can take ... Continue reading this article…

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Warren Buffett: Don’t Repeal the Estate Tax

by Luke Landes

If you are lucky enough to inherit (for example) $10 million in property or investments from deceased relatives, you are also lucky enough to pass a good portion of that to the government in the form of estate taxes. It is kind of a strange concept. Why should that money be taxed? It is simply ... Continue reading this article…

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Pay Taxes on Court-Awarded Damages?

by Luke Landes

If you are involved in a lawsuit and awarded damages, the IRS may require you to pay taxes on the funds you receive. It depends on whether the money can be considered income. If the damages are awarded to compensate you for financial losses, the money theoretically makes you whole. Therefore, no taxes are due. ... Continue reading this article…

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I Owe New Jersey $26

by Luke Landes

I received a notice and bill today from the New Jersey Division of Taxation for $26.11. Since my income in 2006 was higher than I expected and I didn’t adjust my state withholding from my day job (only federal), I owe for back interest that would have been collected on my neglected estimated payments throughout ... Continue reading this article…

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Seven Home Equity Tips, Part 5: Get the Tax Deduction

by Luke Landes

The interest on a home equity loan or line of credit can be tax deductible, which many people find to be a strong positive point to taking advantage of these products. Tax deduction on interest doesn’t beat paying no interest at all, but if that’s not a possibility, this is a good alternative. There are ... Continue reading this article…

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Souvenir Tax Bill: Lucky Fan May Owe $210,000

by Luke Landes

If you haven’t been living in a hole and have any interest in sports, you may have heard that Barry Bonds surpassed Hank Aaron’s record and hit his 756th home run the other day. With all the footage from a plethora of angles of Bonds breaking the record, the news also showed a man in ... Continue reading this article…

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