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Taxes

Contact a Taxpayer Advocate to Help Resolve Tax Issues

by Luke Landes

A year ago, the first-time home buyer credit was still rather new, and the IRS began allowing taxpayers to amend their 2008 tax returns to receive the credit early. At that time, if documentation was in order, it took about six weeks to receive a check for the $8,000 credit. That didn’t last long. Within […]

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The American Opportunity Tax Credit

by Luke Landes

Last week I offered some last-minute tax filing tips, and the IRS deadline is looming. I’m happy to tackle tax questions, and Consumerism Commentary reader Eric has one. Eric was a full-time student through May 2009, and he, like many former students, is dealing with the cost of a college education. Eric is looking for […]

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How to Check the Status of Your Tax Refund: Federal and State

by Luke Landes

I am still waiting for the second tax refund the IRS owes me after I filed an amended tax return for 2008. Additionally, the State of New Jersey decided to count my business income twice after I filed an amended tax return, so that refund has been delayed as well. The first tax refunds after […]

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Tax Refund: Spend It, Save It, or What?

by Kelly Whalen

This article is presented by Kelly Whalen, Consumerism Commentary staff writer who attended Toy Fair this week in New York City. Should you be one of the millions of Americans (nearly 75 percent) who receives a tax refund this year, you may be making all sorts of plans for your money. Some people will plan to […]

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Still Waiting For My Tax Refund

by Luke Landes

Last year, I began working with a tax accountant. We reviewed how I filed my income tax returns for 2007 and 2008 and determined that filing differently would have saved me about $15,000 overall. In November, I filed amended income tax returns (1040X) for 2007 and 2008. I received a refund for my 2007 return […]

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IRS Will Force Businesses to Disclose Borderline Tax Shelters

by Luke Landes

Starting in 2011 or later, the IRS will be requiring businesses to volunteer more information about their tax avoidance practices and transactions. I use the word “volunteer” loosely. Currently, businesses and even savvy individual taxpayers do all that is possible to reduce the amount of tax owed to the government, even to the point at […]

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In Detail: How to Claim the New Home Buyer Tax Credit on 2009 Tax Returns

by Luke Landes

In November of last year, President Obama and Congress expanded the home buyer tax credit to cover more people who have purchased houses in 2009 and 2010 and to further stimulate the real estate industry. Earlier this month, the IRS released an updated tax form to include the new rules. If you want to claim […]

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American Express Membership Rewards Points Can Be Used to Pay Taxes

by Luke Landes

American Express offers a point-based rewards system called “Membership Rewards” to those qualify for and use their credit or charge cards. Points generally benefit only cardholders who pay their bill in full every month, so any accumulation of benefits does not first need to offset interest or late fee charges. With American Express, these points […]

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How My Accountant Saved Me $15,000

by Luke Landes

It seems I have paid the government more than what was necessary over the past few years. When I first started earning money outside of my primary employer in 2004 or 2005, I assumed it would make the most sense to simply claim that income as self-employment income on Schedule C of the standard 1040 […]

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Bonuses Could Be Taxed at a Rate of 50%

by Luke Landes

Last week I mentioned France would be seeing a new but insignificant tax on carbon emissions and considered the possibilities, including possible reactions, if a similar tax was initiated here in the United States. Both political sides are criticizing this tax and it’s not expected to be effective in terms of its goal of encouraging […]

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