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Taxes

The IRS Sent Me Email, Or Did They?

by Luke Landes

I just found this in my inbox (for an email address that wouldn’t be used for anything official): Subject: IRS Notification – Please Read This . From: Internal Revenue Service After the last annual calculations of your fiscal activity we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund of $63.80. Please submit ... Continue reading this article…

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Estimated 2007 Tax Brackets

by Luke Landes

Kiplinger has the estimated tax savings you’re likely to see for the 2007 tax year (when you file in April 2008). Here are the estimated tax brackets, take a look to see where you fall:

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IRS Refunding Long Distance Taxes

by Luke Landes

This is unrelated to Verizon’s fee refunds, but the IRS is refunding taxpayers between $30 and $60 if they paid for long distance between March 2003 and July 2006. This is a separate issue in which the government instituted an excise tax during the Spanish-American War. That was back in the 19th century. In May, ... Continue reading this article…

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Celebrities Must Pay Taxes, Too

by Luke Landes

When you finally make it big and you receive an invitation to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Awards (the Oscars), pay attention to the gift bags you receive. The Academy will give your name to the IRS to let them know that you’ll owe taxes on the gift [MSN Money]. Responsibility for ... Continue reading this article…

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Another 75 Dollar Surprise: New Jersey Renters Take Notice!

by Luke Landes

Like last year, a $75 check from the State of New Jersey arrived by surprise. This is the 2005 FAIR Tenant Rebate, a refund aimed at reimbursing New Jersey taxpayers for a (very small) portion of their property taxes. The eligibility requirements state that you must rent and occupy a home in New Jersey in ... Continue reading this article…

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Back to School Shopping: Tax Free Holidays (Not in New Jersey)

by Luke Landes

A number of states are offering sales tax-free shopping “holidays” this year to entice shoppers to spur the economy before it’s time to go back to school. Bankrate has the full scehdule, which includes some days that have already passed. New Jersey is not on the list; however, we never have to pay tax on ... Continue reading this article…

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Updated My Federal Tax Withholding

by Luke Landes

I’m a little concerned. I’m making more taxable income this year outside of my full-time job, but my tax withholding was calculated based on only my full-time income. Last year I had a few thousand dollars extra income, but I was able to use related expenses and my SEP IRA to offset a good portion ... Continue reading this article…

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Thank You For Supporting The Troops (of the Spanish-American War)

by Luke Landes

Good news! The Spanish-American War is over. Mission accomplished! We can now stop paying the government for it. There has been a 3 percent tax added to long distance telephone service charges since 1898, before income tax took effect. The funds from this tax were used to pay for that particular war. While it seems from ... Continue reading this article…

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Tax Bill Passed By House And Senate

by Luke Landes

On Thursday, the Senate passed a new bill, already passed by the House, that extends reduced tax rates, changes the nature of the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), eliminates an extension to higher-education tuition deduction, and eliminates a special deduction for teachers who pay for supplies out of their own pockets. The rich — those with ... Continue reading this article…

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Tax Bill Paid, Tax Refund Received

by Luke Landes

While I was away, my state tax bill ($159) was automatically deducted from one ING Direct account while my federal tax refund ($239) was automatically deposited into another ING Direct account. This certainly beats owing several thousand dollars as I originally believed would be the case.

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Will You Be Audited?

by Luke Landes

Through everyday conversations, I know there are people who stretch the tax law as much as possible in order to claim tax deductions for “business-related” expenses. I’d like to follow up after tax season to see how far they’re actually stretching the rules, and if it’s fishy, to determine how many of these individuals end ... Continue reading this article…

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Taxes Down To The Wire, File An Extension

by Luke Landes

Today’s the deadline for paying taxes if anything is owed to the government. If you’re still working on your paperwork, you’ll need to file an extension by the end of the day today. Here is what H&R Block says you need to consider when contemplating filing an extension: * Notify the IRS. It’s Form 4868. ... Continue reading this article…

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Where’s My Tax Refund?

by Luke Landes

Earlier today, I finalized my tax return calculations and filed them online. I was able to file my federal taxes for free, but rather than do my state taxes separately and mail them for free, I opted to pay a fee — about $15 — to file them online as well. Although I’ve done that ... Continue reading this article…

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Where Is My SEP IRA?

by Luke Landes

I was hoping to write about my new SEP IRA account this weekend, but TIAA-CREF hasn’t withdrawn the money from my ING Direct savings account to fund it yet. I would have liked to mention how I’m using the SEP to put some of my 2005 non-salary income away to reduce my tax bill, but ... Continue reading this article…

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Walking Away From Your Money

by Luke Landes

If you don’t itemize your taxes, you may be overpaying the government, according to Bankrate.com. The General Accounting Office has found that filers of 1998 returns who used the standard deduction instead of itemizing paid the Internal Revenue Service almost $1 billion more than they should have. Should you itemize? It depends on your expenses ... Continue reading this article…

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Tax Bill or Tax Refund, Which is Better?

by Luke Landes

There are two typical responses when a person finishes preparing his tax return, depending on the result. If he owes money, I hear, “Do’h! I have to pay the government more. I wish they’d use my money more efficiently.” If he is due a refund, I hear, “Woohoo! I’m going to get a big fat ... Continue reading this article…

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Seven Tax Mistakes You Might Make, Part 2

by Luke Landes

It’s tax season, and I’m double-checking my return before filing. I’m checking for seven typical mistakes. I began mentioning MSN’s seven tax mistakes earlier, and now I’ll finish up those thoughts. 4. Getting married. According to MSN, a “marriage penalty” still exists. “[T]wo individuals who each earn $70,000 in taxable income [and file as a ... Continue reading this article…

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Seven Tax Mistakes You Might Make, Part 1

by Luke Landes

First of all, I finished my taxes over the weekend. I started out using Turbo Tax Online, which I have used for the last three years. I decided to look around for better deals, and I’ve settled on Tax Act for now. I may not file online, however. While my initial estimates had me owing ... Continue reading this article…

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Tax Credits for Better Energy Efficiency

by Luke Landes

While energy is more expensive this year, I’ve done a good job so far of keeping the cost of heating my apartment comparable to my expenses last year. Today, I noticed an article describing little-known tax credits available for those who upgrade their homes for better energy conservation. Some of the upgrades are expensive, and ... Continue reading this article…

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Tax Filing Time, I’m Going To Owe

by Luke Landes

I’ve begun receiving my 1099s and W2s, and that means it must be tax time. Jeff Schnepper steps right in to provide me with 15 quick points to motivate me to get my taxes done and done well. For the past several years, I’ve been filing my taxes online with TurboTax Online for which I’ve ... Continue reading this article…

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