Category IRS

Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit

The Child and Dependent Care Credit helps working families offset some of the cost of childcare.

Free Money! Which, sadly, only 25% of those eligible are taking…

Now that I have your attention, let’s try that again. Free Money! What we’re talking about here is the “Retirement Savings Contributions Credit”.  It was first created as part of the 2001 tax cut package called the “Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001” and was made permanent as part of the 2006 […]

2015 IRA, 401(k) and other retirement plan contribution limits announced

By law certain retirement plan limits get adjusted every year, not exactly tracking inflation (i.e., not by the CPI) but rather in “chunks” which approximate it. For 2015, the following limits have been announced: IRA Contributions (combined limit across Roth and Traditional): $5,500IRA Catch-Up Contributions (for folks over 50): $1000[Both unchanged from 2014 and, actually, […]

A brief history of taxes in america (humor, kinda)

A brief history of taxes in america (humor, kinda) [gotta love the mustache-twirling robber barons]http://www.theawl.com/2013/04/a-brief-history-of-taxes-in-america If we cannot cry, we should at least laugh.

Ultra-Short Summary of American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (HR8 as amended by the Senate)

American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (HR8 as amended by the Senate) The first two items below directly affect nearly every taxpayer. The third affects anyone with earned income, and the fourth affects every married couple. The rest are much narrower in scope (ie. highest income folks, large estates, etc): All Bush-era tax rates made […]

Tax Simplification – Harvey Golub op-ed piece in the WSJ

Harvey Golub’s op-ed piece from the Wall Street Journal on June 14, 2012: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303768104577462353639535464.html?mod=googlenews_wsj Harvey Golub: A Simple Tax Code Is a Fair Tax Code The top 1% pays more in federal income taxes than the bottom 90%. But the system is biased toward the powerful in other ways. [some bit from the article:] The […]

BusinessWeek: 10 Strategies used by the ultra wealthy to avoid taxes

For all the silly bluster about the “Buffett rule” in Congress, the fact is that the vast majority of folks who earn a lot do pay a lot in taxes.  And the very well known exceptions – such as Buffett himself claiming to pay a lower tax rate than his secretary – are due to […]

Morningstar article on dependent-care FSA vs tax credit

A must-read from Morningstar for anyone with kids in daycare, with a nanny, etc. http://news.morningstar.com/articlenet/article.aspx?id=539497 In particular, there are some great examples of how much less is going to be paid in taxes one way vs. the other. The dependent care FSA lets one put away money (through one’s employer, only) on a pre-tax basis […]

IRS: Standard Deduction vs. Itemizing – Seven Facts to Help You Choose

http://content.govdelivery.com/bulletins/gd/USIRS-31e552?reqfrom=share Worth reading the article linked to above.  When working with folks on their taxes, the question of itemizing vs. taking the standard deduction comes up very frequently. The short story is that you should do whichever allows you to pay less in taxes.  Your standard deduction (if you are allowed to take it) effectively […]

(Almost) Everyone can file their federal individual income taxes electronically for free

From the IRS: http://content.govdelivery.com/bulletins/gd/USIRS-266f7f For folks who earn $57,000 or less (and – don’t be surprised – it’s an awful lot of folks — 70% of the nation’s taxpayers!) may use brand-name software and secure e-filing for free. The providers who are participating include H&R Block, TurboTax, Liberty Tax services and others. Start here and […]