Category Taxes

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: 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. 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 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: 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 […]

Year-End Deadlines

While we recommend planning and managing your finances all year long – this is a process, not a singular task – there are a few deadlines which come up at year-end which cannot be ignored.  Some of them represent potential missed opportunities, while at least one of them represents something that if you don’t do […]

John Steele Gordon: A Short History of the Income Tax (WSJ op-ed piece) A Short History of the Income Tax One original sin was the separation of the corporate and personal tax, giving lawyers, accountants and the wealthy a chance to game the system. […] The other pernicious consequence of the separate corporate and personal income taxes has been a field day for demagogues and the misguided […]

How to get your prior-year tax information from the IRS

We all file our taxes each year, and dutifully, we each keep copies in our files, right?  You know, along with all the receipts, your copies of your W-2 and 1099s. So what happens if you need some of the information but can’t find it?  The IRS can’t necessarily help with everything – they don’t […]