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Tax Planning: U.S.: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
2014 federal income tax rates
This page contains information about federal tax rates and tax brackets that apply to personal income for the year 2014. Also contains information about other types of federal taxes that may also apply to different types of personal income.
How to Fill Out Form W-4 in 11 Steps
Filling out Form W-4 is one of the first things you do when you start a new job. You may want to fill out a new W-4 if your financial situation has changed.
7 States With No Income Tax
See the list of seven U.S. states that have no income tax and find out where you'll get to keep more of your paycheck.
Sold Your Home? You Might Not Have to Pay Taxes...
How to calculate capital gains taxes on the sale of a main home, along with tips for lowering your capital gains using the exclusion for selling a main home.
Tax Deadlines in 2014
Find a list of deadlines relating to federal income taxes for individuals and businesses. The next deadline is September 15th for trusts, partnerships and corporations to file their returns on extension.
Investing in a 401(K)? Learn your yearly...
The maximum amount of contributions a person can make to his or her 401(k) plan is set each year by the Internal Revenue Service.
The Best (and Worst) States for Property Taxes
Find out which states have the highest property taxes and which states have the lowest property taxes over a three year period.
Federal Tax Brackets for 2013 (and Tax Rate...
Find out the federal income tax rates 2014 and rates for other federal taxes. Plus tips for how to utilize your marginal tax rates to help plan your finances.
Payroll Taxes: A Primer for Employers
Payroll taxes are the responsiblity of every employer. Find essential information on how to report payroll taxes.
Guess Which State Has the Highest Taxes?
Wondering how your state income tax rates compare to other states? Here you will find each state's highest income tax rate and when the top rates kick in.
Head of Household Filing Status, Explained
Taxpayers claiming the Head of Household filing status benefit from a higher standard deduction and lower tax rates than single taxpayers.
Tax Basics: What You Need to Know about Form W-9
Form W-9 is a request for your taxpayer identification number. Find out what the form means and how to fill it out.
How to Get Your Tax Withholding Just Right
To adjust your withholding you must change how much tax is withheld from your paycheck. Learn how to figure out how many withholding allowances to claim.
How to Make Sure Your Charity Donation Is...
Donations of cash and property to qualified non-profits are tax deductible. To be deductible, taxpayers must keep records of their contributions, especially of any gifts over $250. For non-cash contributions, taxpayers must keep records indicating the value and condition of the property given to charity.
Should Married Couples File Taxes Separately?
The Married Filing Separately filing status provides fewer tax benefits than filing joint returns, but taxpayers will need to weigh the pros and cons.
Missed the Tax Deadline? Here's what penalties...
If you owe taxes, the IRS will calculate penalties and interest on the amount owed. There's two types of penalties: one for filing late, and another for paying late. The IRS also adds interest to late payments.
Learn about the additional 10% tax on early...
If you withdraw money from a traditional individual retirement account, you may be subject to an early distribution penalty of 10%. There are exceptions.
Can You Name the States That Don't Have Sales...
Every state in the nation has a sales tax, with the exception of only five. See where you can shop sales tax free in these states without a sales tax.
What Are the Most Tax-Friendly States for...
Find out which states retirees will pay the least income tax, sales tax, and property tax and which states win out overall as the best states to retire in.
Your Helpful Guide to Capital Gains Taxes
Find out the tax rates for short-term capital gains, long-term capital gains, collectibles, and other capital assets. Page 2.
How to Get a Federal Tax Credit for the Cost of...
The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit reduces your taxes by providing a tax credit for money you spend on day care and child care services.
How to check the status of your state income...
A list of links to state tax authority websites where you can check the status of your state income tax refund.
What's the Statute of Limitations on IRS Audits...
The tax code imposes time limits for getting a tax refund, for the IRS auditing your tax return, and for the IRS collecting any unpaid taxes.
Things to Keep in Mind When Filing Jointly as a...
The Married Filing Jointly filing status provides more tax benefits than filing separate returns, but taxpayers will need to weigh the pros and cons.
Learn How Personal Exemptions Reduce Taxable...
Taxpayers are entitled to claim one personal exemption for themselves and each dependent.
What to Know About Claiming Single Filing...
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Where You'll Pay the Most in State and Local...
See which state's residents pay the most in all state taxes including income tax, property tax, sales tax, and other state and local taxes.
Criteria for Claiming Dependents on Your Taxes
Learn more about the relationship, age, residency, and support tests for qualifying children, and the tie-breaker rules used to determine which taxpayer is eligible to claim a dependent on their tax return. Page 2.
What Is Alternative Minimum Tax?
The alternative minimum tax, or AMT, is a second tax system parallel to the regular income tax. The alternative minimum tax adjusts or eliminates certain tax deductions or credits. Your tax may be higher under the alternative minimum tax rules if your income is over the AMT exemption amount.
Which States Have Tax Breaks for Retirees?
Details on state income tax breaks for retirees, including states that exempt social security income, government pension income, and private pension income.
Tips for Reporting Rental Income on Schedule E...
Mastering the IRS Form 1040 Schedule E is easy once you organize your income and expenses with these tax rules regarding rental income.
Get a Quick Overview of Social Security Taxes
The Social Security tax of 12.4% applies to wages and self-employment income. For 2014, the tax applies to wages and self-employment income up to $117,000.
Which States Have Reciprocal Agreements?
Reciprocal agreements allow residents of one state to work in a neighboring state while only paying income taxes to their state of residency.
Does Your Company Qualify for This 3% Tax...
Starting with tax year 2005, certain companies can take a 3% deduction for US-based business activities with the Domestic Production Activities Deduction.
Best and Worst States for Sales Taxes
The Tax Foundation has ranked the states with the highest and lowest combined state and local sales taxes as well as major U.S. cities with the highest sales taxes. See how your state compares.
How Does New York City Tax Your Income?
Find out New York City income tax rates, tax credits you can use to reduce your income taxes, and how to file and pay your income taxes.
Are You Impacted by Backup Withholding?
Backup withholding is a type of withholding for federal income taxes on certain types of income and may be mandatory in certain circumstances.
What You Should Know about Filing an Amended...
An amended tax return is used to make corrections to a previously filed tax return. Taxpayers can correct filing status, income, tax deductions, or tax credits. Tips for revising and correcting federal tax returns using Form 1040X.
Your Quick Guide to New York City Taxes
A guide to taxes individuals pay in New York City including income tax, property tax, sales tax rates, and other taxes.
How Much Should You Expect to Pay a Tax Preparer?
Find out how different companies price their tax preparation services and average prices charged by various tax professionals.
How to Get the Most Out of the Child Tax Credit
If you have children, you may qualify for a Child Tax Credit on your federal income tax return. For 2010, the maximum child tax credit is $1,000.
What States Don't Tax Social Security Benefits?
A listing of states that fully exempt Social Security benefits from income taxes. Find out which states do not tax Social Security.
What's Your Tax Filing Status?
Choose only one filing status, depending on your situation. Generally, your filing status depends on your marital status as of the last day of the year.
What You Need to Know About California State...
Find out how much you'll pay in California state taxes; from California income tax, to California property taxes and sales taxes.
Here Are 3 Ways You Can Reduce Your Taxes
The goal of tax planning is to arrange your financial affairs so as to minimize your taxes. There are three basic ways to reduce your taxes.
Got a Call From the IRS? It's Probably Not the...
Be wary if you get a call from a person purporting to be an IRS agent asking for payment of taxes.
All About the Earned Income Tax Credit
The earned income credit is a refundable tax credit, which means the EIC lowers your taxes and gives you a bigger refund.
An Easy Way to Calculate Your Estimated Taxes
Paying estimated taxes is one way for individuals to submit payments for their taxes. Find out how to calculate how much estimated tax to pay.
How Are Dividends Taxed and Reported?
Dividends are reported on your tax return. Find out when you need to fill out Schedule B, and what amounts go on Form 1040 Line 9a and 9b.
How your Social Security benefits are taxed
Social Security benefits are subject to the federal income. The amount of benefits that are included in taxable income depends on total income from all sources. Discusses how to calculate the taxable portion of benefits and how to request withholding.
Need More Time? How to File for a Tax Extension...
Need more time to file a tax return with the IRS? If so, an extension can be filed. Doing so will extend the filing deadline to October 15th.
Taxes 101: How Much Is Your Standard Deduction?
Taxpayers can opt to take a standard deduction (a flat dollar amount that reduces taxable income) or itemize their deductions instead.
What You Should Know About Self-Employment Tax
Tips to help self-employed business owners and independent contractors plan and calculate your self-employment tax on Schedule SE.
Proposals for personal tax rates and the tax...
On February 26, 2014, House Ways and Means Committee Chairperson Dave Camp released draft legislation to reform America's tax system. Titled the Tax Reform Act
Identity Theft and Your Income Taxes
Identity theft is one of the most serious problems faced by taxpayers, the National Taxpayer Advocate revealed in her 2013 Annual Report to Congress, with the
Average Sales Tax Rates by State: 2014
Sales tax rates range from zero to 9.45%, according to a new study from the Tax Foundation.
How to Deduct Car and Truck Expenses on Your...
Learn more about what car-related expenses are deductible, and what records to keep, and how to report this on your tax return.
Your Guide to the 6 Types of Business for...
The various forms of organization are established by state law. There are a wide variety of business organizations recognized by the states. Page 2.
What You Need to Know about Reporting Payments...
Businesses are required to report payments made for goods and services related to a trade or business, which are reported to the vendor and to the IRS.
5 Rules for Discharging Tax Debts in Bankruptcy
Income tax debts may be eligible for discharge under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. Here are the 5 criteria debts must have for discharge.
How to Paying Quarterly Estimated Taxes
Taxpayers can prepay their federal taxes by remitting estimated tax payments throughout the year. The next estimated tax due date is September 15, 2014.
What is the Health Savings Account Deduction?
Contributions to health savings accounts are tax deductible. Distributions from health savings accounts can be tax-free as long as the funds are spent on medical expenses. For 2014, individuals can contribute up to $3,300 to a health savings account paired with a high-deductible health insurance plan with self-only coverage, or up to $6,550 if the plan has family coverage.
How You Can Deduct Up to \$4,000 in Tuition...
Americans can deduct the cost of college tuition for themselves, their spouses, and their dependents with the Tuition and Fees Deduction.
Community Property States
In nine community property states, married persons are considered to own their property, assets, and income jointly. This has implications for how the married couple reports income and deductions when preparing separate tax returns.
Here Are The Best and Worst Places for Property...
Where will you pay the most property taxes? Find out which counties have the highest property taxes and which have the lowest property taxes in the nation.
What You Need to Know About Taxes in Florida
Get the scoop on Florida state taxes including details on Florida property taxes, Florida sales tax rates, and other state taxes in Florida.
How Contributing to an IRA Can Lower Your Taxes
If you contributed to a traditional individual retirement account (IRA), you can take an above-the-line tax deduction for your contribution on Form 1040.
Should You Be Charging Your Customers Sales Tax?
Figuring out which sales tax rate to charge your customers can be a challenge, depending on whether the state is origin-based or destination-based.
Every State's Sales Tax Holiday for 2014
Seventeen states are offering sales tax holidays in 2014.
Everything You Need to Know About Illinois...
Details on all Illinois state taxes and Illinois tax rates including information on property taxes, income taxes, and sales taxes.
Here's a List of U.S. Cities With an Income Tax
A listing of cities and localities in the U.S. that have an income tax, including details on city income tax rates and other municipal income tax rates.
5 Ways to Get Out of Debt with the IRS
Learn what your options are for reducing and paying off your tax debts, and how to protect yourself when hiring a tax professional.
Got Stock Options? You Need Tax Form 3921
Incentive stock options enjoy favorable tax treatment compared to other forms of employee compensation. Income from incentive stock options is taxable for federal income tax (including the alternative minimum tax), but are not taxable for Social Security and Medicare taxes. Upon meeting all the criteria for a qualifying sale, income from incentive stock options qualify for the preferred long-term capital gains tax rate.
What Taxpayers Need to Know About Depreciation...
When taxpayers sell an asset that has been depreciated for tax purposes, that sale may trigger a type of capital gain called depreciation recapture.
Understanding Form W-2, the annual wage and tax...
A line-by-line guide to reading your Form W-2 to help you understand your salary and where various amounts may need to be reported on a tax return. Page 2.
Claiming Home Mortgage Interest as a Tax...
Mortgage interest is a tax-deductible expense. Mortgage interest is reported on Form 1040, Schedule A along with other itemized deductions.
Are You Eligible for a Lifetime Learning Tax...
Learn about the Lifetime Learning Credit, a federal tax credit for any person who takes college classes that provides a credit of 20% of tuition expenses.
What College Students Ought to Know About the...
The American Opportunity Tax Credit provides up to $2,500 for people pursuing undergraduate education and will be effective for 2009 through 2017.
Did You Pay Interest on Student Loans? It May...
You can claim up to $2,500 of student loan interest you paid as an above-the-line tax deduction on Form 1040.
Tax Brackets Updated for 2014
The IRS released the tax rates for 2014. The following chart shows the marginal tax rate that applies to each bracket of taxable income.
What Is Form 1099, Anyway?
Form 1099 is used to report a wide variety of taxable income, such as interest, dividends, stock sales, and self-employment income.
How Is Interest Income Taxed and Reported?
Bank interest, money market funds, and tax-exempt bonds are reported on your tax return. Find out how to report your interest income on Form 1040.
Social Security Tax For 2013
Find out the Social Security tax rate for 2013, including employee-portion, employer-portion, and self-employed persons.
How to Deduct Moving Expenses from Your Taxes
If you moved to start a new job, or to seek work in a new city, you may be able to deduct the cost of your moving expenses from your income.
Tax documents to bring when meeting with your...
Find out what documents to take with you when meeting with your tax professional. And find out what you can do if you are missing some documents.
5 Types of Loss (and How to Report Them on Your...
Losses incurred because of a casualty, disaster, or theft may be tax-deductible. Casualty and theft losses are reported on Form 4684 and Form 1040 Schedule A.
What Is an S Corporation?
Definition of an S Corporation: a corporation that has between 1 and 100 shareholders and that passes-through net income or losses to shareholders.
Will You Have to Pay Increased Medicare Taxes?
Starting in the year 2013, Medicare taxes will be increased by an additional 0.9% to 3.8% for higher-income individuals.
How You Can Convert Your Traditional IRA Funds...
Tips for calculating the tax impact of converting to a Roth IRA. Page 2.
Where's Your Refund? How to Check the Status of...
After filing a federal tax return, it's possible to check on the status of when the IRS will issue a tax refund. Describes different ways the status of a refund can be checked, and common reasons why refunds can experience delays.
How Do You Claim a Sales Tax Deduction on Your...
Sales tax may be a deductible against your federal income taxes. This is an itemized deduction and is claimed on Schedule A.
Tax Terms: What Is Tangible Personal Property?
Definition and examples of tangible personal property as it relates to state personal property taxes.
What You Need to Know About California Personal...
A guide to California income tax including tax deductions, tax credits, California tax rates, and income exclusions.
What You Need to Know about Filing Late Tax...
If you haven't filed your taxes in a few years, you may be wondering what options you have. Learn how to prepare and file your taxes to protect yourself.
What Are Adjustments to Income on Your Taxes?
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Supreme Court Ruling on Defense of Marriage Act...
On Tuesday, June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court ruled in two cases regarding same-sex marriages. United States v. Windsor [pdf] Hollingsworth v. Perry
Set Up an IRS Payment Plan With This Easy Guide
Setting up an IRS payment plan is an easy way to pay taxes. Find out how to request an IRS installment agreement quickly and easily.
How to Define and Keep Track of Legitimate...
Expenses for your business are generally tax-deductible. Keeping track of all your business expenses will go a long way to reducing your tax liabilities.
How to Find a Tax Accountant
Here's some simple steps you can take to protect yourself, to find the right tax accountant for your situation, and some questions to ask.
How Much Can You Save With a 403(b) Retirement...
For the year 2014, people can contribute up to $17,500 as an elective deferral to their employer's 403(b) retirement savings plan.
Excluding foreign wages from US taxes
Americans working abroad can exclude up to $97,600 per year from their taxable income. The foreign earned income exclusion applies to wages and self-employment earnings, and exempts these types of income from the federal income tax.
Federal Tax Liens: Tips to Prevent and Remove...
Taxpayers who owe the IRS can protect themselves and their credit by taking steps to prevent a federal tax lien from being filed.
6 Types of Individual Retirement Accounts
Learn about the different types of IRAs available. Up to $5,500 can be contributed to a Traditional IRA or Roth IRA for the year 2014.
Itemized Tax Deductions
Itemized deductions is a group of tax deductions taken on Form 1040 Schedule A. Itemizing is optional, and is usually it's advantageous when the total of all itemized deductions exceeds a person's standard deduction for the year.
What You Need to Know About Your Pensions and...
Reporting the taxable portion of pension and annuity income can get a little tricky. Here is details on pension and annuity income from the IRS.
What Every New Yorker Should Know About Paying...
Details on New York State personal income tax including New York income tax deductions and New York tax credits.
No, That First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit Wasn't...
If you claimed the homebuyer credit on your 2008 federal income taxes, you will need to begin repaying the credit beginning with your 2010 tax return.
Know the Types of Installment Agreements for...
There's four different types of installment agreements offered by the IRS. The important thing is knowing which installment agreement you qualify for.
How Long Should I Keep My State Tax Records?
An explanation of how long you should keep your state tax records and how long the state has to audit your tax return.
The Beginner's Guide to S Corporation Accounting
Learn how to account for income and expenses, measuring shareholder equity and the value of converted property, and calculating adjusted stock basis.
Get Up to Speed on the 7 Marginal Tax Brackets
Overview of federal tax brackets and marginal tax rates.
Look How Much You Can Save with a Section 457...
Employees who have access to a 457 plan through their employer can contribute up to $17,500 as an elective salary deferral for the year 2014.
3.8% Net Investment Income Tax
The net investment income tax is a tax on the lower of modified adjusted gross income over a threshold amount or net investment income for the year.
A Guide to Income and Property Taxes in Texas
A guide to all Texas state taxes. Including the appraisal process and property tax exemptions as well as tax rates for sales, gas and cigarettes.
What Cars Qualify for the Alternative Fuel Tax...
Qualifying vehicles purchased on or after January 1, 2006, will be eligible for a tax credit ranging from $400 to $4,000 based on fuel economy.
How Do Self-Employment and Payroll Taxes for...
Shareholders of S-Corporations do not pay Self-Employment Tax if they are actively engaged as a shareholder-employee of the S-Corporation.
What New Yorkers Need to Know About Property...
An overview of New York state property taxes. Get the scoop on New York property taxes including assessments, exemptions and property tax rates in New York.
US Withholding for Canadian Independent...
Canadian citizens who have income from US sources should fill out Form W-8BEN to claim a reduce amount of income tax withholding. Find out how to qualify for benefits under the US-Canada Tax Treaty and how to fill out Form W-8BEN.
The Sad Truth About Paying Taxes as a Freelancer
Tax tips and strategies for freelancers, independent contractors, and self-employed people. There are special circumstances that apply to freelance writers and other independent professions, so I will highlight what you need to know to prepare your taxes and to avoid IRS investigations.
Recently Widowed? You Could Qualify for This...
For those who have suffered the loss of a spouse, there is a special filing status designed to ease the financial burden of the grieving family.
How to Know if You Should Hire a Tax Attorney
Tax attorneys are lawyers who specialize in the complex and technical field of tax law. Tax attorneys are best for handling complex legal issues.
A Teacher's Guide to Writing Off Classroom...
If you are a teacher and you paid for classroom supplies and other materials out of your own pocket, you can claim those expenses as a tax deduction.
Your Guide to Taking a Self-Employment Health...
You can deduct the full cost of health insurance you purchase for yourself, your spouse, and/or your dependents. You must be self-employed, and you must not be eligible to participate in a subsidized group health plan.
Understand the Basics of Income Tax Laws
Tax forms can be pretty scary. Fortunately, there's some very basic ideas which can help you understand what taxes are all about.
Best and Worst States for Business
This article summarizes the findings of a study that ranked the best and worst states for business, based on state taxes. Find out where your state ranks and where you'll pay the least in state taxes.
How Wages and Salaries are Taxed
Compensation for an employee's labor is taxed partly to the employee and partly to the employer. There are at least four federal taxes imposed.
Deducting Property Taxes
Individuals can deduct the cost of property tax as an itemized deduction on their federal tax return.
Tax Terms: Understanding Use Tax
The definition of use tax, including details on what kind of transactions trigger a use tax liability, when you owe use tax and how to pay use tax.
Can Two Taxpayers Claim Head of Household...
Find out whether two people, who both live at the same address, each qualify for the head of household filing status when they prepare their tax returns.
Is Child Support Tax Deductible?
Child support is not a tax-deductible expense, and is not considered taxable income for the recipient.
How Gifts Interact With Taxes
Transfers of property given before the original owner dies is called a gift. Recipients of gift property have different tax consequences.
What Every Employer Should Know About...
Employers are required to withhold federal income tax, Social Security tax, Medicare tax, and state and local taxes from the wages of their employees.
Millage Rate
Definition of millage rate: A property tax rate expressed in tenths of a cent that is applied to the assessed value of real estate.
How to report Foreign Bank Accounts to the US...
You may need to fill out FinCEN Form 114 every year if you own, or have an interest in, any foreign bank accounts.
If You've Adopted a Child, You Might Qualify...
Individuals who adopt a child may be eligible for a federal tax credit. The adoption credit is calculated on Form 8839 Qualified Adoption Expenses.
How to Form an S Corporation in 4 Steps
How to form a subchapter S corporation when the corporation has missed the deadline for filing IRS Form 2553 and making a retroactive S Corp election. Page 2.
How Do You Report Alimony on Your Tax Return?
Alimony is income to the person receiving, and is a tax-deductible expense for the person paying. Learn the criteria that makes alimony tax-deductible.
Things to Know About Paying Taxes in Massachuse...
A comprehensive guide to Massachusetts income taxes including tax rates, exemptions, deductions, and credits.
5 Online Tax Calculators That Cost Nothing
Find the best tax calculators and tax tools to help you prepare your tax return, understand your paycheck, or plan for next year.
How to Prepare Your 1040
Maximize your itemized deductions with a handy list of tax deductions, along with information and advice on handling limitations to deductions. Page 2.
Live in Pennsylvania? Here's Your Guide to...
A guide to all Pennsylvania state taxes including Property tax, income tax, and sales tax.
Can Two Taxpayers Claim the Same Dependent?
Two parents may be able to both claim tax breaks associated with a child, provided the custodial parent agrees to split the tax benefits.
Strategies to Keep Your Tax Bill Low in...
Retirees and those planning to retire in the near future will want to plan ahead to keep their taxes as low as possible. Here are some basic information for understanding how retirement income is taxed and strategies for keeping your taxes at a minimum.
These Taxes Are Not Eligible for a Foreign Tax...
Americans working abroad may claim a foreign tax credit on federal income tax returns. Find out how to claim the foreign tax credit on IRS Tax Form 1116.
Excel1040: Spreadsheet-based Tax Software
Ever wish you could just do your taxes in Excel? Well, thanks to Glenn Reeves, you can. Gleen Reeves created Excel spreadsheets to prepare Form 1040 and related schedules.
7 Common Myths about State Income Taxes
State income taxes are complicated and there are many myths and misconceptions out there. Don't fall for these seven myths about state income taxes.
Reader's Questions on Back Taxes
How many years back can you file your income tax return when the government owes you? Find out how long you have to file a tax return and claim a refund.
Reviews of 23 Tax Preparation Software Programs
Find brief, objective reviews of tax preparation software. 23 free and paid tax preparation programs were tested by preparing a sample 2013 tax return.
What Type of Tax Form Should You Be Filing?
You should use the simplest tax form for your needs. Find out if you need to file Form 1040, or if you qualify to use the shorter Form 1040EZ or Form 1040A.
Tax Terms You Should Know: Adjusted Basis
: Adjusted Basis is the net cost of an asset after adjusting for various tax-related items. Adjusted
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