Tax Planning: U.S.: Most Popular Articles
Find out the federal income tax rates 2014 and rates for other federal taxes. Explains how to use the tax rate charts to calculate a person's federal income tax for the year.
Filling out Form W-4 is one of the first things you do when you start a new job. You also fill out a new W-4 if your financial situation has changed.
Find out what's the maximum you can contribute to a 401(k) plan for the year 2015 for elective salary deferrals and catch-up contributions.
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.
Find out which states have the highest property taxes and which states have the lowest property taxes over a three year period.
Find out how employers report and figure payroll 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.
Find out the federal income tax rates 2013 and rates for other federal taxes. Plus tips for how to utilize your marginal tax rates to help plan your finances.
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.
Find a list of deadlines relating to federal income taxes for individuals and businesses. The next deadline is December 1st, for contributions to an HSA.
Taxpayers claiming the Head of Household filing status benefit from a higher standard deduction and lower tax rates than single taxpayers.
Form W-9 is a request for your taxpayer identification number. Find out what the form means and how to fill it out.
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.
Find critical definitions and tax rates for capital gains and losses. Plus tax tips for 2014.
Be wary if you get a call from a person purporting to be an IRS agent asking for payment of taxes.
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.
If you withdraw money from a traditional individual retirement account, you may be subject to an early distribution penalty of 10%. There are exceptions.
You adjust your withholding by changing how much tax is withheld from your paycheck. Learn how to figure out how many withholding allowances to claim.
Backup withholding is a type of withholding for federal income taxes on certain types of income and may be mandatory in certain circumstances.
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.
The Social Security Administration updated the maximum wage base for 2015. The Social Security tax of 12.4% applies to wages and self-employment income.
People are entitled to claim one personal exemption for themselves and each dependent. Find personal exemption amounts and phase-outs by year.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Married Filing Separately filing status provides fewer tax benefits than filing joint returns, but taxpayers will need to weigh the pros and cons.
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.
Find out how different companies price their tax preparation services and average prices charged by various tax professionals.
The earned income credit is a refundable tax credit, which means the EIC lowers your taxes and gives you a bigger refund.
Reciprocal agreements allow residents of one state to work in a neighboring state while only paying income taxes to their state of residency.
A listing of states that fully exempt Social Security benefits from income taxes. Find out which states do not tax Social Security.
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.
If you have children, you may qualify for the Child Tax Credit on your federal income tax return. There is a maximum that you can claim, set every yet.
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 2015, individuals can contribute up to $3,350 to a health savings account paired with a high-deductible health insurance plan with self-only coverage, or up to $6,650 if the plan has family coverage.
The Married Filing Jointly filing status provides more tax benefits than filing separate returns, but taxpayers will need to weigh the pros and cons.
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.
Details on state income tax breaks for retirees, including states that exempt social security income, government pension income, and private pension income.
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.
Mastering the IRS Form 1040 Schedule E is easy once you organize your income and expenses with these tax rules regarding rental income.
The IRS released the tax rates for 2014. The following chart shows the marginal tax rate that applies to each bracket of taxable income.
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.
Tips to help self-employed business owners and independent contractors plan and calculate your self-employment tax on Schedule SE.
Taxpayers can opt to take a standard deduction (a flat dollar amount that reduces taxable income) or itemize their deductions instead.
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.
Find out the Social Security tax rate for 2013, including employee-portion, employer-portion, and self-employed persons.
A list of links to state tax authority websites where you can check the status of your state income tax refund.
Mortgage interest is a tax-deductible expense. Mortgage interest is reported on Form 1040, Schedule A along with other itemized deductions.
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.
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.
Paying estimated tax is one way for individuals to submit payments to the IRS for their federal tax. Find out how to calculate how much estimated tax to pay, and learn about the penalty for not paying enough estimates throughout the year. The fourth estimated tax payment for the year 2014 is due by January 15th, 2015.
A guide to taxes individuals pay in New York City including income tax, property tax, sales tax rates, and other taxes.
Savings contributed to traditional individual retirement accounts (IRA) are potentially tax deductible. Updated for 2014 and 2015 contribution limits.
For the year 2015, people can contribute up to $18,000 as an elective deferral to their employer's 403(b) retirement savings plan.
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.
Learn more about what car-related expenses are deductible, and what records to keep, and how to report this on your tax return.
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.
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.
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.
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Definition and examples of tangible personal property as it relates to state personal property taxes.
Find out how much you'll pay in California state taxes; from California income tax, to California property taxes and sales taxes.
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Starting with tax year 2005, certain companies can take a 3% deduction for US-based business activities with the Domestic Production Activities Deduction.
Starting in the year 2013, Medicare taxes will be increased by an additional 0.9% to 3.8% for higher-income individuals.
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.
Sales tax may be a deductible against your federal income taxes. This is an itemized deduction and is claimed on Schedule A.
There are various types of individual retirement accounts available: traditional IRAs, non-deductible traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, SEP IRAs and SIMPLE IRAs.
The various forms of organization are established by state law. There are a wide variety of business organizations recognized by the states. Page 2.
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.
You can claim up to $2,500 of student loan interest you paid as an above-the-line tax deduction on Form 1040.
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.
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.
A guide to California income tax including tax deductions, tax credits, California tax rates, and income exclusions.
When taxpayers sell an asset that has been depreciated for tax purposes, that sale may trigger a type of capital gain called depreciation recapture.
Details on all Illinois state taxes and Illinois tax rates including information on property taxes, income taxes, and sales taxes.
Taxpayers can prepay their federal taxes by remitting estimated tax payments throughout the year. The next estimated tax due date is January 15, 2015.
An explanation of how long you should keep your state tax records and how long the state has to audit your tax return.
Get the scoop on Florida state taxes including details on Florida property taxes, Florida sales tax rates, and other state taxes in Florida.
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.
Employers are required to withhold federal income tax, Social Security tax, Medicare tax, and state and local taxes from the wages of their employees.
Learn what your options are for reducing and paying off your tax debts, and how to protect yourself when hiring a tax professional.
Americans can deduct the cost of college tuition for themselves, their spouses, and their dependents with the Tuition and Fees Deduction.
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.
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.
Overview of federal tax brackets and marginal tax rates.
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.
Wage and salary are taxed partly to the employee and partly to the employer. There are at least four federal taxes imposed.
The American Opportunity Tax Credit provides up to $2,500 for people pursuing undergraduate education and will be effective for 2009 through 2017.
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.
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.
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.
Tips for calculating the tax impact of converting to a Roth IRA. Page 2.
Employees who have access to a 457 plan through their employer can contribute up to $18,000 as an elective salary deferral for the year 2015.
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.
Definition of an S Corporation: a corporation that has between 1 and 100 shareholders and that passes-through net income or losses to shareholders.
Shareholders of S-Corporations do not pay Self-Employment Tax if they are actively engaged as a shareholder-employee of the S-Corporation.
Maximize your itemized deductions with a handy list of tax deductions, along with information and advice on handling limitations to deductions. Page 2.
Details on New York State personal income tax including New York income tax deductions and New York tax credits.
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.
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.
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.
Individuals can deduct their state and local income taxes if they take the itemized deduction.
Two parents may be able to both claim tax breaks associated with a child, provided the custodial parent agrees to split the tax benefits.
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.
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.
There's four different types of installment agreements offered by the IRS. The important thing is knowing which installment agreement you qualify for.
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.
Homeowners who install solar panels or make other energy-efficient improvements to their home may qualify for a federal tax credit.
Taxpayers who owe the IRS can protect themselves and their credit by taking steps to prevent a federal tax lien from being filed.
Refunds of state and local taxes are sometimes included as taxable income on a federal return. Learn when state refunds are taxable, what documents are needed, and how to report this on Form 1040.
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.
The Additional Medicare Tax, Part 3
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.
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.
A wash sale is selling an investment at a loss and repurchasing the same investment within a short period of time and may be deferred for tax purposes.
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.
Self-employed persons incur three federal taxes on their earnings: federal income tax, Social Security tax, and Medicare tax.
Tax forms can be pretty scary. Fortunately, there's some very basic ideas which can help you understand what taxes are all about.
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.
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.
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.
Form 1099 is used to report a wide variety of taxable income, such as interest, dividends, stock sales, and self-employment income.
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.
A flat tax is one income tax rate that everyone pays regardless of their income level. Flat tax systems are becoming increasingly popular around the world and in state government. But, converting to a flat tax affects more than just the income tax 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.
Tax attorneys are lawyers who specialize in the complex and technical field of tax law. Tax attorneys are best for handling complex legal issues.
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.
If you have self-employment income, then you can take a tax deduction for contributions you make to a SEP, SIMPLE, or a solo 401(k) retirement plan.
Individuals who adopt a child may be eligible for a federal tax credit. The adoption credit is calculated on Form 8839 Qualified Adoption Expenses.
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.
Review of the At Home tax preparation software from H&R Block, which offers quick and easy tax preparation, with just a few drawbacks.
Learn how to account for income and expenses, measuring shareholder equity and the value of converted property, and calculating adjusted stock basis.
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.
A guide to all Pennsylvania state taxes including Property tax, income tax, and sales tax.
The additional Medicare tax applies to wages and self-employment income above a threshold amount. Threshold amounts vary depending on filing status.
The states of Louisiana, Massachusetts, and New Jersey are offering tax amnesties in 2014. Discusses the essential features of amnesty programs and provides links for more information.
Tax returns and documents related items on the tax return are important to keep. From a tax perspective, such documents may be needed in the future.
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.
Individuals can deduct the cost of property tax as an itemized deduction on their federal tax return.
Many common business expenses are deductible against business income. Find out which business expenses are fully or partly deductible for tax purposes.
Find brief, objective reviews of tax preparation software. 23 free and paid tax preparation programs were tested by preparing a sample 2013 tax return.
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.
A refundable tax credit is a tax credit that is treated as a payment and thus can be refunded to the taxpayer by the Internal Revenue Service.
A comprehensive guide to Massachusetts income taxes including tax rates, exemptions, deductions, and credits.
Child support is not a tax-deductible expense, and is not considered taxable income for the recipient.
If you sold a house in 2013 that was owned less than 36 months and you claimed the first-time homebuyer credit, you may need to repay the tax credit. The homebuyer credit is also repaid over 15 years if a person claimed the 2008 version of the tax credit.
The number one audit risk for S-Corporations is salary and wages paid to officers of the corporation. S-Corporations are also subject to hobby-loss rules.
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.