Tax Planning: U.S.: Most Popular Articles
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Find out which states have the highest property taxes and which states have the lowest property taxes over a three year period.
Payroll taxes are the responsiblity of every employer. Find essential information on how to report payroll taxes.
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.
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 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.
A list of links to state tax authority websites where you can check the status of your state income tax refund.
Taxpayers claiming the Head of Household filing status benefit from a higher standard deduction and lower tax rates than single taxpayers.
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.
Form W-9 is a request for your taxpayer identification number. Find out what the form means and how to fill it out.
If you withdraw money from a traditional individual retirement account, you may be subject to an early distribution penalty of 10%. There are exceptions.
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.
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 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.
Find out the tax rates for short-term capital gains, long-term capital gains, collectibles, and other capital assets. Page 2.
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 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.
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.
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.
Details on state income tax breaks for retirees, including states that exempt social security income, government pension income, and private pension income.
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.
Taxpayers are entitled to claim one personal exemption for themselves and each dependent.
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.
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.
Find out how different companies price their tax preparation services and average prices charged by various tax professionals.
Reciprocal agreements allow residents of one state to work in a neighboring state while only paying income taxes to their state of residency.
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 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.
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.
A guide to taxes individuals pay in New York City including income tax, property tax, sales tax rates, and other taxes.
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.
Mastering the IRS Form 1040 Schedule E is easy once you organize your income and expenses with these tax rules regarding rental income.
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.
The Married Filing Jointly filing status provides more tax benefits than filing separate returns, but taxpayers will need to weigh the pros and cons.
Backup withholding is a type of withholding for federal income taxes on certain types of income and may be mandatory in certain circumstances.
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.
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.
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.
The earned income credit is a refundable tax credit, which means the EIC lowers your taxes and gives you a bigger refund.
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.
Find out how much you'll pay in California state taxes; from California income tax, to California property taxes and sales taxes.
A listing of states that fully exempt Social Security benefits from income taxes. Find out which states do not tax Social Security.
Taxpayers can opt to take a standard deduction (a flat dollar amount that reduces taxable income) or itemize their deductions instead.
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.
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.
Learn more about what car-related expenses are deductible, and what records to keep, and how to report this on your tax return.
Tips to help self-employed business owners and independent contractors plan and calculate your self-employment tax on Schedule SE.
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.
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.
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.
Taxpayers can prepay their federal taxes by remitting estimated tax payments throughout the year. The next estimated tax due date is September 15, 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.
Get the scoop on Florida state taxes including details on Florida property taxes, Florida sales tax rates, and other state taxes in Florida.
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.
Americans can deduct the cost of college tuition for themselves, their spouses, and their dependents with the Tuition and Fees Deduction.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Find out the Social Security tax rate for 2013, including employee-portion, employer-portion, and self-employed persons.
The various forms of organization are established by state law. There are a wide variety of business organizations recognized by the states. Page 2.
Starting with tax year 2005, certain companies can take a 3% deduction for US-based business activities with the Domestic Production Activities Deduction.
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.
You can claim up to $2,500 of student loan interest you paid as an above-the-line tax deduction on Form 1040.
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.
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.
When taxpayers sell an asset that has been depreciated for tax purposes, that sale may trigger a type of capital gain called depreciation recapture.
Form 1099 is used to report a wide variety of taxable income, such as interest, dividends, stock sales, and self-employment income.
Mortgage interest is a tax-deductible expense. Mortgage interest is reported on Form 1040, Schedule A along with other itemized deductions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The American Opportunity Tax Credit provides up to $2,500 for people pursuing undergraduate education and will be effective for 2009 through 2017.
Learn what your options are for reducing and paying off your tax debts, and how to protect yourself when hiring a tax professional.
Details on all Illinois state taxes and Illinois tax rates including information on property taxes, income taxes, and sales taxes.
A guide to California income tax including tax deductions, tax credits, California tax rates, and income exclusions.
Tips for calculating the tax impact of converting to a Roth IRA. Page 2.
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Definition of an S Corporation: a corporation that has between 1 and 100 shareholders and that passes-through net income or losses to shareholders.
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.
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.
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Starting in the year 2013, Medicare taxes will be increased by an additional 0.9% to 3.8% for higher-income individuals.
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.
For the year 2014, people can contribute up to $17,500 as an elective deferral to their employer's 403(b) retirement savings plan.
Find the best tax calculators and tax tools to help you prepare your tax return, understand your paycheck, or plan for next year.
Sales tax may be a deductible against your federal income taxes. This is an itemized deduction and is claimed on Schedule A.
Definition and examples of tangible personal property as it relates to state personal property taxes.
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.
Individuals can deduct the cost of property tax as an itemized deduction on their federal tax return.
An explanation of how long you should keep your state tax records and how long the state has to audit your tax return.
Overview of federal tax brackets and marginal tax rates.
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.
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.
Shareholders of S-Corporations do not pay Self-Employment Tax if they are actively engaged as a shareholder-employee of the S-Corporation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 forms can be pretty scary. Fortunately, there's some very basic ideas which can help you understand what taxes are all about.
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.
Taxpayers who owe the IRS can protect themselves and their credit by taking steps to prevent a federal tax lien from being filed.
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.
Individuals who adopt a child may be eligible for a federal tax credit. The adoption credit is calculated on Form 8839 Qualified Adoption Expenses.
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.
Maximize your itemized deductions with a handy list of tax deductions, along with information and advice on handling limitations to deductions. Page 2.
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.
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.
Details on New York State personal income tax including New York income tax deductions and New York tax credits.
One of the biggest parts of a divorce is how to split things up. We take a look at tax planning principles for property settlements, alimony and child support.
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.
Summary of federal tax credits available for homeowners who purchase energy-efficient equipment, appliances and improvements for their homes.
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.
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.
There's four different types of installment agreements offered by the IRS. The important thing is knowing which installment agreement you qualify for.
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.
Tax attorneys are lawyers who specialize in the complex and technical field of tax law. Tax attorneys are best for handling complex legal issues.
Transfers of property given before the original owner dies is called a gift. Recipients of gift property have different tax consequences.
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.
You may need to fill out FinCEN Form 114 every year if you own, or have an interest in, any foreign bank accounts.
Employers are required to withhold federal income tax, Social Security tax, Medicare tax, and state and local taxes from the wages of their employees.
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.
A guide to all Pennsylvania state taxes including Property tax, income tax, and sales tax.
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.
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.
Two parents may be able to both claim tax breaks associated with a child, provided the custodial parent agrees to split the tax benefits.
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.
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.
A comprehensive guide to Massachusetts income taxes including tax rates, exemptions, deductions, and credits.
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.
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.
Many common business expenses are deductible against business income. Find out which business expenses are fully or partly deductible for tax purposes.
Child support is not a tax-deductible expense, and is not considered taxable income for the recipient.
Calculating capital gain or loss when selling shares of a mutual fund can be complicated. Essential information about capital gains distributions, calculating mutual fund cost basis, and figuring capital gains or losses.
Preparing your first tax return is empowering and rewarding. It just takes patience to make sure you've followed all the instructions.
Medical expenses represents a category of expenses for which an individual may be eligible to receive various tax breaks.
Find brief, objective reviews of tax preparation software. 23 free and paid tax preparation programs were tested by preparing a sample 2013 tax return.
The definition of reciprocity or reciprocal agreements as they relate to state income taxes and what the agreement does - and does not - cover.
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.
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.