Smart TaxesSmart Taxes

Analysis of plan says the rich would see taxes cut 15% and the middle class would see taxes fall 2.2%. The plan would increase the deficit, something the GOP candidate disputes.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 6, 2012 11:25AM

This post is by Stephen Ohlemacher of The Associated Press.

 

Republican Mitt Romney's tax plan would increase taxes on low-income families while cutting taxes for the middle-class and the rich, according to an independent study released Thursday.

 

On average, households making less than $20,000 would see their taxes increase by more than 60%, said the Tax Policy Center, a Washington research group that studied the Romney plan.

Households making between $50,000 and $75,000 would get small tax cuts, averaging 2.2%, or about $250, the study said. People making more than $1 million would get tax cuts averaging 15%, or about $146,000.

 

"Virtually everybody with a big income is getting a tax cut," said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center.

 

Organizing your financial information at the beginning of the year will make next year's tax return easier to prepare. Brush up on tax law, too.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 5, 2012 6:53PM

This post is by Robert Flach of MainStreet.

 

Happy new year! As I say at this time each year, now is the time for all good taxpayers to come to the aid of their 2012 tax return.

 

You read it right: I said their 2012 tax return.

 

If you want to make 2012 "less taxing" it is important that you start the year off right. The first step is to resolve to become more informed on federal and state income tax laws. You cannot know the right moves to make in your daily financial ife without a basic knowledge of the tax implications of your actions.

 

Learn what you can, and cannot, deduct on your tax return, including the special items that are unique to your trade or profession, and the rules governing any special situations that apply to you, and keep up to date on federal and state tax law changes.

 

GOP candidate wants to cut tax rates and increase exemptions for children, plus cut domestic spending. But his budget cuts wouldn't replace nearly all the lost revenue.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 5, 2012 11:29AM

This post is by Howard Gleckmanat Forbes.com.

 

With Rick Santorum's strong showing in Iowa, it is a good time to take a look at his tax agenda. While his revenue plan has received almost no attention, it plays a major role in his "faith, family and freedom" campaign. His playbook: lower rates for individuals and corporations, substantially cut taxes on capital and increase the personal exemption for dependent children.

 

The Tax Policy Center has not yet formally modeled the former Pennsylvania senator’s tax platform. However, because it cuts rates significantly but does not eliminate tax preferences — and even expands a few — it would very likely add trillions of dollars to the federal deficit.  Looked at from that prism, it is not so different from the ideas raised by most of his GOP rivals.

Like other Republican tax planks, Santorum’s would benefit corporations and high-income individuals. No surprise there. But unlike his rivals, he’d also cut taxes for many families with children.

 

Santorum is no bleeding heart, however. Even as he’d cut their taxes, he’d shred direct government spending for programs aimed at assisting these same households.

 

April 15 is a Sunday and April 16 is a holiday in the District of Columbia, which means taxpayers will have 2 more days to prepare their returns.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 4, 2012 6:59PM

This post is by The Associated Press.

 

Does the mere mention of April 15 send chills up your spine? Not to worry -- the Internal Revenue Service has postponed this year's deadline for filing federal income taxes until two days later.

 

The IRS said Wednesday that taxpayers will have until April 17 to file their 2011 returns, thanks to two quirks of the calendar.

 

April 15 falls on a Sunday this year, and the following day is Emancipation Day, which is observed in the District of Columbia. By federal law, District of Columbia holidays affect tax deadlines the same way federal holidays do, giving taxpayers an extra day.

 

Americans want a new tax system, a Pew survey finds. Democrats and independents are worried about fairness, while Tea Party Republicans decry complexity of the current system.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 4, 2012 1:23PM

Updated Jan. 23, 2012, 5:35 p.m. ET

 

This post is by Kay Bell at Bankrate.com.


It's no surprise Americans aren't happy with their federal tax system.


A new poll finds the problem isn't necessarily the taxes they're paying. Instead, folks are concerned the wealthy aren't paying their fair tax share.


In a survey conducted Dec. 7-11, 2011, the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that 52% of Americans believe they pay the right amount in taxes.


However, fewer people now consider the overall tax system as even moderately fair. Forty-three percent of those surveyed said the system is fair, compared with 51% who viewed the U.S. tax system as fair eight years ago.

 

Pay attention to detail, weigh tax consequences of contracts, beware of independent contractor woes and answer IRS queries quickly.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 3, 2012 3:48PM

This post is from Robert W. Wood at Forbes.com.

 

Forbes.com on MSN Money"I will pay less tax" might sound like a good New Year’s resolution. But resolutions should be manageable and concrete. Here are five that shouldn’t be hard to keep but could make a difference in your tax posture this year.

 

Pay attention to every Form 1099. These are important slips of paper and their importance is increasing. It’s almost time for the ubiquitous tax reports to show up in your mail, so get ready. See "10 things you should know about 1099s." Each one bears your Social Security Number and is matched to your tax return. Pay attention to these forms. They really count.

 

Americans living abroad and dual citizens could owe penalties even if they don't owe back taxes -- and that possibility may prevent many from stepping forward.

By MSN Money Partner Dec 30, 2011 7:56PM

This post comes from Laura Saundersat The Wall Street Journal.

 

A recent Wall Street Journal Weekend Investor cover story -- "What's next for offshore accounts?" -- touched on a burning issue: the plight of dual citizens and Americans living abroad who should have been filing U.S. tax returns but haven't been.

 

Many of these people are fully compliant with their own country's tax laws. Yet all are supposed to be filing U.S. returns and declaring the foreign accounts, for two reasons.

 

Americans who are worried during tax season -- which includes almost everyone -- are easy targets for con artists. Don't let them get you.

By MSN Money Partner Dec 30, 2011 10:54AM

This post comes from Kay Bell at partner siteBankrate.com.

 

As any tax-filing deadline approaches, people wanting your money are coming at you from all sides. No, they're not with the Internal Revenue Service. They're con artists.

 

The main tax season of January through mid-April is the prime hunting season for these financial predators.

 

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