Smart TaxesSmart Taxes

The plan extends tax cuts, including the estate tax and the child tax credit. It also cuts payroll taxes. The unemployed and businesses would benefit, too.

By Teresa Mears Dec 7, 2010 4:45PM

President Barack Obama and Congress reached a tentative deal Monday on a plan to keep the tax cuts enacted by former president George W. Bush in effect for another two years. The proposal also would preserve extended unemployment benefits and make some additional tax changes.

The details are still being negotiated, but Martin Vaughan of The Wall Street Journal provided this explanation of what's under discussion:

 

Taxes

  • The core of the proposal is a two-year, across-the-board extension of tax cuts enacted under former President George W. Bush. Mr. Obama said in his remarks Monday evening that he didn't favor extending tax cuts for top earners, but compromised to keep tax breaks for the middle class.
 

Two energy tax credits can help you save energy and tax dollars.

By Teresa Mears Apr 16, 2010 9:42AM

This article is by Laura Saunders at partner The Wall Street Journal.

 

Still smarting from your 2009 taxes? Start whittling the bill for next April.

 

A good place to begin: two federal tax credits for homeowners who want to save energy, one of which expires at the end of this year. The credits have appeal both for true green diehards and those who are staying put due to housing market doldrums.

 

If you're going to mail your return at the 11th hour, make sure it's going to get to the IRS.

By Kay Bell Apr 15, 2010 12:01PM

This article comes from partner Bankrate.com.

 

More than two-thirds of U.S. taxpayers electronically file their returns. But that still leaves more than 46 million individuals who fill out their tax forms by hand and rely upon the U.S. Postal Service to get the documents to the IRS.

 

A large portion of those old-fashioned filers also are card-carrying members of the last-minute tax return club. That's not necessarily bad, especially if you owe the IRS. There's no need to send in your money until you absolutely have to. But you don't want to push the limit so far that you end up in a hurry and make an even more costly delivery mistake.

 

Can you find more than five Tax Code provisions to criticize?

By Teresa Mears Apr 14, 2010 10:59AM

This guest post comes from Frank Curmudgeon at Bad Money Advice:

 

As April 15 approaches, some of us experience a short-lived obsession with, and resentment of, taxes. For fairly obvious reasons, those of us who put off sending in the old 1040 until the last minute tend to be those who need to accompany our returns with checks made out to the Treasury. Folks entitled to checks going the other way tended to file weeks ago.

 

Having to fill out lengthy government forms is bad enough. Capping off the process with a savingsectomy is enough to turn anybody into a grumpy Republican. For me, this is like being an Irishman on St. Patrick’s Day. I enjoy the company of my temporary compatriots, even though I know it won’t last long.

 

Pandering to this grumbling constituency this week was The Big Money, which shared a list of the five worst parts of the tax code. The fact that they could come up with only five tells me they are only seasonally grumpy. A year-round resident would have come up with at least 10.

Without further ado, here are their five nominees and my comments.

 

Once you ask for a payment agreement, collection efforts cease.

By Jeff Schnepper Apr 14, 2010 10:37AM

Congratulations!

 

You finally got your tax return done and it’s ready to be mailed except for one small thing. You owe a shipload of money and have nothing in the bank. What do you do?

 

File anyway and send what you can. There’s a penalty for filing late in addition to the interest and penalty for not paying what’s due.

 

Then run to your bank and borrow against your home equity. Interest on a home equity loan up to $100,000 is tax-deductible, regardless of what you do with the money. But, what if you have no equity in your home?

 

Then grab a copy of Form 9465 (get it from the IRS Web  site) and request an installment agreement to pay the IRS over time.

 

Many are failing to file the proper paperwork to receive the $400 ($800 per couple) Making Work Pay credit.

By Kay Bell Apr 13, 2010 1:51PM

Here's a tax season newsflash that's no longer news to anyone: Many Filers Confused by Stimulus Tax Credit.

 

I've heard this complaint all filing season from readers and tax professionals (and my own family!).

 

Sadly, the cliche that no good deed goes unpunished is never more evident than when Congress creates a new tax law and the IRS implements it.

 

Tax revenue may rise as the Obama administration sets its sights on America's 2.5 million high-income families.

By TheStreet Staff Apr 12, 2010 5:28PM

TheStreetBy Joe Mont, TheStreet

 

The tax deadline is three days away, but for the 2.48 million wealthy American families, the pain of higher taxes and increased scrutiny by the government is only starting.

 

President Barack Obama's proposed budget lets many of the tax cuts enacted by the Bush administration expire, a move benefitting the middle class at the expense of the richest Americans. Tax increases, including those included as part of health-care reform, will hurt those earning more than $250,000 a year, defined as "wealthy" by the IRS.

 

High-income earners can protect themselves. Here are three major tax changes, with a longer review and action plan following.

 

IRS will automatically extend filing deadline to Oct. 15, but you still have to pay what you owe now.

By Jeff Schnepper Apr 12, 2010 10:37AM

Time is running out and you still haven’t filed your tax return.

 

You tried doing it yourself but every time you attempt to translate the tax form instructions they come out as a stream of incomprehensible syntax strung together without logic or meaning.

 

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.