Taxes

  1. If my spouse passes away, will I have to sell my home to meet creditor obligations?

    There are laws that can protect, to a certain extent, the value of a home from property taxes and creditors following the homeowner's death. A homestead exemption is a legal doctrine preventing the forced sale of a home and protecting the home's value from property taxes and creditors.
  2. Avoid Capital Gains Tax On Your Home Sale

    If you have property to sell and want to avoid capital gains tax, a Section 1031 exchange may be the answer.
  3. IRS Asset Seizures: Could It Happen To You?

    If you can't pay your taxes, know that the IRS has many avenues for collecting what you owe.
  4. New Healthcare Plan Taxing To All

    The idea that only the rich will be taxed for healthcare is as suspect as the idea that healthcare quality won't change.
  5. 4 Unusual Ways To Boost Social Security Benefits

    Find out how to work the system to get the highest total benefits the law allows.
  6. Refusing An Inheritance

    Contrary to popular belief, inheriting assets isn't always a good thing. Find out what to do if you want to disclaim them.
  7. Taking A Look At Tax Havens

    These tax-free zones might sound appealing, but the consequences often aren't.
  8. The Truth About The First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit

    The $8,000 tax credit might be the push you need to buy your first house, but there are some things you need to know first.
  9. Cut Taxes By Reporting Property Damage

    Know the options you have for your insured property if and when a disaster strikes.
  10. A Look At The Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax

    For those who encounter this tax, it can be costly. Find out how to navigate this complicated tax arrangement.
  11. Transfer Retirement Savings When You Change Jobs

    Half of Americans lose their nest eggs when they switch careers. Learn why you should avoid this trap.
  12. Which of the following BEST describes a wash sale?

    A. Buying and selling the same security simultaneously B. Buying stock while selling the equivalent convertible bondsC. Exercising an option at-the-moneyD.Selling securities to take a loss for tax purposes, then buying them back Correct Answer: D"A" and "B" are examples of arbitrage; "C" is just an ...
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  14. On This Day In Finance: July 13 - Live Aid Concert Raises $70 million

    The first global concert raised millions of dollars to help the poor in Ethiopia.
  15. Gift Cards? The Tax Man Wants Yours

    Find out why 25 U.S. states currently confiscate unused gift card balances.
  16. Notorious White Collar Criminals: Where Are They Now?

    While Madoff's victims hope he dies in jail, other notorious fraudsters still have future careers ahead of them.
  17. On This Day In Finance: July 1 - Internal Revenue Agency Founded

    Revenue Act of July 1, 1862 created the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
  18. Free Money For Homebuyers

    Take advantage of the federal and state money being offered to apply for an FHA mortgage and get the cash you need to go to closing.
  19. Tax Court: Your Last Resort

    Appealing an unfavorable or unfair tax ruling may be your last chance to save your finances.
  20. On This Day In Finance: June 9 - The Birth Of Modern Taxation

    On this day in 1943, the Current Tax Payment Act was signed into law.
  21. Vacation Home Or Income-Producing Investment?

    There is an alternative to letting your cottage sit empty all year, but turning a profit won't be easy.
  22. Understanding Mortgage Impound Accounts

    Home buyers with low down payments may get stuck with higher mortgage payments. Find out what you get for the extra money.
  23. How To Appeal Your IRS Audit

    The auditor's review isn't always the last word. Many taxpayers who are audited can successfully appeal their audits and save thousands of dollars.
  24. Why does the IRS withhold income taxes from employee paychecks?

    In the midst of WWII, the U.S. government ran into trouble funding the war effort. The problem did not originate from citizens dodging taxes, but from the lack of regular flow of tax income. The massive expenditures required to fund war usually were financed with government debt, like war bonds.
  25. Do nonprofit organizations pay taxes?

    Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax code exempts qualified nonprofit organizations from federal taxes. A nonprofit organization is an organization that engages in activities for both public and private interest without pursuing the goal of commercial or monetary profit.
  26. 5 Tax(ing) Retirement Mistakes

    Don't let these simple errors take the luster off your golden years.
  27. No Debt Forgiveness For The Tax Man

    Debt settlement sounds like a free lunch, but it has tax consequences.
  28. Do I still have to pay penalties and taxes on money that I don't roll over from a ...

    It depends. Let's address the two penalties that will apply - the 10% early-withdrawal penalty and the 20% federal withholding - separately.Early-withdrawal penaltyIf the distribution from your Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP) fund is made to you after you separate from service with your employer, ...
  29. 5 Ways To Save On Child Care Costs

    Child care costs can be a shock to new and expecting parents, but are some programs in place to help with the first few years.
  30. Tough Times: Should You Dip Into Your Qualified Plan?

    401(k)s, pensions and profit-sharing plans can be a source of cash, but there are consequences to this option.
  31. Personal Income Tax Guide

    If the sight of your W-4 has you in the doldrums, read on to learn how to beat the tax blues.
  32. Making Sense Of The Tax Code

    If tax rules and regulations are Greek to you, read on to learn how to decipher them.
  33. After receiving a required distribution when and how are my taxes affected?

    Any taxable amount of the distribution will represent ordinary income for the year that the distribution occurs and will be subject to income tax at your regular/ordinary income tax rate.If the amount is significant, it could put your income in a higher tax bracket.
  34. The Simple Tax Math Of Roth Conversions

    Roth conversions will be available to affluent taxpayers in 2010. Will you benefit?
  35. Can I, without tax penalties, use the IRA I inherited from my father to buy a home ...

    If you inherited an IRA from someone who was not your spouse at the time he/she died, the amounts that you receive as a distribution from the IRA will never be subject to any early-distribution penalties. However, amounts you receive will be treated as ordinary income (for you) and may be subject to ...
  36. How do I get credit for my retirement plan contributions?

    There is an added incentive for adding to your retirement nest egg, if your income falls within certain limits. Under this incentive program, you are eligible for a non-refundable tax credit of up to $1,000 for contributions you make to an individual retirement account (IRA), or salary deferral contributions ...
  37. It Is Better To Give AND Receive

    You give to benefit others, but there can be perks for you too.
  38. An Introduction To Canadian Income Trusts

    Yields in excess of 10% aren't rare, but these unique investments need to be chosen very carefully.
  39. As a temporary resident of the US, can I withdraw funds from my Traditional IRA without ...

    Should you decide to invest in a Traditional IRA and receive a tax deduction for your contribution, the amounts that you later withdraw will be subject to income tax and an additional 10% early-withdrawal penalty. The penalty will be waived if you meet an exception.Given that you ...
  40. If I take a severance package from my employer, how will it be taxed?

    It depends on your tax bracket. For instance, if your employer offers you a payout of $100,000, you will owe federal tax of $35,000. You may also owe estate tax.It may be best to check with your tax professional; he or she may be familiar with your tax rate and know whether any other taxes will apply.For ...
  41. What are the "certain requirements" that must be met for substantially equal periodic ...

    For substantially equal periodic payments (SEPPs), the distributions would occur from your IRA after you rollover the assets. (SEPPs are also allowed from qualified plans after the participant has separated from service - this does not apply to you at this time.) There are no mandatory withholding requirements ...
  42. How can I tell if I'm eligible for an EITC?

    According to the IRS, over 22 million taxpayers received $41.4 billion dollars in earned income tax credit (EITC) for tax year 2005. On the other hand, it was not claimed by approximately 20 to 25% of eligible taxpayers.The EITC goes toward reducing eligible taxpayers federal taxes, or increase the amount ...
  43. Can high-income earners deduct yearly defined-benefit plan contributions of over ...

    At a very high income level (say from $300,000 plus per year), you may be able to contribute and deduct the $100,000 contribution each year, or possibly more. However, as you may already know, defined-benefit plans involve complex calculations and usually require the assistance of a competent plan administrator ...
  44. Downsize Your Home To Downsize Expenses

    Learn how to cut your mortgage, tax, gas and utilities bills.
  45. Upon my death, will the beneficiaries of my IRA be compelled to take the entire amount ...

    It depends. If the beneficiary of your IRA is your spouse, he or she will be eligible to transfer the amount to his or her own IRA, from which distributions are not required until age 70.5. If the beneficiary is not your spouse, then the options available may be determined by the provisions in the IRA ...
  46. I am 52 years old and wish to make a withdrawal from my 401(k) plan. Is there any ...

    Most distributions from qualified retirement plans made to you before you reach the age of 59.5 are subject to an additional tax of 10%. The IRS may waive this tax under certain circumstances; however, there is no broad definition of "hardship" for the purposes of exemption from the 10% penalty.
  47. Are there special benefits for U.S. armed forces personnel?

    If you are a member of the military, you may be afforded special tax benefits that might not be available to other taxpayers. These include the following:Automatic ExtensionIf you are serving in a combat zone, you receive an automatic extension for filing your tax return, paying taxes, filing claims ...
  48. What are unrealized gains and losses?

    An unrealized loss occurs when a stock decreases after an investor buys it, but he or she has yet to sell it. If a large loss remains unrealized, the investor is probably hoping the stock's fortunes will turn around and the stock's worth will increase past the price at which it was purchased.
  49. I've heard that workers who don't roll over their 401(k)s after retiring face some ...

    I am not sure to which government regulation your contact was referring. However, here is what I can tell you. In 2002, the IRS issued final required minimum distribution (RMD) regulations affecting the options available to beneficiaries of retirement plan assets.
  50. How do I sign up for the saver's tax credit?

    The saver's tax credit is a non-refundable tax credit available to eligible taxpayers in the U.S. who make contributions to their employer-sponsored 401(k), 403(b), SIMPLE, SEP or governmental 457 plan and/or make contributions to their Traditional and/or Roth IRAs.
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