The Tax Center

Everything you need to know to make smart tax decisions.

Tax Strategy

  1. How the GOP Tax Bill Affects You

    Here's how the new tax bill changes the taxes you file in 2018.
  2. The Most Overlooked Tax Deductions

    The receipts you cram into your wallet could be replaced with cash come tax season.
  3. 10 Sources of Nontaxable Income

    Taxes are often a deterrent from investing and saving. These financial practices will bring you no tax grief.
  4. How to Owe Nothing on Your Federal Tax Return

    You have the control to determine whether you owe in April. Learn more here.
  5. Why You Should Front-Load Your 529 Plan

    If you can, take advantage of a little-known tax break and front load your 529 plan to maximize the effect of compounding. ...
  6. An Overview of Itemized Deductions

    Itemized deductions will mostly stay the same for 2017 tax year (medical deductions improve under the new tax bill). Big ...
  7. How to File Your Child's First Income Tax Return

    Use this quick parental guide to help your child learn the tax-filing process and establish good habits.
  8. How To Claim A Dependent On Your Tax Return

    If you are a caregiver, get to know the rules for claiming a dependent before filing your taxes.
  9. Six Ways Your Tax Preparer Knows You're Lying

    An experienced tax preparer can sense when a client is lying. Find out what sets off their lie detectors.
  10. Happily Married? File Taxes Separately!

    Just because you are in love doesn't mean that a joint return is best for both of you.
  11. What is the difference between gross income and taxable income?

    Understanding common tax terms including gross income and taxable income can help individuals navigate tax accounting in ...
  12. What You Need To Know About Capital Gains And Taxes

    Find out how your profits are taxed and what to consider when making investment decisions.
  13. Insurance-based Tax Deductions You May Be Missing

    Knowing the tax deductions you're entitled to can make or break your bank account. Do you know about all these insurance-related ...
  14. Taxation rules for bond investors

    Several factors affect the taxable interest that must be reported. Learn more here.
  15. Don't Miss This Retirement Tax-Saving Window

    Many retirement planners view the years between age 59½ and 70½ as a “sweet spot” for their clients’ taxes. Here’s why and ...
  16. Form 9465: Don't Pay Your Back Taxes Without It

    This form can lighten your tax load if you owe Uncle Sam. And you can often apply online.
  17. 10 Steps to Tax Preparation

    The earlier you start preparing your tax records and documents, the more likely you are to have a smooth tax return experience ...
  18. 6 IRA Tax Changes That Could Impact You Soon

    Here are several potential measures that could come before Congress in 2017 that would negatively impact the tax benefits ...
  19. 10 Tax Deductions & Benefits for the Self-Employed

    Running your own business has both personal and financial perks.
  20. 12 Tax Planning Tips for Potential Changes Ahead

    Here is a comprehensive guide to tax planning in an environment where policies could dramatically change under new leadership ...
  21. A Holiday Reminder: Harvest Your Tax Losses

    You could have some losses in your taxable accounts that you can harvest for a tax deduction.
  22. Tax-Efficient Portfolio Tips for High Income Earners

    High income earners can use these tips to make their portfolio more tax-efficient.
  23. How to Save More for Your Retirement

    Be sure you know all the tax-advantaged ways in which you can save more for retirement.
  24. Your Tax Preparer Screwed Up – Now What?

    Even professional tax preparers can make mistakes. What to do if it happens on your tax return.
  25. Use Your Tax Refund for an IRA

    The U.S. Treasury Department is making it easier than ever for taxpayers to get a jump on their retirement savings with a ...
  26. Should You Represent Yourself vs. the IRS?

    If you face a personal or business tax audit, should you represent yourself vs. the IRS? In most cases, no. Here's why.
  27. Tax Planning Strategies for Retirement Investments

    Retirees that have a tax-efficient investing and distribution plan in place may be able to keep more of their hard-earned ...
  28. 7 Tips to Prepare for Tax Season

    These tips can help ease the pain of tax season.
  29. What Will Get You Audited by the IRS on 2016 Taxes

    These items on your 2016 taxes could make the IRS decide to audit you.
  30. H&R Block vs. TurboTax vs. Jackson Hewitt

    There are plenty of tax services to help ease the pain of filing income taxes. Here's our take on three of the biggest: H&R ...

Tax Help

Asset 1 Definitions

  • Filing Status

    A category that defines the type of tax return form an individual will use. Filing status is closely tied to marital status.

  • Standard Deduction

    A base amount of income that is not subject to tax and that can be used to reduce a taxpayer's adjusted gross income (AGI).

  • Itemized Deduction

    A deduction from a taxpayer's taxable adjusted gross income that is made up of deductions for money spent on certain goods and services throughout the year.

  • Filing Extension

    An exemption made to both individual taxpayers and businesses that are unable to file a tax return by the due date.

  • Alternative Minimum Tax

    An alternative minimum tax (AMT) recalculates income tax after adding certain tax preference items back into adjusted gross income.

  • Ordinary Income

    Ordinary income is composed mainly of wages, salaries, commissions and interest income from bonds, and it is taxable using ordinary income rates.

  • Internal Revenue Code

    The Internal Revenue Code (IRC) refers to Title 26 of the U.S. Code, which acts as the laws of the country.

  • Tax Bracket

    A tax bracket refers to a range of incomes that are subject to a certain income tax rate.

  • Tax Gain/Loss Harvesting

    Tax gain/loss harvesting is a strategy of selling securities at a loss to offset a capital gains tax liability.

  • W-2 Form

    The W-2 form is the form that an employer must send to an employee and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at the end of the year.

  • Adjusted Gross Income

    Adjusted gross income (AGI) is a measure of income calculated from your gross income and used to determine how much of your income is taxable.

  • Flexible Spending Account

    A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is a type of savings account available in the United States that provides the account holder with specific tax advantages.

  • Internal Revenue Service

    The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is a U.S. government agency responsible for the collection of taxes and enforcement of tax laws.

  • Traditional IRA

    A traditional individual retirement account (IRA) allows individuals to direct pretax income towards investments that can grow tax-deferred; no capital gains or dividend income is taxed until it is withdrawn.

  • Roth IRA

    A Roth IRA is an individual retirement plan (a type of qualified retirement plan) that bears many similarities to the traditional IRA.

  • Taxable Income

    Taxable income is the amount of income used to calculate an individual's or a company's income tax due.

  • Tax Credit

    A tax credit is an amount of money a taxpayer is able to subtract from taxes owed to the government.

  • Capital Gain

    Capital gain is an increase in the value of a capital asset (investment or real estate) that gives it a higher worth than the purchase price.

  • Cost Basis

    Cost basis is the original value of an asset for tax purposes, usually the purchase price, adjusted for stock splits, dividends and return of capital distributions.

  • Capital Gains Tax

    Capital gain is an increase in the value of a capital asset (investment or real estate) that gives it a higher worth than the purchase price.

  • W-4 Form

    An employee completes an IRS W-4 form, or an Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate, to indicate his tax situation to the employer.

  • Form 1099-MISC

    Form 1099-Misc is a tax form that reports the year-end summary of all non-employee compensation.

  • IRS Form 4868

    An IRS form that must be submitted by individuals who wish to extend the amount of time they have to file their tax returns.

  • IRS Form 1040

    Form 1040 is the standard Internal Revenue Service (IRS) form that individuals use to file their annual income tax returns.

  • Flow-Through Entity

    A flow-through entity is a legal business entity that passes income on to the owners and/or investors.