Tag Archives: taxes

Day After – Money Monday: Do this after filing your 2017 tax return

“Relieved that you won’t have to think about taxes for another year now that you’ve finally submitted your 2017 return or will soon? It’s best not to put taxes on the back burner yet. Instead, take advantage of being in tax mode to make a few moves that can help with next year’s return and improve your finances overall.”

Image from 401kcalculator.org

Read Forbes’ article to find out “Smart Tax Moves After You File Your 2017 Tax Return”.

Money Monday: Stretching your tax refund

“The average tax refund was $2,895 last year, according to the IRS. Whether you’re looking to use it for travel, invest it or use it to build an emergency fund, there are certain steps you can take to stretch your tax refund dollars.”

Forbes has some ideas: “Simple Ways To Stretch Your Tax Refund”

Money Monday: 3 Ways to Cut Taxes

Nobody likes to pay more in taxes than they absolutely have to. By the time you start preparing your return, it’s too late to use some of the smartest tactics to control the size of your tax bill. Instead, you have to plan in advance to make sure your refund is as big as possible.

Read them here: “3 simple ways to cut your taxes.”

Money Monday: Tax scams to avoid

Here are 12 of the biggest tax scams the IRS is flagging this year:

  1. Phone scams
  2. Phishing
  3. Tax return preparer fraud
  4. Falsely inflating refunds
  5. Falsely inflating income
  6. Falsely padding deductions
  7. Improperly claiming business credits
  8. Making frivolous tax arguments
  9. Abusive tax shelters
  10. Fake charities
  11. Hiding money offshore
  12. Identity theft

Read up on these: “12 tax scams you’ll want to avoid.”

Money Monday: File your tax return

If your return is fairly simple and you’re up for the challenge, preparing your taxes solo could save you a bit of money. In fact, an estimated 33% of Americans file their own taxes each year, so if you’re ready to join their ranks, here are a few tips for getting through the process.

1. Prepare your return early

2. Figure out whether you’ll be itemizing this year

3. File electronically

Read more about filing your taxes yourself here on CNN’s article: “3 tax-filing tips to make preparing your tax return easier.”

Money Monday: Can you deduct interest on your home equity loan?

“The new federal tax law created a lot of confusion over whether tax filers may still deduct the interest they pay on their home equity loans and home equity lines of credit.

money“The new law suspends the deduction for interest on home equity indebtedness for the next eight years.

“But it turns out the suspension does not apply to all home equity loans (HELs) and lines of credit (HELOCs). It just applies to those that are used to pay for non-home-related things, like paying off your credit card or buying a car. But you can still deduct home equity loan interest that is used to pay for home improvements…”

Read more at Money.CNN.com: “Yes, you can still deduct interest on your home equity loan …”

Money Monday: Last-Minute Tax Advice

With just a day before the April 18 deadline to file your taxes, here’s a few last minute tips.

  1. File! Even if you don’t have all the money to pay, it’s much better to file a return than to not file at all. “The penalties for not filing a tax return are 10 times greater than those for filing but not being able to pay taxes due.” (Money.CNN.com. “5 last-minute tax tips you need to know now.” http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/13/pf/taxes/tax-tips/index.html?iid=SF_LN)
  2. You can file for an extension. It’s simple and quick to do on the IRS website, and it will buy you some time. Just be aware that late-payment penalties will be tacked on, beginning after the April 18 deadline.
  3. You can still get professional help. One place to go for help is the VITA program; the “Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program provides specially trained IRS-certified volunteer tax preparers that can help taxpayers with basic income-tax preparation needs.” (Money.CNN.com. “5 last-minute tax tips you need to know now.” http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/13/pf/taxes/tax-tips/index.html?iid=SF_LN)
  4. Two more key tips available here on Money.CNN.com: “5 last-minute tax tips you need to know now.”

Money Monday: Tax Breaks for Parents

Now that it’s tax season, it’s time to consider what tax breaks you as a parent might be able to claim.

1. Childcare tax break

One way to save is to set up a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account, or DCFSA, during Open Enrollment. You might be able to save up to 30% in taxes on the money you put toward it.

2. Child care credit

If you did’t sign up for a DCFSA, check out the Child and Dependent Care Credit when filing your taxes.

3. College savings plans deductions

“Many states offer full or partial tax deductions for parents saving for college in state-sponsored 529 plans.” (“Taxes made easy: 5 breaks for childcare and education.” Jeanie Ahn. Yahoo Finance.)

4. College tax credits

There are two college tax credits that you might be able to gain: the American Opportunity Tax Credit and The Lifetime Learning Credit.

Read more on these tax credits and deductions here: “Taxes made easy: 5 breaks for childcare and education”.