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Apr 10, 2014

Tax nightmare: What if you can’t pay the IRS?

NEW YORK (Reuters) – There are many tax-time nightmares, but here’s one of the most common: You don’t have the cash to pay what you owe on April 15.

“A couple of weeks ago, I ended up talking a young woman off a ledge, as it were, because she discovered she had screwed up on her withholding and owed a bunch of tax,” says Melody Thornton, a certified public accountant in Cardiff, California.

Apr 7, 2014

Tax-time complexities for road warriors

NEW YORK (Reuters) – If you spend large chunks of your working life on a plane, you may have a tax issue: The tax complexities of road warriors can be mind-numbingly complicated, and consultants, entertainers, motivational speakers and others who work in multiple states may not even realize where and what they owe.

“Road warriors need to look at where they are going, how often they are going, and what they are doing there,” says Michael Bozimowski, a principal at accounting firm Rehmann in Farmington Hills, Michigan. “There is no good way to come up with a flat ‘this is what you need to do’ because the state rules are so variable.”

Mar 28, 2014

Column: Taxable swag: If you got free goodies, the IRS wants to know

NEW YORK (Reuters) – You might be able to score a free lunch these days, but get anything beyond that and the Internal Revenue Service may come after you for taxes.

Lucky enough to score an $80,000 goodie bag at the Oscars? You’ll owe something in the neighborhood of $26,400, if you’re in the 33 percent tax bracket. Won an iPad in a raffle at a conference? That would be more than $100.

Mar 28, 2014

Taxable swag: If you got free goodies, the IRS wants to know

NEW YORK, March 28 (Reuters) – You might be able to score a
free lunch these days, but get anything beyond that and the
Internal Revenue Service may come after you for taxes.

Lucky enough to score an $80,000 goodie bag at the Oscars?
You’ll owe something in the neighborhood of $26,400, if you’re
in the 33 percent tax bracket. Won an iPad in a raffle at a
conference? That would be more than $100.

Mar 20, 2014

How to sort through the changes for same-sex tax filers

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Married same-sex couples this year will file their U.S. income tax returns just like heterosexual married couples because of the Supreme Court’s decision in June to strike down key parts of the Defense of Marriage Act.

For insight into how gay and lesbian couples should plan this tax season, we turned to Nanette Lee Miller and Janis Cowhey McDonagh, who head accounting firm Marcum’s LGBT and nontraditional family practice.

Jan 11, 2014

Seven injured in Thai protest shooting, military chief fears escalating violence

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Seven people were wounded, one seriously, after gunmen opened fire on anti-government protesters in Bangkok early on Saturday, heightening fears of more violence when protesters try to “shutdown” the capital next week in their long-running bid to overthrow Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

“Two shootouts occurred in the early hours of this morning at an intersection near the Khao San Road tourist area. Altogether seven people were injured, most of them anti-government protesters. We are still investigating who the gunmen were,” said national police chief Adul Saengsingkaew.

Dec 16, 2013

Should you super-fund your 529 college savings plan?

NEW YORK (Reuters) – With college costs already astronomical and rising, saving for them isn’t just a year-end thing. But if those prices – averaging $40,917 a year for a private four-year college or $18,391 for a state school, according to the College Board – have got you down, there are some ways to max out your savings before 2013 ends.

You can stuff a lot of money into a 529 college savings plan now and then do the same thing at the beginning of 2014 – a strategy that advisers say they are seeing many wealthy clients adopt this year. Because of the interplay of gift tax rules and generous contribution limits on these plans, affluent grandparents (or parents, but it’s usually grandparents) can set aside as much as $84,000 per grandchild over the next month or so.

Nov 25, 2013

Seeking tax losses in a winning year

NEW YORK, Nov 25 (Reuters) – Investors who bet on the U.S.
stock market have done very well this year – the Standard &
Poor’s 500 stock index is up more than 25 percent since
2013 dawned.

That might make the average investor think there is no point
in trying to look for losing investments to sell for tax
purposes, typically a smart year-end tax strategy. But it would
be a mistake to not at least look for losers.

Oct 15, 2013

Real estate and the new tax landscape

NEW YORK, Oct 15 (Reuters) – New 2013 taxes aimed at high
earners could hurt some less-wealthy folks who sell valuable
real estate without planning ahead.

That’s because the income from the sale of a pricey home or
investment property could push taxpayers into a higher tax
bracket at a time when rates for those top brackets are going
up.

Aug 27, 2013

P2P lending pulls in big investors – should you bite?

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Less than a decade ago, peer-to-peer lending came to the United States as an upstart enterprise – a service that would in a very personal way link would-be borrowers with individual lenders and bypass the banking industry.

The theory was that by cutting out the middle man, online P2P services like Lending Club and Prosper could create a “win-win” situation: Credit-challenged borrowers who needed money for school, to buy a car or put on a roof could obtain loans at less-than-credit-card rates. Lenders, in turn, could cash in on better interest rates than their bank accounts would pay.

    • About Amy

      "Amy Feldman is an award-winning journalist and writer, specializing in business and finance. She writes a twice-monthly column on taxes for Reuters. The opinions expressed are her own."
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