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Apr 29, 2013

Don’t let that 529 college plan hurt your financial aid

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Tax-advantaged 529 college-savings plans have been a huge help for many students and their families as the costs of higher education have soared. But if you’re applying for financial aid (and who isn’t?) you need to know how these accounts will affect your bottom line.

The basic problem: Not all 529 accounts are treated equally, so two different students with the same basic profile could get different aid offers, based on who actually owns their 529 plan.

Apr 11, 2013

Owe taxes and can’t pay? You have options

NEW YORK, April 11 (Reuters) – There are many reasons to
hate tax time, but here’s one of the worst: You discover while
doing your taxes that you owe far more than you can possibly
come up with by April 15.

Cry, scream, punch the wall if you have to. But then deal
with the problem head on.

Apr 8, 2013

Tax tips for procrastinators counting down to April 15

NEW YORK, April 8 (Reuters) – Tax day this year falls on a
Monday, making it all the more enticing for procrastinators to
attempt to cram in all their accounting on the weekend prior. If
this is your plan, you have a little bit of an excuse: The tax
season started slowly as the Internal Revenue Service reworked
many forms, as required by the year-end tax changes. But that
doesn’t make it any less painful now.

If you’re among the procrastinators, here are eight
last-minute things to consider:

Mar 14, 2013

These 10 tax deductions should be on your radar

NEW YORK, March 14 (Reuters) – Americans claim more than $1
trillion worth of deductions at tax time. And whether you think
the tax code should have more write-offs or fewer loopholes, you
might as well get your piece of that pie while it’s on the
table.

That means grabbing every available deduction, even the ones
you may not have thought about. Here’s a helpful starter list
for your 2012 returns.

Mar 12, 2013

Navigating through a sea of college tax breaks

NEW YORK, March 12 (Reuters) – If you have kids in college,
you already know that higher education isn’t getting any cheaper
- some private schools will now set you back more than $60,000 a
year.

You may need a high-priced education just to figure out how
to write it off. The federal government offers a variety of tax
breaks to lessen your burden. But they are complicated, limited
and overlapping, and it is not always easy to figure out how to
maximize them.

Feb 26, 2013

New estate tax rules call for new planning tactics

NEW YORK (Reuters) – After years of changes and political arm-twisting, the federal estate tax rules became clear and stable with the year-end fiscal cliff deal. They are now set permanently into the tax code – at least until the tax code changes again.

The amount an individual can exclude from estate taxes (including gifts given during his or her lifetime) is an extremely generous $5.25 million per person for 2013.

Feb 13, 2013

How to deal with your shrunken paycheck in 2013

NEW YORK, Feb 13 (Reuters) – The payroll tax cut quietly
expired at the end of 2012, and for many American families who
are struggling to keep pace in a tight economy, that has raised
questions of what to do.

The tax, which covers Social Security, is deducted from your
paycheck automatically. It is based on your income, up to a
maximum of $113,700 for 2013. Income above that amount is exempt
from Social Security taxes. A tax cut to stimulate the economy
shaved 2 percentage points off the payroll tax, but now it has
been restored to 6.2 percent.

Jan 28, 2013

The perils of overseas tax disclosure: An immigrant’s story

NEW YORK (Reuters) – When Andrew Winfield applied to become a U.S. citizen in 2011, he realized he owed taxes on accounts he had left behind in his native England.

So he paid what he believed he owed — $2,800 in back taxes, plus the estimated interest and penalties – and entered the U.S. Internal Revenue Service’s overseas disclosure program.

Jan 15, 2013

Taxes will rise for more than just the ultra-wealthy

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The big numbers under discussion following the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 have been $400,000, the income level where new marginal rates kick in for singles, and $450,000, for married couples filing jointly.

But two limitations on tax breaks for high-income earners are returning at much lower income thresholds, amounting to something of a stealth increase. And there are few ways to get around them.

Jan 15, 2013

U.S. taxes will rise for more than just the ultra-wealthy

NEW YORK, Jan 15 (Reuters) – The big numbers under
discussion following the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012
have been $400,000, the income level where new marginal rates
kick in for singles, and $450,000, for married couples filing
jointly.

But two limitations on tax breaks for high-income earners
are returning at much lower income thresholds, amounting to
something of a stealth increase. And there are few ways to get
around them.

    • 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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