Reuters Money

Tax reform in an era of deficits

February 15, 2011

Eric Toder is an Institute Fellow at the Urban Institute and co-director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. The opinions expressed are his own.

Tax breaks can be wasteful spending, too

February 14, 2011

Seth Hanlon is Director of Fiscal Reform at the Center for American Progress, a Washington think tank. The opinions expressed here are his own.

Kill the mortgage deduction and give it to entrepreneurs

February 11, 2011

Prospective home buyer Jessica Doctoroff (C) visits a condominium for sale with her real estate agent Brenda Bremis in Medford, Massachusetts April 2, 2009.   REUTERS/Brian Snyder  Somehow I don’t think President Obama had the home-mortgage interest deduction in mind when he mentioned the U.S. tax code before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce this week.

Write a separate check for IRA fees, save big

February 11, 2011

Valerie Arbogast, France's Banque Populaire financial adviser, speaks with Eric Fresnel (R), head of packaging company Sleever, in Paris October 29, 2008.  REUTERS/Benoit Tessier  If you’re getting investment advice for your Individual Retirement Account (IRA), Roth IRA or Rollover IRA, you’re probably paying for it, even if the charges aren’t obvious. But by making that payment explicit, and covering it with funds from outside of your retirement account, you can magnify your retirement savings and get an extra tax deduction, too.

Fed benefits gap draws LGBT ire

February 10, 2011

Herb Burtis and John Ferris met while both were undergraduate music students at Michigan State University in 1948. Burtis was 18, and Ferris was a 22-year-old veteran of the U.S. Army. They studied with the same organ teacher and connected initially through their mutual love of music

Do your tax homework for better mutual fund returns

February 10, 2011

Tax specialist Danielle Deutsch (L) helps Jacqueline Zoellnes prepare her taxes at an H&R Block office in Chicago April 14, 2008. REUTERS/John Gress  The mutual fund portions of your 2010 income tax returns aren’t just about taxes. You can use the annual tax forms you received from fund companies to improve future investment results. Here’s how:

Taxes: It’s good to be average

February 9, 2011

A U.S. 1040A Individual Income Tax form is seen at a U.S. Post office in New York April 15, 2010. April 15 is the deadline for filing taxes in the United States.   REUTERS/Mike Segar  Taxpayers who stand out tend to draw the attention of Internal Revenue Service auditors. Claim too much in interest, health expenses or charitable deductions, and it’s like waving that proverbial red flag in front of the tax man.

Time to end the mortgage interest tax deduction

February 8, 2011

Alan Mallach is a senior fellow at the Center for Community Progress and a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. The opinions expressed here are his own.

Will 2011 be a year of state tax increases?

February 7, 2011

ECONOMY-CALIFORNIA/TAXREVOLTIt’s hardly a secret that state budgets are tight. Still, when budgetarily-beleaguered Illinois raised its individual income tax rate to 5 percent from 3 percent, it raised eyebrows — and questions about what other states might follow.

Don’t lose retirement money with a rollover mistake

February 3, 2011

California state worker Curtis Walker looks over retirement plan brochures at the Calpers regional office in Sacramento, California October 21, 2009.  REUTERS/Max Whittaker  Elizabeth Kinkel, a 27-year-old architect in Washington, D.C., let her 401(k) with her former company languish after she was laid off in 2009. “I forgot about it,” she says. By the time she pulled her money out of the 401(k) and reinvested it in a Roth IRA, her $6,000 had lost about $1,500 in value.