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Here's What Animal Rescue Volunteers Can Write Off at Tax Time

Julian Block | Posted 02.12.2016 | Business
Julian Block

Millions of individuals volunteer to help raise funds or perform other tasks on behalf of charitable organizations like religious groups, schools and ...

Can Strippers Deduct Breast Implants?

Julian Block | Posted 02.01.2016 | Business
Julian Block

Just because you incur expenses for business reasons doesn't mean that they automatically qualify as deductible. The Internal Revenue Code stipulates ...

Why Home Seller Who Suffers a Loss Won't Get a Tax Break

Julian Block | Posted 01.29.2016 | Business
Julian Block

What if your employer reimburses you for the loss? No offset of an otherwise nondeductible loss against the reimbursement, because they're separate transactions. The loss stays nondeductible. Nor is it permissible to include the reimbursement as part of the selling price and avail yourself of the exclusion.

Bad Debt Deductions for Worthless Loans to Spouses

Julian Block | Posted 01.27.2016 | Business
Julian Block

These being the times they are, you may be tapped for loans by relatives or friends who are unable to come up with the down payment for a home or who ...

A Dilemma for Stock Market Investors: Sell or Sweat

Julian Block | Posted 01.26.2016 | Business
Julian Block

The rules for capital gains are tricky. Let's start with the basics.

Making a Household Inventory List Can Save Time and Money

Julian Block | Posted 01.05.2016 | Money
Julian Block

Did you know that the tax code allows you to claim tax deductions for household damage caused by thefts, vandalism, fires, floods, hurricanes and others kinds of casualties? But the law imposes several restrictions.

Deduct Business Suits? Forget It

Julian Block | Posted 12.28.2015 | Business
Julian Block

Paying the shirt off your back at tax time? Don't count on a deduction for what you wear to work from what you make at work.

How to Take a Tax Deduction for Protecting Your Good Name

Julian Block | Posted 12.17.2015 | Business
Julian Block

And when it comes to your reputation, the line between business and personal is thin indeed. What controls the outcome are the particular circumstances.

Why This Cold War Tale of Tax Fraud Was Never Solved

Julian Block | Posted 12.15.2015 | Business
Julian Block

Recent revelations that the FBI and CIA used at least 1,000 ex-Nazis as spies after World War II, in Europe and the United States, made me think about...

Here's How to Steer Clear of the Mutual Fund Tax Trap

Julian Block | Posted 12.11.2015 | Business
Julian Block

Plan ahead before you buy some shares in a stock mutual fund near year end, when the fund is about to pay a dividend.

Why You Should Donate Appreciated Assets to Your Favorite Charities

Julian Block | Posted 12.10.2015 | Business
Julian Block

When we contribute to our favorite causes, most of us go the easiest, most familiar route and simply write checks or use credit cards. We receive inco...

A Few Year-End Reminders for Dependency Exemptions

Julian Block | Posted 12.08.2015 | Business
Julian Block

Do you support one or both of your parents? Now is the time to nail down dependency exemptions for them. For 2015, you can claim an exemption of $4,0...

Tax-timing a Marriage or Divorce

Julian Block | Posted 12.07.2015 | Divorce
Julian Block

As part of your tax planning, you need to consider an expected change in your filing statue for this year or next.

Fees for Divorce Mediators and Matrimonial Attorneys: What's Deductible

Julian Block | Posted 12.04.2015 | Divorce
Julian Block

The IRS generally says "no" to tax deductions that might ease the pain of divorce. The agency has no sympathy for payments to mediators or litigators and other costs associated with a divorce. It characterizes those outlays as nondeductible personal expenses.

Charitable Deductions for Animal-Rescue Volunteers

Julian Block | Posted 09.01.2014 | Money
Julian Block

When the annual reckoning with the IRS rolls around, their willingness to help out entitles them to write-offs for unreimbursed expenses incurred while they do volunteer work for rescue groups like the Humane Society of the U.S and the ASPCA.

What's Deductible for Legal Fees When Couples Divorce

Julian Block | Posted 04.05.2014 | Divorce
Julian Block

The IRS prohibits any deduction for the cost of personal advice, counseling and legal action in a divorce. For example, there's no write-off for what a husband spends to resist his wife's demands for more alimony or to set aside a pre¬nuptial property agreement.

How The Tax Rules Work When You Refinance Your Home Mortgage

Julian Block | Posted 02.09.2014 | Money
Julian Block

Recent drops in interest rates have prompted millions of households to refinance their mortgages. Borrowers who refinance need to familiarize themselves with tricky tax rules on what is or isn't deductible for interest payments. Here are some reminders on how the rules work.

Give a Little Less to the IRS

Julian Block | Posted 01.07.2013 | Money
Julian Block

Individuals who reduce their income taxes with itemized deductions are aware that they can claim contributions to schools, religious organizations and other favorite causes. But many of them are unaware of other opportunities.

5 Simple Steps To Protecting Your Finances Post-Split

Julian Block | Posted 12.01.2012 | Divorce
Julian Block

There are simple steps that divorcing spouses should take to protect themselves financially.

Some Presidential Words on Federal Income Taxes

Julian Block | Posted 08.22.2012 | Money
Julian Block

Income taxes are such a pervasive and everyday part of our financial lives -- and such a central issue in presidential campaigns -- that they seem to have been around forever. They have not. Their debut is relatively recent.

Trouble Come Tax Time?

Julian Block | Posted 09.26.2012 | Divorce
Julian Block

Fact is, whether Brad, Angelina, Jennifer, Bristol, Levi, Snooki, or anyone else is hooking up, breaking up, or something in between, the odds and ends of their relationships are grist for the Internal Revenue Service mill.

Taxpayer Illiteracy: Persistent and Widespread

Julian Block | Posted 09.01.2012 | Money
Julian Block

How many of those surveyed aren't aware of their own tax brackets?

Medicare Surtaxes Hike Taxes for Upper-Incomers

Julian Block | Posted 09.01.2012 | Money
Julian Block

What's certain is that our lawmakers will enact even more complications to an already confusing tax code.

Making a Household Inventory List Can Save Time and Money

Julian Block | Posted 07.31.2011 | Business
Julian Block

Did you know that the tax code allows you to claim tax deductions for household damage caused by thefts, vandalism, fires, floods, hurricanes and others kinds of casualties?

Travel Deductions for Gamblers

Julian Block | Posted 06.04.2011 | Business
Julian Block

The tax rules for gamblers can be summed up simply: "Heads, the IRS wins; tails, gamblers lose." The faux-friendly feds routinely nail gamblers for taxes on their winnings.