Even though many people feel taxes are scarier than speaking in public, for the majority of people, tax-time is the single largest cash windfall of the year. More than 75 percent of all taxpayers get an average tax refund of $3,000 -- nothing scary about that.
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.
The courts often have to resolve the troublesome question of whether a tax-free "gift" was actually a payment for services rendered. Not surprisingly, the question has come up when the IRS insisted on its share of sizable amounts received by women from men who weren't their husbands.
As soon as you start thinking about starting a business, you should begin tracking your expenses -- whether you use an app, a notebook or go the old-school route and use shoeboxes, be sure to keep receipts and cancelled checks.
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.
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.
While the entire political punditry world is caught up in yet another horserace, major tenets of the Republican party's faith seem to be crumbling. Their bedrock ideology is revealing itself, in multiple ways, of having been built on sand all along.
There's going to be pain all around in whatever deal is struck. Most Americans are going to be directly impacted in one way or another by whatever bargain is made between President Obama and congressional Republicans.
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.
Mitt Romney and Republicans have effectively twisted the debate away from the way the rich avoid their responsibilities into an attack on the poor, as if being poor makes you unpatriotic. And we cannot allow ourselves to let their attacks define the issues.
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.
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.