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.
Unless Washington acts in the lame-duck session after the November elections, top rates for capital gains from most sales of assets owned more than 12 months are scheduled to increase. They will go from 15 percent for 2012 to at least 20 percent for 2013.
Wouldn't it be great if the Congress that exacerbated our current situation were held responsible for their grade school behavior which brought on our current financial situation, paying higher taxes until things right themselves, even if it's after some get voted out of office?
Your prosperity is driven by mine, and vice versa. We do no one any favors when we divide the country into two warring groups at a time when, in reality, our economic troubles have lumped more of us together than at any time in nearly 50 years.
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.
Contrary to what many self-employed individuals believe, long-standing regulations usually prohibit most of them from claiming bad-debt deductions on their federal and state returns when they are unable to recover amounts due from clients and customers.
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.
Is withholding tax returns an "unintelligent decision" a.k.a. "stupid"? It would seem to be when polls indicate that 61 percent of Independent voters think Romney should release his returns from the last 12 years.