It’s tax time! It’s hard to remember everything about taxes, so here is a comprehensive tax guide to get you through tax season! From important tax dates to planning for next year, and just about everything in between, we’ve got you covered!
2008 Tax Information. Reference sheet for 2008 tax limits, credits, exemptions, deductions, phase-out and exclusion numbers all in one place.
2009 Tax Dates. Important tax dates to remember in 2009, including due dates and extensions for your 2008 tax return.
TaxCut. TaxCut is my software of choice this year based on cost and features available. More information is available in the 2008 TaxCut Review.
TurboTax. TurboTax is the most popular tax preparation software. While it’s slightly more expensive than TaxCut, it’s the leader in the industry, and comes out on top in this TurboTax comparison.
TaxAct. TaxAct, the alternative to the big two giants, is gaining momentum. I used it last year and was pleased with the software.
6 Free E-File Options. Check out your free e-filing options this year, including descriptions of the following free e-file programs:
Saver’s Credit for Retirement Contributions. The Saver’s Credit (which used to be called the Retirement Savings Contributions Credit), is a tax credit up to $1,000 ($2,000 if filing jointly). The tax credit is for contributions to 401ks, IRAs, and other retirement plans.
$7,500 First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit. A 15 year 0% interest free loan from the government for first time home buyers in 2008. Just make sure you don’t confuse it with the $8,000 home buyer tax credit, that you don’t have to repay for 2009, included in the economic stimulus plan.
Earned Income Tax Credit. The earned income tax credit (EITC), which is refundable, is intended to help low to moderate income individuals and families and provide an incentive to work.
Midwestern Disaster Area Tax Credits. Tax breaks for those impacted by the storms of 2008, including additional college tax credits and expansion of deductible casualty losses from the storms.
Refundable vs. Non-Refundable Income Tax Credits. What’s the difference and what does it mean for your taxes?
Personal Car Mileage Deductions. Using your personal car for company business? Here’s how to take your mileage deduction.
Tax Deduction for Women. If you itemize your deductions and have gotten married or been part of a wedding party this deduction is for you! A charitable tax deduction for donating your wedding attire.
Tax Deductions, A Photo Essay. Ideas for more deductions including home mortgage points, long term care insurance premiums, and IRA administration fees.
Overlooked Tax Deductions. Did you have any of these: jury pay paid to employer, student loan interest paid by your parents, or military reservists travel expenses? Don’t forget to take your deduction!
How Much Money Do You Have to Make to File Taxes? Did you make less money last year due to the economy? Find out the income thresholds that require you to file a tax return.
When Do Kids Need to File Taxes? If your children earn interest and dividends from investments or have a part-time job, they may need to file a tax return. Find out when you need to files taxes for kids.
How to Make Estimated Tax Payments. Who needs to make estimated tax payments, how to pay, when to pay and how much to pay.
When Should You Mail Your Return or Have it Postmarked? If the tax filing deadline is April 15 what does that really mean for filing and submitting your return and payment?
Planning for Next Year
17 Tips for Tax Planning. A little planning results in great rewards! Here’s your list of money moves to make before the end of the year sneaks up on you!
9 Tax Changes Affecting Individuals for 2009. Among the changes: required minimum distributions suspended, new energy credits, and even a new bicycle tax credit for commuters!
Tax Tips To Save Money Next Year. These tips can help you make the changes needed today and at the end of the upcoming year to take the bite out of your next tax bill.
2009 Standard Deductions Rise and Changes in Earned Income Credit. Some changes for next year could mean tax savings for you.
Kiddie Tax. The kiddie tax catches some kids who earn interest and dividends from investments. Find out when the kiddie tax applies and recent changes that expanded the kiddie tax to older children.
IRA Recharacterization. What a recharacterization is, why you might need one, how to complete it and when it’s due.
The Alternative Minimum Tax. What is the AMT? And just how do you avoid it?
Organize & Prepare: Do Your Taxes Quickly. An easy strategy to take the pain out of doing your taxes. It’s based on some simple organization techniques.
How To Track Tax Receipts When You Itemize. When it’s time to sit down to do your taxes, do you wonder where your receipts have gone? Ideas to better prepare for the tax season.
Do You Report All Your Income? An intriguing discussion about why some readers do and don’t report all their income for taxes.
What Would Happen If I Don’t Pay My Taxes? Penalties for tax evasion include the IRS seizing your home, car, other assets, freezing your bank accounts or even sending you to prison. Sound fun?
Will we become a nation of tax cheats? Discussion of a new law that would allow tax payers who are caught in a misstep to pay the tax owed, but without penalty or interest.
Tax Q & A
Have a tax question? Chances are someone else did too! Here are a bunch of tax question and answer sessions:
Taxes and IRAs
Fund a Traditional IRA to Reduce Your Taxes. The traditional IRA is an excellent way to not only to reduce the amount of taxes you owe now, but also to help you save more for retirement.
Roth IRA Limits. Information on the 2009 IRA limits. If you still need to make a contribution for last year, see the 2008 Roth IRA Limits.
Unconventional Roth IRA Strategy to Lower Tax Bill. An unusual tax strategy designed to take advantage of low tax rates.
Economic Stimulus Checks
How the Economic Stimulus Check Affects your 2008 Tax Return. An explanation of what happened (the new tax code eliminated the 10% tax bracket), and how tax software programs handle the stimulus check.
The Recovery Rebate Credit: 2nd Chance at the Economic Stimulus. If you missed out on the economic stimulus check in 2008, and your tax situation has since changed, you may be eligible for this rebate. Typical examples include having a baby or making less income.
Canadian Tax Resources
QuickTax. QuickTax is the tax software of choice in Canada.
9 Ways I Reduced My Canadian Taxes Last Year. Helpful list of tax reductions which can be used for tax planning in 2009.
Canadian Tax Tips. Some thoughts to keep in mind to help optimize your tax return in the new year.