Finished your Christmas shopping yet? Me neither.
While I can't hit the malls for you, here's hoping that one or more of the tax items in Tax Carnival #77: Stocking Stuffers 2010 will fill your tax geek heart with cheer.
Since we all have a lot to do this crazy time of year, let's get right to it.
BWL reminds us that the IRS has a whole lot of unclaimed tax refunds and wonders why haven't we claimed what it ours? To help those who are due the cash, BWL presents $164.6 Million In Unclaimed IRS Refund Checks: Is One Yours? It's posted at Christian Personal Finance.
Now to this year's taxes, starting with some basics.
"Many of us prepare and file our own income taxes, but because we often do so via computerized aids we rarely get into the nitty gritty of income tax concepts. One such concept is the distinction between deductions and credits," says Neal Frankle, who presents Understanding Taxes -- New Credits and Deductions You Can Use Now -- For Dummies. It's posted at Wealth Pilgrim.
Sunil wants to know what you know about Your Effective Tax Rate Defined. How Much Tax Do You Really Pay Uncle Sam? The info and a suggestion on how to reduce your tax rate is posted at The Extra Money Blog.
Jessica Bosari gives us some tax breaks for our regular spending Ten Tax Breaks for Stuff You Should Be Doing Anyway, posted at Billeater.
Classes may be over for the semester, but some Tax Carnival contributors have some educational tax tips.
Daniel Packer presents Getting Tax Breaks from Paying for College, posted at Currency.
Tax Debt Help warns that a College Tax Credit Expiring if Congress Does Nothing, posted at Tax Debt Help.
The various tax-favored retirement savings options are a popular topic.
For folks confused about the different types of IRA and the individual rules and regulations, Rosetta presents IRA Basics at IRA Rules, posted at New IRA Rules.
Silicon Valley Blogger takes a look at how a 401(k) impacts you on the tax front in So Why Are't You Opening A 401K? It's posted at The Digerati Life.
"The Thrift Savings Plan is similar to a 401(k), but for government workers and militarymembers. There are tax implications for taking a TSP loan," says Ryan, who presents How to Take a Thrift Savings Plan Loan. It's posted at The Military Wallet.
"Many people invest in the Roth IRA because it offers tax-free growth, tax-free withdrawals during retirement, and tax diversification while contributing to the retirement account," notes Jeff Rose, who looks at Roth IRA Withdrawal Rules. It's posted at Good Financial Cents.
As for other investment vehicles, make sure your transactions don't attract undue IRS attention.
"The IRS has certain rules regarding taking a tax deduction on investment losses and buying the same investment again," says Ryan, who presents Wash Sale Rule for Investment Losses. It's posted at Cash Money Life.
To contribute to retirement plans or have enough cash to invest elsewhere, you need a job. Several Carnivalistas offer work related items.
Ken presents Unreimbursed Employee Expenses: What Can You Deduct, posted at Spruce Up Your Finances.
Many employees share the sentiments of MoneyThinking, who says, "One of my biggest ambitions is to one day own my own business. With owning your own business, there are a lot of things that you need to keep track of. And now, it's getting to the end of the year and you need to get everything together for your taxes." To that end, MT presents Deductions for small business owners, posted at Money Thinking.
Health care tax issues continue to be an area of intense interest in Washington. The same if true here at the Tax Carnival.
"Do you use a flexible spending or health savings account? If so you need to know about how over-the-counter drugs are being treated in your plan next year," says freefrombroke. Details in Flexible and Health Savings Account Changes for 2011 – Over the Counter Medicine Reimbursement, posted at Free From Broke.
Cavrisk presents More Stupid ObamaCare© Tricks: HSAs vs "Young Adults," posted at InsureBlog, saying, "The new health care bill has some hidden taxes for those with Health Savings Accounts."
Next to tax cuts, the big topic in D.C. is how to spend taxpayer money. Andrea McDougal gives us an update on stimulus spending in Follow the Money: 12 Big Public Works Projects Funded by US Stimulus Money. They range from major road and public transportation revamping to smart grid projects throughout the country, says Andrea, whose post is at Masters in Project Management.
Tips on completing tax forms are always welcome as we head toward filing season.
Michael Pruser presents What is Tax Form 1040 Schedule M? Find out the answer at The Dough Roller.
Madison DuPaix presents When You May Want to File an Optional Tax Return, posted at My Dollar Plan, saying, "Important info if you don't HAVE to file a tax return."
Everydaytipsandthoughts was thinking the other day about who pays and doesn't pay taxes. Her thoughts are in Tax Avoidance, Double Irish and Dutch Sandwiches! It's posted at Everyday Tips and Thoughts.
The Tax Carnival is always delighted to welcome global tax bloggers.
Edward Webber reminds U.K. entrepreneurs they can avoid a fine if they follow the rules concerning UTR Numbers For the Self Employed. Details are posted at UTR Help and Advice.
Lubna Kably presents Law Street - Economic Times (Nov 2010) - GAAR, posted at Talking Tax, saying, "Are specific anti avoidance provisions, such as thin capitalisation, better for the tax payer? I think so. At least they provide greater clarity on where you stand. India, seems ready to usher in wide sweeping general anti-avoidance provisions. This may cause hurdles in legitimate tax planning."
Tom offers Canadian readers a look at Tax On Capital Gains, posted at Canadian Finance Blog. Tom notes that the general definition of capital gain is the same in Canada as in the U.S., but in our neighbor to the north 50 percent of capital gains are taxed at the taxpayer's marginal tax rate.
Well, we started with 2009 taxes, moved into 2010 return issues. Let's close with some Tax Carnival posts on future taxes.
Ben presents a look at what might happen next year in Federal Income Tax Brackets, posted at Money Smart Life.
PT offers a mock up of the possible changes in What Your 2011 Taxes Will Look Like When the Bush Tax Cuts Expire, posted at Prime Time Money.
Finally, the president's deficit panel has been busy since our last Tax Carnival. It finally released its full report last week. Find out what it had to say from Robert D Flach, who gives us The Moment of Truth, posted at THE WANDERING TAX PRO.
But before that final document came out, suggestions in the chairmen's draft prompted Wenchypoo to suggest "We need to blow up the NEW DEAL before we need to blow up the tax code!" He elablorates at Blowing Up the Tax Code, posted at Wisdom From Wenchypoo's Mental Wastebasket.
And with that, our 2010 tax stockings are stuffed with care.
We'll be back on Jan. 3, 2011, to help ring in the brand new 2011 tax year. You'll have had a couple of days to get over your New Year's celebration, so please join us. We welcome all readers and if you want to offer a tax post (and tax-only items please; check the guidelines for details), send it via the Blog Carnival page.
Images of handmade stockings courtesy of The Christmas Corner
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