It's that time again. A new tax year is upon us.
I know you're still recovering from all things Christmas, holiday guests, New Year's Eve parties, celebrating your NFL team's success or bemoaning its total implosion (I'm talking to you, fellow Cowboys fans) and getting ready to head back to the office.
But it's also time to start thinking about taxes. You're in luck! That's exactly what we do in today's Tax Carnival #94: Happy Tax New Year 2012.
After some misteps Congress managed to keep the payroll tax in place, for a while at least. That was a popular topic for several of our Tax Carnivalistas.
Joe Kristan offers his thoughts on the payroll tax cut extension in Congress kicks the can for two more months. A preview from Joe: "In spite of the last-minute massaging to keep payroll systems from failing, it's still a dog's breakfast." It's posted at Tax Update Blog.
Kristine McKinley examines the moving parts that were part of the payroll tax battle in Congress Expected to Extend Payroll Tax Holiday into 2012, posted at Social Security Retirement Income.
Darwin also has some of the juicy details behind the latest payroll tax holiday in 2012 Social Security Tax Deal Explained, posted at Darwin's Money.
Another work related tax issue is employer provided health care. Since this new tax year is an election year, health care related tax issues are going to get a lot of attention.
Glen Craig notes that consumer driven health plans have the potential to create significant savings for both employers and employees. He discusses various plans, and their tax components, in What Are Consumer Driven Health Plans and How do They Work for You? It's posted at Free From Broke.
Tom Drake points out that "all these tax saving strategies can lead to a big refund come tax time. However, you need to keep in mind that a large tax refund means you gave the government an interest free loan throughout the year." To guard against that, Tom presents 5 Simple Tax Tips To Save You Money, posted at Canadian Finance Blog.
Adam reminds United Kingdom parents that a new product is available that offers them a tax-efficient way to save money for their children. Get details in Should You Get A Junior ISA? Junior ISA Explained, posted at Magical Penny.
Clint Cora offers a reminder about W8BEN Form For Canadians And Foreigners Who Work In The US. The details on how nonresidents can, as Clint says, "get some income in the US reduce withholding tax" is posted at Motivation Diversity Success Blog.
Boomer has a tip for investors: If the interest you are paying on your investment loan is tax deductible, then it's usually considered good debt, as is the equivalent of paying a lower rate of interest on the loan. Find out more in Is Your Investment Loan Tax Deductible? It's posted at Boomer & Echo.
Mike Piper also offers some investment tax thoughts in What are Muni Bonds? And Should I Own Any? "Municipal bonds offer interest that's free from federal income tax," says Mike, "But do these tax savings necessarily make them a good fit for you?" Find out at The Oblivious Investor.
Neal Frankle has info for older IRA owners: "If you own an IRA and you’re approaching age 70 ½, you’ll be forced one day soon to take an RMD. What is an RMD? It’s a Required Mandatory Distribution, and it’s one of the most important IRA rules there are. In other words, the government will force you to start taking money out of your IRA." Read all about it in What is an RMD?, posted at Wealth Pilgrim.
Super Saver continues on the retirement theme, noting that "as a retiree, I've learned that I have additional opportunities to minimize our tax responsibility." Details are shared in Strategies to Lower Federal Income Taxes in Retirement, posted at My Wealth Builder.
Bob notes that the tax code is a labyrinth when it comes to inherited IRA issues. He offers some guidance through the maze in The Tax Treatment of Inherited IRA Accounts, posted at ChristianPF.
Bruce looks into an issue that taxpayers of all ages could encounter: What if You Default on Your IRS Payment Plan? "Even though the new year is here we still need to maintain our payments to the IRS," says Bruce. "Many will skip this because Christmas took much of their finances." The details are posted at Iposted at The Missouri Taxguy.
Trish has some wise words about Expectations when selecting a tax professional to help you with your tax issues. It's posted at Our Taxing Times.
Michael notes that deducting home office expenses sounds easy enough, but be very careful not to get "creative" unless you want an audit in your future. Details are at Think Twice before Deducting Home Office Expenses, posted at Begging To Retire.
Jason P. presents How to Protect Yourself from an IRS Audit. "If you ever find an audit notice in your mailbox, don’t panic! With good tax records at your disposal, you can face the challenge head on," says Jason. It's posted at One Money Design.
Sunil points out that it's never too late to comply with tax law, even if you have to go back and request retroactive forms from previous years. Don't wait, especially when it comes to IRS Tax Form 1099 Reporting is Mandatory for Your Online Business. It's posted at The Extra Money Blog.
Greg presents How It All Began: Brief History of the Internal Revenue Service. It's posted at Online Tax Pros.
Brad discusses every buccaneer's favorite treasure in Avast, a look at the tax ramifications of selling gold. It's posted at Hall Albright Garrison & Associates.
Finally, in case the tax events of last year have already slipped your mind, we close with a couple of retrospectives.
Robert D Flach offers 2011 – Tax Year in Review, posted at The Wandering Tax Pro.
Joe Kristan returns via another blog, providing us The Year in Taxes: Sleepwalking Through 2011, posted at Going Concern.
And with that, we wrap up Tax Carnival #94: Happy New Tax Year 2012.
Now that we're into the annual tax-filing season, the Tax Carnivals will resume its biweekly posting schedule. That means the 95th Tax Carnival will be here on Jan. 16 (yes, that's another Monday federal holiday).
If you have problems with the official form, you can use an alternate sumbission option at Blog Carnival HQ.