Midyear tax moves Feed

Did you have a great three-day Fourth of July weekend? Fantastic! Now it's time to focus on taxes. Really. Don't act so surprised. Yes, it is summer. But you did click over here to the ol' tax blog. Photo courtesy of Camp Laurel, Maine And I know you know that taxes continue well beyond the traditional filing season. So don't let more days slip by without making some midyear tax moves that could help keep you on the Internal Revenue Service's good side an help reduce your upcoming 2014 tax bill. Here are five easy tax tasks to take care... Read more →

Whoa! Slow up there 2012. How did you get halfway over? I know July kind of sneaked in last weekend. Then the July Fourth holiday popped up in the middle of the week, screwing up vacation plans and basically making today, a Thursday, feel like the week's second Monday. But regardless of how we got here, the fact is that the first six months of the year (plus a few days) are gone. Before the same thing happens to the rest of July through December, take a few minutes to note some tax moves that could help you cut what... Read more →

10 midyear tax moves to make

Earlier today I was fretting about being slow to remind folks about the July tax moves they should make. But now it appears that my delayed focus was meant to be. Why? Because today also is the day that I suggest 10 midyear tax moves to make now over at Bankrate.com. Yeah, there's some duplication. Despite constant Congressional tinkering with the tax code, there are a lot of tax considerations that are perennials, such as adjusting withholding, fine-tuning your estimated tax payments, contributing to your favorite charity and putting away some money for retirement. But just because they're the same... Read more →

Another look at midyear tax moves

We just finished up 10 midyear tax moves here on the ol' blog, but just to prove that you can never have too much tax planning, check out my story (actually a slide show) for Bankrate.com on this topic: Six midyear tax moves to make. Yep, when it comes to tax planning, there's no such thing as too much! Related posts: Midyear Tax Moves 2010 Just past midyear tax moves 2009 Year-end Money Moves: Details Five tax moves for Cinco de Mayo Tax promises to keep Want to tell your friends about this blog post? Click the Tweet This or... Read more →

What's that saying about good intentions? Well, I'm going to paraphrase it a tad for taxes: The road to tax hell is paved with unorganized filers. Sure, that sounds a bit melodramatic. I have been watching the operatic stunts of World Cup players, so maybe their histrionics have affected me a bit. But emphasis on tax organization is not as over-the-top as it initially sounds. If you don't have critical tax information -- and substantiation -- at your fingertips, then you could easily miss out on tax breaks and end up paying the IRS much more than you should. That's... Read more →

One of the most frustrating things about tax filing is that there are limits that sometimes mean you fall just short of being eligible for a tax break. Often it's income amounts. But another common complaint of folks who go to the trouble of itemizing deductions is that after all that work, they can't claim the expenses because they weren't quite enough. To keep your receipt collecting and Schedule A calculations from being for naught, follow Mike's Midyear Tax Moves #9 advice: Set up a bunching strategy now. Bunching is exactly what it sounds like. You pull together all your... Read more →

Midyear tax tip #8: Get charitable

Every December, folks clean out their closets in anticipation of new goodies they'll receive as holiday gifts. And some of those old items go to charitable organizations. That's a good thing. But Carolyn says that charities are just as happy to take your donations, either in goods or cash, now. That's our Midyear Tax Moves entry number 8: Give to your favorite nonprofit sooner rather than later. In fact, charitable organizations would like to get donations throughout the year. It helps them meet their operational costs and eases some of the year-end giving crush. So keep the giving going all... Read more →

Jon spends almost as much time thinking about retiring as he does working. OK, Jon's boss, in case you're reading, he swears that he spends a little more time on his job responsibilities. But he is committed to being able to retire on his terms: When he wants with the lifestyle he wants. That means, says Jon, socking away retirement savings now! And that's our seventh piece of Midyear Tax Moves advice. If you have a workplace retirement plan such as a 401(k) or 403(b), contribute as much as your budget will allow. Ideally, that's enough to meet your employer's... Read more →

Nancy loves her two boys. She also loves the day camps they go to when school is out for the summer. As a working mom, Nancy not only appreciates the programs that keep her preteens occupied during business hours. She also is thankful that the camp costs can save her some tax money when she files her 2010 tax return. How the kids' summer fun could be a tax break for their folks is #6 in our Midyear Tax Moves series. Most parents already know they can claim the Child and Dependent Care tax credit for expenses they incur for... Read more →

Admit it. You still obsess about the stock market. Paying continual attention to the ups and downs of your stocks will drive you crazy. But sensibly assessing your portfolio and making appropriate moves now instead of at the end of the year could pay off at tax time. That's Midyear Tax Moves tip #5, courtesy of @fcn who, when he's not Tweeting, posts as nickel at fivecentnickel.com. Nickel's tax move to make now: Do some tax loss harvesting if you have any losing investment positions. As the name indicates, you'll want to find the holdings that will result in a... Read more →

The tax clock is ticking, but well-prepared taxpayers won't take a licking from the IRS if they follow our fourth entry into the inaugural Midyear Tax Moves feature. (Thanks to Timex and John Cameron Swayze for the inspirational turn of phrase and the memories!) Today's timely tax tip comes from Robert D Flach, the Internet's Wandering Tax Pro, who reminds us that Uncle Sam wants estimated tax payments when we expect to owe more than $1,000 when we file our 1040s. The second 1040ES voucher of 2010 was due just last week, but it's never too late to assess your... Read more →

Midyear tax tip #3: Adjust withholding

Now that the 2010 tax year is half over, it's time to ask yourself some questions. Did you end up writing a large check to Uncle Sam that included an underpayment penalty? Did you receive a large refund check? If you answered "Yes" to either question, The Missouri Tax Guy Bruce says it's time to make a Midyear Tax Move. The key is to send the IRS only enough money to avoid interest and/or penalties. It's easy to do by adjusting your withholding. If you think that you'll owe more taxes this year, adjust the number of allowances (fewer mean... Read more →

How are you feeling? That's a question that can apply to the well-being of not just you, but also your workplace medical flexible spending account (FSA). Melissa takes care of her FSA (and herself, too, I'm sure!) by reviewing her spending account now so she can begin planning how to use the funds so that she doesn't lose them. Her advice is our second Midyear Tax Moves feature. FSAs are a great employer-provided benefit. The money comes out of your paycheck automatically and goes into the spending account before you a have a chance to miss it. Even better, the... Read more →

Midyear tax tip #1: Welcome summer with energy-related tax breaks

How's your first day of Summer 2010 going? If this longest day of the year is already too sweltering, here's a tax tip that could make it more comfortable, from both temperature and financial perspectives. Connie, our first contestant in the ol' blog's Midyear Tax Moves contest, reminds us that the $1,500 tax credit for home-energy improvements is still available for this tax year. It could be extended -- you never know with Congress -- but just in case, if your A/C system is on its last legs and just not doing the job efficiently, let Uncle Sam help you... Read more →

Actually, it's New Yorker desk diary time, in which you can jot down important tax dates, as well as enjoy the great cartoons. An online friend I met years ago through blogging is now with Condé Nast, publisher of the magazine (and calendars). He dropped me note asking, what with 2010 about half over, did I have any ideas on distributing some of this year's calendars? Being a big fan of the calendars -- Santa has brought the hubby and me one of our own monogrammed diaries for as long as I can remember -- and a tax geek, I... Read more →