You think my greeting is a bit early, right? Not so, my skeptical little elves. Even as you rush from store to store, online cart to mall, you need to make a little time for taxes this month so that you don't end up with a terrible tax surprise when April '07 rolls around.
With that in mind, consider Tax Carnival #7 as part of the holiday celebration. We have a couple of "gifts" with ideas you can put into play now or very soon. A handful of stocking stuffers that might help you keep enough out of Uncle Sam's hands to pay your post-Christmas credit card bills. Some intriguing commentary to chew on as you munch those cookies that are supposed to be for Santa. Plus a post or two sure to give you a seasonal smile as bright as the Jolly Old Elf's own trademarked grin.
So gather around the tax tree, children. It's tax goody time!
'Tis the season, says Spencer at Hill's Personal Finance. The season for charitable giving, that is. It'll make you feel good and provide a tax beak, too.
Christmas is for the kids, but the adoption tax breaks are for the parents. Super Saver at My Wealth Builder has details on this tax credit and related income exclusions.
More tax write-offs show up in Sagar's n00b's Guide to Tax Avoidance: 37 Surefire Tips posted at 1031 Exchange Lowdown.
A particularly popular tax break this time of year is a flexible spending account. Money Smart Life takes a funny, infuriating, true look at trying to figure out how to maximize this benefit.
And Robert has several good tax tips in his consolidated November posting over at The Wandering Tax Pro.
Over at The Picket Line, David comes at taxation from the other direction, enumerating ways the federal government gets its hands on our money. He also offers some ways to stop that, suggesting that "home-brewed beer might be the modern American equivalent to Gandhi's homespun cloth." Cheers!
You think being organized during the holidays is crucial? At tax time, it's invaluable, says Allison at Queercents, who has tips on organizing your financial records.
Those records could come in handy, says Joe at Roth & Company, since the IRS is revving up it's examination machinery. Who are their "lucky" selections?
As you're sorting through those records, Jim at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity offers some ideas on what you need to be thinking about now for your 2006 tax-filing tasks.
David is really looking ahead. Over at My Two Dollars, he gives us a look at how the new tax laws for 2007-08 could affect those future returns.
Since commerce and Christmas are inexorably linked, our Merry Taxes carnival collection has some blog gifts for our more business-oriented readers.
Brian, aka The Most Opinionated Mortgage Broker, tells real estate investors Don't Invest in Texas but consider moving to the Lone Star State instead. His reasoning is tied to state property taxes. Hmmm. Trying to get me more new neighbors, eh Brian? Well, there are a couple of "for sale" signs on our block.
More tax info of interest to real estate investors, as well as business property owners, comes from another Brian, the one who blogs at Your Money Matters. Over there, Brian discusses the tax savings and increased cash flow from cost segregation studies.
Another commercial tax concern comes from Dan at Tick Marks, who reports that e-filing is not cost-free for businesses.
My, my, my. My home state is sure popular in tax-related blogs this holiday season.
Bill of Ask Uncle Bill fame delivers this present: Taxes-Country by Country, with, as noted, a couple of state references thrown in for good measure. Bill points out, "It's not what you make, it's what you take home."
I wonder where Wisconsin fell on this list, especially since Tracy at FRAUDfiles looks into whether there will be another tax increase in that state.
Some of the interest in Texas no doubt will come from folks wanting to retire here. That'll be much easier if they stash as much retirement money as possible in tax-favored accounts.
Get info on 2006 SEP IRA contribution limits from Scott at Scott on Money.
And over at Mental Wastebasket, Wenchypoo says a stretch IRA is the ninth wonder of the world, a way for the common man to avoid taxes like the rich.
Speaking of rich, Madeleine offers an Ode To Prosperity at Mad Kane's Humor Blog.
Finally, from Jack we get a review of the film, "The Nativity Story," posted at Reasoned Audacity. Yes, it's a Christmas story. And yes, he gets some tax mentions in there.
And with that, we conclude our first holiday edition of the Tax Carnival. Have you kiddies worn yourself out playing with your new tax presents yet? I hope you had as much fun opening the gifts as I did wrapping them and placing them under our tax tree.
Now that high tax season is nearly upon us, I'm going to shift the Tax Carnival to a semimonthly schedule. The next edition, Number 8, will be here at Don't Mess With Taxes on Monday, Dec. 18. Be sure to send along your tax submission via our Blog Carnival page. And if you're interested in hosting a future Tax Carnival, check out the upcoming dates here and drop me an e-mail with the one that fits your blogging schedule.
Until then, Happy Holidays and Merry Taxes!