To paraphrase a beloved seasonal song, it's the most wonderful tax time of the year!
That's right. During this time of gift giving, make sure you get the best present of all -- a lower 2007 tax bill.
If you wait until April to ask what you can do to lower your tax bill, the answer will be not very much!
But if you consider your tax situation and options now, before the tax year is over, you still have a chance to keep money in your pocket instead of putting it in Uncle Sam's grasping hands.
Heck, you might even be able to save enough to pay off your post-Christmas credit card bills! So let's get right to our holiday edition of Merry Taxes 2007!
Ryan over at Building Millionaire Money Habits knows what I'm talking about. "Before it is officially 2008, let’s spend some time wrapping up 2007 by discussing some ways you can lower your realized income, which means a lower tax bill," he says. You can find Ryan's year-end tax tips in Reducing Your Taxes: Part 1 of 3.
If you have the discipline and can read a calendar, then nickel has posted Another Great Way to Fund Your IRA at fivecentnickel.com.
Ian offers us Externalities, Taxation and Subsidies over at The Agonist. "This approach to taxation strikes a lot of people as messing with the free market," Ian says. "But done properly, it’s actually the opposite. It makes markets more efficient by making them price things properly."
Steve at DebtBlog notes that taxes are an essential part of a civilized society. But, he says, "It's sad that so much of our tax dollars are spent surreptitiously." Find out more at Steve's post Kill the Pigs, or, How to Save Yourself Some Tax Dollars.
Christmas is for the kiddies. And children also can provide parents some tax benefits. Super Saver offers a nice table listing the Potential Tax Credits For Having Children at My Wealth Builder.
Staying with the family theme, let's go to a wedding. Madison tells us about a Tax Deduction for Women over at My Dollar Plan. "Have you been to a wedding lately? Or better yet been in a wedding?" she asks. "If you itemize your deductions and have gotten married or been part of a wedding party this deduction is for you!"
Now we turn to the jobs we have in order to pay for that wedding and care for our families.
Do you have a home-based business? Then be sure to check out Kristine's Year end tax tips for home businesses. It's posted at Tax Tips for eBay Sellers.
The Career Counselor of ask the Career Counselor gives us more on this topic with Taking the Mystery Out of Home Office Tax Deductions. "The once rare home office deduction is now the norm for many taxpayers," says CC. Even better, "home offices are no longer a red flag for the IRS, so if you do work from home make sure you’re doing everything you can to get the full benefit."
And Sam of Surfer Sam and Friends asks Do You Need a Corporation for Your Business? "A C-corporation, an S-corporation or an LLC, limited liability company, can protect you and be your tax shelter," says Sam.
OK, I'm not pointing fingers or naming names, but some of us go a little crazy with the gifts during the holidays, often racking up major charges. That excessive use of plastic could lead to account default, which could mean a very unwelcome "gift" of forgiven debt.
Why is this a bad thing? It counts as taxable income. Sharon looks at this tax trouble in A Generation of Plastic Babies!? posted at The Baby Boomer Generation.
Uh oh! It looks like the IRS has been naughty, earning it a lump of coal from the Government Accountability Office. In GAO slates IRS, Leon from Sox First tells us that the IRS was chastised for "sloppy internal controls, legacy systems and dodgy information security."
Even with that slap on the wrist, we all still have to answer to the IRS. Beckie has some advice in that regard with her Top Ten Ways To Avoid Problems with the IRS posted at A Tax Consultant for All Seasons.
All this talk of IRS encounters makes My Best Tax Advice from Robert, who blogs at THE WANDERING TAX PRO, all the more necessary.
Also catching some heat are the tax software manufacturers. Dan of Tick Marks tells us Tax Software Producers Face Lawsuit.
Everything Finance talks about the bank-held accounts from which most of us pay our annual property tax bills in Mortgage Escrow: To Do Or Not To Do. It's posted at, where else, Everything Finance.
And speaking of that state and/or local billing, FMF presents The Inside Scoop on Getting Your Property Taxes Reduced, posted at Free Money Finance.
And we close this holiday Tax Carnival with an e-friend and blogger who reminds us that other countries and cultures have their festive celebrations, too,
Lubna of Talking Tax greets us from India with belated Diwali wishes and word in Happy Diwali- Law street in The Economic Times (November 2007) that "employers in India, whether Indian companies or multinationals granting ESOPs to employees, have to now cough up a tax (at the time of allotment of shares). This tax burden can be passed on to employees. ESOPs may no longer be an attractive tool to hire and retain key employees."
And with that, we conclude our second annual holiday edition of the Tax Carnival.
Now that high tax season is nearly upon us, the Tax Carnival is moving to its semimonthly schedule. The next edition will be here at Don't Mess With Taxes on Monday,
I know things are only going to get more hectic in the next few weeks, but I do hope you'll find a few minutes to to submit a tax item to the upcoming Tax Carnival edition. You can use our carnival submission form. And you can find past Carnivals and future editions on our official Blog Carnival page.
Happy Holidays and Merry Taxes 2007!