"In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes” -- Benjamin Franklin

Retirement Plans for the Self-Employed

Women all across the country are starting their own business or joining the “gig economy” as freelance graphic designers, photographers, or even Uber drivers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, just over 10% of all U.S. workers are self-employed. Women make good entrepreneurs because they are able to juggle lots of tasks and […]

Five Things You Need to Know About Filing Your Taxes After a Divorce

Tax season !!!  (Anyone hear the Jaws theme suddenly start playing in the background?) If you are either in the process of getting divorced or got divorced last year, then you may be facing a totally different tax situation than you are used to. Take care! You don’t want to accidentally lose out on some big new deductions […]

Getting Divorced? What Tax Filing Status Should You Use?

If you are in the middle of a divorce, it can be confusing to know what tax filing status to use. With that in mind, we’re re-posting this helpful article from last year, which breaks down all your different options. Even after the emotional turmoil of a divorce, life goes on, and so do taxes. […]

Funny Tax Quotes and Facts

Tax Quotes “I’m proud to be paying taxes in the United States. The only thing is, I could be just as proud for half the money.” — Arthur Godfrey “The trouble with the profession of tax collecting is that 90% of its members give the rest a bad name.” — anonymous “Day in and day out, your […]

Five Simple Tips That Will Help You Save Big on Taxes in Retirement

Most people think about taxes only in the spring. But if you are planning to retire in the near future, there are lots of things you should be doing right now to put in place a smart retirement tax strategy that can save you big bucks and help you achieve the retirement you want. If […]

Help Your Tax Preparer Help You

Tax time is right around the corner, and for a lot of us, that means meeting with a tax preparer. Sure, you can do your taxes yourself, but sometimes it pays to have a little advice and direction, especially if your tax situation is complex. Keep in mind that even though you’re using a professional, […]

Do You Have to Worry About Capital Gains Tax?

When you start digging into the tax code – not something we’d recommend unless you are suffering from severe insomnia – you’ll quickly notice that there are a seemingly endless number of taxes. Fortunately, many of these taxes are highly specialized and don’t affect most people. However, some of these taxes occasionally pop up in […]

Here’s How You Can Grow Your Tax Refund into a Behemoth

Aren’t tax refunds the best? It’s like a little tax refund fairy just dropped a wad of money on your pillow in the middle of the night, letting you finally buy those adorable kid boots you’ve always wanted or take that girl’s weekend to Tahoe your friends have been talking about forever. You know that […]

Three Tax Scams to Avoid this Tax Season

Not every person listens to their better angels, and unfortunately, there are a lot of people in the world who are dedicated to separating you from your money. Tax season, in particular, is like scam-artist Christmas. The combination of confusing tax forms, fear of the IRS, and juicy tax refunds is just too much for […]

25 Ways to Save Taxes Through Life’s Transitions

Taxes are, unfortunately, a part of every financial decision. Like it or not, Uncle Sam’s greedy fingers reach into your pocket with every paycheck and each dollar of investment earnings.

What Does Divorce Mean For My 401(k)?

What Does Divorce Mean For My 401(k)? You have worked hard to build up your 401(k), you savvy financial lady, so that you are on the right path for a most excellent retirement. Now, divorce has reared its ugly head. What does this mean for your precious 401(k) account? Can your soon-to-be ex-husband take a […]

Want to save taxes? Buy carrots.

As Congress and the White House consider cutting spending and raising taxes, I hope they consider what creative entrepreneurs do when tax rates get too high. Here’s an example: When a special sales tax on theater ticket sales were raised to 21%, a theater owner in Spain put on his thinking cap. He noticed that […]

Ten Everyday Taxes We Hardly Even Notice

The popular saying is that the only guarantees in life are death and taxes, but do Americans really understand just how many taxes they pay? We don’t just mean all those ugly negatives on your pay stub. Taxes hit us everywhere, even when we do amazing things (getting married), normal things (drive to work), and […]

Important Tax Deadlines You Can’t Afford To Miss

April 15th isn’t the only important tax deadline you need to know about, especially if you are an employer, self-employed, a tax-exempt organization, or are in a unique tax situation. Let’s do a quick refresher of the most critical tax dates that you will be facing this year. January 15 – If you pay estimated […]

If You Sold Investments Last Year, You’ll Need to Figure Out Your Cost Basis for Tax Time

If you sold stocks or mutual funds last year, hopefully you made a tidy profit (whoo-hoo!). Of course, Uncle Sam wants his cut of the profits, which are considered capital gains. The tax you owe will depend on your income bracket and how long you’ve owned the investments. If you owned them for a year […]

Preparing for Tax Time

Oh, yuck, that time of the year is here.   I love new beginnings, but I sure don’t love dwelling on last year’s mess. Unfortunately, this time of year we all must sort through last year’s transactions so that we can render taxes unto Caesar (also known as Uncle Sam). Here are some tips for […]

Start Your Tax Planning Early

If you start your tax planning early you’ll  have plenty of time to work on strategies to lower your tax “bite” for the coming year. Review your investments If you have taxable income from investments, consider investments that are tax-deferred (retirement plans and deferred annuities) or tax-free (municipal bonds, Roth IRAs, 529 education plans).  Match […]

A Tax You Don’t Have to Pay

Is there really a tax that you don’t have to pay if you don’t want to — where you decide not to fill in the form and give them your money and you won’t end up in handcuffs? Yes, there certainly is. And yet, surprisingly most people are very willing, even anxious, to pay this […]

Get Organized — It’s Tax Time Again

It’s that time again! Whether you prepare your own tax return or employ a tax preparer, it’s time to gather information about your income and deductions. Ugh! Compiling tax information is not the most fun thing in the world- but you gotta do what you gotta do, right? First, gather all of the statements you […]

How Do You Spell Tax Relief?

The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 was the answer for permanent relief from income taxes on the sale of a principal residence. The rules are simple — if you sell your home and the gain on the sale is $250,000 or less ($500,000 on a joint income tax return), there’s no tax due when you […]

Standing Up To The IRS

When you receive a plain brown envelope marked “Official US Business” from the Internal Revenue Service, it’s enough to strike terror in your heart. Your first instinct to the deficiency notice inside might be to pay them whatever they want, but don’t do it. There are four common notices that you might receive from the […]

Pay More Taxes – You’ll Be Richer

This time of year, most Americans have income taxes on their minds, but some people hurt themselves financially by putting tax savings first and economic benefits second. Here are some tax-reduction schemes that may end up costing you more than you save: Municipal bonds The interest paid by municipal bonds issued within your state are tax […]

The Taxing Aspects of Moving

When it comes to federal income taxes, it doesn’t matter where in the country you live – everyone is taxed the same. But state taxes, including income tax, sales tax, property tax, excise taxes, gasoline tax, and licensing fees, can be vastly different depending on where you choose to live. Most people select a community […]

Improving Your Knowledge May Be Tax-Deductible

Going back to school or taking courses to enhance your knowledge for your job may be tax deductible. You may deduct the cost of all education you acquire to maintain or improve your existing job skills or to meet the express requirements of your employer to keep your job. But you can’t deduct the educational […]

IRA and 401(k) Mistakes

Avoid these pitfalls when investing for retirement. As a financial planner for over 20 years, I’ve seen a lot of money mistakes in my time. But the worst seem to come with retirement plans. Something about them just makes people do silly things I guess. One of the biggest mistakes is simply investing too conservatively. […]

Tax Deductions for Refinancing or New Home Purchase

With the real estate market in the slump and interest rates falling, many people are refinancing their homes or buying new ones at bargain prices. If you have taken out a new home loan recently, you can deduct points that you pay on your new loan, and possibly points that you paid in the past […]

Get Wired, Says IRS

Wanted: Compatible computers for online communication. Objective: electronic transfer of tax data and refunds. That’s the lonely hearts message being sent by the IRS, which wants your computer to cuddle up to its computer for electronic filing. The IRS is gung-ho about encouraging taxpayers to file electronically, but some taxpayers aren’t sure, and so far […]

For the Record: Keeping Tax Documents

Now that your tax return is prepared, it’s time for some spring cleaning. How long must you keep records before you can throw them out? It depends. You must keep the records needed to substantiate all your income and deductions available for inspection by the Internal Revenue Service. You don’t have to spread them out […]

How To Deal With The IRS

Only one percent of all tax returns are audited each year. Even if you are audited, you should encounter few problems if you have reported all of your income and have kept careful records of your deductions. If the information reported by payers on W-2s and 1099s does not match what you reported on your […]

Tax Changes That Affect You

Wouldn’t you think that Congress had fiddled enough with the tax laws? Not hardly, it seems. Each year they find some new tax lever to pull that will “improve the economy” and 2003 was no exception. No matter whether you think the changes to the tax law are right or wrong, you can’t afford to […]

What Will You Do With Your Tax Refund?

That big check you get in the mailbox after April 15 is your fun money, right? It’s your free gift from your kind Uncle Sam, who has so thoughtfully given you this chance to go on vacation or have fun at the mall. Not really. That check is the repayment of interest-free loan that you […]

Is it a Business or a Hobby?

If you have a small business and you want to deduct your expenses, the IRS says you must be able to show that you are engaged in a trade or business for profit. But that doesn’t mean your business has to be profitable every year. If you can show that you are trying to make […]

Business Deductions for Employees

Even if you don’t have your own business, you may have some expenses that are tax deductible. If you are a salaried professional, teacher or other employee, here are some deductions you shouldn’t overlook. Dues for professional organizations Personal supplies, such as pens, pencils, briefcases, calculators, executive diaries, etc. Fees for credit cards used exclusively […]

Estate Planning is Dead! Long Live Estate Planning!

In the wake of the excitement from the “biggest tax reduction in 20 years”, we taxpayers are left with the daunting task of figuring out exactly what was reduced. Take the estate tax “repeal” promised by President Bush—please. From all of the hype, you might think that the estate tax is being slowly phased out […]

It’s Harvest Time for Tax Losses

It’s harvest time –for most of us that conjures thoughts of picking apples and nuts, but if you are an investor, the final months of the year are the time to harvest investment losses to offset capital gains and minimize income taxes. It will take a little effort, but you’ll thank yourself come tax time. […]

Spring Cleaning Can Uncover Tax Deductions

In the springtime a person’s thoughts turn to — spring cleaning! We have to admit that spring cleaning is one of our favorite chores. Why?

Together in life – in taxes too?

If you are married, should you file a joint return with your spouse? Most couples do file a joint return that combines their income and deductions. But before you join that majority, you might want to re-examine your situation.

IRA Blunders

If you have been contributing to Individual Retirement Accounts over the years or have rolled a lump-sum pension distribution into an IRA, you have taken solid steps toward building a strong retirement nest egg. But three common blunders can keep you from getting the greatest income possible when you retire. Blunder #1. Too many IRA […]

To Roth Or Not To Roth

To Roth or not to Roth, that is the question. At least, that is the question on many people’s minds this year. Beginning in 2010, Uncle Sam lifted the income limits on Roth IRA conversions. Here are the answers to some of the questions you’ve been asking about the Roth IRAs. Why are Roth IRAs […]

Eight ways to get Money from an IRA penalty-free

When you lose your job or have unexpected expenses, unless you have a substantial emergency funds you are left scrambling for funds to cover life’s emergencies, and money in IRAs is an obvious target. Funds withdrawn from an IRA are taxable, and if you are under 59-1/2, you also will pay a federal penalty of […]

Twelve Tax Myths

It’s what you think you know that really isn’t true that can hurt you. A study by the American Institute of CPAs identified twelve misconceptions that taxpayers have about their income taxes. Myth #1 If you apply for an extension to file your taxes, you’re more likely to be audited. Studies have never found any […]

Ten Last Minute Tax Tips That Can Help You Save Even More!

Hey, tax procrastinators! With just a short white left until taxes are due, take a deep breath, read this article, and then get to work! 1. Don’t Rush Just because you are filing at the last minute, don’t get flustered and overlook deductions. Take time to review last year’s activity to be sure you claim […]

10 Great Year-End Tax Tips

When you think of the holiday season, what comes to mind? Gift exchanges? Holiday parties? Home-baked pies? Taxes? We know you have a lot of other things to do this time of year-baking those pies, for example-but, as your WIFE, we must remind you of those important details that are so easy to overlook. The […]

These Long-Term Tax Strategies Will Help Savvy Women Stretch Their Dollars Further

Politicians are always promising to completely revamp the tax code, but on the whole, our current tax policy has remained stubbornly consistent, with only minor changes over the years. Likewise, smart tax strategies will stand the test of time. As tax season bears down upon us, here are some reliable and long-term tax strategies that […]

Where to Stash Cash For College

How old are your kids? How much have you saved for their education? If your answer is “not enough,” you are not alone. Most people don’t really start to save for college until their kids are teenagers, and a third of parents who intend to send their kids to college have saved less than $5,000. […]