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With the national debt growing at a frantic pace, a lot of Americans are terrified about what it will mean for our economic futures.

Luckily, you can help. CNNMoney senior writer Jeanne Sahadi reports that under an obscure 1961 law, you can make tax deductible contributions to help pay down the national debt. On average, about five donations are made per week and so in 2009, there have been just over $3 million in donations -- whose impact was quickly reversed by government spending on just 666 clunkers under the Cash For Clunkers program (funny how that math works out, just sayin').

If you want to help, you can send a check to Attn: Dept G, Bureau of the Public Debt, P.O. Box 2188, Parkersburg, WV 26106-2188.

And pretty soon, you'll be able to make contributions through PayPal (which, if you sell on eBay, could make a good marketing pitch: "10% of your purchase will go directly toward paying off the national debt!").

Here's a better idea: Add a line to Form 1040 that allows taxpayers to direct that 10% of their income tax payments go toward the national debt. That makes it easy for anyone who would prefer to see their money used to buy new cars for the neighbors.

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TurboTax Articles

Infamous Tax Crimes

Although most Americans fill out their tax returns diligently and honestly, not all taxpayers are as respectful of the law. Some wealthy taxpayers cheat because they feel they already pay more than their fair share of taxes, while some regard the entire tax system as unconstitutional. Regardless of the reason, it's big news when the rich and famous are convicted of tax crimes. You're likely to know at least one or more of the famous names on this list of notorious tax cheats.

Cities with the Lowest Tax Rates

The total amount of tax you pay reaches far beyond what you owe the federal government. Depending on where you live, most likely you're required to pay additional taxes, including property and sales tax. The disparity between the amount of tax you pay in a low-tax city and that in a high-tax city can be dramatic. Living in any of these 10 cities could save you a bundle, although the exact amount may fluctuate based on your income and lifestyle choices.

Cities with the Highest Tax Rates

Much ado is made in the press about federal tax brackets, but cities can carry a tax bite of their own. Even if you live in a state that has no income tax, your city may levy a variety of taxes that could eat away the entire benefit of living in an income tax-free state, including property taxes, sales taxes and auto taxes. Consider all the costs before you move to one of these cities, and understand that rates may change based on your family's income level.

Great Ways to Get Charitable Tax Deductions

Generally, when you give money to a charity, you can use the amount of that donation as a deduction on your tax return. However, not all charities qualify as tax-deductible organizations. While there are many types of charities, they must all meet certain criteria to be classified by the IRS as tax-deductible organizations. There are legitimate tax-deductible organizations in many popular categories, such as those listed below.

A Freelancer's Guide to Taxes

Freelancing certainly has its benefits, but it can result in a few complications come tax time. The Internal Revenue Service considers freelancers to be self-employed, so if you earn income as a freelancer you must file your taxes as a business owner. While you can take additional deductions if you are self-employed, you'll also face additional taxes in the form of the self-employment tax. Here are things to consider as a freelancer when filing your taxes.

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