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Thanks, Mitt and Newt: 12 Tax Tips for the Rest of Us

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Mitt Romney and NewtBy Kevin McCormally, Editorial Director, Kiplinger.com

While the punditocracy dives into the details and debates the vices and virtues of Mitt Romney's and Newt Gingrich's 2010 tax returns, we decided to see if we could glean any ideas that might help you with your taxes ... and maybe even save you some money.

We found a gold mine for ordinary folks who'll never need a Swiss bank account or have to file forms like the Form 926 "Return by a U.S. Transferor of Property to a Foreign Corporation" or Schedule M of Form 5471 "Transactions Between Controlled Foreign Corporation and Shareholders or Other Related Persons" that were attached to Romney's return.


More from Kiplinger:

• Nation's Tax Burden?

• How Much Would a Payroll Tax Increase Cost You?

• Tax Breaks for the Middle Class







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What is IRS Form 8824: Like-Kind Exchange

Ordinarily, when you sell something for more than what you paid to get it, you have a capital gain; when you sell it for less than what you paid, you have a capital loss. Both can affect your taxes. But if you immediately buy a similar property to replace the one you sold, the tax code calls that a "like-kind exchange," and it lets you delay some or all of the tax effects. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses Form 8824 for like-kind exchanges.

What are ABLE Accounts? Tax Benefits Explained

Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts allow the families of disabled young people to set aside money for their care in a way that earns special tax benefits. ABLE accounts work much like the so-called 529 accounts that families can use to save money for education; in fact, an ABLE account is really a special kind of 529.

What is IRS Form 8829: Expenses for Business Use of Your Home

One of the many benefits of working at home is that you can deduct legitimate expenses from your taxes. The downside is that since home office tax deductions are so easily abused, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tends to scrutinize them more closely than other parts of your tax return. However, if you are able to substantiate your home office deductions, you shouldn't be afraid to claim them. IRS Form 8829 helps you determine what you can and cannot claim.

What is IRS Form 8859: Carryforward of D.C. First-Time Homebuyer Credit

Form 8859 is a tax form that will never be used by the majority of taxpayers. However, if you live in the District of Columbia (D.C.), it could be the key to saving thousands of dollars on your taxes. While many first-time home purchasers in D.C. are entitled to a federal tax credit, Form 8859 calculates the amount of carry-forward credit you can use in future years, not the amount of your initial tax credit.

What is IRS Form 8379: Injured Spouse Allocation

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has the power to seize income tax refunds when a taxpayer owes certain debts, such as unpaid taxes or overdue child support. Sometimes, a married couple's joint tax refund will be seized because of a debt for which only one spouse is responsible. When that happens, the other spouse is said to be "injured" and can file Form 8379 to get at least some of the refund.

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wdcarterjr

I hear the Democrats in Washington talking about the "Fair Tax." Why would they give more tax breaks to the very rich? I thought they hated the very rich.

February 07 2012 at 7:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
wdcarterjr

Will somebody quantify "Fair Tax?"

February 05 2012 at 5:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
wdcarterjr

The vast majority of todays millionaires did not inherit it. They earned it through education, ambition and hard work.

February 05 2012 at 5:11 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
serranojacobkael

Many, not all of the rich have a large, un-taxed chunk of their salary automatically placed into the stock market, and other investments of all sorts... Meaning they make LOADS and LOADS of un-taxed money. They can AFFORD to have lower tax rates??? I wonder who they're paying off... those lobbyists. Yeah, lemme put my money in a tax shelter, of Swiss bank. Simply put, they receive a lower tax rate. That's a feudal caste system, you call that Capitalism? Yet I'm called Communist for saying this.

January 31 2012 at 10:11 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to serranojacobkael's comment
savemycountry911

Translation: Gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme.

February 02 2012 at 8:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
serranojacobkael

They want no competition. No one else should climb up the ladder. "Stay beneath us! Stay poor!!!", says the millionaires of the GOP.

January 31 2012 at 9:41 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to serranojacobkael's comment
savemycountry911

The millionaire Dumbercraps say, " I'll give you other people's money if you vote for me."

February 02 2012 at 8:17 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
wdcarterjr

Are you talking about millionairea or union bosses?

You do know there are two kinds of democrats. One tells you they will lead you through life and the other believes them.

February 05 2012 at 5:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
serranojacobkael

The Republican ideal: you need to be rich to be rich. Everyone else can go to H3LL.

...Nice going... how Capitalist of you... morons. Then they complain about Democrats being un-American Communists. They are stupid.

January 31 2012 at 9:40 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
ldp555pr

These two buffoons are either a liar or or a rich bureaucrat or both that wants to enhance their mediocher attempts to subjectcate a country based on stupid people, so they think, that they look down on to accentuate their desire to build their alter ego to guarrentee their desire to overwhelm the poor while gratifying their rich constituants . They want to divide this great nation into classes. They are poor candidates for the highest office in the land ! We dont need these two ! Lets move on not backward ! If thats the best that the GOP has to offer then let us wonder whats following behind them ? Obama will win a second term ! Tell this to the Donald ! and all the rich of the rich !

January 31 2012 at 10:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ldp555pr's comment
serranojacobkael

If Obama wins, the worst nightmare of the rich comes true- EQUAL tax rates. (The middle class: Yayyy!!!) (The millionaires: WTF!!! *starts crying*)

...and rightfully so. Why should the poor pay a higher rate to the government??? Because they can't afford to pay less??? Does that make sense? You need to be rich to keep money? So the poor gets trampled and the rich become richer!!! B.S.
America, in order to make money and keep it all is to be a millionaire. Anyone that makes less than $125K is screwed. Thank you, G.O.P, you REALLY make sense!!!

January 31 2012 at 9:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to serranojacobkael's comment
ha6ai

Funny. The "poor" not only pay no federal income tax, they receive numerous forms of Welfare (paid by actual taxpayers). The bottom 50% of actual income earners pay an aggregate of Zero (0) federal income tax, and receive all federal government services for free, paid for by real tax payers. They get "trampled"? LOL! Anyone who makes over $125,000 is a "millionaire"? Well, at least free speech is not wasted on the intelligent. "EQUAL tax rates" would be a huge tax cut for the "rich" and a huge tax increase for almost all others. NEVER would BHO or the Dems do that - the last thing they want is "equal" tax rates.

February 05 2012 at 8:12 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down
daylex2

BUGAR NEWS...ARC­HOLOGIST ADO SHAZID HAS DISCOVERED PREHISTORI­C CHICKEN BONES BEHIND THE WHITE HOUSE....S­TATES BY THE NUMBER OF BONES IT STOOD OVER 6 FT TALL AND FEED OFF WATERMELON

January 30 2012 at 10:17 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
savemyidiotwaldo

Newt "isn't rich," only worth about $7 Million. Romney worth zillions - has he ever actually had a job, I mean, not counting being a top executive? Newt already disgraced himself in office once. These two clowns are predators, not presidential material.

January 30 2012 at 7:58 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to savemyidiotwaldo's comment
savemycountry911

Yet, either would be better than Obummer.

January 30 2012 at 8:26 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
savemycountry911

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Thanks, evan.

January 30 2012 at 8:27 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
rk262

if** not it sorry typo

January 30 2012 at 7:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply