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17 Legal Secrets to Cutting Your Tax Bill

american irs internal revenue...
By Barbara Friedberg

Around the time I stopped fighting with my parents and began listening to them, my dad imparted some brilliant financial advice. He told me to become a scholar of the tax law. OK, perhaps he didn't use those exact words, but the message was the same: Know the tax law and take every tax deduction to which you are entitled.

This advice stuck with me, and I'm certain it has saved me thousands of dollars.

The Internal Revenue Service website offers excellent resources to help you further understand the following tax deductions and credits. Study the credits particularly well, as those benefits reduce your taxes dollar by dollar. In other words, if you owe $1,000 in taxes and receive a $150 tax credit, your taxes owed decrease to $850. That's an extra $150 in your pocket.

By spending a few hours each year keeping abreast of the tax law, you can save thousands on taxes over the years. In fact, keeping a tax reduction mindset in your everyday life will serve your finances well.

Do not count on a tax preparer to know every deduction for which you are eligible. Be a smart consumer and know the tax benefits you can claim. Every additional deduction you claim increases your disposable income.

Barbara Friedberg, MBA, M.S., is a portfolio manager, consultant, website CEO and author of "How to Get Rich; Wealth Building Guide for the Financially Illiterate." Learn more about investing and retirement at Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance.

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A Freelancer's Guide to Taxes

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Tax Deductions for Voluntary Interest Payments on Student Loans

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do what the rich do - cheat

March 15 2014 at 2:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


March 14 2014 at 10:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Smurfs Rule

If anyone thinks the IRS had and still has complete control of U.S. citizens, you are right! The IRS has always terrorized hard working decent Ameicans for the simplist errors while allowing big government executives and multimillionairs to slip through the cracks(our recent former Secretary of Treasurery for example). When it comes to all the free advise on how to avoid using a CPA, one should be aware of all the trickery injected into the tax system since ObamaScare was shoved down Americans throats. Even a highly educated and duty bound CPA has mammoth work loads trying to read and follow rediculous regulations and munitia, especially since 2008. If the above mentioned law has approximately 2,800 pages, most likely 1,000 covers massive changes to the tax code. I wouldn't attempt it even if a freeloader.
Good luck if you try!

March 14 2014 at 9:00 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

These articles always omit the limitations on those who can use them.
Home office? Not if it's for your conveniance instead required by your employer.
Mileage, sure, but it's a miscellaneous deduction, which must exceed 2% of your income.
Convince me that you went to Disney World for business reasons.

We spend more time preparing returns than the author spent preparing this article.
We do know our stuff.

Who does your return, Barbara?

March 14 2014 at 7:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joni Alexander

Why the heck would I allow my adult child to deduct the interest on her loans that I co-signed and I made the payments on in 2013? $2800.00 in capitalized interest! I'm taking that maximum deduction of $2500.00!

March 14 2014 at 5:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Joni Alexander's comment

Because many parents exceed income for claiming the interest on their own return, even for some recent graduates the amount is phased out. However, in most cases the adult child will be able to claim a portion of the interest.

March 14 2014 at 9:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Tax tip 9: third line: "for all for years of collage...should be"all four years"... nice work proofreaders!

March 14 2014 at 5:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Where are the secrets? All of the items shown here are pretty well known.

March 14 2014 at 2:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Max Lilly

Death and Taxes, read my lips "no new taxes", live longer and longer if you can follow some basic guidelines

March 14 2014 at 2:28 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

If audited say you want the Lois Lerner Law applied and claim the 5th.

March 14 2014 at 11:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


March 14 2014 at 10:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply