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10 Federal Taxes You Might Not Realize You're Paying

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Mature gun shop merchant looking at rifle in store
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The time of year when many taxpayers log into their tax software program, or receive a call from their tax accountant, and receive a happy surprise: They're getting a tax refund.

Unfortunately, not all surprises are so pleasant. For instance, in March, the independent Tax Foundation published the 2014 edition of its annual Facts & Figures: How Does Your State Compare? tax information booklet. Alongside expected topics, such as rankings of the 50 states by tax burden and taxes paid per capita, was an "Easter egg" surprise of a list of federal excise taxes that you may not be aware you're paying.



Motley Fool contributor Rich Smith has no position in any stocks directly affected by any of the above excise taxes. At least, he doesn't think he does. But then again, up until a few weeks ago he didn't even realize that most of these taxes existed.

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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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toosmart4u

Good article drbobdez, People voting against their own interests. That is why republicans are spending so much money each election to aid their own interest. They started by "vote for the man, not the party". Then "Thd democrats will take your guns away". Now they are in the churches preaching releving women of their rights. TV ads, radio ads, not to mention FAUX news. People have to learn to think for themselves.

April 04 2014 at 6:39 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
SPQR

I was charged a federal excess water tax for flushing the toilet

April 03 2014 at 2:31 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
drbobdez

And yet, about $34 TRILLION of market trades take place every year with nary a tax in sight. Hedge fund managers pay 15% on their income (carried interest). About one-third of America's 20 largest grossing companies so not make anything. GE, Caterpillar, Apple, etc. offshore their profits and negotiate safe haven deals with foreign governments to reduce their tax liabilities. Forty-seven percent of Americans voted for a presidential candidate who kept his money offshore to take advantage of tax loopholes. A Washington state congressman lobbied a tax exclusion for arrow shafts that meet certain criteria — the only manufacturer to which it applied was in his district. Well-paying U.S. jobs have been exported at an increasing rate since 1980. We waged a couple multi trillion dollar wars and got about a $300 check from the IRS to vote for those who got us into it. We have more millionaire, professional politicians in congress than ever before. Twenty-nine of the 50 wealthiest are avowed ultra conservatives — median net worth of congress rose $966,000 over last year. Since 1975 the working poor (bottom 40%) saw their share of annual income slide 24.5%, the middle class (next 40%) got 11.5% less: the top 20% saw their share increase by18%. After decades of enriching themselves by "insider trading" the STOCK act was passed in 2012 to prohibit public officials from doing so. A year later, the act was modified to only apply to those who were elected (family members, staffers, aides, etc. can still use information generally available only to congressional members with impunity). Credit swaps were not regulated because "congress has better things to do". In 1998 the credit swap market was about $300 billion: 2003 it was over $2.7 trillion and doubling every year. Within a few years it, along with the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, it helped collapse the financial system. By 2007, the median S&P CEO was earning 300 times what an average worker was earning — in three hours they earned what a minimum wage worker earned in a year. The government is greedy? Nope! Partisan politics has convinced too many people that all we need is a smaller social safety net, lower taxes on the wealthy, less regulation on corporations, voter disenfranchisement, limiting what a woman can do with her body, oil company subsidies, no unions or minimum wages, and unlimited, anonymous political spending by those who have accumulated most of the national wealth is all that is needed to put this nation back on solid ground. Corporate patriotism and a congress that is dedicated to the security and welfare of its constituency has not been part of the discussion. The same people who have stolen your opportunities have convinced you to pursue more of the same. By vilifying single issues, most of the vilification having little merit, voter attention has shifted from seeing the big picture and all-too-many are disposed to vote against their own best interests.

April 03 2014 at 1:52 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to drbobdez's comment
drbobdez

The "thumbs down" vote above pretty much sums up the argument. "You have attacked my ideology with facts and I'll have none of it."

April 03 2014 at 2:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
SPQR

I think that some people actually see what is and has happened. No doubt it was mostly greed. If I had that kind of money I would hire a cook and maid immediately and go get a massage. We actually have no choice but to buy cheap Chinese goods. However, others love Obama and his promise of a chicken in every pot.

April 03 2014 at 2:35 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
jrb359

NO corporation is as greedy as the US government. If they could, they would tax peoples gold fillings.

April 03 2014 at 10:01 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to jrb359's comment
progressivehoax

They most likely do.

April 03 2014 at 10:02 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
potmind

But they do tax gold fillings. How? At the mining site, at the refining level, at the packing, shipping and retail levels, at the manufacturing level and the dentist level, as well... And I miss a gaggle of hidden taxes.

April 03 2014 at 8:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply