tax deductions

5 Ways to Avoid an IRS Audit

Getting audited isn't the end of the world, but we'd all prefer not to be. To minimize your chances of getting a surprise letter from the IRS, here are five things to do when you file your tax return this year.

Your W-2 Tax Form Is Coming: 3 Key Numbers to Review

Tens of millions of workers will soon be getting W-2 tax forms. Included on that form is a lot of the key information that will determine whether you get a refund or will owe more to the IRS this year. And it also has three numbers you can use to improve your tax planning for the future.

Will Tax Refunds Go Out on Time? Late AMT Fix Has IRS Scrambling

The fiscal cliff compromise has been signed, clearing up a host of questions about taxes for the near future, and the year that just ended. But the long wait for answers left the IRS in limbo, and that may mean millions of refund checks will be delayed too.

11 Easy and Great Ways to Save Money in 2013

With the prospect of higher taxes and federal budget cuts looming on Dec. 31, here are 11 easy ways you can save money and/or put a few extra dollars back in your pocket in 2013.

9 Year-End Tax Tips for Non-Millionaires

If you're a millionaire, lowering your taxes can be complicated. But for the rest of us who are not near the top tax brackets, minimizing payments to Uncle Sam can be simpler. Here are some tips to help you lower your tax bill.

IRS Internet Scams: If the Tax Man Emails You, It's Fraud

When the IRS sends you an email that it owes you some cash, and all you need to do to collect it is click through to their website, it's naturally tempting. Don't bite: No matter how convincing that email is, you can rest assured that it's a scam.

3 Ways to Beat the IRS in 2013 If America Falls Off the Fiscal Cliff

Tax planning is more complicated than ever now, thanks to the fiscal cliff we're hurtling toward and the tax increases it would bring. And while it's possible that Congress will steer us away from the cliff, if you're in a higher tax bracket, it's time to start doing some contingency planning.

How Paul Ryan's Budget Plan Would Affect the Average Family

Republicans in Congress already love Paul Ryan's budget proposals, and now that he's on the presidential ticket, we can expect his fiscal ideas to hold even more sway in a Romney administration. So how would his proposals affect the average U.S. family? Would you be better off in a Romney-Ryan America?

How Thousands of Wealthy People Pay No Taxes (It's Totally Legal)

Debate all you like about whether the rich pay their fair share in taxes, but this is certain: Some high earners pay no taxes at all. A recent IRS study found that 35,000 U.S. taxpayers earning $200,000 or more paid no income tax in 2009. Curious how they pulled it off? Read on...

How to 'Cheat' on Your Taxes ... Legally!

Nobody likes paying the IRS, and we all wish there were just a few more deductions we could swing without arousing the taxman's ire. And there are: Here are a few deductions that, while they might seem to be a little out of bounds, are totally legal.

Get Your Taxes Done: Filing Early Has Real Advantages

Procrastinating on our taxes until the last minute is as American as apple pie. But before you resign yourself to running out to the post office at 11:59 p.m. on April 17, you should be aware of the benefits of getting your taxes done early.

More Crazy Tax Deductions: What Worked, What Didn't

From hip replacements to pole dancing classes, here are some of the most outlandish deductions taxpayers have ever attempted to claim. You won't believe what these people tried that their accountants said wouldn't fly -- and you really won't believe what did (literally).

Tax Audit Horror Stories: When the IRS Attacks

It's the nightmare we fear when we file our tax returns: an IRS audit. Huge inconvenience, rejected deductions and a hefty bill. Here are three tales of those who have been under the microscope, and some advice on how to avoid -- or survive -- the tax man's fierce scrutiny.

Ensure Your Charitable Gifts Give Back to You at Tax Time

If you gave money to charity last year, you're in good company. Charities received more than $290 billion in gifts in 2010. But as April 15 approaches, you'll want to know how your giving can score you a bigger tax refund. Here's what you need to know.

Tax Reform in This Election year: It's Not Likely

Tax reform sounds like a good idea to lots of people, but where to start? Eliminate the popular deduction for home mortgages? End the write-off for charitable contributions? How about expanding the Social Security payroll tax? Not likely. Politicians of all stripes in this presidential election year are clamoring for simplifying the tax code and closing loopholes. But that would mean Americans would lose some of their prized deductions.

Truly Crazy Tax Deductions: Claims You Won't Believe

As we've struggled with our tax returns, trying to come up with extra deductions, we've all taken a few flights of fancy. Most of us decide not to push our luck. But some people have successfully claimed write-offs for things that most of us wouldn't dream of claiming.

The Most-Often Overlooked Tax Deductions

Years ago the fellow who was running the IRS at the time told Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine that he figured millions of taxpayers overpaid their taxes every year by overlooking just one of the money-savers listed here.

How to Use Life Insurance to Donate to Charity

When most of us buy life insurance, we're thinking about one thing: Making sure our families are taken care of after we're gone. But in this season of giving, you might also want to think about setting up a policy to take care of your favorite charity.

10 Most Overlooked Tax Deductions

Years ago, the fellow running the IRS told Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine that he figured millions of taxpayers overpaid their taxes every year by overlooking just one of these deductions. Don't be one of those millions: Read on, and find out how to cut your tax bill to the bone.

4 More Smart Tax Moves for the Holiday Season

Thanksgiving's still two weeks away: You're getting ready for Black Friday, not April 15. But all those one-day deals pale next to what you could save on your taxes by taking a few smart steps before Dec. 31. In part two of this report, we offer four more ways to help your bottom line on April 15.

4 Holiday Season Tax Moves That'll Pay Off in April

With Thanksgiving still three weeks away, taxes are probably the last thing on your mind. Still, much as you might groan at the thought, there are some smart steps you can take between now and Dec. 31 that will make a real difference when it comes time to deal with the IRS next spring.