10 Surprising Steps Every Executor of a Will Should Take

My step-mother passed away last week. She was an incredible woman. She was a pilot, certified scuba diver, Harley-Davidson rider, and if that weren’t enough, a big game hunter. No joke. Cancer took her far too soon. And now I’m the executor of her will and trustee of her living trust. While I practice law, […]

Published or Updated: September 19, 2012

Tax Deductions for Employees who Work from Home

Recently a reader named Lisa asked me about tax deductions for employees who work from home. Here is Lisa’s question: My husband will begin working from home 3 days per week beginning at the end of this mth and will need to travel to his company’s site the other 2 days. Can you please provide […]

Published or Updated: September 12, 2012

Should the Bush Tax Cuts Be Extended?

Today President Obama called for a one-year extension on the Bush tax cuts for the middle class. In contrast, he wants to raise the top two income tax rates from 33% and 35% to 36% and 39.6%, respectively. These higher rates would affect those making more than $250,000 a year. So here’s the big question […]

Published or Updated: July 17, 2012

Can’t Pay Your Taxes? Read This

What should you do if you can’t afford to pay your taxes? Recently I came across a page on the IRS website that answers this question, at least in part. Believe it or not, the IRS offers installment plans that allow taxpayers to pay their taxes over time. Before we get to the installment plans, […]

Published or Updated: April 23, 2012

2012 Tax Filing Deadlines

Tax Deadlines

If you’ve already filed your taxes you probably feel a sense of relief like I do. Much like the relief you feel when a root canal is over. For those who have procrastinated, you need to know the filing deadline dates. This year you have two bonus days to file your taxes. You don’t have […]

Published or Updated: October 28, 2012

Should You Use The Standard or Itemized Deduction on Your Taxes?

SVI

Ah, the classic question.  Should I use the standard deduction or itemize?  The answer is “simple” of course–you should use whichever deduction results in paying the least amount of taxes.  While tax software can figure out the best approach, it’s still helpful to understand the difference between taking the standard deduction and itemizing. So let’s […]

Published or Updated: December 17, 2013

6 Ways to Get Your Tax Refund Fast

Tax Refund

Back in the day, I vividly recall running to the mail box to look for our tax refund. It was as if I’d found free money, even though I knew of course that it was just the IRS returning my own money to me. Still, tax refund day made me feel like I had won […]

Published or Updated: October 28, 2012

TurboTax 2013 Review

TurboTax_Refund_Guarantee

With tax season right around the corner, it’s a good time to review the #1 most popular tax software on the market–TurboTax 2013. I’ve used TurboTax for years and reviewed several versions of the software over the years. With our tax returns, we really put TurboTax through its paces. In addition to itemizing deductions, we […]

Published or Updated: February 17, 2014

Official 2012 Federal Income Tax Brackets

The final figures for the 2012 Income Tax Brackets have been confirmed by the IRS (pdf file). The current tax rate structure we use has been in place since 2003 and consists of 6 rates: 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33% and 35%. These 6 tax rates will remain in effect through 2012, but we expect […]

Published or Updated: September 7, 2013