Tax Tips: What to Do If You're Late

Tax Tips: What to Do If You're Late

It has finally arrived — April 15 — Tax Day.

Today is the deadline for filing your 2009 federal and state income tax returns. The envelopes must be postmarked by midnight tonight.

Tax Tips: IRA Contribution Deadline

Tax Tips: IRA Contribution Deadline

Did you claim a deduction for an IRA contribution on your 2009 Form 1040? Or were you planning to make a non-deductible contribution to a traditional or Roth IRA for 2009 but haven’t done so yet? If the answer is yes, you better make sure your contribution is in the bank or in the mail. [More]

Tax Tips: Extra Credits for Education

Tax Tips: Extra Credits for Education

The above-the-line deduction for tuition and fees, one of the famous “extenders” that Congress has to reinstate every other year, is available for taxpayers whose income is too high to be able to claim a Lifetime Learning Credit. [More]

Daily Deduction: Tax Prep Fees

Daily Deduction: Tax Prep Fees

Filling out the Form 1040 can be a daunting experience, to say the least. It has been the downfall of numerous would-be Obama appointees, and its 76 cryptic lines come complete with 92 pages of instructions and a whole rainbow of schedules and attachments. It sometimes baffles even the most stalwart of tax experts, including your humble correspondent. If you are among the millions of taxpayers who shudder at the thought of wading into that morass alone, never fear. Tax preparation fees are tax deductible. [More]

Tax Tips: Keep Your Lucky Winnings

Tax Tips: Keep Your Lucky Winnings

Did you hit the raffle, score big at the casinos or win a car from your church raffle last year? If you did, you received a Form W-2G reporting your winnings — and so did the IRS. [More]

Tax Tips: The New Making Work Pay Credit

Tax Tips: The New Making Work Pay Credit

If you were employed in 2009 — either working for someone else or for yourself — don’t forget to claim the new Making Work Pay refundable credit. [More]

Tax Tips: More on Education Credits

Tax Tips: More on Education Credits

To qualify for the American Opportunity Credit a student must be enrolled in a post-secondary education program at an “eligible institution” that leads to a degree, a certificate or another recognized credential at least half-time for one semester during the year. [More]

Tax Tips: The American Opportunity Credit

Tax Tips: The American Opportunity Credit

The menu of education-related tax benefits has always been a varied one, with a wide selection of deductions, credits and exclusions, each with its own set of rules and phase-outs. This year a new item has been added — the American Opportunity Credit. [More]

Tax Tips: State and Local Taxes

Tax Tips: State and Local Taxes

Here at the Daily Deduction, we spend a lot of time thinking about federal taxes, but chances are high that the state tax man took a bite out of your budget this year too. [More]

Tax Tips: Deduct Your Filing Fees

Tax Tips: Deduct Your Filing Fees

You can deduct as a miscellaneous expense on Schedule A (subject to the 2% of AGI exclusion) any expenses paid in connection with the “determination, collection or refund” of a federal, state or municipal income, estate, gift, property or other tax. [More]

Tax Tips: Deducting Your Home Computer

Tax Tips: Deducting Your Home Computer

Yesterday I told you that computers and peripherals are “listed property” that require special recordkeeping and depreciation if used for business.

The IRS, in Publication 529, tells us that you can only deduct a computer as an employee if it is (a) for the convenience of your employer, and (b) required as a condition of your employment. You cannot deduct a computer if its business use is merely for your own convenience.

Tax Tips: What Does "Miscellaneous" Mean?

Tax Tips: What Does "Miscellaneous" Mean?

The items that you can deduct on Schedule A under the category of “Miscellaneous Expenses” can best be described as “ordinary and necessary” expenses incurred for the production, collection or protection of income. [More]

Tax Tips: Suit Up & Deduct

Tax Tips: Suit Up & Deduct

You can deduct the cost of uniforms and work clothes that are required as a condition of employment and not adaptable to everyday wear. The uniforms of firefighters, nurses, police officers, security guards and the like are deductible, as well as special jackets, hats, shirts and ties with a company logo, such as those worn by fast food workers and maintenance employees.

Tax Tips: Job Hunting Deductions

Tax Tips: Job Hunting Deductions

With unemployment at record high levels, a miscellaneous tax deduction that many taxpayers can take advantage of is for job-seeking expenses.

You can deduct expenses you incur to look for a job in your present line of work. This includes:

Tax Tips: Go Green, Save Green

Tax Tips: Go Green, Save Green

The new energy credit for 2009 and 2010 is available on these items purchased for your primary personal residence only: [More]

Tax Tips: The Vegas Rule of IRAs

Tax Tips: The Vegas Rule of IRAs

We’ve all heard the slogan “What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas.” When it comes to an IRA, the same rule — What Happens in Your IRA Stays in Your IRA — applies for income tax reporting. [More]

Tax Tips: Commuting Isn't Deductible

Tax Tips: Commuting Isn't Deductible

You can’t claim a business travel deduction for commuting — driving from home to your place of business, or your first business stop of the day, and from your place of business, or your last business stop of the day, back home. [More]

Tax Tips: Gas Money from Uncle Sam

Tax Tips: Gas Money from Uncle Sam

While you might pay more at the pump if you live in California instead of Missouri, you’re going to get the same mileage deduction for business travel in both states. Here are the other key facts you should know about business travel deductions. [More]