It’s Time to Get Your Federal Taxes in Order, Part 2

Getting ready for your next tax return due by April 15, 2019 should be on your mind as this year ends. That’s why Part 1 and Part 2 of this post are so important! So here is Part 2, but first…

There have been some important changes in the tax law, so now it's time to review your 2018 federal taxes and make any last-minute necessary moves.Stop and Think

Before splurging on holiday gifts this year, ask yourself if you’re going to get a big or far bigger tax bill than you’re accustomed to next year. Or if you get a tax refund, is it likely to be smaller? Millions of Americans won’t get their usual tax refunds next year because of the confusing tax law changes. Continue reading

It’s Time to Get Your Federal Taxes in Order, Part 1

This year, for 2018, it’s more confusing than ever to try to get yourself ready for income tax season and decide on your deductions, if any, because of the changes that the tax bill passed earlier this year in congress. So you should start to get your federal taxes in order now.

There have been some important changes in the tax law, so now it's time to review your 2018 federal taxes and make any last-minute necessary moves.

Check Your Withholding

The IRS says that checking your withholding can help protect against having too little tax withheld and facing an unexpected tax bill or penalty at tax time next year. The average tax refund was $2,825 in 2018, up $9 from 2017, based on IRS data. Continue reading

2018 Finances: How Do They Look, So Far?

One of the very most important things you can do when it comes to your personal finances is to take a good hard look at how things are going right now and make some adjustments whenever necessary.

So we're 5 months into the year, and now is a good time to see where we are when it comes to finances. Today's post looks at how the new tax law is affecting income, and how inflation is affecting expenses.Many years ago, when I was a young man working as an assistant buyer at Macy’s, I learned about making a good plan and how to evaluate and then re-evaluate how that plan was doing. The most important part of that concept isn’t a requirement to make changes after evaluating, but rather it’s the actual necessity to take a close look. Even if you don’t make a change in a plan, looking and doing nothing is actually doing something! Not looking is doing nothing and that can hurt your financial plans.

That’s why today I want to look at where we are in 2018, so far. Continue reading

11 New Tax Law Changes That Can Affect You

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Now that I have filed my tax returns for the year 2017, I have had the time to really examine some of the new tax law changes signed last December by the president. Many of the big items have been written about quite a bit like the lower income tax brackets and the projected overall tax savings for almost all taxpayers (particularly for the wealthiest people). But are you aware of some of the other provisions and changes in the new law? Provisions that just might affect you on a grand scale that you may not have heard about at all!

The new tax law changes may not affect the 2017 taxes you're filing now, but they could affect what you do in 2018 and the deductions you take next year. It's important to know in advance to be able to minimize your tax burden.

If there is any good rule of thumb about taxes and your money it’s this: Always plan your tax strategies ahead in order to maximize your income and minimize your taxes. Continue reading

The Strange Case of Taxing Your Social Security Benefits

Almost 62 million people, most of them retired workers, receive a Social Security check every month. That’s about 20% of all Americans these days and I’m one of them. For the vast majority of retirees, their Social Security income isn’t just some extra cash to count at the end of the month. It’s actually an indispensable source of income that they couldn’t do without. Social Security Administration (SSA) data shows that 62% of all retired workers get at least half their income, if not more, from Social Security. In some cases, it is the difference between life and death. And now that it’s tax time, many of us wonder “do you pay taxes on Social Security?”

Many seniors wonder "do you pay taxes on Social Security?" Well here is the strange case of how Social Security benefits are taxed and why it's unlikely to change.

The sad facts are that America’s most important social program isn’t in the best of shape. You probably know that Social Security will begin paying out more in benefits than it generates in revenue by 2022. By 2034, Social Security’s asset reserves are expected to be depleted. Continue reading

You Can Pay No Income Tax and Still Get a Huge Tax Refund!

Believe it or not, about 50% of all Americans pay no federal income tax. Zero, nada, zilch, nothing, a huge goose egg! Today’s Super Saving Tips post might just be the biggest money saver ever and could be worth thousands of dollars to you and your family right now. There are two reasons for it: your income level and certain tax laws and benefits, like the Earned Income Credit and the Child Tax Credit.

It's possible to pay no income tax and still get a big tax refund if you qualify for the Earned Income Credit and the Child Tax Credit. Here are the details...see whether it can benefit you and your family.

The tax system in the United States is designed to be progressive, meaning that higher incomes are asked to pay a larger percentage in income taxes. If your income level is relatively low, standard deductions and exemptions can quickly lower your tax burden to zero according to the Tax Policy Center, a non-partisan research center. But then there’s something else. Because of credits, you can actually get a “refund” of real money without having paid any taxes at all! Continue reading

Your Tax Forms: Very Important Info and Dates for 2018

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Even though I can never quite figure out why people want to do it, many people are expecting and excited to get a federal tax refund every year. As I have written before, in almost all cases, the money you get back from Uncle Sam is your very own money that you have overpaid. It’s money you are literally lending to the government at no interest and they are very happy to just return it to you when you file your tax return. First though, this year there is an extra monkey wrench in the picture you need to know about!

It's important to understand when to expect your tax forms to file your 2017 taxes, as well as how to fill out your 2018 tax forms. Here's the details you need to know.

New Withholding Amounts for Your Paycheck

The Trump administration is pushing American businesses to withhold less in taxes from paychecks by February, aiming to quickly deliver the boost in take-home pay that Republicans promised their new tax law would bring. Sounds like a really good thing, right? Continue reading

17 Year End Tax Moves & 1 More Thing to Save Money

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It’s that time again to examine the moves you need to make to increase your net income and save on your tax bill. For 2017, it’s even more important to look at this now because of the proposed major changes which are currently being debated in congress for 2018.

If you want to maximize your income tax returns for 2017, the time to act is now with these year end tax moves, before any possible changes from a tax bill.

It’s more confusing to try to make any year-end adjustments to income and deductions this year because of the potential changes that the reform bill being debated in congress right now has created. Although it’s tempting to take action based on any expected changes to the law, use some caution. Until the tax laws actually change, it may be difficult to plan exactly what can benefit you the most right now. Continue reading

Record National Debt + Tax Cuts = an Alarming Scenario!

Andy Kim had a hit record back in 1968 with the song “Baby, How’d We Ever Get This Way?” That was a great question then and an even greater one today, especially when it comes to the national debt.

With a record high national debt and proposed tax cuts, I'm worried about our future and I'm not the only one! Can the federal government go bankrupt?

I feel a little like Sgt. Joe Friday of “Dragnet” as I give you “the facts and just the facts” on the status of “all things debt”. This week both the Senate and the House passed the Trump proposed budget for next year and it will not be cutting any of the national debt in the plan, that’s for sure. In fact, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the proposed tax cuts combined with the CBO’s already-projected mounting deficit could ultimately drive the deficit upwards another $10 trillion in the next 10 years. Increasing the debt another $10 trillion seems just crazy! Continue reading

Who Will Pay the Taxes When Robots Take Your Job?

It seems we are always talking about jobs and unemployment numbers, doesn’t it? After all, no matter who you are or where you live, earning a living is your major priority and concern. That applies even if you see yourself as a minimalist who is focused on being totally earth friendly and working just for yourself on the internet or even if you are a corporate mogul running a Fortune 500 corporation out in Silicon Valley. But as was heard long ago on the old 60’s “Lost in Space” TV show: “Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!”

In a world of increasing automation, tech and AI, is a robot tax in our future? How will government fund itself when our jobs are taken over by robots?

What will happen when robots take your job?

Robots are taking over the world’s workforce—and why shouldn’t they? For so many jobs, machines are faster, more consistent, smarter, and cheaper than you or I will ever be. As advances in artificial intelligence (AI) accelerate, robots will spread into all corners of the labor market: blue collar and white collar, service work and knowledge work alike. Continue reading