The Top Tax Rate is Higher Than You Think

The Top Tax Rate is Higher Than You Think
I heard a story. The person was trying to figure out a tax question for a friend of a friend, so I don’t know any actual details, and, like a good game of Telephone, what I did hear was probably altered beyond recognition (oh, you sell plants and seeds, not sex and weed!). Even though ...

Is Every Tax Deduction A Government Benefit?

Is Every Tax Deduction A Government Benefit?
My car is doing just fine, thank you very much. It’s a Subaru Impreza, with close to 100k miles, plenty of hail damage, and a sun visor that won’t stay up. It’s a great car, and I have no desire whatsoever to trade it in for something nicer. But let’s say I did. Let’s say ...

Cracking The Secrets to Rental Property Tax Deductions

Cracking The Secrets to Rental Property Tax Deductions
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine asked me to compare some of the tax and economic consequences of purchasing a house under various situations. It was a great idea. As I started writing, though, I realized that I should probably touch on the tax consequences of each scenario first before I tried to compare them all. Especially since one ...

Ted Cruz Tax Plan Needs More Time In The Oven

Ted Cruz Tax Plan Needs More Time In The Oven
Last week I discussed Rand Paul’s EZ Tax Plan, which is a flat tax that sounds nice, but has little chance of success. Today, I’m moving to another flat tax plan, this one proposed by Tea Party Favorite Ted Cruz. Before this post, I’d heard a bit here and there about Ted Cruz’s tax plan, ...

Anatomy of a Sin Tax

Anatomy of a Sin Tax
What’s the purpose of a tax? This is a fundamental debate, yet it’s rarely examined beyond the surface mud slinging we see in a political fight. It comes down to two options, though: are we trying to raise money, or are we trying to influence behavior? The tax code is riddled with examples of both. ...

Deducting Unreimbursed Employee Business Expenses

Deducting Unreimbursed Employee Business Expenses
(More 1040 deductions are explained here) The employers I’ve worked for so far have been good to me with the expense account: if something comes out of my pocket, they cough up the dough to put it back in. Not everyone is so fortunate. Congress knows this, and in an attempt to provide some relieve for employees ...

State and Local Tax Deduction

State and Local Tax Deduction
(NOTE: if you’re looking for a list of itemized deductions, or more help with filling out your 1040, go back to the 1040 summary page here) So you want to take a State and Local Tax deduction, huh? Good. It’s really pretty simple for the vast majority of people. Just take a look at your W-2, ...

Hybrid Accounting Method – Dealing With Inventory

Hybrid Accounting Method - Dealing With Inventory
(NOTE: This post fits in with a case study looking into tax implications of starting up a small business. Click here to go back to the start) A while back, I addressed the cash and accounting methods and how to choose which one you want to use in a small business. I was trying to keep things ...

Deduct Penalty on Savings Withdrawal

Deduct Penalty on Savings Withdrawal
(This is part of a series looking at various common 1040 questions. To go back to the summary page, click here) It’s been a while since I’ve talked about tax helps, so I thought it was about time to get back on that cart. I mean, how else am I going to have enough content to ...

Our Tax System beat out France! And lost to everyone else. . .

Our Tax System beat out France! And lost to everyone else. . .
How many people woke up this morning thinking, “where does the United States’ tax system rank with other OECD countries?” For me, it was the second thought of the day, right after, “where did my dog decide to poop during the night.” Fortunately, there’s an answer to that (the tax ranking. There’s an answer to ...