This is the first post in my “Taxes for Your Family” series.
Even in a year without the fiscal cliff, taxes are a complicated topic that most of us understand in only a fuzzy way.
Forms arrive in the mail and are stashed in an envelope until the meeting with the accountant or a sit-down (or several) with tax prep software to figure it out. It takes a lot of time and effort to answer the same question every year: “Do we owe?”
The whole process is confusing and stressful. (If you’ve ever received a letter of inquiry from the IRS, you really know how stressful).
A lack of understanding about taxes can cost you money in filing fees, missed deductions and in some cases, penalties. It’s important to understand the basic issues that apply to you (or at least get good help).
Tax season is upon us, so the time is ripe to review the tax issues that are most likely to affect my readers, who tend to have families and relatively high incomes.
Of course there are too many issues to cover in one post, so I have broken it up into the following (links added as published):
- The Reason to Itemize Your Taxes (Or Not)
- Should You Get Help to File Your Taxes?
- The Difference Between Marginal and Average Tax Rates
- What is the AMT and Who Pays It?
- The Nanny Tax: Who, What, When, How?
- What Same Sex Couples Need to Know About Their Taxes
Tax Advantages and Benefits
- The Tax Benefits of Owning a Home
- The Tax Benefits of Saving for Retirement
- The Tax Benefits of Saving for Health Care, Education and Child Care (or Stuff You Need Anyway)
- The Tax Benefits of Owning a Business
- The Tax Benefits of Setting Up a Trust
- The Tax Benefits of Giving to Charity
- Where Do Your Tax Dollars Go?
While I consider myself extremely knowledgeable about taxes (I’m boring like that), please keep in mind that I am not an accountant and I do not prepare tax returns for clients. This article is for information purposes only, it is not tax advice.
I would love to hear your questions about how taxes affect your financial plan. Please click “Ask Sara!” to send me yours.
Please note, changes in tax laws may occur at any time and could have substantial impact upon each person’s situation. You should discuss tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional.