How to Keep your Chances of an IRS Audit Low

It’s tough to think about but every year I in 100 taxpayers who make less than $200,000.00 a year get audited.  The reason it’s so high is that, over the last several years, the IRTS has been upping the ante, trying to get back some of the millions of dollars that is annually lost to taxes that are not paid on time or not paid properly.  With that in mind we have for you today a slew of Tips for avoiding the IRS like the plague.  Take a look and make sure you keep them in mind this tax season.

First, be careful with ‘professional’ tax preparation services. …

Tax Tips When Caring for an Aging Parent

If you’ve been taking care of one or both of your aging parents there are certain tax laws and breaks that will help ease the financial burden that you’re under. As with anything g that the feds get involved in there are certain rules and criteria that you and your folks will need to meet.  Some of those criteria include;

  1. The amount of mom or dad’s income, including what they get from Social Security
  2. How much the support cost is that you provide them.
  3. How much you contribute to their housing costs
  4. How much of their medical bills that you pay.

Defend Yourself against Identity Theft This Tax Season

In 2012 the IRS reports that, during the first nine months of the year, the report of Identity Theft cases went up 62 %. The main reason for the spike; it was tax season. The fact is, right now there are cybercriminals who, using a wide variety of nefarious and, obviously, illegal methods, are gaining access to people’s identity through personal information stored on the web. Once they have it, they quickly drain the person’s bank accounts, leaving them to an unpleasant and shocking surprise.

The reason it happens more around tax time is simple.  During the few months before and then after taxes are due many people have a higher than normal level of anxiety about their taxes. …

To Prepare, or Not to Prepare Your Own Taxes

I’ve stated before that I have a day job that involved corporate finance, and that I dabble as a personal finance blogger by night.  That being said, each and every year I find myself contemplating whether or not to prepare my own taxes.  Even with my schooling and professional expertise I am not a tax oracle.  To make things more difficult the tax laws change every year, complicating the situation further.  Below I want to list some basic pro’s and con’s you should consider before jumping the gun either way.

When deciding to prepare your own taxes I find it helpful to answer one very important question…”are you comfortable putting your name on the final product?”  This may not seem like a big deal, but the person who signs the preparation line is the one responsible for explaining the final product if you are ever audited. …

Which IRA is Best for Me?

Tax time is just around the corner, and you may find yourself looking for those last minute breaks before year end.  Personally, I just got married this year so I get a rather large standard deduction to take.  However, I also make some side income now so I need to be wise about how much taxable income I allow before year end.  What’s unfortunate is that I also don’t have much time left, or many options to affect my bottom line, except make less money and that just isn’t happening.  What I eventually concluded was that increasing my 401K contributions to the maximum allowed would greatly reduce my tax bill at year end.  Also, investing money into an IRA is another option as well.  I just need to be cognizant of the income limitations, withdrawal penalties, and what the difference is between the multitude of IRA’s to choose from.  I find myself asking, which IRA is best for me?…