Glossary Feed

Christmas is Friday!!! Those exclamation points aren't just for show. The holidays have sneaked up on me this year. Yes, it's beginning to feel a lot like mid-April here, with last-minute shopping panic replacing the annual tax-filing freak-out. If you're in the same fix and are still trying to find a gift for the tax and/or financial person in your life, here are some suggestions that might help make Dec. 25 a bit less stressful than April 15. Dress the tax part: Tax preparation can often tie the best of us up in knots, so your pro might appreciate some... Read more →


Today, Oct. 16, is National Dictionary Day. It was created to honor Noah Webster, the publisher of the first dictionary in 1806. Oct. 16 was chosen because it was the day 257 years ago on which Webster was born. Dictionary Day is a day to learn new words with the help of a dictionary. I'm doing my part by updating -- OK, creating in large part -- a tax dictionary for the ol' blog. Photo by eFile989 via Flickr Creative Commons Many years ago, I posted a mini-glossary of tax terms. Since that day, I've meant to put together a... Read more →


One of the hardest things about filing your taxes is trying to decipher the forms. You practically have to learn a new, tax- specific language. And the IRS-speak makes that dang VCR manual (yes, a few of us still use those antiquated devices!) seem almost coherent! To help out, Don't Mess With Taxes is gathering some common tax terms and phrases and their plain English meanings in this post. This is an ongoing list, so don't be discouraged if the word that's stumping you isn't here yet. It soon will be. In fact, just go ahead and e-mail it to... Read more →


To celebrate the convergence of the Christmas story and the IRS, we are introducing today a new feature on Don't Mess With Taxes: a glossary. I know, I know. You're asking just exactly how do Christmas, taxes and a glossary come together? The answer: One of our glossary's first words is MAGI, just like the three wise men who traversed afar. OK, you're right. It's an acronym. But since it's Christmas Eve, I couldn't resist. In tax parlance, MAGI, or modified adjusted gross income, is a measurement of how much money you make. It's calculated by starting with your adjusted... Read more →