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Tax Carnival #96: Dealing With Tax Dragons

The 2012 Chinese New Year officially arrived on Jan. 23, but many locales celebrated the Year of the Dragon his past weekend.

So we're following that belated lead with Tax Carnival #96: Dealing With Tax Dragons.

Chinese New Year dragon_Paolo Camera_FlickrChinese New Year's parade dragon by Paolo Camera via Flickr

The dragon is a powerful sign. In Chinese culture, the legendary creature -- the only not-real New Year designation -- is the symbol of power from heaven. Dragons are doers. They don't sit around waiting for things to happen, you make things happen.

Today's Tax Carnival should help you make some good tax things happen. And like the parades that celebrated the Chinese New Year, the tax "floats" presented today are in no particular order.

And it's a long tax parade, so let's get to slaying some tax dragons.

Trish offers some advice for taxpayers still waiting for all their tax forms to arrive: What to do with one of those Education Credits and Deductions documents. You'll find details on Form 1098T, the tuition statement from colleges and universities, at Our Taxing Times.

Politics and taxes have been on lots of folks minds recently. Several of our contributors look at some specifics.

Joe Kristan asks What do Newt and John Edwards have in common? We're talking taxes here, so hold the wisecracks. And get the answer at Tax Update Blog.

Robert Moore examines Romney Has Investments Funds In Cayman Islands. Details on the candidate's money in the infamous tax refuge are posted at 2011 Tax.

Jackson also looks at "troublesome material in the candidate’s most recent tax returns" in A Candidate's Offshore Tax Havens. Details posted at 2009 Tax.

Robert discusses Employee or Independent Contractor and the tax issues for each at Entrepreneurship Life.

Everything Finance looks at How to Claim the Adoption Tax Credit, a great help in offsetting some of the many adoption costs. Details are at Everything Finance.

Madison presents How to Lower Your Taxes on Savings Bond Interest. Usually you get a savings bond, hold it for multiple years, then redeem it and report it on your taxes in the year of redemption, says Madison. But there’s another way to report the savings bonds interest and it could potentially save you some tax money. Details posted at My Dollar Plan.

We're going beyond our China-inspired theme today and making it a truly international Tax Carnival #96 with tax info for our outside-the-U.S. readers.

Ray reminds Canadian taxpayers of the RRSP Deadline 2012. Every bank, every branch and every teller will remind you to contribute to your RRSP before the deadline, says Ray, who looks at what to consider at posted at Financial Highway.

Echo reminds Canadians of the estate planning advantages of Using Tax Free Savings Accounts In Retirement, posted at Boomer & Echo.

Gregory Stokes warns U.K. taxpayers Don't Miss The Tax Credits Income Deadline. "The deadline for income tax credits is Jan. 31," says Gregory. "If you don’t provide your actual income figure by this time you could get the wrong amount of tax credits and have to pay a penalty." Read about it at ,  posted at Tax Credit Calculator.

Al Peters reminds readers that the Self Assessment Tax Return 2011 Deadline Approaching. Take note, says Al, if you have earned income or had taxable gains in the United Kingdom. Get the details at TaxFix Feed Update.

Jessica Bird discusses three important documents that U.K. auto owners need in Taxing Your Car, posted at

DeWitt Dudley has some advice for American taxpayers on Reporting Your Japanese or Foreign Inheritance, posted at Los Angeles Tax Law Blog.

Thanks, guys and gal, for the international tax flavor. Now back to U.S. taxes.

Sandy says if you're one of the many relying on a tax refund to boost a savings account or an emergency fund, then make sure you don't miss out on the tax breaks in Applying All the Right Deductions to Increase That Return. It's posted at Yes, I Am Cheap.

Glen Craig has the same idea in 10 Common Overlooked Tax Deductions. These tips, says Glen, can help make sure you don't pay more taxes than you have to. Get details at Free From Broke.

More of us each year file online. That statistic is behind several contributions this week.

Forest Parks notes that online filing can make taxes a little less painful and offers suggestions in How To File Income Taxes Electronically, posted at Frugal Zeitgeist.

Debbie Dragon (thanks for lending your name to the Tax Carnival!) reminds us that IRS e-file for 2011 Income Tax Filing Now Available. Details at

A couple of Tax Carnivalistas look at one of the most popular programs when it comes to online filing.

FIRE Finance presents TurboTax Discount Codes 2011, 2012, noting that there are some good deals on the tax preparation software. Details are posted at Fire Finance.

Michael offers his Turbo Tax 2012 Review, posted at PT Money Personal Finance.

SB presents a wide-ranging look at 2011 Tax Rates, Tax Brackets and Top Tips for Filing Tax Return in 2012, posted One Cent at a Time.

Jon the Saver asks a common question: Roth 401k Vs. 401k: What Is Right for Me? The Roth 401k is a great choice for almost everyone, says Jon, and provides details at Free Money Wisdom.

Miranda Marquit says that as health care costs continue to rise, there are some ways to recoup medical expenses. Details are in Tax Deductions: Health Care Expenses, posted at Best Rates In.

Neal Frankle says there's a way to make your tax bill payment by credit card free of charge and avoid IRS trouble. Details are in How to Pay the IRS with a Credit Card for Free,  posted at Wealth Pilgrim.

Thomas F. Scanlon says there are 5 Reasons Donors Should Give Appreciated Property, posted at Borgida & Company, P.C.

Mark Roberts presents an important tax filing basic: How To Choose The Right Filing Status, posted at Tax Brackets.

Tim says if you don't have all your tax forms yet, but want to estimate what your federal income tax return will look like, check out Income Tax Calculator: 3 Federal Income Tax Estimators. You'll find the post at Faith and Finance.

Control your Cash presents an intriguing piece of tax idea in Don't Play Fair. Hint: It's about the tax advantages of incorporating and is posted at Betty Kincaid.

John looks at an issue that leaves a lot of folks confused and angry: Paying Taxes on Debt? You Have Got to Be Kidding Me. John's look at the relationship between debt settlement and taxes is posted at Wallet Blog.

Roger White says if you are thinking about making a 401(k) withdrawal, consider the choice very carefully. There are risks, detailed in Making 401k Withdrawals, posted at 401k Calculator.

Tax Debt Help lays out the 1099 MISC Reporting Requirements and Deadlines for 2011, posted at Tax Debt Help Blog.

And we close with what some might find counter-intuitive tax advice.

Robert D Flach offers this caution: DON'T BE IN SUCH A HURRY! "I certainly don't think you should wait till the last minute to prepare your tax return," says RDF, but "I also don’t think you should rush to be among the first taxpayers of the year to have your taxes done." His thoughts on his filing timing philosophy is posted at THE WANDERING TAX PRO.

And with that take-it-easy advice, we wrap up Tax Carnival #96: Dealing With Tax Dragons.

Tax carnival iconThanks to all this month's contributors and to all y'all for reading.

Here's hoping that your filing tasks are off to a good start. If you're putting off taxes for a bit, no worries. The Tax Carnival will be back every other week through the April 17 filing deadline.

The 97th Tax Carnival is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 13.

Join us then as a reader or as part of the tax fun by sending your tax post (and tax-only items please; check the guidelines for details) to the Blog Carnival page.

You also can send your tax item's link via Twitter (I'm @taxtweet; please hashtag it #TC97), post it on Don't Mess With Taxes' Facebook page, or email it to me at

Don't Mess With Taxes is now optimized for readers on the go. You don't even need an app. Just type in the regular URL on your smartphone or other mobile device and it will load in a format for those browsers.


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Thanks for the posted links!Some of them are very useful to me.


This is a quite comprehensive list, but then again taxes are a quite complex topic!

Drew @ Credit Cards Canada

Nice collection. I had read Glen's and Forest's and Miranda's earlier, and now I see a couple more I'll want to check out.

Betty Kincaid

Thanks for including my article!

FIRE Finance

Thanks for hosting the carnival and including our post. Best wishes ahead :).

FIRE Finance

Glen Craig

Thanks for hosting Kay!


Thanks for hosting and including my site in this weeks carnival.

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