Tax Carnival fans, your wait is over! The collection of tax data, information and tips that was supposed to go live yesterday is finally here.
I could offer all sorts of excuses explanations, but I prefer to put a more positive spin on the delay. The 98th Carnival of Taxes is simply taking advantage of Leap Year's extra day.
So with thanks for your patience, let's get jumping!
We leap right into a tax situation that found a bit of consistency, at least as much as Congress allows nowadays.
Peter notes that if the payroll tax cut had expired this month, it would have meant a 2 percent increase in payroll taxes. But since that didn't happen, as noted in Payroll Tax Cut Extended Through the End of 2012, you won't be seeing any changes in your paycheck. Get details in the post at Bible Money Matters.
And so what taxes will workers face on their income?
Mark Roberts has the tax rate info and how income is taxed within The 2011 Tax Brackets, posted at Tax Brackets.
Evan acknowledges that mistakes happen, but notes that at tax time they could be costly if you don't catch them, including errors on statements you receive. "Never trust the forms you are getting and try to have a second way to double check the numbers," he says, detailing his personal experience in Never Trust Your Tax Forms, posted at Smart Wealth.
Lazy Man says myriad collectors who have no profit motive in their buying and selling of items online are getting snared in the IRS' new income tracking of PayPal and Ebay transactions. He examines this consequence in Why Am I Receiving a 1099-K? It's posted at Lazy Man and Money.
John looks at a tax statement blowup earlier this filing season when Citi issued 1099s to its customers and asks Do You Have to Pay Taxes on Your Rewards? Find out at Wallet Blog.
You have your tax statements, you checked them for errors, now you have to decide how to file.
SB explores The Pro's and Con's of Preparing Your Own Taxes. It's posted at One Cent at a Time.
Paul Weaver also takes a look at this issue in Taxes: Do Them Yourself Or Hire A Specialist, posted at Make Money Make Cents.
Evan uses a tax professional and says that "every year I create an outline of my financial life for my accountant so we can work together and optimize my situation." He discusses How I Prepare to Meet My Accountant to Do My Income Taxes, posted at My Journey to Millions.
If you opt to do your taxes yourself and use tax software, several Tax Carnival contributors have some advice.
FMF says that taxpayers with straightforward returns will generally find that tax software gets the job done at a fraction of the cost of a tax preparer. "Most tax software programs are also adept at handling returns that claim common tax breaks, such as the deduction for mortgage interest and charitable contributions," says FMF. "But taxes have grown so complex that even those of us who don't invest in individual stocks, own rental property or run a small business could find ourselves in need of advice from a flesh-and-blood tax preparer." Find out more in his Review of Major Tax Software Products Reveals Limits, posted at Free Money Finance.
Jon the Saver notes that with the arrival of tax season, software TV commercials are in full swing vying for your money. Jon looks at why Turbo Tax Is the King of Tax Filing, posted at Free Money Wisdom.
Stefanie also is a fan of the tax software giant and details why TurboTax works for her in Tax Time, posted at Making of a Mom.
Money Cone says the software also is helpful for owners of MLPs, making it easier to automate pesky K-1 tasks. Details are in How to View Your Schedule K-1s Online and Import Them Into Turbo Tax, posted at Money Cone.
FIRE Finance has some bargains for another major brand of software in TaxCut (HR Block) 2011 - Up to 43% OFF TaxCut Discount, TaxCut Coupon, posted at FIRE Finance.
Several Carnivalistas offer a look at various filing responsibilities.
Jim presents a look at Quarterly Estimated Tax Payments, posted at Bargaineering.
Madison says if you signed up for some checking account or credit card bonuses this year, you'll have some tax reporting to take care of. Details in Free Money You Might Forget to Report on Your Taxes, posted at My Dollar Plan.
Glen Craig reminds filers that they might be able to deduct moving expenses. Keep in mind, says Glen, that the move has to involve your employment or, in some cases, the military and provides details in How to Deduct Your Moving Expenses, posted at Free From Broke.
Everything Finance says that "while it may sometimes feel as if we are paying taxes in every aspect of life, ad valorem taxes are a vital source of income for local governments so that they can provide necessary, sometimes lifesaving, services to a community." Find out more on this tax in Know Your Types of Taxes: Ad Valorem, posted at Everything Finance.
Suba has some info for folks thinking about retirement savings. Among the considerations: Traditional 401(k) or a ROTH 401(k)? How do company matching contributions affect things? Traditional IRA or Roth IRA? Which is better for the bottom line? Find the answers in Should you Invest in 401k or ROTH IRA/401k? It's posted at Wealth Informatics.
If you're getting a refund, read on!
Philip Taylor presents What to Do with Your Tax Refund, posted at PT Money Personal Finance.
Money Beagle says, "We haven't even gotten the return back yet, but I already know what we'll be doing with money we do get back." Find out the plan in Budgeting Our Tax Refund, posted at Money Beagle.
Lubna looks into a recent case in her native India that involved the transfer of shares between two nonresident companies resulted in transfer of ownership of the Indian entity. "India's apex court ruled in favour of Vodafone (on whom huge tax demands had been raised)," says Lubna. "The proposed direct tax code seeks to introduce provisions relating to such indirect transfer of a capital asset in India. These provisions which could be introduced in the Finance Bill in March need some tweaking so as to avoid unintended complexities." Find out more in her Law Street in The Economic Times (Feb 24, 2012) column, cross posted at Talking Tax.
Echo says that an insidious feature of Canada's dividend tax credit is that the grossed-up dividend and not the actual dividend is used to determine taxpayer's Old Age clawback, age credit, HST credit and property tax credit. Details are in Dividend Tax Credit Review, posted at Boomer & Echo.
The Tax Carnival leaps back to the United States to look at a tax subject most of us want to avoid: the IRS taking a closer look at our returns.
Neal Frankle notes that getting a letter from the IRS is almost never a pleasant experience. But there is an alternative to curling up in the fetal position and crying "mama" when you get a letter from the tax man. He offers details in What To Do When You Get A Letter From The IRS, posted at Wealth Pilgrim.
Charles Chua C K asks Are You Ready For a Tax Audit? To find out the answer, check out the post at All About Living with Life.
And we close out this Tax Carnival by jumping smack dab into some topical, political tax topics.
Steve presents What You Need To Know About 2012 Taxes And The Budget Proposals That Might Swing The Vote, posted at 2009 Tax.
Bill Smith says tax proposals by President Obama mean that "now is a great time to start budgeting for your 2012 taxes." He looks at options in Planning For 2012 Tax Changes, posted at 2012 Taxes.
On that note, the 98th Tax Carnival: Leaping into Taxes, wraps up.
Here's hoping that filing season is going well for you. If you need a bit more assistance, feel free to stop by the ol' blog as often as you like or need. And be sure to visit in two weeks -- OK, on March 12, which is less than two weeks away -- for the 99th Carnival of Taxes. I'll do my best to get it posted on the scheduled day, but it is tax season, so….