I can't believe I'm about to type this, but Donald Trump is right.
Here's the caveat. I'm talking about Trump's approach to paying taxes. The pompous billionaire says he pays as little as possible in taxes.
"I fight like hell to pay as little as possible," Trump said in a CBS Face the Nation phone interview in August. "I am a businessman, and that's the way you are supposed to do it. And you put the money back in your company and employees and all of that. ... And I will be probably the first candidate in the history of politics within this country to say, I try and, like every, by the way, like every single taxpayer out there, I try to pay as little tax as possible."
Trump has the right tax attitude, one endorsed by no less than the late, great U.S. judge and legal philosopher Learned Hand:
"Any one may so arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which will best pay the Treasury; there is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes."
Taking all your tax breaks: The Internal Revenue Code offers some help in following Trump's and Hand's advice. There are many tax breaks -- credits, deductions and exemptions -- that can help reduce your taxable income or the actual tax you owe.
If you put off your filing duty until Oct. 15, make sure that extra time wasn't wasted. Before you send off your Form 1040, make sure you haven't overlooked any ways to, like Trump, pay as little tax as possible.
Check out these 10 overlooked tax breaks. Some of them are for itemizers only, others can be claimed by any filer.
Avoid common filing mistakes: In that same vein, you want to make sure that if you're rushing to meet the Oct. 15 filing deadline you don't make any costly mistakes.
Review these 10 common tax-filing mistakes to make sure you haven't committed one (or more) on your return.
And if you're a bit tax obsessive-compulsive, you'll find links to more tax tips, weekly tidbits of tax advice as well as the ones that ran during the tax high filing season earlier this year, in the ol' blog's upper right column.
Once you make these checks (as few or as many as you like), you're ready to send your tax return to the IRS, confident that you, like the Republican presidential nominee front-runner, are paying the smallest possible tax bill.
You also might find these items of interest:
- Don't commit these 10 costly tax sins of omission
- 10 tax sins of commission that could be quite costly
- Trump's 'amazing' tax plan zeroes out taxes for some
Find more tax news and tips at the Don't Mess With Taxes home page.