Bankrate Tax Guide Feed

The new tax bill and your 2010 taxes

Tax laws are like holiday fruitcakes. They're dense and mysteriously show up in late December. Everybody picks at them, but they never seem to be totally consumed. That's how it is with the tax bill signed into law last week. The tax compromise got lots of attention for extending 2010's income tax rates for a couple more years. But it also continues several other tax breaks that could help reduce your tax bill when you file your return next year. I plan to keep blogging in more detail about the various ingredients provisions, both that apply to the 2010 tax... Read more →

Year-end tax moves time

Yes, Congress is still screwing around with taxes, but there are some laws now on the books that could provide you with tax savings on your 2010 return if you act fast. I examine 5 tax moves to make now (or at least by Dec. 31) over on And don't forget that you can always get additional timely tax-saving ideas in the left column of the ol' blog under the bright red monthly tax moves heading. Related posts: Mid-year tax moves Year-round tax moves Weekly tax tips Want to tell your friends about this blog post? Click the Tweet... Read more →

Nobody lives forever. Yeah, I know. That's not the best way to kick off a Monday. Sometimes, though, you just have to face life head-on and deal with good ol' Ben Franklin's observation that death and taxes are our only certainties. That means we all, regardless of our financial situations, need to do some estate planning. Bankrate's new estate planning guide can help. Unfortunately, Congress isn't helping with this task right now. The estate tax is still in limbo. Yes, that link is a shameless plug, taking you to my contribution to the guide. But as we wait for lawmakers... Read more →

First, don't panic. I know all of us Congress watchers said Washington, D.C., wouldn't let the estate tax die; that lawmakers would take action in time. OK. We blew that prediction. But this time more than 2 percent of the country will be affected -- and by affected, I mean pay bigger tax bills -- if the 2001 and 2003 tax laws revert to their previous levels. Most of the country facing higher tax rates plus midterm elections for most of Capitol Hill's current residents on Nov. 2. Well, it doesn't take an advanced degree to do that math. So,... Read more →

We're heading into tax crunch time and some filers are starting to freak out. Please don't. Getting in hurry will cause you to make mistakes, like forgetting to file a Schedule M to claim the Making Work Pay credit. Yep, in addition to having issues with filling out this form, some taxpayers are just ignoring it altogether. Again, please don't. You need to file this new piece of tax paperwork to ensure you get credit for adjusted withholding taken out of your pay last year. The Making Work Pay credit is worth up to $400 for singles and $800 for... Read more →

As much as I love writing this blog, my "real job" is contributing tax editor for the personal finance Web site I'm pretty partial to that, too, since I helped start the site's tax coverage back in October 1999. For almost six years, I worked out of the company's Florida office. After two hurricanes figuratively blew the hubby and me back home to Texas in 2005, I've continued to keep a long-distance hand in Bankrate's tax doings. Yeah, that's me there to the right, working hard from home! For a while now, I've been touting Bankrate's Daily Tax Tips,... Read more →

Are you getting your daily dose of tax tips? One a day could help keep the auditor away. Even better, they could mean savings when you send the IRS your Form 1040. So be sure to check the upper right corner of the ol' blog for a new tip every weekday through April 15. Today's tip, number 30 in our series, is a look at those taxes that could actually pay off. They're the state and local levies you can use to help reduce your federal tax bill. And don't worry if you miss one or two. You can find... Read more →

House hunting? Check out tax credit

I know I've blogged about the first-time homebuyer credit a gazillion times. My most recent post on the tax break was The home buyer credit's three E's. But I cover it yet again, this time for, in Homebuyer tax credit extended, expanded. Quick aside: That article is Daily Tax Tip #22 of this filing season. You'll find a new tip in the upper right corner of the ol' blog's home page each week day. Or check out the running list of all tips so far. Personally, I wish Washington had let this tax break expire last November. All it's... Read more →

Taxes can be scary, sort of like that skeleton hand there to the right. But if you follow that creepy pointing pile of bones, it'll direct you to the Daily Tax Tip, which should help alleviate some of your tax fears. Yep, we're up to tip #4, right over there to your right. Yeah, in that next column. There at top. This is the last day that this announcement post will be up here leading off the ol' blog's postings, but the Daily Tax Tip, via Bankrate's Annual Tax Guide (and yes, I write them), will continue to be a... Read more →

Daily Tax Tips for 2010

Check out the top right column! That's where you'll find the previously promised Daily Tax Tip to help get you through your 2009 Form 1040 filing and implement tax planning strategies that could reduce your 2010 tax bill. These daily doses of tax wisdom are courtesy of Bankrate's annual tax guide. And by the time filing season ends on April 15 for most of us, they'll all be collected on this special Daily Tax Tips page.You also can have all these juicy tax tidbits delivered directly to your e-mail box by subscribing to the Daily Tax Tip. And be sure... Read more →

First things first. This post is a blatant plug for my "real" job as contributing tax editor for So actually, my headline should more appropriately read Tax Guide 2010 is there! But regardless of where it's actually posted from, the annual Tax Guide is always with me. Back in 1999 I helped launch Bankrate's tax component. I've been doing the job ever since, first in-house when the hubby and I were in Florida where the personal finance Web site is based, and for the last five years remotely from my Austin, Texas, home. Every year we put together a... Read more →