Education Feed

Students, and their families, have a lot to worry about. 529 plan savings can help ease some of the financial concerns. (Photo via Unsplash+ in collaboration with Andy Quezada) Happy 529 Day! OK, it’s not an official holiday. It was started in 2021 by National Day Calendar and College Savings Foundation (CSF), and is one of the many commemorations that fill up the 365 days, 366 in Leap Years, of each year. Some of the special days are, to my thinking, downright goofy, although I do believe ice cream deserves to be celebrated every single day. But some merit serious... Read more →


Photo by Keith Luke on Unsplash Congratulations to this year’s high school and college graduates. Walking across that stage and getting that diploma is a ceremony they and their families have long waited to experience. So what, besides sincere well wishes, do you give the graduates in your life for reaching this milestone? There are lots of gifts that can help young adults as they head off to college or into the work world. My personal favorite when I was that age was cash. (Truth be told, it still is my preferred present!) If your favorite graduate is like me,... Read more →


Getting a tax refund can feel like it's raining money. (Photo by Eugene Lisyuk) You filed your taxes, and now are awaiting a refund. The Internal Revenue Service's data shows the average it had issued as of April 5 was $3,011. That three grand average is a nice chunk of change. Even a smaller amount is welcome. So, what are you going to do with that money? Everyone's personal, financial, and yes, tax, needs are different. But here are some suggestions for all y'all getting a refund. 1. Open or add to a savings account or emergency fund. I know,... Read more →


A scenic overlook is always worth a stop when traveling. But when it comes to taxes, you definitely don't want to overlook tax breaks that could save you money. (Photo by Gary Yost on Unsplash) There are two ways to reduce your tax bill. You can take deductions, which reduce the amount of your money that's taxable. You also can claim tax credits, which cut any tax you owe dollar-for-dollar, and in a few cases get you refund. The options are not mutually exclusive. But they don't do you any good if you don't claim the ones to which you're... Read more →


Photo by Ozan Safak on Unsplash Higher income taxpayers tend to take the most advantage of tax breaks. That's no surprise. They can afford to hire tax professionals, who keep track of all the benefits they qualify for and claim them on the well-to-do taxpayers' returns. But there are some valuable tax breaks for the rest of us who are far from wealthy. And while higher-income households do enjoy greater per dollar benefits tax benefits, the breaks available to us tax plebeian are more beneficial when they are measured as a share of our income. Tax credits provide the most... Read more →


Unsplash+ in collaboration with Ave Calvar You checked out my post on who has to file a tax return (thank you!) and confirmed that you're one of the lucky few who doesn't have to file a Form 1040 this year. But maybe you should. Even if you aren't legally required there are some good reasons to send the Internal Revenue Service a tax return anyway. Here are eight such should-file situations. 1. You are due a refund. Most U.S. workers have income tax amounts taken from their paychecks. Other sources of income also sometimes take some tax amounts off the... Read more →


Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images Tax season 2024 officially starts Monday, Jan. 29. Lots of taxpayers have already filled out their 1040 forms and are just waiting for the Internal Revenue Service to start processing them next week. Most of these early filers are expecting tax refunds. They also likely have relatively simple tax lives. Lucky them. Others, however, have more complicated tax and financial circumstances. These folks have more tax documents with details that must be transferred to their return forms and schedules. They also need to consider how their situations might affect their tax returns. Below is... Read more →


You're ready to file your tax return, but there's one problem. You don't have all the statements you need to complete your Form 1040 and associated schedules. Many of us, however, are just going to have to be patient for a couple more weeks. While some issuers have sent taxpayers the required statements, many don't get them out until close to, in most cases, the mandated Jan. 31 delivery date. The documents typically are snail mailed, but technology is gaining ground. Issuers of most of my annual tax statements now let me know by email the documents are ready. Then... Read more →


It's the last weekend of 2023, and you're busy planning how you will ring in 2024 on Sunday night. Unless you live in Florida. Oh, Sunshine State residents will party on New Year's Eve, too. But many also are making back-to-school shopping lists. That's because Monday, Jan. 1, 2024, is the start of yet another Florida sales tax holiday. This two-week event waives the sales tax, both state and local option add-ons, that's usually collected on what state officials have deemed school supplies. Among the items that will be tax free during the Monday, Jan. 1, 2024 through Sunday, Jan.... Read more →


Photo via Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images College football fans are in heaven. The 2023 NCAA bowl season is underway. The first of the 42 games kicked off this morning in with Georgia Southern meeting Ohio in the Myrtle Beach Bowl. The event's sponsoring name notwithstanding, the event is actually more inland, at Brooks Stadium in Conway, South Carolina. There are six more games today, all as appetizers to the main menu meal, the College Football Playoff National Championship Game in Houston on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024. The one downside this year is the number of notable players —... Read more →


No need to wrap cash holiday gifts. Here are three that also have some tax benefits. (Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash) Still shopping for the perfect gift? Lots of folks who get stuck turn to cash. As the old saying (OK, cliché) goes, any amount is the perfect size and green looks good on everyone. Many people, though, find giving cash too crass. There are, however, ways around this that are a bit more subtle, and which can financially help others in a tax-favored way. Here are three. 1. Open a Roth IRA for a young worker.... Read more →


You have a lot to do, and which you'd rather be doing, this month. But also take some time to check out a few December tax moves. (Photo via Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images) It's December! Are you ready for all the decorating and shopping and cooking and parties and tax moves to make? Me neither. Although I love the holidays and Christmas decorating, my time and patience get shorter this time of year as my seasonal to-do list gets longer. So I understand if you are rolling your eyes right now as I suggest adding some tax moves... Read more →


Are you enjoying Thanksgiving? I hope so. And if your Turkey Day celebration extends, like it does for most of us, into Friday and the weekend, Happy Beyond Thanksgiving! But when you're ready (or forced) to get back to your regular routine, you might want to make time to consider the items in the box below: five tax turkeys and how to avoid them. A few relatively easy tax moves in these areas could help make your tax life easier. 2023's Tax Turkeys 🦃 🍗 🦃 to Avoid Not adjusting your incorrect withholding Not collecting your employer's maximum 401(k) match... Read more →


Taking advantage of these inflation-adjusted tax breaks could put more money in your pocket instead of Uncle Sam's bank account. (Photo by Sasun Bughdaryan on Unsplash) Each of our tax situations is unique. But every taxpayer can agree on one thing. We all want to pay the least amount of tax as possible. That universal goal can be reached by taking advantage of tax deductions, tax credits, and income exclusions. Deductions, like the standard amounts discussed in Part 2 of the ol' blogs annual tax inflation series, are a relatively easy, and popular, way to reduce a tax bill. Deductions... Read more →


Property taxes are the prime source of funding for school districts across the United States. But the homeowners who pay those taxes generally think those taxes are too high. That tax concern was addressed yesterday, Nov. 7, in two states where voters made the ultimate decisions by their choices on ballot questions. And the election results were not a surprise, even where they decided against property tax relief. Coloradoans' complicated tax "no" vote: Colorado voters overwhelming rejected Proposition HH, a proposal by Democratic lawmakers to provide them property tax relief and boost school funding. But Proposition HH was not nearly... Read more →


Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images Tuesday, Nov. 7, is election day. The hubby and I already voted. But, as expected in an election year that doesn't include national races, we are in the vast minority. With almost 18 million registered voters, an early count of early voters showed that statewide turnout was only 5.53 percent. I'm a bit surprised. I thought the property tax cut ballot initiative would have energized more of my neighbors. Texas property tax cut: The proposition was put on the ballot by the legislature in response to homeowner complaints about Texas' real estate taxes, which... Read more →


A rare annular, or ring of fire, solar eclipse is tomorrow, Oct. 14. NASA has more on the event. And if it's cloudy where you live or you're not in a prime viewing region, you can livestream the eclipse. October already is the spookiest month of the year, but things ramp up this weekend. Today, in case you haven't looked at a calendar, is Friday the 13th. Tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 14, millions in the Americas will experience, at least in part, a rare annular solar eclipse. In the United States, the event will begin in Oregon around 9:13 a.m. Pacific... Read more →


If you're just now getting to work on your extended 2022 tax return, which is due to the Internal Revenue Service by Monday, Oct. 16, don't panic. These tips will help you make the most of the little tax time left. (Image courtesy Taxpayer Advocate Service, which also has some tips for Oct. 16 filers.) It's almost Tax Day for extreme procrastinators. The extension you got for your 2022 return ends on Monday, Oct. 16. Since the tax clock is ticking, let's get right to these eight tips that can help you complete your Form 1040 by the fast approaching,... Read more →


You made it through college. Congratulations! Now you've just got to repay that student loan. Photo by Muhammad Rizwan on Unsplash More than 40 million former college students who have federal student loans must soon start repaying that debt. The financial obligation has been on hold since March 2020 as a way to help borrowers who encountered financial difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic. During these three and half years, the borrowers didn't have to pay their student loans. But that changes next month. The first post-pause payment is due in October, which starts in just a few days. If you... Read more →


Students settling in at the top of Kyle Field stadium in College Station in advance of a Texas A&M vs. University of Texas-Austin game. The Lone Star State rivalry looks to resume, since Texas will join A&M in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) next year. (Photo by Zabdiel Gonzalez on Unsplash) Yes, college football technically kicked off last weekend, but today was when most fans got the games they've been waiting months to see. Like the TCU-Colorado match-up in the yet again rejiggered Big 12 conference. That game was wild! You know Big 12 football is back when there’s no defense... Read more →