Family Feed

Taxes are all about numbers, but generally speaking, we taxpayers are not big math fans. That's why we hire tax professionals or use tax software. That aversion to doing more calculations is why most of us have chosen, year-in and year-out, to claim the standard deduction. Sure, I know, we should use the tax deduction method, either standard or itemizing, that gives up the better tax due result. Still, I know some folks who use the standard deduction method without even comparing because, as noted, it's easier. There are no receipts to save, no additional adding, subtracting, and figuring percentages.... Read more →


Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images Every year, families gather at Thanksgiving. In many cases, it's a chance for relatives and friends who haven't seen each other for a while to reconnect. Some families, however, are much closer proximity-wise. They see each other all the time. And in some of those cases, family members are caregivers. That's why November is a good choice as National Family Caregivers Month. It is formal recognition, as noted in President Joe Biden's proclamation, that millions of Americans provide crucial care and assistance to parents, children, siblings, and other loved ones. Many of these caregivers... Read more →


Confused about your workplace benefits options during open enrollment? Your answers to the following questions could help. (Photo by Priscilla Du Preez 🇨🇦 on Unsplash) Millions of U.S. workers are now deciding what workplace benefits they want in 2024. Many during this annual open enrollment period simply re-up the options they chose last year. I get it. It's easy. But you could be costing yourself, both in out-of-pocket cost and tax savings. So, before you make a final decision, ask yourself the following questions. 1. Will your company help your repay your student loan? College costs and the debt that... 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 →


Shutterstock The financial challenges American families face have gotten a lot of attention recently. Notably, Congress is (still) fighting over (among other things) whether to expand the Child Tax Credit to levels enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic. But even as that tax and fiscal policy struggle continues, some lawmakers have set their sights on another family-friendly benefit. Two U.S. Senators want to tweak a tax credit to provide more financial help for families that adopt. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND) on Sept 21 introduced the Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act, S. 2895. It is the upper chamber's... Read more →


Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash After two years of decline, thanks in part to the coronavirus pandemic, marriages in the United States have returned to pre-COVID levels, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's recently released 2022 American Community Survey (ACS). Even better for romantics, a major jewelry company is predicting a spike in engagements as more of us return to pre-pandemic lifestyles, including dating…and more. If you're planning nuptials, or already have said, "I do," congratulations. Now here are eight tax tasks you need to take care of, after the honeymoon, of course. 1. Make sure everyone knows your... Read more →


Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images The U.S. Census Bureau's Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS ASEC) shows that family-related reasons were a driver for more than a quarter, or 26.5 percent, of households between 2021 and 2022. Some of the moving vans were called to combine or create new family abodes as people who had put off wedding plans during the COVID-19 pandemic finally said "I do." In other cases, it was couples splitting their partnership and possessions, possibly due to too much time together during coronavirus lockdowns. There are tax implications when marriages begin and... Read more →


Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images Congress apparently is still trying to hash out a tax bill. Republican leaders have created a measure, but it's facing not only Democratic opposition, but also pushback from some of its own members. The hangup within the GOP is the $10,000 limit on tax deductible state and local taxes. Democrats want any tax legislation to include an expansion of the Child Tax Credit, or CTC, that follows the increases allowed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The CTC is one of the most popular federal tax breaks around. The family-friendly tax break has been in the... Read more →


A student checks his notes before the next class. (Photo by Brice Cooper on Unsplash) The 2023 school year has started, or will soon, for kindergarten through college students. Learning can be expensive, even for public school attendees. But it is higher education that poses the highest costs. Uncle Sam can help cover some educational expenses, but the school-related tax benefits noted in my post last week are limited. That means that students and/or their families must come up with the bulk of the school payments. That's usually done through traditional financial assistance, such as scholarships, loans, or other forms... Read more →


If you're the parent of this rambunctious duo, you definitely have a challenging job. However, this roughhousing duo also might help you claim a valuable federal tax credit. The Child Tax Credit (CTC) is one of the most popular federal tax breaks around. This family-friendly tax break has been in the Internal Revenue Code in some form since 1997. Parents like it because it's relatively easy to claim. It's also a tax credit, which means it will reduce your tax liability dollar-for-dollar. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CTC benefits were expanded. To counter the economic problems created... Read more →


Photo by Saulius Sutkus on Unsplash August has arrived, reminding us that summer is almost over. There are just a few weeks left to take a final vacation during these sweltering dog days. But before you head out to a beach retreat or a cooler mountain cabin, take a few minutes for taxes. This month is a good time to make some tax moves that could save you some (or more) dollars and/or keep you out of tax trouble. Here are five to consider. 1. File your 2022 return by Aug. 15. OK, this applies only to a few, relatively... Read more →


Stereotypes, or traditions if you prefer, tend to be true when it comes to older couples and tax return filing. When the hubby and I married many (many) years ago, I (we) decided that I would keep my name. I was a writer, and my byline was already known, so it seemed logical. Also, as a young single woman of the 1970s, it was no big deal. What's that saying? The more things change, the more they stay the same. That also applies in many instances to taxes. Welcome to the 21st century, where Internal Revenue Service return filing data... Read more →


And if that's not enough to get what's owed, Oregon and other states' child support officials get the U.S. Treasury's assistance in collecting those delinquent family financial payments. Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images It's a given that raising children is an expensive endeavor. When parents split up, that financial burden is shared. That continues, ideally, even when couples split. In those cases, one parent often is held legally responsible for providing funds to the other who has main custody of the youngsters. The payments typically last until the children are legal adults. When the paying parent is delinquent on... Read more →


Reviewed and updated Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024 The New Year's Day 2024 Powerball drawing was life-changing for the yet-to-be identified person who bought the lone winning ticket in Grand Blanc, Michigan. Congrats to the winner of the $842.4 million jackpot, which has a one-time cash payment value of $425.2 million. And better luck next time for the rest of us! Picking lucky numbers from a lottery game dispenser. Benjamin Franklin wasn't wrong, but he did live in pre-national lottery times. Today, joining death and taxes as life's constants is Americans' love of gambling. One of the most popular betting options... Read more →


Hello, July! Yeah, I know my welcome to the first full month of summer is a bit late. But admit it. You don't really focus on the month either until after you wrap up July 4th celebrations. Since Independence Day this year fell on Tuesday, that meant an extra-long holiday weekend for lots of us. But the fireworks are over and, sadly, we'll never be independent of taxes. So it's back to work this first week of July, and back to making tax moves that can at least keep a few more dollars out of Uncle Sam's clutches. Here are... Read more →


Photo via Unsplash+ License The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) wrapped its latest term on Friday with a couple of education-related rulings — affirmative action in college admissions and student loan forgiveness; the high court said nope to both — that will be dissected for a while. But we're still talking about a year-old decision by the justices. On June 24, 2022, SCOTUS overturned 1973's Roe v. Wade, sending abortion decisions back to the 50 states. That's effectively limited the availability of the medical procedure in more than half of the country. Last year's Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s... Read more →


The expanded Child Tax Credit was a lifeline for millions of families early in the COVID-19 pandemic. The benefit went from $2,000 per qualifying child to $3,600 a year for children younger than age 6, and $3,000 per child for youngsters ages 6 to 17. More of the increased CTC also was refundable, meaning that if the available tax credit amount was more than the filer's tax due, the excess was sent to the taxpayer as a refund. Even better, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) called for most eligible households to get half of their qualifying CTC payment in... Read more →


We made it through the debt limit's renewal, so of course the focus now is on tax cuts. Or at least the House Republican majority's focus. That's understandable, at least if you're familiar with how Capitol Hill works. The GOP wants to show that even with its slim House majority, it takes its position as the originator of federal tax laws seriously. And it wants to lay down some policy and political markers for, respectively, upcoming budget talks and the 2024 elections. To that end, the House Ways and Means Committee will consider next week a package of tax breaks... Read more →


UPDATED, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2023: The United States tends to be the target of tropical systems that form in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. But this week, California is in the path of Pacific-spawned Hurricane Hilary. And depending on Hilary's precise path, she could substantially impact Arizona, and even Nevada. Now is the time for West Coast residents and their inland neighbors to get ready. The Weather Channel meteorologist Ari Sarsalari says we don't need to worry too much about the low-pressure system that's formed in the Gulf of Mexico. You can watch his full forecast by clicking the... Read more →