Tax Planning

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Tax Reference: 2015
A simple reference chart of the most useful numbers of the 2015 tax year

Tax Reference: 2016
A simple reference chart of the most useful numbers of the 2016 tax year.

Choosing a Tax Filing Status
Selecting a status when you file your taxes depends mainly on your marital status and whether you have children. Learn about the five choices so you can select the best filing status.

Which Tax Form Should I Use?
Discover the differences between Forms 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ, and determine which is appropriate for you to use when filing your taxes.

Filling Out Your W-4
Form W-4 is one of the most common tax forms, and you may even have to fill it out several times a year, not just when you file your taxes. Here's how to use it to withhold taxes from your paycheck correctly.

Understanding your W-2
Have you ever wondered what all of the boxes on tax Form W-2 mean? Here's a guide to deciphering your W-2s so you can complete your taxes easily this year.

Taxes on Social Security Benefits
In general, Social Security income is not taxed; it is only when you earn additional income that tax begins to play a role in your Social Security income. Learn about the income thresholds and how to pay taxes on Social Security benefits.

When Should I Itemize?
Taxpayers have the option to claim the standard deduction or choose to itemize their deductions. Learn how to determine which method results in the smallest tax liability so you can decide whether to itemize or not.

Above the Line Deductions
Even if you don't itemize your deductions, there are several "above-the-line" deductions you can take, which lower your adjusted gross income. Learn about common above-the-line deductions and how to claim them.

Home Office Deduction
Are you a business owner who works from home? Learn how to reduce your expenses and avoid an audit when claiming the home office deduction on your federal tax return.

Deducting Medical Expenses
One of the most popular income tax deductions available is for medical and dental expenses. This article discusses how to claim the deduction and which expenses qualify.

Deducting Taxes You Paid
Did you know that you can claim taxes you've already paid as an expense on your federal tax return? Discover what taxes are eligible for this deduction and how you can reduce your tax bill by paying your taxes.

Deducting Unreimbursed Employee Expenses
Everyday employee expenses can add up quickly if you aren't reimbursed for them by your employer. Learn how to identify, track and deduct these costs as unreimbursed employee expenses on your tax return.

Claiming Exemptions on Your 1040
Claiming personal and dependent exemptions on your Form 1040 can be an easy way to reduce your taxable income. Learn whether you're eligible for these exemptions and how to accurately claim them.

Tax Credits for Individuals
Learn about the two types of tax credits and who is eligible for some of the most common ones.

Residential Energy Credits
Exploring energy-efficient or alternative energy solutions for your home can do good for both the environment and your wallet. Learn how to get a tax benefit from these environmentally friendly additions by taking advantage of residential energy credits.

The Earned Income Tax Credit
The EITC is a refundable tax credit for lower-income individuals and families. Even if you are not obligated to file taxes, you should consider the Earned Income Tax Credit, because you may be entitled to a refund.

Retirement Savings Contributions Credit
Find out how the IRS uses its Savers Credit tax incentive to make retirement planning a realistic goal for more people.

Tax-Advantaged Accounts Visualized
How much can taxes drain from an investment? Find out and discover why tax-free accounts are so valuable to investors.

Foreign Tax Credit
Learn how the foreign tax credit protects you from double taxation on income earned outside the United States.

Capital Gains Tax
Understanding how investments are taxed is a key factor when managing your portfolio or planning for retirement. Get some important information on how these capital gains taxes work and when their rates are different.

Tax Loss Harvesting
Use this article to help your clients understand the process of leveraging a loss in an investment to lower taxes.

Taxes and Your Portfolio
Wherever there is money, there are taxes. Learn which types of taxation affect your investments and what steps you can take to limit their impact.

Hobby Loss Rules
Can tax claims change your business into a hobby? Learn how to recognize if your business is at risk for "hobby loss" rules.

Understanding the Alternative Minimum Tax
Read about what the Alternative Minimum Tax is, who qualifies, how to tell if you qualify and recent changes to the AMT tax law

Year-End Financial Checklist
At year-end, use this checklist to make sure your finances are in order and you're taking full advantage of the tax strategies available to you.

Tax Filing for Members of the Military
Discover the unique exemptions and deferrals military personnel are allowed to use when filing their taxes.

Top 10 Tax Myths
If you believe these ten common myths about taxation, you could get in trouble with the IRS. Set the record straight about taxes once and for all.

Tax Me Now or Tax Me Later
How can you choose which type of individual retirement account is best for your financial plan? Comparing your two main options and their tax implications is a good place to start. Use this visual to easily compare the key factors of Roth and traditional IRAs.

Staying on Top of Estimated Taxes
Learn why putting off your estimated tax payments for even one quarter can cost you big in the long run, and get tips on how to make sure this doesn't happen to you.

Filing for a Tax Extension
What should you do if April 15 is approaching fast and you still haven’t filed your taxes? Learn how to file for an extension and why filing late is worse than paying late.

Options When Paying Your Taxes
Learn your options for filing and paying taxes, along with what to do if you can't afford to pay on time.

How Long to Keep Tax Returns
Managing your taxes can be frustrating, and managing your tax records even more so. Learn how long you need to hold on to your tax records--and when you should get rid of them.

12 Common Tax Errors to Avoid
These 12 tax errors could lose you money or get you in trouble with the IRS. Learn which errors to look for and how to avoid them.

What to Do When You’re Audited
Read about the auditing process and what you should do if you get audited. You'll also learn about the types of audits and possible outcomes.