Taxes

No one enjoys talking about, thinking about, or completing their taxes but it's an unfortunate yet necessary part of adult working life.

These posts will help you file your taxes, get your return as quickly as possible, and (to the best of my ability) help you navigate this overly complicated world as easily as possible.

This archive shares everything related to the issue of taxes.

Taxes:

What You Need to Know About Estate Taxes

The federal threshold for a taxable estate is $11.7 million. However, states impose their own taxes which will impact a lot more people. If you believe you are close to the federal or state estate tax threshold, you should invest some time and money into determining if estate taxes will affect your estate.

What Is the Stepped-Up Basis Loophole?

The step-up basis loophole says that when assets are inherited the heir receives the asset at market value. If they sell the asset they will only pay capital gains on any growth that took place after they took ownership.

TaxSlayer Review 2021: Features, Prices, Pros and Cons

TaxSlayer offers low cost, online tax prep. Their free version isn't as comprehensive as other platforms, for example it doesn't support dependents. However, their paid plans are less expensive than their competitors.

What is the Effective Tax Rate?

Your income is not all taxed at the same rate. Instead, different levels of income are taxed at different rates. Your effective tax rate is not your tax bracket, but is probably best described as an "average" tax rate pertaining to the federal income taxes you pay.

What are Donor-Advised Funds?

Donor-advised funds are perfect for those who give regularly to charities but not enough to take advantage of itemizing their deductions. These funds allow you to group many year's worth of donations into one year to optimize your tax deductions.

Do You Need to File a Tax Return?

While there are a few scenarios that allow you to skip filing a return, it's usually a good idea to file even if you don't have to. Filing allows you to receive a refund, if you over paid your taxes and makes you eligible for any assistance you may qualify for.

Credit Karma Tax Review 2021

Credit Karma Tax offers a free way to file both your federal and state taxes. It includes business income and audit defense which are not features you will see in most free file plans.

H&R Block Review 2021

H&R Block has been doing taxes since 1955 and has 60,000 tax pros with an average of 10 years of experience. With their many service levels from complete DIY to online assist to fully in-person with a tax pro, you can be sure you are getting exactly what you need without overpaying.

How Are Dividends Taxed?

There are two types of dividends - ordinary and qualified. Ordinary dividends are taxed like income. Qualified dividends are taxed as long term capital gains. The rate you pay for long term capital gains depends on your income but will be between 0 and 20%.

TaxAct Review 2021: Same Tax Return, Lower Cost

While TaxAct doesn't have all the bells and whistles of other tax software out there it is generally cheaper to file with them. If you don't need extras, such as one on one support or audit assistance you may want to consider TaxAct. They offer a free version for simple returns and several other levels of service depending on how complicated your taxes are.

The Best Tax Software for 2021

Which tax software to choose depends on your specific situation. If you have a simple return in only one state you can likely get your taxes done for free with TurboTax or Credit Karma. But if things are more complicated or you want live help from a tax expert then you'll want an upgraded package as you can find with H&R Block.

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