7 Ways Millennials Can Avoid Mistakes Filing Taxes

This post is brought to you by TurboTax. While this post was sponsored by TurboTax, all content and opinions expressed here are my own. Tax season is upon us, which can be a stressful time of year for anyone. Millennials in particular tend to dread filing their taxes—according to a 2016 survey by NerdWallet, 80% of millennials worry about preparing their taxes because they are afraid of making a mistake, paying too much in taxes, or not getting a full … [Read more...]

These 7 Strategies Save Us Thousands Each Year in Taxes

It's time once again to start giving some thought to paying taxes. Who's excited? Okay, even though it may feel like a chore it's wise to do a little analysis at the end of the year to see if there are any year-end tax planning moves you need to make. Remember, corporate returns are due on March 15, 2017. Personal tax returns are due on Tuesday, April 18, 2017, the last day to file taxes. But you can file your taxes with the IRS as soon as you have them … [Read more...]

The Official PT Money Tax Preparation Checklist

Time to file your taxes if you haven't already! We've still got plenty of time before the last day to file taxes, so you've got time to get ready. But even if you want to purposefully wait till the last minute, it doesn't hurt to start pulling together your information. I still try to follow the boy scout motto: be prepared! If you're expecting a refund, well then you probably want to get that money as soon as you can, right? Sure you do. You want that … [Read more...]

What If You Can’t Pay Your Taxes This Year?

Does your heart sink when you receive a piece of mail from the IRS? That's reason enough to dread tax season, but growing up, my family always filed extensions on their taxes. This added to the stress of tax season. After April, 15th no one in my family would go to the mailbox. I decided at age 18 I was fed up and wanted to start filing my own taxes. With a little help, I was able to prepare as soon as I received my tax documents. I never stressed again, because I … [Read more...]

Traditional and Roth IRA Contribution Limits for 2017 [Table]

The 2017 IRA contribution limits remained stagnant from last year to this year. Traditional IRA and Roth IRA These Individual Retirement Arrangements or Accounts (IRAs) were created to provide a tax incentive to save for your own retirement. They are both excellent tools to help you in your efforts to secure a comfortable retirement. I have both types of accounts and I can tell you they are easy to setup and maintain: very similar to savings … [Read more...]

10 Commonly Overlooked Tax Deductions

Are you doing your own taxes this year? Do you review your tax return even if you have it prepared by a CPA, friend, TaxAct or H&R Block? Probably not a bad idea to give it a once over. If you do, consider some of these tax deductions (as noted by Kiplinger.com) and make sure you are taking full advantage. A little time reviewing could mean big dollars in deductions and then more return of your tax dollars. Here are some of the more commonly overlooked tax … [Read more...]

Use the Federal Income Tax Brackets to See What You Really Owe

It's that time of year again when our minds start turning towards what taxes we will owe come April. One of the critical pieces of the tax code are the federal income tax brackets. These tax brackets were created to facilitate the taxing of different levels of income. Our progressive tax rate structure (i.e. as income increases, taxes increase) requires that we define the starting and stopping points for the application of different rates. Tax Brackets: A Quick … [Read more...]

Is a Roth 401k Conversion the Right Decision For You?

Back in January of 2013, we were relieved to have averted the so-called fiscal cliff that had been the non-stop talk of the 24-hour news cycle throughout the end of 2012. While many aspects of the compromise—known as the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA)—were both well-reported and somewhat controversial, one benefit of the Act may have escaped your notice: the ability to convert assets in tax-deferred accounts, such as 401k and 403b retirement accounts, … [Read more...]

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Standard Tax Deduction

I remember back in the day, when life wasn't as complicated as it is now, I used to take the standard tax deduction when filing my taxes. No itemizing required. No Schedule A required. Just a simple tax return with one number for my "below-the-line" deductions. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to have more deductions on my return these days. I just appreciated the simplicity of the standard deduction. Who knows, maybe I'll get back there some day when I pay off the house … [Read more...]

Making Sense of Education Tax Credits and Deductions

It’s tax season, and that rhythmic thumping you hear is the sound of filers all across America banging their heads against their desks. One of the many maddeningly complicated decisions facing taxpayers is how to claim a deduction or credit for tuition payments made last year. Here is the breakdown of the available options: 1. Tuition and Fees Deduction This is what most taxpayers will qualify for. You are allowed to deduct up to $4000 of qualified education … [Read more...]

How Much Should You Contribute to Your 401K? (It Depends on 3 Things)

It's one of my dirty little secrets: I am both a personal finance blogger and the daughter of a prominent financial planner, and yet my retirement savings are nowhere near where they should be. It gets worse. Until I was about 27, I actually had no retirement savings, other than some money my exasperated father put aside for me in an IRA. The thing is, I'm hardly alone in this slow-to-save boat. We're all victims of our own inertia when it comes to retirement … [Read more...]

Traditional and Roth IRA Income Limits for 2017

The charts below will show you the latest income limits that apply to the Traditional and Roth IRAs. Contributing to an IRA is a smart move. There are two major varieties for the typical taxpayer to take advantage of: Traditional or Roth. The Traditional IRA gives you a tax deduction on contributions, while the Roth IRA lets you take distributions from the account in retirement without paying taxes. They are both excellent tools to help you build a solid … [Read more...]