Does Your Teen Have to Pay Taxes?

Do you remember your first job? Do you remember the thrill of finally earning your own income? I do. I was 15 and received my lifeguard certification. I thought that I was one of the coolest kids around. Not only was I earning a little extra cash but I was spending my days bathing in the sun. Chances are, your teenager wants the opportunity to make some extra cash. Whether she is working a traditional job with a paycheck or … [Read more...]

Where to Get Your Taxes Done in 2020 (The 3 Best Places & Prices)

  Are you wondering where to get your taxes done? What's the best option for your tax situation? Tax preparation and filing can be simplified by doing a little research to choose the best option for you. You can still go to an accountant or a retail tax preparation service, but an increasingly popular option is do-it-yourself software for tax preparation.  Of course, you want to be sure you're spending your money … [Read more...]

7 Things to do Before You File + a Free Tax Prep Checklist

Tax time. It’s an annual season that many of us dread all year long. Unfortunately, our tax code is unnecessarily complex. And things can get even more complicated if you have a side hustle or own your own business. You can make your taxes less stressful by being prepared with a tax prep checklist. Before you file your taxes you’ll want to consider any life changes or tax law changes that took place last year that may affect your … [Read more...]

14 Commonly Overlooked Tax Deductions–Updated for 2020

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 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 … [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. Federal income tax brackets are one of the critical pieces of the tax code. These tax brackets were created to facilitate the taxing of different levels of income. Below you will find the tax brackets for income earned in 2019 and 2018 (as well as past years). Our progressive tax rate structure (i.e. as income increases, taxes … [Read more...]

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Standard Tax Deduction

The good ole standard tax deduction. For when you can't itemize. 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 … [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...]

Excess Roth IRA Contributions: Does My Brokerage Keep Track of Income Limits?

According to the IRS's Roth IRA income limitations, if you plan to file married filing jointly and make $183,000 or over in Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) in 2012, then you cannot make contributions to a Roth IRA. Many dual income households are now staring down this Roth IRA limit. Such is the case of this PT Money reader who asks: I am considering opening a Roth IRA account with an online broker, but I have a few tax questions first. If I make some stock … [Read more...]

Retirement Withdrawal Strategies: 4% Rule vs The Bucket Method

One of the most nerve-wracking aspects of nearing retirement is the prospect of possibly running out of money in your golden years. Even if you have been the most diligent of savers, mismanaging your withdrawal of retirement income could have disastrous consequences. There are two main strategies for retirement income withdrawal: systematic withdrawal and bucket withdrawal. It pays to understand the pros and cons of each of these … [Read more...]

What is the Minimum Income to File Taxes in 2020?

  It's that time of year when people begin wondering whether they need to file a federal income tax return. When in doubt, I say go ahead and file! (Your 2019 tax returns are due on July 15, 2020, and we recommend TurboTax because it's 100% free to file for most people). But, when making a decision this important, you probably want some hard numbers, so I'm going to give them to you.  Here's the quick and … [Read more...]

Should I Rollover My 401k?

Every day someone leaves a job and asks, "should I rollover my 401k?" Most of the time, the answer is yes. If you recently left a job, you should probably rollover your 401k. But there is more than one way to answer this question if you look at it closer. The answer really depends on where you are rolling over that 401k to. There are many places to put your old 401k funds. You could roll it over into your checking account, a new 401k, a rollover IRA, or even … [Read more...]

10 Smart Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund

The April tax deadline will be here before you know it. Since you aren't living on this money on a day-to-day basis, this windfall can be used to better your situation.  Your tax refund can be put to good use in reaching your financial goals. Some wise ways to utilize your tax refund include building up your emergency fund, getting out of debt, or saving towards your future. Here are 10 ways to put your tax return to good … [Read more...]