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 mowing neighborhood lawns for cash, … [Read more...]

Where to Get Your Taxes Done in 2019 (The 3 Best Places & Prices)

Are you wondering where to get your taxes done? This is a great question. You want to be sure you're spending your money wisely and getting the best help possible for your situation. One of my Twitter followers tweeted me this: How do you recommend people get their taxes "done"? Should we go to an accountant, or one of those places that have the guy dressed as the statue of liberty standing outside waving a banner, or TurboTax … [Read more...]

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...]

The Official PT Money Tax Preparation Checklist (Free Download)

Taxes. No one looks forward to doing their taxes but you can make it less stressful by being prepared with a tax prep checklist. Here's a quick list of things you may need to file your tax return. This list will work whether you're using a CPA or other tax professional, or whether you are doing it yourself through a service like TurboTax, H&R Block At Home, or QuickTax (for Canadians). What Information You Need to File Your … [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 2019 [Table]

The 2019 IRA contribution limits increased this year, the first change since 2013. 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...]

14 Commonly Overlooked Tax Deductions–Updated for 2019

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...]

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

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...]

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...]