Common Tax-Filing Mistakes to Avoid

Thanks to tax preparation software, more of us are making fewer mistakes on our annual tax returns. But still, just one slip in entering information on your computer could end up costing you, either in the form of a larger tax bill or a smaller refund. And even if a mistake, either on your computer […]

Cash-Strapped States

This year, more Americans and businesses may be asking: Where’s my tax refund? That’s because cash-strapped states such as North Carolina, Alabama and Hawaii have been forced to slow down issuing income tax refunds to individuals and businesses because of a lack of funds in their budget. Kansas has hinted that a delay might be […]

Using the Rout in Housing to Lower Taxes

New Tools Help Owners Get Reduced Valuations; Saving Big in New Jersey Kim Davidson lives in Bonita, Calif., a San Diego suburb hit hard by tumbling property values. Earlier this year, she made the best of a bad situation and appealed her tax assessment. The county reduced her annual tax bill by more than $1,000 […]

What Tax Records Should You Keep

April is fast-approaching and with it, tax time. While tax preparation seems to get a little bit easier each year with the prevalence of online tax prep software, there’s still one question that leaves many Americans scratching their heads: What records should I hang onto for tax purposes and how long should I keep them? […]

When Should Kids Get Cell Phones?

Every parent of a young child today knows the dilemma: When is your child old enough for a cell phone? A computer? A TV in their room? Good questions, and while the scientific and psychological consensus tends to skew toward encouraging later adoption of gadgetry (12 years old is a common figure for My First […]

Filing Your Taxes Late Won’t Cost You

Scrambling to file your taxes before the April 15 deadline? Relax. There’s a good chance it won’t cost you a penny to submit your return late. Many people fear that a tardy return will involve penalties, headaches or even jail time. But the reality is that if you are one of the majority of Americans […]

Fraud-Alert Service Pays $12 Million Settlement

Lifelock, the company that brazenly broadcast its chief executive’s Social Security number as part of its claim that it could protect anyone against identity theft, agreed on Tuesday to pay $12 million to settle charges that it misled consumers about the effectiveness of its service. The settlement, announced by the Federal Trade Commission and a […]

Things Your Mechanic Won’t Tell You

1. “You might be in the wrong garage.” There are many choices as to where consumers can take their car when it’s in need of maintenance or repair. Those include going to the car dealer, a department or chain-store franchise, or an independent mechanic at a service station. Where you should go depends on what […]

Want a Bigger Tax Refund?

Six reasons why many taxpayers can save money and time by claiming the standard deduction. Did you know you can legally take a deduction that is more than the total of your receipts? It’s called the standard deduction and for a lot of taxpayers it’s a money and time saver. Year after year taxpayers spend […]

Social Security to start cashing Uncle Sam’s IOUs

The retirement nest egg of an entire generation is stashed away in this small town along the Ohio River: $2.5 trillion in IOUs from the federal government, payable to the Social Security Administration. It’s time to start cashing them in. For more than two decades, Social Security collected more money in payroll taxes than it […]