Tax News

February 24, 2017 8:00 am

There are many tax breaks that you may take if you have a qualifying child. Unfortunately, there is no single definition for all of these tax breaks. Here are the different definitions; you may be eli...

December 30, 2016 10:37 am

In the course of a marital dissolution, spouses may divvy up their financial assets. Some may take the form of property settlements, which are tax-free events, or alimony, which is taxable to the reci...

January 29, 2016 10:23 am

If you are legally married, you must file a joint federal income tax return unless you choose to file separately. This rule applies to both opposite sex- and same-sex married persons. There are certai...

May 22, 2015 9:32 am

More than 50 tax breaks that expired at the end of 2013 were extended for 2014 and can be used on 2014 tax returns. Many of our readers have expressed confusion about which breaks have been extended, ...

February 20, 2013 11:55 am

The earned income tax credit (EITC) is a federal program started in 1975 that is designed to encourage low-income individuals to work by reducing their tax burden. Taxpayers eligible for the credit ca...

April 2, 2012 11:23 am

You can’t claim your pet as a dependent, no matter how much a part of the family your pet is. You can’t treat veterinary bills as deductible medical expenses. And you can’t take an adoption cred...

June 22, 2011 12:00 am

If you lend money and fail to charge interest at a rate at least equal to the applicable federal rate (AFR) for the term of the loan, you may be subject to below-market loan rules. These rules require...

April 8, 2011 12:00 am

Payments can be treated as deductible alimony only if they meet certain requirements. One key requirement is that the payments are made pursuant to a decree of divorce or a written instrument incident...

February 25, 2011 12:00 am

In February 2010, the Treasury Department established the HFA Hardest Hit Fund to provide funds to the state programs to assist homeowners in preventing avoidable foreclosures and to stabilize housing...

December 26, 2010 12:00 am

A number of taxpayers have contacted the IRS about being identity theft victims and have straightened out their tax accounts. For these taxpayers, the IRS will issue a 6-digit identity protection pers...

October 18, 2010 12:00 am

Social Security benefits and other amounts can be adjusted annually for inflation. However, because of the cost-of-living formula used for this adjustment and the lack of any significant inflation, th...

September 6, 2010 12:00 am

Retirement plans are primarily designed to provide income during retirement years. However, in tough economic times, individuals short of cash to pay for housing, medical costs, and other necessities ...

August 13, 2010 12:00 am

After more than 30 years, the opportunity for low-income workers to receive the earned income credit on an advanced basis has ended. Effective after 2010, eligible workers will have to wait until they...

July 12, 2010 12:00 am

Those who were in contract by April 30, 2010, to purchase a home that would qualify them for a tax credit as a first-time buyer or long-term resident now have more time to complete the sale. Originall...

May 17, 2010 12:00 am

Some states give payments to a parent to look after his or her disabled child. These payments may fall under a foster care system. The tax law excludes from income the amount of foster care payments. ...

February 3, 2010 12:00 am

In the past couple of years, the stock market has decimated the retirement accounts of many people. Others who lost jobs were forced to tap into retirement savings for living expenses. All in all, the...

November 2, 2009 12:00 am

The government believes that some wealthy individuals stash funds abroad and engage in complex transactions as a way to hide income and evade taxes. An amnesty program for individuals to report their ...

June 25, 2009 12:00 am

Homeowners at risk for defaulting on their mortgages may qualify for pay-for-performance payments under the Home Affordability Modification Plan (HAMP), a program that is part of the Homeowner Afforda...

February 9, 2009 12:00 am

Tornadoes, fires, floods, accidents, and other unexpected events can change your life in the blink of an eye. The impact on your personal and financial life can be devastating. While the personal asp...

February 5, 2009 12:00 am

The $787 billion recovery package, called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, contains numerous tax breaks, primarily for low- and moderate-income taxpayers. Many of the breaks run fo...

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Tax Glossary

Tenants in common

Two or more persons who have undivided ownership rights in property. Upon death of a tenant, his or her share passes to his or her estate, rather than to the surviving tenants.

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