Tax News

December 7, 2010 12:00 am

The IRS announced the standard mileage rates for use a vehicle for certain purposes in 2011. For business driving, the rate is 51¢ per mile, up slightly from 50¢ per mile in 2010....

November 28, 2010 12:00 am

Modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is a term used in the tax law for various purposes. It may be the benchmark that allows you to claim certain tax breaks or bars you from others. It is also used f...

November 21, 2010 12:00 am

Statistics show that charitable giving is down, as many people have become financially strapped in this tough economy. Still, those who can afford to give and want to benefit their alma mater or other...

November 12, 2010 12:00 am

The IRS started electronic filing in the mid-1990s. In 1997, Congress directed the IRS to increase electronic filing of individual income tax returns to 80% by 2007. While the IRS has yet to achieve t...

November 12, 2010 12:00 am

If a taxpayer fights the IRS and wins, under certain circumstances, the taxpayer is entitled to recover attorney's fees from the federal government. Conditions for recovery: Be the prevailing party ...

November 11, 2010 12:00 am

Whether you are an employee or a self-employed person, now is the time to start thinking about funding a retirement plan in 2011. Most of the tax rules have remained unchanged from 2010, but there ar...

November 10, 2010 12:00 am

For the majority of Medicare enrollees, the basic 2011 monthly premium for Part B remains at $96.40 (the same since 2008). The law prevents a hike in the Part B premiums for Social Security recipients...

November 8, 2010 12:00 am

A couple that was planning to demolish their home and build a new one in its place instead donated the home to their local fire company. As part of training exercises, the company burned down the home...

November 2, 2010 12:00 am

More than two dozen tax breaks are subject to cost-of-living adjustments each year. However, due to low inflation, only a handful of tax breaks will be increased for 2011. These include: Adoption ...

November 1, 2010 12:00 am

IRS Commissioner Shulman announced the creation of a new office called the Return Preparer Office to handle issues related to the mechanics of registration, continuing education, and testing requireme...

October 31, 2010 12:00 am

Whether you're paying into the Social Security system or receiving benefits from it, the important news is that there are no changes for 2011. Some amounts can be adjusted annually for inflation, but ...

Interest Income: I Didn’t Know That!
October 19, 2010 12:00 am

With interest rates so low for so long, many taxpayers have abandoned interest-bearing investments in hopes of greater returns. Still many other taxpayers continue to favor certain types of interest-b...

October 18, 2010 12:00 am

Legal fees to receive alimony are deductible, but apparently legal fees to keep income by not paying alimony are not. That's what the Tax Court told an engineer in California who incurred $13,574 in l...

October 18, 2010 12:00 am

We are at a crossroads of considerable importance-the stock market appears to be on the rise, but favorable capital gains rates are poised to expire. In order to plan your investment moves between no...

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...

October 18, 2010 12:00 am

It may become easier following enactment of the Plain Writing Act of 2010. Signed into law on October 13, 2010, it requires the IRS to translate its documents into "plain writing" within 1 year. Plain...

October 17, 2010 12:00 am

When you sell stocks, art, or other assets you've inherited, what is your tax basis for determining gain or loss? The rules can be confusing, especially if you inherit property in 2010. General Rule ...

October 4, 2010 12:00 am

Certain imported drywall (much of which comes from China and is referred to as Chinese drywall) has caused blackening or corrosion of electrical wiring and copper components in household appliances, a...

October 4, 2010 12:00 am

On 2010 returns, the amount of the adoption credit is up to $13,170, and it is fully refundable. Starting with 2010 returns, however, if you want to claim the credit for adopting a child, you'll need ...

October 4, 2010 12:00 am

The IRS has announced the new rates used for reimbursing employees on a per diem basis for their travel to certain areas within the country. For simplicity, employers can use the rates fixed by the IR...

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Tax Glossary

Probate estate

Property held in a decedent’s name passing by will.

More terms