Tax records: Save them or Shred them?

Tax day is over. Now it’s time to find the top of your desk. If you’re like most people, your home office is littered with 1099s, W-2s, letters from charities and other detritus used to prepare a tax return. Most of us are terrified to dispose of these documents, and for good reason: In an

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Breastfeeding Pumps Now Deductible, IRS Rules

Breast pumps and other lactation supplies are now tax deductible as medical expenses, the Internal Revenue Service said Thursday, reversing a long-held position. The new ruling means that families can use pre-tax funds from their flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts for these supplies. Breast pumps typically cost more than $200 and, along with

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Wrap Fees

“Wrap Fees” charged to IRA holders qualify for tax favored treatment are not counted as payins to the IRA if paid separately by the owner, IRS privately rules. The fee covers investment planning and broker commissions. Although the payment of broker commissions is usually treated as a IRA payin, that rule doesn’t apply to wrap

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IRS Gives a Road Map for Audits of Repair and Maintenance Expenses

The issue of whether maintenance costs are deductible as incidental repairs or must be capitalized under IRC §263A continues to trip up taxpayers, despite guidance and proposed regulations from the Internal Revenue Service. Recently, the IRS issued an audit-technique guide that gives insight into how it will examine taxpayers’ treatment of repair and maintenance costs.

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FASB moves toward reversing mark-to-market proposal

The Financial Accounting Standards Board has started taking steps toward allowing banks to continue to use an amortized cost to value many of the loans on their balance sheets rather than shifting to a “fair value” accounting method. Last year, the accounting standards board had proposed expanding mark-to-market accounting on bank loans. The banking industry

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New Smartphone App Lets You Check Tax Refund Status

The IRS unveiled a new smartphone app Monday that will allow taxpayers to check the status of their tax refunds and get other information about their tax returns. The app, IRS2Go, can be downloaded for free on iPhones and Androids, the IRS said. Taxpayers will need to provide some basic information to check the status of their

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For itemizers, IRS has set a tax-filing date of Feb. 14

Taxpayers who claim itemized deductions will be able to file their federal tax returns starting Feb. 14, the IRS said Thursday. While the tax-filing season began on Jan. 4, the IRS announced last year that taxpayers who itemize — which includes just about everyone who has a mortgage — would have to wait until at

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Where To Keep Your Important Financial Records

We all have financial records, whether they’re pay stubs, tax returns, or receipts that we’re using for tax write-offs. Although many of us are now using personal finance software, there still isn’t a one-stop solution to track all your finances. So, should you use online storage, or just keep hard copies? There are no easy

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How Long to Keep Tax Records

You can toss some supporting documents, but you’ll need to hang onto others for years. This is a great time of the year to get rid of outdated files and to organize your records in preparation for filing your tax return in the spring. Read more» [Kiplinger]

Good News for Millions of Workers in 2011 – 2% decrease in Social Security withholding taxes

Now that 2011 is here, there is a good news for millions of workers in the United States — more money in their paychecks. Thanks to the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, there has been a 2 percent decrease in Social Security withholding taxes. The short-term tax break has

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