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Tax and Tax Information - Income Tax

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Tax and Tax Information * Income Tax

Reduce Your Taxes   
Martin Lukac

When it comes to taxes, we all want to reduce the amount we have to pay in. There are three basic ways to minimize your taxes: reduce your income, increase your deductions and take advantage of tax credits.


Your Adjusted Gross Income is a key in determining your taxes. Your tax rate and tax credits depend upon your AGI. In fact, your AGI is a powerful number. Lenders will want to to know your AGI when you apply for a large loan or mortgage. If your child is to qualify for a college financial aid program, it depends upon your AGI. Your AGI is considered your true income level.

Article to continue below----------------------------------------------

Let Bush Tax Cuts End, Economists Say (Fox News)
NABE economist said Congress should let the Bush tax cuts expire.

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It is also where you should start your tax planning. There are many parts to your AGI. Basically, your AGI is your income from all sources minus any adjustments to your income. The higher your income, the higher your AGI. The higher your AGI, the more taxes you will pay.


It works the other way as well. If you lower your total income, you lower your AGI and the amount of taxes you pay will be lessened. This is the number one way to reduce your taxes.

Article to continue below----------------------------------------------

New York Mayor Bloomberg Presses For Tax On Soda (Reuters Via Yahoo! News)
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg urged state legislators to levy a tax on soda, saying the money raised would help plug the state's shortfalls in health care and education funding.

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How can you reduce your AGI? The best way is to contribute money to a 401(k) or similar retirement plan at work. These contributions reduce your total wages, therefore reducing your taxes bill.


You can also reduce your AGI through various income adjustments. These adjustments are simply deductions that don't have to be itemized. They include contributions to a traditional IRA and alimony paid.


You can also take a close look at your family's income situation. If one spouse earns significantly more than the other, it could be beneficial for only one to work. In many situations, a stay-at-home spouse or parent not only reduces the tax burden, but can save money through reduced work-related expenses. In my own family, my income was just enough to boost us up into a higher tax bracket -- which deducted from the benefits of working.


You can also reduce your taxes by increasing your tax deductions. Taxable income is a key element in your taxes. This is the amount left over after reducing your AGI by deductions and exemptions. Most people take a standard deduction, but quite a few people are able to itemize their deductions.


These deductions include expenses for health care, personal property taxes, mortgage interest, gifts to charity, job-related expenses, tax preparation fees and investment-related expenses.


The easiest method to itemizing your expenses is to keep record of them throughout the year using a spreadsheet or personal finance program. Then you simply compare your itemized expenses with your standard deductions. You simply take the higher deduction.


It is wise to reduce your taxable income by keeping track of your itemized deductions. The three largest deductions include mortgage interest, state taxes and gifts to charity.


So many people don't take advantage of tax credits. Tax credits reduce your tax. There are credits available for college expenses, adopting children and saving for retirement.


There are two education-related tax credits available. The Hope Credit is for students in their first two years of college, while the Lifetime Learning Credit is for anyone attending college classes. The classes can be in anything you wish -- they don't have to be related to your work or career.


Another way to limit your taxes is to avoid additional taxes. For example, an early withdrawal from an IRA or 401(k) retirement plan could result in an addition to your taxable income and penalties for early withdrawal. Not only are you reducing your retirement savings, you are increasing your tax obligation.


If you find that you have to pay in a large amount each year, you need to adjust your withholding. It will be much easier to make these payments each month rather than all at once in the spring. More money comes out of your paycheck, but you won't have to pay when you file your taxes. The goal is to be flush or have a small refund or small payment when you file your taxes.


Reducing your taxes is possible through these three simple steps. All tax planning basically falls to looking at all of your options and keeping organized records throughout the year. With a little forethought, you can lower your taxes.


RateEmpire.com, http://www.RateEmpire.com, an internet consumer banking marketplace is a destination site of personal finance, investing, taxes and mortgage rates. RateEmpire.com provides mortgage guides and financial rates and information. RateEmpire.com also operates a financial portal #1 American Financial, found at http://www.1AmericanFinancial.com and mortgage rate shopping portal http://www.1MortgageQuotes.com

What Other Authors say about Taxes

OMG-More Discussion About The Home-Based Business by Ron Piner, CPA

"Oh My God", cries out my fifteen year old daughter. "Oh My God Is Right", replies her brilliant and handsome father. This is an example of two people saying the very same thing, but for entirely different...

Self Employment Registration And The Self Assessment Tax Return Form by Terry Cartwright

There is no strict definition of self employment as opposed to not being self employed however the basic rule is if you have income other than is taxed under the paye system then you may be self employed....

Understanding Business Tax Write Offs by Wade Robin

A tax write off is the same thing as a tax deduction, and if you don't know what expenses are legitimate deductions on your tax return, you won't know what you can legitimately write off either. In the...

Consumer Energy Tax Incentives by

What the Economic Stabilization Bill Means to You The recently passed Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 included, extended and/or amended many consumer tax incentives originally introduced...

how to compute tax withholding amount by Steven Chang

Having the correct tax withheld for the year is important for a couple of reasons. Having too little taxes withheld and most likely you will need to pay taxes, and having too much withheld means that you...

Social Security and Our Current Tax System by Tony Robinson

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Tax Issues for Retirement Planning by admin

<p>The 401(k), 403(b), or 457 Plan<p>A pre-tax retirement plan offered by your employer is one of the best ways to save for retirement. That's because your contributions to the plan are deducted...

Tips For Preparing Your Taxes from the Internet by Cal Golden

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Who are the CPA Moms?      Your Tax Professional Forever!!!!

“CPA Moms - Tax Moms - EA Moms" are trade names given to Accounting and Tax Professionals who chose to work in an “relaxed” environment. Some "Moms" work from home, other work from personal offices. Not all are Moms, there are some Dads. We call them Mr. Tax Moms. CPA Dads or Enrolled Agents Dads.
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Since the “Moms” do taxes and accounting of all complexities, there is always a Mom available for every level of work. Since each Mom has a private 800 number, you are just a phone call away, regardless of where you live.
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Index of Articles about Taxes

What Other Authors say about Taxes

OMG-More Discussion About The Home-Based Business by Ron Piner, CPA

"Oh My God", cries out my fifteen year old daughter. "Oh My God Is Right", replies her brilliant and handsome father. This is an example of two people saying the very same thing, but for entirely different...

Self Employment Registration And The Self Assessment Tax Return Form by Terry Cartwright

There is no strict definition of self employment as opposed to not being self employed however the basic rule is if you have income other than is taxed under the paye system then you may be self employed....

Understanding Business Tax Write Offs by Wade Robin

A tax write off is the same thing as a tax deduction, and if you don't know what expenses are legitimate deductions on your tax return, you won't know what you can legitimately write off either. In the...

Consumer Energy Tax Incentives by

What the Economic Stabilization Bill Means to You The recently passed Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 included, extended and/or amended many consumer tax incentives originally introduced...

how to compute tax withholding amount by Steven Chang

Having the correct tax withheld for the year is important for a couple of reasons. Having too little taxes withheld and most likely you will need to pay taxes, and having too much withheld means that you...

Social Security and Our Current Tax System by Tony Robinson

Every week that you work, there are taxes deducted from your gross payroll that are distributed to the Social Security Administration, along with other programs administered by the government. Of all the...

Checking The Status Of Your Federal Tax Refund by Carl LaFresnaye

You've completed your taxes and were delighted to discover you will get a tax refund! Regardless of whether it is large or small, you want it – and you want it now! You can start planning how you will...

Tax Issues for Retirement Planning by admin

<p>The 401(k), 403(b), or 457 Plan<p>A pre-tax retirement plan offered by your employer is one of the best ways to save for retirement. That's because your contributions to the plan are deducted...

Tips For Preparing Your Taxes from the Internet by Cal Golden

When it comes to preparing our taxes, many of us could use some help. The following websites offer guidance and information that may assist you in learning about how to get the most out of filing your...

Being Careful To Choose Legal Tax Shelters by Carl LaFresnaye

There are some types of corporations that try to find loopholes in the tax laws that allow them to get out of paying such high taxes. There are some companies that look for tax shelters, which are ways...