From the category archives:


It’s That Time of Year – How to Calculate Your FSA Contribution Amount for 2012

For those of you who have a Flex Savings Account option at work, it’s time to set the total annual allotment for 2012 before the year starts.  I’ve always had mixed emotions about this provision of the tax code.  On one hand, you’re allowed to deduct medical expenses from your income normally subject to federal […]

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Should Americans with No Kids Be Able “Opt-Out” of School Taxes?

I was at a family gathering this summer and the usual topic of complaining about the ineptitude of local government officials and school boards came up.  That then led to older participants questioning what their tax dollars were being used for and why they’re even paying school taxes to begin with.  It led to an […]

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FICA Tax Rates 2011 – How They Work and Why They Matter

FICA Tax – What is it and why’s it matter? Anyone that has inspected their paychecks for the myriad taxes and deductions from their paychecks has surely noticed the FICA Tax line on there. The Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax is a federal tax on both employees and employers to fund Social Security and […]

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Breaking: Obama Announces Deal on Taxes, Unemployment, Credits and More

President Obama announced “framework” details on the deal being ironed out between both parties to satisfy pretty much everyone.  Everyone’s gonna get their tax cuts, the unemployed will be assured of an extension, estate taxes will not revert to the old rates and more.  Here are some details for each provision: Tax Rates -There will […]

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Saying Bye-Bye to the Mortgage Interest Deduction?

How would you feel if the mortgage interest deduction on homes were eliminated tomorrow?  If you’re a renter, you probably wouldn’t care.  But if you’re a homeowner, especially one with a sizable mortgage payment, that might give you pause, right?  I couldn’t help but notice in this recent article that the “Deficit Commission” is […]

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Billion Dollar Inheritance: Heirs Pay NO Tax – Right or Wrong?

There was an interesting new item the other day (here) on a Billionaire that was able to bequeath his entire fortune of 9 Billions dollars to his heirs and they got to keep it all – not one red cent went to the taxpayers.  This is all possible by the “luck” (if you’d call it […]

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Should I Use the Energy Tax Credit for a New Central Air Unit?

Since I’m always looking to make sound investments with a favorable return on investment to optimize our family’s cash flow, I’ve been considering having a new Central Air unit installed.  There’s an energy tax credit (IRS Link) that expires at the end of this year that allows for a full 30% credit on the purchase […]

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My Effective Tax Rate is Under 5% – That’s Just Wrong

So, my accountant finally wrapped up my various tax documents and for the prominent Federal Tax Return, I was surprised once again to see just how low my Effective Tax Rate is – under 5%.  That’s my net tax rate after all deductions, credits, etc.  Not that I’m complaining, but the tax system is so […]

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What’s wrong With THIS Health Care Reform

With a major hurdle cleared this weekend in the Health Care Reform efforts, much attention has been focused on how it’s “historic” and how many people are now going to have healthcare and somehow topics of abortion and and other seemingly tangential issues became deciding factors in who would vote for it.  There has been […]

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