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Continuing our effort to provide you with valuable, practical tax information, we will periodically update this page with useful income tax tips and income tax advice from the best sources — information on issues that you commonly deal with. Be sure to check our newsletter from time to time to stay on top of the latest and most effective tax strategies.
CompleteTax will provide income tax tips that will help you save money when it's time to file your tax returns. It's a good idea to use a well planned strategy so that you aren't surprised in April. Using CompleteTax Income Tax Preparation Software and keeping good records could mean the difference between paying a large chunk of money in April and receiving a big refund check. Use our income tax tips as part of your ongoing preparation.
Last-Minute Tax Filing Tips
Each tax season, the IRS sends out dozens of tax preparation pointers. We've gathered the best of these tips and condensed them to save you time and money. For example, you'll find information on how to e-file your return-a guaranteed route to a more accurate return and a quicker refund.
Also highlighted in this article are some of the more common, and easily avoidable, errors. Let's face it; no one wants to call attention to their income tax return by making a foolish blunder. Among those items that often cause trouble: picking the wrong filing status, claiming ineligible dependents, failing to check for alternative minimum tax (AMT) liability, and failing to report taxable income.
Vehicles and Taxes
With gas prices soaring, the last mistake you want to make is overlooking deductible vehicle expenses. Whether you use the standard mileage rate or squeeze every penny out of the actual mileage rate, you'll find suggestions for maximizing your expense deduction in Vehicles and Taxes.
Gifts to Charities
If you made any tax-deductible gifts during 2010, you will need to be aware of the various substantiation requirements that apply to different types of contributions. Learn more at Gifts to Charities.
Estimated Tax Payments
The refrain of "April is the cruelest month" is especially strong for those who must pay estimated tax. In a cruel twist of tax timing, the first estimated tax payment for the 2011 tax year is due on the same day as your 2010 tax return. To find out whether you need to worry about this double-whammy and, if you do, how to accurately determine your estimated tax bill (the penalties for underpayment mount up quickly), read Estimated Tax Payments.
Child's Unearned Income Can Trigger 'Kiddie Tax'
If your son or daughter has more than $1,900 in unearned income—such as income from interest or dividends—then you may have to reckon with the "kiddie tax." These provisions require that you calculate the tax due on your child's unearned income at your income tax rate, not your child's (presumably) lower tax rate. And, due to expansions in the law, full-time students who are under age 24 can be considered "kiddies" for tax purposes. Child's Unearned Income Can Trigger 'Kiddie Tax'.
Claim Your Tax Credits for Benefiting the Environment
As the filing deadline approaches, you need to make sure that you don't miss out on any tax credits. If you made improvements to make your home more energy-efficient or if you purchased energy-efficient products during 2011, you may qualify for one or more tax credits on your 2010 tax return. Claim Your Tax Credits for Benefiting the Environment.
Tax Refunds: Seven Things You Should Know
If you are expecting a tax refund, you'll want to know about the options that the IRS provides for obtaining your refund quickly and for tracking its progress through the system. Plus, you will want to know what to do if your refund is late, lost or just littler than you expected. Tax Refunds: Seven Things You Should Know.
Bonus Depreciation Rules Clarified for Luxury Autos
The IRS recently took action to clarify how the luxury auto limitations interact with the 100 percent bonus depreciation deduction. Although the procedure doesn't change the amount that can be claimed for the first year the vehicle is placed in service, it will affect your taxes in subsequent years. Bonus Depreciation Rules Clarified for Luxury Autos.
Past Tax Tips Newsletters
Each month, CompleteTax sends out the informational Tax Tips Newsletter.
Read past Tax Tips Newsletters.