"Get the ball rolling with these tax tips"

Yeah, income tax time is just around the corner. This Washington Post article might help  get you started (if you haven't already filed!):

"'I know the deadline, but I don't know what I'm required to submit,' said Jennifer Ash, 22, who graduated from George Mason University in May and will pay taxes for the first time on a full-time job. 'All the forms are in different places. I'm afraid of leaving something out. I don't want the IRS coming back years later saying I owe them thousands of dollars.'

"Ash at least has collected her paperwork in one place - W-2 forms stating her wages for the year, college-loan payment stubs and totals paid in interest, receipts for charitable giving and for the Treo smartphone she uses mostly for work [emphasis added]. Being organized is more essential than ever: The Internal Revenue Service has cracked down on receipts, requiring one for even tiny claims.


"Early returns show that about 30 percent of those who had filed, did not request a one-time refund of a telephone excise tax that ranges from $30 to $60 and that nearly everyone can claim.

"As always, taxpayers need to remember the distinction between tax deductions or exemptions, which reduce the amount of income that is taxable, and tax credits, which reduce the actual amount of tax owed.


"Wealthier taxpayers must calculate taxes first under regular rules, then under the alternative minimum tax (AMT), and pay whichever is higher. The AMT was created in 1969 to target 155 wealthy tax-dodgers, but because it's not indexed for inflation, it could affect an estimated 4.2 million families when they calculate their taxes this year. Taxpayers in high-tax jurisdictions are especially vulnerable. (Unless Congress changes the law, 19 million more households, many earning as little as $50,000 a year, could end up paying the tax next year, as would nearly half of all taxpayers by 2017.)"

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