If you are among the people who had too much taxes withheld and you are getting a refund, congrats. I owe taxes because of my “all-1099” status all year, and even with paying estimated taxes every quarter, I still owe money! When I was working for the man I always tried to break even on my taxes, so that I did not get a refund or owe any money – that way, they didn’t get to keep my money all year and I didn’t have to come up with anything at the end of the year. But this year, I bet everyone would enjoy getting a tax refund with the way the economy is! If you are getting one for the 2008 tax year, this is not the year to blow it on wasteful spending, but rather give some thought to your overall financial health right now instead. In these times, is there something else you should be doing with your money? Let’s take a look at a few options:
Yes, we know – cigarettes are bad for you and not too many people dispute that fact. They also supposedly increase everyone’s health care premiums and medical costs, making them public enemy #1 sometimes. One way that states are trying to both raise money for insurance coverage and reduce the amount of people smoking is by raising the taxes owed on each pack of cigarettes. According to The Tax Foundation, these per-pack taxes range anywhere from a low of $.07 in South Carolina to a high of $2.75 in New York State. This is in addition to whatever the packs are being sold for at retail, which in New York makes a pack of cigarettes about $7-$9 depending on where you get them. That is a lot to pay for something whose only job is to give you cancer, and if you smoke a pack a day that would be $2,920 at $8 a pack over the course of a year. That is a lot of money. So here is my question – do you support making smokers pay higher taxes on every pack of cigarettes? Should they, because of the damage they are doing to themselves, have to pay more into the health care fund in every state through these taxes?
Nobody likes paying taxes, but it’s a fact of life – we all have to do it. Taxes pay for everything you could possibly think of (and some things you don’t want to think of)…but what would happen if you didn’t pay your taxes? There are many stories out there about people choosing to not pay their taxes or people saying that taxes are illegal, but rest assured – you have to pay them, and the IRS will make sure of it one way or another!
Guess it’s time for me to start looking for a house again, huh?
“The Senate voted Wednesday night to give a tax break of up to $15,000 to homebuyers in hopes of revitalizing the housing industry, a victory for Republicans eager to leave their mark on a mammoth economic stimulus bill at the heart of President Barack Obama’s recovery plan. The proposal would allow a tax credit of 10 percent of the value of new or existing residences, up to a $15,000 limit. Current law provides for a $7,500 tax break for the purchase of new homes only. Isakson’s office said the proposal would cost the government an estimated $19 billion.”
In doing some research for preparing all my tax documents for my brother the accountant, I came across an article at Kiplingers that outlined some of the most overlooked tax deductions. While some of them I already knew about, some I did not – so I figured I would mention them here if you guys were anything like me:
1. State sales taxes
2. Reinvested dividends
3. Out-of-pocket charitable contributions
4. Student loan interest paid by Mom and Dad
5. Moving expense to take first job
6. Military reservists travel expenses
7. Child-care credit
8. Estate tax on income in respect of a decedent
9. State tax you paid last spring
10. Refinancing points
11. Jury pay paid to employer