Personal Income Taxes

Taxes are inevitable, but if you are educated, you can soften their impact. Learn about tax and money organization, income taxes and other topics in the Taxes channel.


When it comes to tax brackets, the numbers change a little every year. But if you jump from one bracket to another, your tax return can change dramatically.

You moved from one state to another last year, and now it's tax time. Don't freak out. Paying income taxes in two states is actually a pretty simple process, if you know all of the IRS rules.

It might seem cathartic to shred -- or even burn -- your tax paperwork after you've filed and paid the IRS every year. But don't. You need to hang onto much of that important documentation for years, just in case Uncle Sam comes knocking.

In 2012, more than 80 percent of tax returns resulted in cash back from the government. Those are pretty good odds. But refunds aren't instant. Here's how to track yours -- and here are a few tips on getting it faster.

It may sound counterintuitive, but you can save money by spending money. The trick is to spend those dollars on your retirement plan.

Discretionary income is simply the money you have but don't need to spend. But it's not just about you: Discretionary income is also used to monitor the larger economy.

The IRS isn't going to let you off on your taxes just because you pull a Thoreau and move to an environmentally friendly cabin in the woods. But you can save a little green thanks to your environmental efforts at tax time.

Did you make money outside of the U.S. this year? If so, here's a way you may be able to reduce your tax burden.

A relative newcomer to the federal tax world, this excise covers earnings from real estate, interest, dividends and other forms of investment income.

Everyone knows taxes are due on April 15. Unless, of course, you have to pay them early. Here's a guide to estimated tax payments.

If you're contracted to work for a company, the money you receive is called "nonemployee compensation." You might just call it cash. Why does the name matter?

This tax credit, along with the lifetime learning credit, pays you back for going to school. How do you claim the American opportunity tax credit?

Since the estate tax can add big tax burdens to heirs of a wealthy deceased person, some tried to get around it by making bequests to relatives while they are still alive. Of course, the IRS is wise to that and came up with the gift tax.

Companies are supposed to pay taxes on their income, sort of like everyone else. But many underpay through tricky maneuvers. Some critics say maybe the answer is just to abolish corporate taxes.

Have a kid, save some money on taxes. Sounds simple, doesn't it? Though the amount of the child tax credit is not enough to offset child-rearing costs, every bit helps.

For those who aren't math majors, we'll make the explanation of the lifetime learning credit quick and easy. It covers 20 percent of up to $10,000 in tuition and other costs – that converts to $2,000.

The tax man takes mercy -- well, a little bit of mercy -- on struggling college kids, their parents and a whole bunch of other folks who just want to keep learning through tuition tax credits.

There are a few things worse than filing taxes. Like filing taxes after losing your job. The good news is that there may be a few ways to reduce what you owe the tax man.

If you work for someone and you've paid taxes, you've seen a W-2. That's the form your employer gives you in January to show how much you earned the previous year. Why is it so important?

Running your own business can cost a lot of money, but there some 30 business tax credits out there that can help to lower your IRS burden and put more cash in your pocket. Which ones do you qualify for?

Owning your own bakery, writing service or contracting business might be a dream come true. But along with that dream comes the responsibility of paying all the taxes yourself. What does the IRS expect from you and when?

Before you tell your boss to shove it as you sail out into the sea of self-employment, you should know the tax situation for small businesses. Being your own boss has many perks, but paying the taxes requires more initiative on your part.

Need more time to figure out your tax situation? Filing and completing federal and state tax extension forms is easy – but it won't postpone your tax bill.

Home ownership is expensive, but the IRS does provide you with a break on your property taxes -- if you're eligible, of course.

When your company handbook talks about an employee being "exempt" or "nonexempt," it has nothing to do with taxes. It's language from the Fair Labor Standards Act -- the same one that prohibits child labor. Say what?