March 11, 2013
D EAR HARRY: I just finished working on our tax returns, and I found a little problem in reviewing the 1040. The return as I prepared it has $12,100 of itemized deductions, mostly charity but also taxes and medical costs. The standard deduction for us is $11,900. The difference is just about $200. If I take the standard deduction, my taxes will go up by just about $50. If I itemize, there is a greater chance that the IRS will come after me to examine some of those items than if I take the standard deduction.
December 22, 1988 |
The government's scrooge - the Internal Revenue Service - yesterday unveiled its own version of the spirit of Christmas future: the 1988 tax forms, expected to be mailed the day after Christmas. But the IRS also promised some presents in the 101 million tax forms it will send, including reduced tax rates, an increase in the exemption deduction and an increase in the standard deduction. The changes are a result of the continued phasing-in of the 1986 tax act. The agency traditionally begins distributing the new forms right after Christmas to allow taxpayers plenty of time to prepare the returns, which must be mailed back by April 15. Arthur Altman, chairman of the IRS's tax-form coordinating committee, said the agency expected to receive about 109.6 million tax returns.
February 6, 2000 |
This one should be easy: Republicans and Democrats both want to give millions of married Americans a tax break. But they disagree, as usual, on how to do it. Partisan gridlock blocked "marriage-tax relief" last year despite its widespread popularity. But now - since both sides hope to score some legislative victories before November's elections - compromise appears possible. Tomorrow, President Clinton will offer details of his counterproposal, along with his fiscal 2001 budget.
September 1, 1986
The recent articles about the Senate-House conference tax bill have been comprehensive and instructive. However, there was no emphasis on how this bill would affect the elderly and blind. While both the House and Senate bills repealed the additional personal exemption for those over 65 or blind, they did at least replace the $1,080 exemption with an additional standard deduction of $600. The House-Senate conference bill apparently offers no tax relief to this segment of the population whose earning power is diminished.
May 15, 2016 |
Each year, in the run-up to the April filing deadline, I am inundated with income-tax tips by everyone and his sister. Property taxes, maybe, are in my domain, but income-tax matters are left up to others. I was fortunate to have the same accountant for 35 years; otherwise, I would now be in jail or on the run from the feds. It is sad that we lost our accountant, David Lidle, to ALS in February. He was a splendid accountant, who very early on urged my wife and me to buy our first house so we could keep some of the money we were paying the federal government in income taxes each year.
February 11, 2000 |
Seizing on a popular issue with voters, the House took the first step yesterday toward getting rid of a quirk in the tax code that forces 25 million couples to pay higher taxes because they are married. The Republican-controlled House voted 268-158 for a bill that would increase the standard deduction for married couples to twice that of single taxpayers, wiping out a discrepancy that gave singles a bigger individual deduction. The bill faces major obstacles. Although Republicans in Congress and President Clinton agree on the need to eliminate an onerous tax on marriage, they disagree on how to do it. However, both sides are eager to find a way to bridge their differences, lest one or the other be blamed in an election year for stopping a popular piece of legislation.
February 2, 1998 |
Sharon Mallory and Darryl Pierce have lived together for three years and want to get married. But they stopped making wedding plans last spring after learning that they would have to pay $3,700 more in federal taxes as a married couple than as housemates. Mallory, 41, and Pierce, 45, found themselves face to face with the "marriage penalty. " The penalty, which makes two out of five American couples pay more federal income tax as spouses than as singles, has become this year's top tax-cutting priority for Republicans in Congress.
December 13, 1992 |
Buying a home with someone doesn't just mean sharing the bathroom, sharing the kitchen, sharing the closets or sharing an answering machine. You may also have to share your tax deductions. And that could wipe out your chance of cashing in on two of the biggest tax benefits of homeownership: the deductions for mortgage interest and property taxes. The financial implications of sharing a home don't end there, which is why many experts say you need to consult a financial planner and a lawyer before you buy a home with someone who isn't your spouse.
March 6, 1988 |
Is this what it will finally come down to? After you get through the myriad changes that have made the filing of a tax return even more terrifying than it was before, will the 1040 form for next year be as follows? "Part I: Income. " "Line 1. How much money did you make last year?" "Line 2. Send it in. " "I hope it doesn't come to this," said certified public accountant Dale Goldberg, referring to a mock copy of a 1040 form that he passed around during a lecture Wednesday night on how citizens will be affected by the new tax laws.
December 21, 1994 |
Got a day off between Christmas and New Year's? Tidy up the house, help a worthy cause and collect a nice tax deduction by donating used clothing and furniture to charity. There's gold hidden in closets, garages and basements crammed with stuff you don't use. A few hours of cleaning, sorting and bagging could yield hundreds of dollars worth of tax savings - and make room for holiday gifts. Think of all the dresses and suits that are out of fashion or don't fit. What about toys, clothes and books that your children have outgrown?