taxes - Articles

Homebuying: 4 Must-Do's Before You Even Start Shopping

ShutterstockGetting your financial house in order before homebuying is now a must. For home shoppers, looking at homes and imagining living there is the best part of the process. But like a child who must eat their vegetables before getting dessert, first-time homebuyers have a lot of work to do before making a bid on a... Continue Reading »

What It Means to Have a Tax Lien

ShutterstockPeople have lost homes for owing just a few hundred dollars in back county and city taxes. By Geoff Williams It's one of the scarier terms in the Internal Revenue Service's lexicon: tax lien. If you owe taxes and haven't been able to pay them, you may have one -- or live in fear of one. So what does it mean... Continue Reading »

Property Tax Revenue Reaches a Record High

Shutterstock By Lisa Lambert Property tax revenues for U.S. states and local governments reached a record high in the final quarter of 2013, according to Census data released on Tuesday showing the housing recovery is finally reaching school districts and cities' budgets. According to the Census, total property tax... Continue Reading »

Understanding Tax Rules for Rental Property

By Leonard Baron A rental property can generate "taxable losses" that can be used to reduce your normal salary income, hence the federal income taxes you pay. It's difficult for most people to understand how taxes work, and even more confusing once we get into the realm of rental properties and taxes. Note that... Continue Reading »

Losing Money on a Timeshare?

By Stephanie Auwerter Q: I bought a timeshare in 2004 for $27,500 and sold it for $7,500 in 2013. Will I be allowed to take a capital loss? -- Gary P., Ohio A: Sorry. As is the case with a home, car, or boat, timeshares are nearly always treated by the IRS as a personal asset, says Gil Charney, tax research analyst at... Continue Reading »

Homeowner Tax-Filing Tips: What New Owners Should Know

By Aaron Crowe Being a homeowner for the first time comes with all kinds of responsibilities that normally don't come with renting. There's yard work, home repairs, picking paint colors, insurance and of course, figuring out your tax liability. American homeownership has long been subsidized by tax savings, and if your... Continue Reading »

Disaster Tax Relief: How to Optimize Your Refund If Your Home Has Been Damaged

By Mary Boone Wildfires in the West, flooding and landslides in Alaska and hard-hitting Superstorm Sandy were just a few of the major natural disasters that hit the United States last year. In all, 112 federal disaster declarations were issued in 2012. For those living in an area where a federal disaster has been... Continue Reading »

Avoid These Home Tax Deduction and Credit Mistakes

By G. M. Filisko As you calculate your tax returns, consider each home tax deduction and credit you are - and are not - entitled to. Running afoul of any of these 9 home-related tax mistakes - which tax pros say are especially common - can cost you money or draw the IRS to your doorstep. Sin #1: Deducting the wrong... Continue Reading »

Financial Nightmare Doesn't End With Foreclosure: There's the IRS

By Christopher Maag Christine, a reader, thought that after losing her home to foreclosure, there would be no new financial shocks for a while. Then she received a letter from the IRS. "I filed my taxes in 2010 and thought everything was fine," Christine wrote in a comment to a story, "then... Continue Reading »

Homeowners: Take Advantage of Expiring Tax Deductions

By Stephen Fishman There are several tax credits and deductions set to expire at the end of the year, and given the federal deficit problem, there's a good chance they won't be extended. If you want to take advantage of them, you need to act before Jan. 1, 2012. Mortgage Insurance Premium Deduction If you itemize... Continue Reading »

Taking a Tax Loss When Property Value Declines

In today's episode of "Money and Happiness," DailyFinance's Laura Rowley turns to taxes. A reader asks: If I sell property at a loss, can I deduct it on my taxes? Watch the video for the answer. Got a question for Laura? Check out more Money and Happiness videos on DailyFinance. Continue Reading »

Seller Financing Comes Back

Sellers once again might want to consider "owner financing" as a method to get that house sold -- and reap some tax breaks, too. Owner financing (also known as "seller financing," "taking back the note," or "an installment sale") is estimated to be used in 10 percent to 15 percent of today's home sales. The term describes... Continue Reading »

Florida Real Estate Taxes Retain Dual-Class System

If you live in the state of Florida, you pay taxes on your home according to a dual-class tax system. There's one type of tax system for those who live in Florida as their primary residence and another for those who live there part-time or own vacation property. And it's a good thing, too: Considering the rocky Florida... Continue Reading »

Bargain Huntress: 4 Places to Shop Your Tax Refund

Phew. Tax Day madness is behind us, and now that you've appeased the IRS let's direct your attention to how you're going to spend your whale of a refund. Sure, you can be a responsible adult and pay off your credit card debt or your next month's rent in advance, but that is so stereotypical! (And heartbreaking too.) You... Continue Reading »

Shred, Baby, Shred. And for Free!

You've filed your taxes, now shred the evidence--for FREE! Yes, you should keep tax-related documents locked away for a few years in case the IRS comes calling with questions, but for those keeping multiple drafts of their tax forms and any other sensitive paper documents, the Better Business Bureau is here to help. This... Continue Reading »

Is Your Rent Subsidizing the Single Guy Next Door?

Certain homeowners across the nation would like to say something to you, dear Renter: "Aren't you skating out of 'responsibility' by paying fewer taxes than us?" Well, Mr. and Mrs. Assumes-too-much, have a look at what the National Multi Housing Council (NMHC) has to say: " appears that in many jurisdictions apartment... Continue Reading »

Sarah Palin Shoots Wolves; Home Prices

Sarah Palin may enjoy hunting wolves via helicopter, but, nearby homeowners might want to ask about her ability to shoot down something else: the valuation on her Wasilla home. The Palin home is worth a lot less than her neighbors' homes -- reducing her property tax obligations. If Palin isn't paying her fair share,... Continue Reading »

Recession Got You Renting a Home?

The cat's outta the bag: owning a home isn't always sunshine and freshly-baked cookies. Foreclosures continue to rise across the country in what experts are calling a housing crisis. Unfortunately, despite help from the $8,000 tax credit to entice new buyers, the U.S. market continues to suffer. (Here are 10 cities... Continue Reading »

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