The Problem With Economic Patriotism

The Problem With Economic Patriotism
President Barack Obama called for “economic patriotism” last week in response to the renewed focus on corporate inversion, the process where a company reincorporates in another country despite retaining near identical operations. I wrote a bit about corporate inversion a while back. This, however, is the first I’ve heard about “economic patriotism.” If you’re wondering ...

Yep, You Do Pay Taxes on Unemployment

Yep, You Do Pay Taxes on Unemployment
(This is part of a series looking at various common 1040 questions. To go back to the summary page, click here) My wife and I had a short time where we received unemployment benefits. It was not long after I’d received my tax degree, so of course, the first thing that came to mind was “Wait? Do you pay taxes ...

Exchanges, Halbig and Unintended Consequences

Exchanges, Halbig and Unintended Consequences
When I was young, my brother and I would hide our Battle Beasts, prepped to ambush whatever unwitting toy came by. Sometimes we would hide them a bit too well, never to find them again. We were always devastated by the loss. “We didn’t mean to lose them,” we’d think. “And we certainly won’t lose them ...

Calculating the IRA Distribution Tax

Calculating the IRA Distribution Tax
(This is part of a series looking at various common 1040 questions. To go back to the summary page, click here) Ads with an asterisks drive me crazy, especially when the other side of the fine print isn’t on the same page (It says it’s free*, but is it “*send in two UPC codes” free or ...

Figuring Out Taxes On Home Sales

Figuring Out Taxes On Home Sales
(This is part of a series looking at various common 1040 questions. To go back to the summary page, click here) For generations, the American Dream has meant a spouse, two kids, a dog, and a house with a white picket fence. But happens when you need to sell part of that dream (The house part! I ...

Capital Gains and Lower Tax Rates

Capital Gains and Lower Tax Rates
(This is part of a series looking at various common 1040 questions. To go back to the summary page, click here) The IRS Capital Gains Tax is one of those political hot topics that could probably send Chris Matthews and Bill O’reilly into a mud wrestling match if the conditions were right (i.e. they’re both shirtless. Good luck getting ...

Dealing with Taxable Refunds

Dealing with Taxable Refunds
(This is part of a series looking at various common 1040 questions. To go back to the summary page, click here) Receiving a tax refund can produce feelings of elation matched only by winning the lottery–very minor lotteries, at least. Heck, the IRS even has an app whose entire purpose is so you can track your Federal refund status when ...

Ordinary vs. Qualified Dividends: Fight!

Ordinary vs. Qualified Dividends: Fight!
(This is part of a series looking at various common 1040 questions. To go back to the summary page, click here) The entertainment world is chocked full of iconic fights through the years: Tyson vs. Holyfield, Batman vs. Superman (or Batman v Superman, for some reason), Kirk vs. Picard. All great clashes. In the tax world, the best we can ...

Quick Blog Update

Quick Blog Update
If anyone is curious, I am, at least for now, moving blog posts to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday format. Yes, it might mean I get .01 per day instead of .02, which might be hard to get by on (especially considering I’ll be struggling with only $2.92 per year after tax instead of $5.84), but I ...

What is Tax Exempt Interest Income

What is Tax Exempt Interest Income
(This is part of a series looking at various common 1040 questions. To go back to the summary page, click here) Almost all income is taxable, but right near the top of the 1040 the IRS offers a tantalizing possibility: “tax-exempt interest.” How can you make some of that tax exempt interest income flow into ...