What Legalized Same-Sex Marriage Means for Taxes

When you are part of a married couple, you generally file a joint tax return. You probably don’t think too much about how your legal tax-filing status affects the amount of your tax liability. The advantage of a joint return is apparent when one person earns all or the majority of the income.  It is [...]

Strange but True Tax Deductions

You may have heard of the outrageous things that some people have tried to claim as legitimate deductions when filing their income taxes at your friendly next door Los Angeles tax preparation firm. Sometimes these items are so ridiculous, you have to wonder what the filer was thinking. But sometimes, these strange deductions can be [...]

13 Deductions to Take Even if You Don’t Itemize

Many people in the Los Angeles area avoid itemizing their deductions, and choose instead to take the standard deduction, for several reasons. They may not have enough itemized deductions to exceed the standard deduction. They may be intimidated by the tax prep process and afraid that itemizing may put them at higher risk of an [...]

Former Reagan Economic Adviser Suggests Capping Deductions

All sorts of ideas are floating to the top during the almighty 2013 Battle of the Federal Budget. Republicans want to accomplish a balanced budget and reduction of the federal deficit through spending cuts exclusively, while Democrats want propose a combination of new revenues (i.e., tax increases, although without increasing the marginal tax rates) and [...]

How to Get the Most from the American Opportunity Tax Credit

Even as college costs soar, and more and more students graduate under crushing burdens of debt, the federal government has made some changes to the United States federal tax code to help out those struggling students and their families. The original college federal tax credit, known as the Hope Credit, was instituted in 1998. It [...]

What is the Difference Between the Marginal and the Effective Tax Rate?

With income tax regulations getting more complicated by the minute (or so it seems!), many people want to wash their hands of the entire process and hand all of their paperwork over to a Los Angeles tax preparation service. “I don’t want to deal with it.” “Just do it for me, and tell me how [...]

Don’t Be a Victim of a Fraudulent Tax Preparation Service in Los Angeles

Every year, when tax time comes around, clever thieves think up new ways to trick well-meaning and innocent people out of their hard-earned money. Some of the scams are as old as the hills, just updated using new technology, and some are truly original. But armed with a little knowledge and a lot of common [...]

Tax Deductions for Bloggers

If you run a blog, chances are you started it up with the intention of making some money from it. Sure, blogging is fun, you get to say whatever you want, you can do it only when you feel like it, no one is telling you how or when to write in it.  But if [...]

Why You Should Itemize Your Tax Deductions

Many people are so intimidated by their tax returns and tax deductions that they immediately turn them over to a “professional”, generally someone who works for a big tax-prepared chain like H&R Block or Jackson Hewitt. My mother-in-law is one of those people. Until she started asking me to do her taxes for her a [...]

How People Pay No Income Tax

You probably heard, during the time preceding the November 2012 Presidential Election, the number “47%” thrown about as the percentage of people who pay absolutely no taxes. First of all, is it an accurate number? Is it really true that 47% of Americans, or households, or taxpayers don’t pay income tax, or…. What is it 47% [...]