Taxes From A To Z (2013): X Is For Mutual Funds

X is for Mutual Funds. I know what you’re thinking: you’re thinking I’ve completely lost my mind this close to Tax Day because the term “Mutual Funds” doesn’t begin with an X. You’re right, it doesn’t: it ends with an X. Confused? Here’s what I mean: the ticker symbol for mutual funds have an X at the end. A ticker symbol is an abbreviation (usually three or four letters) used to help investors identify assets held in a particular stock market. To make mutual funds stand out, they’re usually marked with an X at the end (if you see XX …

Taxes From A To Z (2013): U Is For Unrealized Gains and Losses

U is for Unrealized Gains and Losses. We’re in the process of selling our house. It is not worth as much this year as it was a few years ago (this, according to Trulia and other valuation sites) although it’s worth more than when we bought it. For tax purposes, we will actually have a gain. I keep hearing, however, how we’ve “lost” money since we didn’t sell at the height of the market. The same discussions are had over and over with respect to the stock market. Stocks go up and down. And while we hope they go up …

House Passes Senate Budget Bill Convincingly: We Have A Tax Deal!

Well, color me surprised. The House voted on the budget after all, and they voted up or down, rather than amending the Senate bill. The House voted “Yea” and they did so quite convincingly (257 YEA to 167 NAY). Here’s what the bill does: Income tax The tax cuts were extended – permanently – for all but those at the top. For this purpose, the top means $400,000 for individual filers and $450,000 for married couples. The top tax rate will increase to 39.6% from 35%. The Pease and PEP (personal exemption phaseout) restrictions on limitations were also extended. The …

Vice President Biden Shops Costco As Costco Shops Tax Deal

So what do Vice President Joe Biden and I have in common? We both have a Costco card. It’s true. If you follow the blog (or me on @twitter), you know that I recently moved out of the city. And once here, I consulted my “What to do when you move into the suburbs” handbook and along with “ditch the all black wardrobe,” I realized that I needed to get a Costco card. Before this month, I had never set foot inside a Costco. I was clearly in the minority on this. Now that I have the card, it’s like …

Preparedness 101: What Not To Do In 2012 As Tax Rates Creep Up

As December 31 creeps closer, we keep hearing stories about how the combination of increased taxes and sequestration is literally the end of the world. It has a whole zombie apocalypse feel to it. But should we ready our bunkers and stock up on canned goods just now? Not quite. Outside of taking note of Preparedness 101 as explained by the CDC (truly the most fun thing you’ll read all day), here are ten more things not to do as 2012 wraps up: Delay putting your house on the market. I know, I’ve heard it, too. House prices are going …

Tax Increases Looming in 2013: Who Pays, How Much and Will They Stick?

Over lunch, the day after the election, my husband brought up the “f” word. You know, the one I’ve thus far been refusing to say (hint: it rhymes with “biscal piff”). He had been reading the news and was wondering how badly this would affect us. I could barely choke down my broccoli as he read an article touting the end of the world as we know it. It wasn’t the last time I would hear that commentary this week. I received a number of emails, calls and yes, even Skype messages, passing along articles, links and tidbits about the …

9 Tax-Related Myths About Selling Your Home

I am moving. It feels weird to finally say that out loud (er, yes, the blog counts as out loud). I have lived in my current home in Philadelphia for fourteen years: my entire adult life, more or less. In that time, I’ve stored up a whole houseful of memories. I have hosted Thanksgiving dinners in my dining room and cocktail parties on my porch. I brought my children home from the hospital to banners and balloons stretched across my front door. My kids learned to walk in this house and ride their bikes on the sidewalk out front. I …

Beer, Taxes and Baseball: Can You Get Any More American Than That?

Baseball fans all over the country can breathe a sigh of relief. No, it’s not because the Phillies managed to crank out two runs in the ninth last night to remain atop the NL East. Rather, it’s because the darling of baseball these days, Christian Lopez, won’t be paying out of pocket for taxes after all. In the event that you’ve been sleeping under a rock – or if you have the same level of interest in baseball as my mother – Lopez is the 23 year old New York cellphone salesman who caught Derek Jeter’s 3000th hit ball and …

The Morning After: The Tax Deal Hangover

I’ll admit that I didn’t see yesterday’s tax deal coming. I was fairly certain that the drama would play out through this week. We still have drama but now it’s more of the “let me explain” variety. Let me see if I can sort out for you what happened and why. First, let’s talk timing. Almost across the board, the extensions are for two years. That wasn’t a random number. It directly coincides with the next important set of elections: at least 1/3 of Senate seats are up for grabs, about 1/5 of gubernatorial seats will be at issue and, …