As Stocks Tumble, Understanding When A Loss Isn’t Really A Loss

“I swear it is better to stuff your mattress with your money.” That was a comment from one of my friends today after she took a peek at the market. It’s been a volatile day. Within minutes of the opening bell, the Dow Jones industrial average plummeted more than 1,000 points. That was reportedly the … Read more

How You Can Lose Money on Paper And Still Win at Tax Time Like Romney

We’re programmed to hate losses. A loss tends to mean that you did something wrong, made a poor move or chose the ill-advised option. But in the tax world, a loss isn’t always a bad thing. Losses on paper sometimes means a win at tax time – just ask Mitt Romney. Romney’s 2010 federal income … Read more

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 … Read more

All You Need To Know About IPOs, Going Public & Stock Options

Admit it. For weeks now, you’ve been dropping the terms “IPO” and “going public” and “stock options” in water cooler conversation and at cocktail parties and you don’t really know what they mean. Or how they make people rich. Or why it matters to you. And it’s totally Facebook’s fault. As you know, Facebook is … Read more

Taxes From A To Z: C Is For Capital Losses

C is for Capital Losses. We hear a lot in the tax world about capital gains. But what about its counterpart, capital losses? You don’t see a lot written about losses because, let’s face it, they’re a bit of a downer. Nobody wants to talking about losing money. It’s much more fun to talk about … Read more

A Loss By Any Other Name Isn’t The Same: All About Capital Losses (And Gains)

That horrible crash you heard today? It was the market. And it was not pretty. The Dow fell 630 points today, marking the worst day for investors in three years. As a result, you can’t swing a cat without some kind of market analysis. Except here. Between you and I, I don’t know enough about … Read more

What the Heck is Basis, Anyway?

Last week, I committed a terrible tax blogging sin: I used jargon. I try not to use jargon on my blog. I find it annoying, for one, because who wants to actually sound like a tax attorney (no offense to my esteemed colleagues). But more importantly, what’s the point of reading a blog that you … Read more

Ask the taxgirl: New cars, tax deductions and losses

Taxpayer asks: Earlier this year, I agreed to co-sign on a loan for my adult son for a new car so that he could get to work. He made the first payment and has not made payments since. I have made all of the other payments. I have 2 questions: Since I really bought the … Read more