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By Glenn Burkins and Glenn Burkins,Knight-Ridder News Service | May 10, 1992
How much house can you afford? That's an important question for anyone planning such a purchase.A rule of thumb says a person can afford a house that costs up to 2 1/2 times his annual gross income (the amount you make before taxes are deducted). Therefore, if you made $40,000 a year, you would be able to afford a house that costs up to $100,000.But that rule doesn't always work. If you have a lot of other bills, you might be better off with a less expensive house.Basically, lenders use two guidelines to determine what size mortgage you can afford:* Your monthly housing costs (mortgage payments, property taxes and insurance)
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BUSINESS
Eileen Ambrose | October 24, 2011
When the federal government recently raised the benefits for Social Security recipients, it also lifted the amount of money you can salt away in tax-friendly retirement accounts. Beginning next year, you can put away up to $17,000 - $500 more - in a 401(k), 403 (b) and most 457 plans. Catch-up contributions for workers 50 and up, though, remain at $5,500 a year. Workers, covered by a retirement plan on the job, can make a full or partial tax-deductible contribution to a traditional IRA if their adjusted gross income doesn't exceed $68,000 for singles and $112,000 for joint filers.
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BUSINESS
March 19, 1999
Members of the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants are answering readers' tax questions through April 15. See below for how to submit a question.How much income can I have before I have to file a tax return? I am a single.A single person under the age of 65 and who is not a dependent of another taxpayer does not need to file an income tax return until income exceeds $6,950. If the taxpayer is over 65, he or she does not need to file an income tax return until income exceeds $8,000.
BUSINESS
By Humberto Cruz | December 28, 2008
The many questions on capital gains taxes need answers before the year ends. Some people are intrigued - and puzzled - by the zero percent tax rate on long-term capital gains for taxpayers who don't exceed the 15 percent bracket. They want to know how it works and what you need to do, or avoid doing, to qualify. Despite the tumble in the market this year, many investors have decided to take some long-term capital gains for 2008. These are gains on the sale of assets such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds held more than a year.
BUSINESS
March 30, 2008
Editor's note: Every Sunday through the end of tax season, The Sun will run an edited transcript of Baltimoresun.com's weekly tax advice column featuring experts from the Sparks accounting firm SC&H Group who will answer reader questions. Submit questions at www.baltimoresun.com/ taxtalk Can I claim my mother as a dependent if I provide 50 percent or more of her care? - Sandra, Boone, N.C. There are four tests that must be met in order to be classified as a qualifying relative that would entitle you to claim your mother as your dependent.
BUSINESS
March 11, 1997
Members of the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants are answering readers' tax questions through April 15.Q: I made a total of $11,509.75, and no taxes were withheld. My status is married/separated. Do I have to file a state and federal return?A. Yes, you must file both a federal and Maryland tax return. Generally, the requirements to file differ for the federal and state returns and depend on a number of factors that include filing status, age and type and amount of gross income.
BUSINESS
By New York Times | November 1, 1990
High-income taxpayers can do some rough calculations to see where they stand regarding the nation's new tax rules.The new rules set a top rate of 31 percent, limit itemized deductions and phase out personal exemptions above certain thresholds.The first number needed is on Line 31 of Form 1040, adjusted gross income. Next is Line 34, itemized deductions. Taxpayers with an adjusted gross income above $100,000 should multiply the difference by .03 to get their deduction limitation. Subtract that number from the itemized deductions to see what would be allowed under 1991 rules.
BUSINESS
By Columbia Features | November 7, 1990
Q.In April I filed with the IRS for an extension on my tax return. I still have not filed a completed return, even though my extension ran out. What is going to happen?A.The IRS will file the return for you based on information it has about your income. It will look at W2 forms filed by employers you had during the tax year and 1099 statements of interest and dividend income filed by your banks, brokerage firms and mutual fund companies.The IRS will then take the standard deduction for you and figure out if you owe any tax. If you had more tax withheld than you owe, you would be entitled to a refund.
NEWS
By Knight-Ridder News Service | February 25, 1991
Members of the armed forces serving in the Persian Gulf war's theater of operations are eligible for certain military benefits. Families should check with National Guard, reserve or regular service officials if they have questions about such benefits, which include:* Family separation allowance of $60 a month after the first 3days.* Foreign duty pay. This is paid to enlisted men and women (except those drawing sea pay) at a rate ranging from $8 to $22.50 per month, depending on pay grade.
BUSINESS
Eileen Ambrose | October 24, 2011
When the federal government recently raised the benefits for Social Security recipients, it also lifted the amount of money you can salt away in tax-friendly retirement accounts. Beginning next year, you can put away up to $17,000 - $500 more - in a 401(k), 403 (b) and most 457 plans. Catch-up contributions for workers 50 and up, though, remain at $5,500 a year. Workers, covered by a retirement plan on the job, can make a full or partial tax-deductible contribution to a traditional IRA if their adjusted gross income doesn't exceed $68,000 for singles and $112,000 for joint filers.
BUSINESS
March 30, 2008
Editor's note: Every Sunday through the end of tax season, The Sun will run an edited transcript of Baltimoresun.com's weekly tax advice column featuring experts from the Sparks accounting firm SC&H Group who will answer reader questions. Submit questions at www.baltimoresun.com/ taxtalk Can I claim my mother as a dependent if I provide 50 percent or more of her care? - Sandra, Boone, N.C. There are four tests that must be met in order to be classified as a qualifying relative that would entitle you to claim your mother as your dependent.
BUSINESS
By JANET KIDD STEWART and JANET KIDD STEWART,TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICE | December 25, 2005
Four buckets and a funeral changed my financial life in 2005. In the year's first Value Judgments column I shared a plan we were trying at my house to pour every dime of income into one of four buckets: housing, taxes, savings and everything else. The goal, keeping them roughly equal, was designed to bring a grand plan that reflects our values to our household budget. The follow-up: We had some minor spillage out of two buckets and made a couple of philosophical changes to the strategy, but for the most part kept them level.
NEWS
By James Gerstenzang and James Gerstenzang,LOS ANGELES TIMES | April 16, 2005
WASHINGTON - President Bush and his wife reported $673,000 in taxable income in 2004, a slight drop from the previous year, and Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife reported a 63 percent increase in their taxable income, to $1.3 million, according to their tax returns, which were released yesterday. The Bushes paid $207,000 in federal income tax, approximately $10,000 less than last year. Their adjusted gross income last year was $784,219. The Cheneys paid $393,518 in federal income tax, up 52 percent from the year before.
BUSINESS
By Lorene Yue | April 4, 2004
If you were 65 or older on Jan. 1, 2004, you may not have to file a tax return as long as you don't trip the income trigger. According to the Internal Revenue Service, you must file a return if your filing status is: Single and you have non-Social Security income of more than $8,950. Head of household and your non-Social Security income is more than $11,200. Married, filing jointly and either you or your spouse is 65 or older and you have non-Social Security income of more than $16,550.
BUSINESS
By Neil Downing and Neil Downing,THE PROVIDENCE JOURNAL | June 11, 2000
I care for my sister, who has Alzheimer's disease, but I don't claim her as a dependent on my tax return because she has too much income. Can I claim expenses for taking care of her? I have total care of her in my home. Ordinarily, you've got to claim the person as a dependent on your federal income tax return in order to claim a tax break for the money you spend on her care, said Judy A. Riggs, director of state and federal policy for the Alzheimer's Association, a group for patients and those who care for them.
BUSINESS
March 19, 1999
Members of the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants are answering readers' tax questions through April 15. See below for how to submit a question.How much income can I have before I have to file a tax return? I am a single.A single person under the age of 65 and who is not a dependent of another taxpayer does not need to file an income tax return until income exceeds $6,950. If the taxpayer is over 65, he or she does not need to file an income tax return until income exceeds $8,000.
BUSINESS
By Michael Gisriel | March 3, 1996
Dear Mr. Gisriel:I'm thinking about buying a house instead of continuing to rent. Could you briefly summarize the tax advantages of homeownership?Bob MeyerPikesvilleDear Mr. Meyer:Homeownership gives the buyer several major tax benefits that provide a powerful incentive to buy real estate.Owning a home is one tax shelter within reach of most Marylanders, especially if use is made of one of the many first-time homebuyer programs available from private or government sources.L The following are the major tax advantages of homeownership:* Mortgage interest deduction: All interest paid as part of your monthly mortgage payment is deductible from gross income, before you compute your net taxable income.
BUSINESS
April 15, 1998
Members of the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants are answering readers' tax questions through today.Q: How can I avoid paying interest on an underpayment of taxes resulting from stock market capital gains when it is totally impossible to estimate the amount of capital gains which might occur throughout the year? One quarter may produce a gain while another a loss, for example. This must be a problem facing thousands of taxpayers each year.A: A taxpayer won't have an underpayment of estimated taxes if estimates are based on 110 percent of the prior year's tax if adjusted gross income (AGI)
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