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Standard Deduction

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BUSINESS
February 3, 1999
Members of the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants are answering readers' tax questions through April 15. Here, MDCPA members answer some basic questions.Q. When is it better to itemize rather than take the standard deduction?A. Itemize only if the deductions exceed the standard deduction. For 1998, the standard deduction has increased to $7,100 for married filing jointly; $4,250 for singles; $6,250 for head of household and $3,550 for married filing separately. For people who are blind or over the age of 65, the standard deduction is $5,300 for single taxpayers, $7,950 for married filing jointly (assumes only one taxpayer is over 65 or blind)
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NEWS
October 4, 2011
Your article on how to shore up Social Security was intriguing. You are quite correct in stating that the program, while it will require to be adjusted at some time in the future, is certainly no Ponzi scheme and that it will continue to operate in a secure fashion for at least another generation. It can be fixed by a rather simple device of imposing a uniform FICA tax rate on all payers. The current FICA tax is a regressive tax on income (with no standard deduction or personal exemption deduction)
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BUSINESS
March 21, 1994
The most common problems that slow down the processing of Maryland tax returns, according to the state comptroller's office, are:Rounding, Decimal Points and Commas: All dollar figures should be rounded to the nearest dollar. (50 cents and above to the next higher dollar, 49 cents and below to the next lower.) They should be in blue or black ink without decimal points, commas or dollar signs.Standard Deduction: Maryland's standard deduction is 15 percent of the taxpayer's adjusted gross income, subject to minimum and maximum amounts.
NEWS
By Susan Reimer and Susan Reimer,susan.reimer@baltsun.com | January 17, 2010
Tax season is here, and while most taxpayers dread the slog through just one return, Carl Kaiser is sharpening his pencil to do more than 130. For free. The 81-year-old Millersville resident is one of the veteran members of Anne Arundel County's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, 40 volunteers who staff seven senior centers in the county, helping senior and low-income residents prepare their tax returns. "The first one I did was a real adventure," said Kaiser, who retired from GlaxoSmithKline and returned to live in his childhood home in 1995.
BUSINESS
February 29, 1996
Members of the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants are answering readers' tax questions through April 15.Q: My wife and I are separated. I would like to claim a standard deduction and she wants to itemize her deductions. How can I get around this?A: If separated spouses meet certain requirements, they are considered "unmarried" for income tax filing purposes. Spouses separated under a "decree of divorce or separate maintenance" on the last day of the tax year may file as Single or Head of Household.
BUSINESS
By Lorene Yue | February 15, 2004
Income tax itemizers may not be getting the maximum from deduction opportunities. "You do one tax return a year, and the law is so complicated that you just miss things," said Paul Manghera, senior financial counselor for Ernst & Young. To claim these, you must file the full 1040 and Schedule A forms. Your deductions must total more than the standard deduction to be worthwhile. For the 2003 tax year, the standard deduction is $4,750 if you are single or married but filing a separate return; $9,500 if married and filing jointly; and $7,000 if filing as head of household.
BUSINESS
By Lorene Yue | March 21, 2004
If you find yourself perpetually short of itemized deductions, you may want to consider bunching some of them every other year. Taxpayers younger than 65 who are not blind and not claimed as a dependent on someone else's return should take the standard deduction if the total of their itemized deductions for things such as mortgage interest, unreimbursed job expenses and charitable donations is equal to or less than: $4,750 for single filers or married...
BUSINESS
By EILEEN AMBROSE | March 31, 2009
It's good to be average this tax season. That's because the average federal refund is up 9 percent over a year ago. The typical refund as of March 6 is $2,811, compared with $2,576 for a similar period a year ago, the latest figures from the Internal Revenue Service show. Thank some new tax breaks as well as inflation adjustments to more than two dozen items, including tax brackets. "If your income was the same year over year, it is possible that you could be in an even lower tax bracket and your tax would be lower," says Barbara Weltman, author of J.K. Lasser's 1001 Deductions & Tax Breaks.
BUSINESS
By Humberto Cruz and Humberto Cruz,Tribune Media Services | January 28, 2007
As W-2s, 1099s and other tax forms arrive, many Americans are beginning the dreaded chore of computing their federal income taxes for 2006. My wife, Georgina, and I are just about done - for 2007. For 2006, we were basically done a year ago (with the computations, that is). Every January, we estimate our tax liability for the coming year. It takes us less than an hour, despite a fairly complicated tax situation as self-employed sole proprietors. For most Americans, the same exercise should take a half-hour.
BUSINESS
By Humberto Cruz and Humberto Cruz,Tribune Media Services | December 3, 2006
The ever-expanding stacks of old books that my wife, Georgina, and I want to give to our public library are crowding our home office space. We are itching to clean out the bedroom closets, too, and donate clothes we haven't worn for years to our church thrift shop. But we'll put up with the clutter until after Dec. 31. Likewise, we won't do anything until January with the property tax bill that came in the mail recently. We are not always this patient, though. We are buying printing paper, envelopes and labels for our freelance work now, even if our current supply will last until February.
BUSINESS
By EILEEN AMBROSE and EILEEN AMBROSE,SUN COLUMNIST | May 28, 2006
The wedding season is under way, and couples' minds are likely focused on invitations, dresses, tuxes and tiered cakes. But sometime between the honeymoon and April 15, newlyweds will need to consider taxes. No longer single-filers, couples have the choice of submitting returns as married filing jointly or married filing separately. That's the easy part. Being married can throw you into a higher tax bracket or result in other changes on your federal return. Here are a few tax items to consider as you start on the journey of wedded bliss: A change in status: You'll need to file a new W-4 form with your employer to change your filing status from single to married.
BUSINESS
By Lorene Yue | March 21, 2004
If you find yourself perpetually short of itemized deductions, you may want to consider bunching some of them every other year. Taxpayers younger than 65 who are not blind and not claimed as a dependent on someone else's return should take the standard deduction if the total of their itemized deductions for things such as mortgage interest, unreimbursed job expenses and charitable donations is equal to or less than: $4,750 for single filers or married...
BUSINESS
By Lorene Yue | February 15, 2004
Income tax itemizers may not be getting the maximum from deduction opportunities. "You do one tax return a year, and the law is so complicated that you just miss things," said Paul Manghera, senior financial counselor for Ernst & Young. To claim these, you must file the full 1040 and Schedule A forms. Your deductions must total more than the standard deduction to be worthwhile. For the 2003 tax year, the standard deduction is $4,750 if you are single or married but filing a separate return; $9,500 if married and filing jointly; and $7,000 if filing as head of household.
BUSINESS
By KENNETH HARNEY | October 28, 2001
WITH SIGNS of recession growing daily, new tax proposals are emerging here that could touch millions of American homeowners. Last week, the most influential trade group representing home-mortgage lenders, the Mortgage Bankers Association of America, unveiled a housing-oriented economic stimulus plan that includes broadened deductibility for interest payments on home loans. The association called for an amendment to the federal tax code that would allow all homeowners with mortgages - not just those who itemize - to write off their annual home mortgage interest.
BUSINESS
By EILEEN AMBROSE | March 25, 2001
THE TAX DEADLINE is just around the corner, and there's a bit of good news for procrastinators. They get an extra day to file their returns because the traditional April 15 deadline falls on a Sunday. The not-so-good news is that often in the rush of last-minute filing, or in the push to get the tedious task over with, taxpayers make mistakes, experts said. Sure, the Internal Revenue Service sometimes catches math errors or fills in the blank when parents forget to claim child credits, but filers can't count on this happening.
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