taxes

6 tax terrors and how to overcome them

Taxes » Tax Filing » 6 tax terrors and how to overcome them

Afraid I'll overlook a tax break
Afraid I'll overlook a tax break

Afraid I'll overlook a tax break

Even folks who are brave enough to tackle their taxes on their own often face this fear. Again, it's not an unreasonable one. And once again, those folks in Washington, D.C., feed this fear.

Take, for example, the various tax laws created to address specific situations. The first-time homebuyer credit, for example, was changed three times in less than two years.

Many tax definitions would make Merriam-Webster editors scream. The IRS itself abandoned attempts to come up with a uniform definition of a child in connection with assorted tax breaks. Even the seemingly simple task of determining a dependent requires a close examination of ages, income amounts and time spent living under your roof.

The remedy: Accept that tax filing is going to take some homework. Before you start your return, check out the countless publications -- including Bankrate's tax center. Sign up for our weekly tax tip newsletter. If you've been too afraid to start the process, check out "7 ways to get organized for the tax year." By staying on top of tax law changes and filing tips, you'll know exactly where this year's taxes might trip you up.

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