Chapter 1: WithholdingFor most folks, taxes start with withholding. See if you're doing it right.Filling out your W-4Form W-4: the beginning of your working lifeWorking through the W-4 worksheetUnderstanding and avoiding underwithholdingChecking and adjusting your withholdingChapter 2: Forms and filingLearn the nitty-gritty of finding whether you have to file, and if so on what form and with which tax table.Filing your returnDo I have to file?Finding your filing statusChoosing the correct formDetermining taxable incomeTax rates, or just how much do I owe?When to fileSpecial filing circumstancesChapter 3: DeductionsYou had better know your deductions if you want to pay the least amount of tax.Deductions: the first step to cutting your tax billThe standard deduction amountItemized deductionsAbove-the-line deductionsExemptionsChapter 4: CreditsCredits are even better than deductions, because they reduce taxes more. Know which ones you qualify for.Tax credits: the better way to cut your tax billEarned income tax creditChild-related tax creditsEducation tax creditsRetirement saver's creditChapter 5: Life events and taxesPlan to own a home? Raise a family? Start a business? As your life changes, so will your tax needs.Your changing tax lifeMarriage and taxesHomeownership and your taxesAnd baby makes for more tax considerationsInvestment incomeSelf-employment tax considerationsDeath and taxes: the inevitableChapter 6: Closing detailsThese are the little details that are the difference between owing and not owing the IRS.Taking care of tax detailsEstimated taxes are a quarterly chore for many filersRecord keeping, or how not to become a tax pack ratChanging your tax address advertisementRelated Links:Taxes: Choosing a tax professional Going into business with a foreign partnerIs depreciation recapture necessary?Related Articles:If Bush tax cuts expireClaim insolvency?Deducting real estate losses
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Our tax expert Kay Bell provides resourceful tips and advice to help you stay prepared for filing.