How long should you keep tax records?

Kimberly Lankford, Contributing Editor, and <i>Kiplinger's Personal Finance</i> •
Kiplinger

It’s a good idea to keep your tax returns indefinitely. You can usually toss supporting documents three years after the filing deadline. The IRS generally has to initiate an audit by then. But there are exceptions. Some tax experts recommend holding on to your records for at least seven years.   Among the most important

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Tax Day tip: 3 smart ways to spend your tax refund

Kimberly Lankford, Contributing Editor, and <i>Kiplinger's Personal Finance</i> •
Kiplinger

The average tax refund is around $3,000. If you find yourself sitting on a pile of cash courtesy of your 1040, resist the urge to treat it like play money. Instead, put the windfall to work for you. 1. Invest in your home Your refund won’t be enough to redo your kitchen or bathroom, but

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How to deduct medical expenses on your tax return

Kimberly Lankford, Contributing Editor, and <i>Kiplinger's Personal Finance</i> •
Kiplinger

What are the rules for deducting medical expenses on my tax return? Many medical expenses that you pay out of pocket for yourself, your spouse and your dependents may be tax-deductible, but you can only deduct those expenses to the extent they exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income in 2017 (for 2016, the cut-off

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4 overlooked tax breaks for new parents

Rebecca Dolan, Kiplinger.com, and Contributing Writer •
Kiplinger

Got a new bundle of joy in your household? Here are opportunities to cut your tax bill as you grow your family. 1. Dependency exemption Claiming your son or daughter as a dependent will shelter $4,050 of your income from tax in 2016 and 2017. 2. Child tax credit A new baby also delivers a

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4 overlooked tax breaks for the self-employed

Rebecca Dolan, Kiplinger.com, and Contributing Writer •
Kiplinger

Have you recently gone into business for yourself? Check out these ways to make tax law work for you. 1. Home-office deductions The key to this deduction is to use part of your home or apartment regularly and exclusively for your money-making endeavor. 2. Health insurance premiums You can deduct what you pay for medical

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When to toss tax records

Kimberly Lankford, Contributing Editor, and <i>Kiplinger's Personal Finance</i> •
Kiplinger

How long do I need to keep my tax records in case I get audited? Are there some records I should keep longer? It’s a good idea to keep your returns indefinitely. But you can generally toss supporting tax records three years after the tax-filing deadline, which is the time the IRS generally has to

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