YEBies Presents: Weekly Tax Tips For The Win (WTTFTW)

So the whole idea behind this website when it first began was to bring some type unity among Young, Educated, Blacks across the globe one post at a time. Almost a year and a half later, I'm not sure if I'm actually even achieving this goal with my content. So in efforts to do a better job this year on maintaining a better balance of pop culture, news, and things WE need to know, I got another Y.E.B. (who shall remain anonymous) to give us some weekly tips on how to make the most of our tax returns this year. Our goal with each update is to educate and inform you with the most current and reliable tax information in order to maximize your return this year. Please feel free to pass these posts and tips along to others as they come. As tax season picks up it may become harder to make this a weekly post, but we will do our best to stay as consistent as possible with the knowledge.

-Vito The Y.E.B.

Weekly Tax Tips For The Win

Its time to start preparing to file your 2009 taxes, while you are scrambling around trying to find kids to claim, I'm here to help you get a bigger income tax refund LEGALLY. This first installment of tips is very general and will be the ground work for that return you have been looking for from Uncle Sam

Tax Tip 1: Know Your Filing Status
The three most common filing statuses are Single, Head of Household, and Married. The Married filing status is pretty self-explanatory, so let's focus on the distinction between filing Single or Head of Household. Filing as a Head of Household allows you to take advantage of a lower tax rate and higher standard deduction than if you file as a single tax payer. To qualify as a head of household filer, you must meet these 3 requirements; 1) You are unmarried on the last day of the year, 2) You paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year and, 3) A “qualifying person” lived with you in the home for more than half the year. Follow this link "QP" to find out who is a qualifying person.
Tax Tip 2: Take Advantage of Tax Credits
Tax credits are extremely favorable because they reduce the amount of tax you owe dollar for dollar. Specific Tax Credits will be addressed in future weeks, however take a look at common Income Tax Credits here. Leave questions about specific tax credits in the comment section.

Tax Tip 3: Understand the Charitable Deduction
It is common knowledge that charitable contributions made during the year can be deducted on your tax return however it really is not that simple. Only taxpayers that "itemize" their tax deductions are able to take charitable deductions on their tax return as opposed to taxpayers that take the standard deduction. Additionally, most taxpayers only take the charitable deduction for cash contributions made during the year, although property such as clothing and furniture should also be included. Unfortunately, only donations to charitable organizations qualify for the charitable deduction so the hand-me-downs you gave to your cousin will not acceptable.

That's it for the first installment of these weekly tax tips. Leave any questions, comments, future topics you would like addressed or criticism in the comment section.

Until Next Time,

Your Resident Taxpert

(Our tax expert here at YEBies works for a big 4 accounting firm and prepares tax returns for individuals, partnerships, corporations, trust, and estates.)