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The Year's Almost Over - Get Your Free Tax Advice

Monday, December 20, 2010

Wondering how the new tax laws will affect you? Need to get your personal finances in order? CPA and host of "Greenberg News" on WNJC 1360 AM in Philadelphia, Brian Greenberg is taking tax questions. 

According to Greenberg, most people won't see much of a change in their tax bills on April 15, 2011—the "new" law is really a continuation of what's been going on for the past two years. 

Only in the government when they don't raise your taxes is it considered a tax cut.

But because of the tax legislation recently signed by President Obama, workers will be paying two percent less in social security taxes next year (and theoretically, only next year). Businesses will continue to pay the entire social security tax for each employee. Here are a few tips from the CPA:

  • Should I buy that $2,500 Canon 5D camera? If you're a freelancer, and you want to make a big purchase for your business, it still makes sense to do it and write the cost off as a deduction. But it doesn't matter if you do it this year or next—there's no difference.
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  • What's the best low-hanging fruit I can snag before December 31? For individuals, the biggest credit out there is the energy credit. You can get 30 percent of what you spend (up to a cap of $1,500) back in lower taxes. For example, if you spend $5,000 putting in a new heating and air conditioning system, 30 percent of that—$1,500—will be rebated back to you in lower taxes from the government.
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  • Does having a child pay? Well, it pays in the joys of childrearing but in terms of taxes, not really, unless you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income working families.  If not, you will get to put an additional deduction on your tax forms, and you might get a few bucks back in reimbursement for your day care expenses, but Greenberg says "the bottom line is having a child is a net negative, it'll cost you a lot more than any tax rebate you'll get from the government."

If you have more tax questions, you can call Greenberg toll free at 877-274-9000 or go to his website.

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Comments [8]

Melissa

Thanks, Jeremy!

Dec. 20 2010 12:24 PM
Jeremy from Brooklyn

Melissa-
There are many tax advantages that are not allowed if you file "Married filing separately." It is almost always beneficial to file jointly. I would say less than 1% of the people would benefit filing separately.

http://taxes.about.com/od/filingstatus/qt/marriedseparate.htm

Dec. 20 2010 12:16 PM
Melissa from Crown Heights

I'm a self employed freelancer who has been filing a schedule C every year for the past 10 years. This year I got married. My husband gets a regular W-2. Would it benefit us to file jointly or seperately?

Dec. 20 2010 11:57 AM
Giuseppe from Manhattan

Is the extension of the Bush tax cuts an incentive to convert regular IRAs to a Roth IRA by December 31?

Dec. 20 2010 11:55 AM
Brian from Hoboken

What about AMT? Costs me about $12k per year.

Dec. 20 2010 11:54 AM
Jeremy from Brooklyn

I thought Brian Greenberg was brought on the show for his tax knowledge, not his politics.

Dec. 20 2010 11:53 AM
Xtina from E. Village

Wow, could this guest be any more obnoxious. Sure let's allow businesses to not pay into SS and ruin people's retirement accounts, that's a great plan. As if business doesn't have thousands of other tax breaks, it doesn't need to jeopardize people's retirement as well.

Dec. 20 2010 11:53 AM
Chad from LES

I recently (May) married my husband in CT as gay marriage is legal there, my husband is a foreign national who was recently granted asylum in the US. He is not sponsored through me as that is not legal, but we are married. Am I able to file a joint tax return for us?

Dec. 20 2010 11:53 AM

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