Midyear tax checkup makes extra sense this year
News from Bradenton Herald:

— Ready or not, big changes lie ahead for virtually every U.S. taxpayer next year.

Tax cuts put into place under the Bush administration that slashed rates on wages, dividends and capital gains are set to expire at the end of 2012. The Social Security payroll tax cut enacted this year also will end, as will the exemption of millions of middle-class families from the alternative minimum tax.

It behooves you to spend a little time examining your own situation ahead of time. A midyear tax review always makes sense, but more so than ever this year.

Even some basic housekeeping and preparations for the tax overhaul in Washington can save money and help you avoid end-of-the-year angst over the inevitable 11th-hour congressional tussle over what to do next.

FINANCIAL CHECKUP

A simple do-it-yourself checkup can be performed in less than an hour. All you really need is your June 30 pay stub – the one that goes through the end of this week – and your 2011 tax return.

Start by multiplying your year-to-date earnings by two to get an estimate of 2012 income and compare it to last year’s final figure. The goal is to have a better idea of how your tax situation will look next year at tax time, says Mark Steber, chief tax officer for Jackson Hewitt Tax Services.

Do the same with your withholding. Th…………… continues on Bradenton Herald

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Related News:

How personal finance is factoring into the election
News from Marketplace.org:

Jeremy Hobson: So I’m still trying to figure out if this weekend or next weekend is a holiday weekend, because the Fourth of July falls in the middle of the week this year. But either way, Independence Day is right around the corner. And to celebrate, we’re going to spend this week’s Money Matters segment talking about the how Americans are spending their money when it comes to politics.

Tess Vigeland is the host of our consumer finance show Marketplace Money and she joins us now. Good morning.

Tess Vigeland: Good morning, Jeremy.

Hobson: Well Tess, we always hear that the economy is the big issue for voters, but how much of that is the overall economy and how much of it is just personal finance?

Vigeland: Well of course, when you look at the macroeconomy, everything that happens there certainly affects our wallets and our bank accounts — our personal economies. But yeah, this is definitely an indicator for us when we’re choosing candidates. Bankrate.com did a survey recently that found six in 10 Americans say their personal financial situation is an important factor in their vote this…………… continues on Marketplace.org

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