Tax Tips For Individuals

Before you begin to prepare your income tax return, go through the following checklist. Not every category will apply to you, so just pick those that do, and make sure you have that information available. When you're ready to prepare your tax return, you'll be surprised at how much time you'll save by organizing your information beforehand.

You may want to evaluate your W-4 withholding allowances for the year. If you received a large refund or paid underpayment penalties with your previous tax return, it may be an indication that withholding allowances need to be adjusted. Often an income or job change can affect the withholding allowances.

The estates of wealthy individuals who died in 2010 didn't pay any federal estate tax, but that situation is about to change. Under the recently enacted “Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010,” the federal estate tax, which disappeared for 2010, springs back to life in 2011 and is imposed at the top rate of 35% of the estate's value after the first $5 million. I am writing to provide a brief overview of the new law.

The 2011 standard mileage allowance rate for business travel is 51 cents per mile. For charitable travel the 2011 rate is 14 cents per mile. For medical travel the 2011 rate is 19 cents per mile.

What tax records can you toss once you’ve filed your return? The answer is simple: none. You need to hold on to all of your tax records for now. But it’s the perfect time to go through old tax records and see what you can discard.