In a nutshell, proponents of taxing the rich treat people as inanimate objects that will continue to engage in the same behavior at the same levels regardless of tax rates. Anyone who has to pay taxes knows this is ridiculous on its face, but then again many of the tax the rich crowd don’t pay taxes so that probably explains some of it…
Anyway, Sowell does a great job outlining how “Trickle Down Theory” is a political term – not an economic theory – and why “Tax Cuts for the Rich work”. Although “Trickle Down Theory” is a political phrase, it’s not a partisan idea – both Democrats and Republicans alike have tried tax cuts for the rich throughout the 20th century and they worked every time.
TurboTax and Quicken are both products of Intuit Inc., and since this is tax season, you can score some great deals on Quicken products when you purchase TurboTax 2012!
In the interest of full disclosure, I use both TurboTax and Quicken Deluxe for my taxes and personal finance tracking. I use them because they’re both excellent products, and because of that I have no problems recommending them to others.
That’s just my opinion though. You’re free to make up your own mind, but here are a few reasons the time is right to buy TurboTax 2012 now, if you’re contemplating also purchasing Quicken 2013 products.
Great deals on Quicken 2013 when you buy TurboTax 2012
When you purchase the TurboTax Basic, Deluxe or Home & Business 2012 you qualify for these deals on Quicken 2013:
Save $30 on Quicken Starter Edition 2013 (Use promo code BTTG3OSE )
Save $35 on Quicken Deluxe 2013, Quicken Premier 2013, Quicken Home & Business 2013, or QuickenEssentials for Mac. (use promo code BTTG35QK )
These deals may only be available through Amazon (I’m not positive) , but you can follow the links above to get to the Amazon site.
Why use I Quicken
There are many personal finance software programs on the market, and quite a few free ones as well. I use Quicken because it’s an excellent program that suits my needs, but also because it integrates with TurboTax.
Quicken allows me to tack my spending and create and manage budgets and do all the other things personal finance software does, but come tax time I can very easily import that data into TurboTax and save even more time.
As I said, the decision is up to you. But if you’re considering buying Quicken, now is a great time to do so and save some money with these deals.
Happy shopping, and may your tax season be a little less taxing this year!
By now, most people with a job have noticed their paychecks are smaller than last year. This has confused and surprised many who don’t consider themselves “rich.” Albeit most are low information voters who only heard the President repeatedly affirm he would only raise taxes on “the rich.”
Regardless of the semantics of political rhetoric in a campaign, the recent tax hike has already led to a change in spending on the part of many people that will likely cause a hit to the already weakening economy.
American Taxpayer Relief Act, offers no relief
The cause of the payroll tax hike is the recently passed piece of legislation with the Orwellian name of “American Taxpayer Relief Act”. That bill was signed into law by President Obama in the wee hours of 2013 to circumvent the artificial “fiscal cliff crisis,” created by the President and congress in 2011.
Ways to reduce taxable income and pay less in taxes
Whether you view it as a way to starve the beast in D.C. by limiting the amount that can be confiscated from your paycheck, or simply as a way to maximize the fruits of your labor, there are a number of things you can do to reduce your tax bite next year.
Keep more of what’s yours
First, if you get a refund then you gave too much of your paycheck to Washington last year. To keep more of what’s yours, check out The Kiplinger Tax Withholding Calculator and minimize your withholding.
Withholding is an insidious device born in the WWII era and it allows the government to take money out of each paycheck before you even see it. It’s because of withholding that most people have no idea how much they’re really taxed, and it makes it almost impossible to pay yourself first because the government takes its “fair share” before you even get the money you earned.
Pay yourself first – for real!
Maximize your 401(k) contributions, or at least as much as you can. A 401(k) contribution is one of the only ways to truly pay yourself first because the contribution amount comes out of your paycheck before the withholding taxes, which means even less is taken out for withholding.
Both of these accounts allow you to have money deducted from your paycheck – before withholding tax – and can be used for healthcare and doctor expenses. You get to spend the money on your healthcare tax free!
Pay yourself forward
See if your employer offers education assistance, and go back to school on the company’s dime. Companies can offer employees up to $5,250 of educational assistance tax-free each year.
That means it isn’t part of your income, and you don’t pay taxes on that money!
Often times, the courses don’t even have to be job-related, and even graduate-level courses qualify.
One of the problems inherent in the growth of government is that it consumes the income and resources of private citizens that would otherwise go toward donations to the charity of their choice, leaving government bureaucrats and politicians to decide which charities and agencies get tax payer money.
If you are lucky enough to have the income to spare, and feel strongly about a charitable cause, then donate! You support a cause you believe in, and get to deduct that donation from your taxes. A win-win!
Do it for the children
If you have children, then you can save for their college expenses using a 529 college savings plan. Much like a 401(k), the contributions to a 529 are tax deductible.
You can also use a Roth IRA to save for college. While a Roth IRA was created to help people save for retirement, it can be used to save for college costs or even the purchase of a new home!
You can only withdraw gains for retirement, after a certain age, but since the contributions are after tax, you can always withdraw your contributions at anytime and not be taxed again (not yet, anyway).
Say you and your spouse each save $5,000 in a Roth starting the year a child is born. After 18 years, the dual Roths would hold about $375,000, assuming 8% annual growth. Up to $180,000 — the total of the contributions — can be withdrawn tax- and penalty-free and any part of the interest can be withdrawn penalty-free, too, to pay college bills.
Go on a spending strike!
Just because our government “leaders” don’t know how to spend less than they make doesn’t mean you can’t!
The less you spend, the less sales tax you pay and the more of your own money you get to keep.
TurboTax and H&R Block At Home (formerly Taxcut) are the two most popular tax preparation software packages on the market today. I’ve been a user of TurboTax for about five years, but I’ve been wondering if H&R Block At Home might be a better deal.
H&R Block At Home sells for about $10 less than TurboTax, and I thought that maybe some of that additional $10 for TurboTax is just for the name brand. After all, TurboTax has been the leader in self preparation tax software since such applications have been in existence.
My specific tax and life situation mean I require the deluxe version of whichever software I chose, so that’s what this review will cover: TurboTax Deluxe 2013, and H&R Block At Home Deluxe 2013.
TurboTax and H&R Block At Home Common Features
Both TurboTax and H&R Block At Home have the following features:
Maximum deduction for donations
Easy to follow “interview” format that guides you through life changes like getting married, having a baby, buying a home, etc..
Medical Expenses guide helps determine eligibility for medically based deductions
Accurate calculation guarantee (both will pay your interest and penalties should you be held accountable for an error in calculation by the software.)
Maximum refund/ minimum tax due or money back guarantee
Free, online help
Audit Support Guarantee – Get step-by-step guidance on everything you need to know and do if the IRS contacts you and one-on-one audit guidance year-round from an experienced tax expert.
FREE Federal E-file lets you file your federal taxes online and receive any refund sooner.
State e-file is available, at an additional cost
Differences between TurboTax and H&R Block At Home
TurboTax advertises FREE Technical Support – via phone or live chat. H&R Block At Home only states that they provide free online help.
I’ve never needed customer support from TurboTax, and I probably wouldn’t for H&R Block At Home either given the ease of the interview process. But for some users, free technical support by phone may be essential.
If you’ve done your taxes yourself in years past then you know what a time saver it is to be able to automatically import your information from last year’s tax return.
But even if it’s your first time doing your taxes, the ability to import your W-2 or 1099 information straight from your employer is huge!
Both TurboTax and H&R Block At Home provide data import from the following:
From your employer by either W-2 or 1099
Previous versions of the same software (i.e. TurboTax 2013 will import data from TurboTax 2012, and H&R Block At Home will import data from H&R Taxcut)
From the competition – i.e. TurboTax 2013 will import data from H&R Taxcut and H&R Block At Home will import data from TurboTax 2012.
TurboTax will also import data from previous and current versions of Intuit’s popular Quicken personal finance software (Quicken Starter Edition 2013, Quicken Deluxe 2013, Premier 2013, Home & Business 2013, or Essentials for Mac).
This can be helpful for tracking such things as sales tax paid throughout the year, or income from side jobs or employers that may not be available for data download via W-2 or 1099 import.
TurboTax vs H&R Block At Home – Which is Better?
Since these programs are so similar, I think it comes down to two factors:
Do you (or will you) use Quicken Personal Finance software?
So, if you do not use a previous version of Quicken and have no intention of using Quicken 2013, then save yourself $10 and go with H&R Block At Home.
But if you wish to make full use of Intuit’s line of Quicken software (Quicken Starter Edition 2013, Quicken Deluxe 2013, Premier 2013, Home & Business 2013, or Essentials for Mac), then TurboTax is a better deal – especially if you plan on using the Quicken promo codes included with TurboTax.
Since I use Quicken Deluxe for my personal finance and budget tracking purposes and I’ve been very happy with TurboTax in past years, I’m going to stick with TurboTax this year.
The information and opinions provided on this site do not constitute professional advice. This blog is intended to provide general information only about the author's own personal financial journey. While all information shared here is believed to be accurate, the owner/operator of this website specifically disclaims all warranties expressed, implied or statutory, regarding the accuracy, timeliness, and/or completeness of the information contained herein. You are advised to discuss your specific requirements with an independent financial adviser.