Do I need to file a gift tax return?

If you transfer money or property to anyone in any year without receiving something of at least equal value in return, you may need to file a federal gift tax return (Form 709) by the April tax filing deadline. If you live in one of the few states that also impose a gift tax, you …

Will I owe income taxes when I sell my home?

In general, when you sell your home, any amount you receive over your cost basis (what you paid for the home, plus capital improvements, plus the costs of selling the home) is subject to capital gains taxes. However, if you owned and used the home as your principal residence for a total of two out …

Why Diversification Matters

When investing, particularly for long-term goals, there is one concept you will likely hear about over and over again — diversification. Why is diversification so important? The simple reason is that it helps ensure that your risk of loss is spread among a number of different investments. The theory is that if some of the …

Table: Federal Student Loans for College

Many families rely on federal student loans to help pay for college. This table describes features of the most common federal loans.   Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan Perkins Loan Direct PLUS Loan (Parent/Grad) Description A federal student loan available to students regardless of financial need A federal student loan available only …

Due Date Approaches for 2016 Federal Income Tax Returns

Tax filing season is here again. If you haven’t done so already, you’ll want to start pulling things together — that includes getting your hands on a copy of last year’s tax return and gathering W-2s, 1099s, and deduction records. You’ll need these records whether you’re preparing your own return or paying someone else to …