Tax Time: Are You Reporting Your Income? Different Tax Forms to Look For

Income tax forms that report your income.

For many, income reporting at tax time is fairly straightforward.

You get a W-2, there’s your income.  The IRS gets a copy of the W-2, your state gets a copy, and you keep a copy for yourself.  Your income is reported on this form, and you don’t have to worry a great deal about other income reporting.

However, in a world that increasingly provides opportunities to earn money from side hustles and investments, reporting income has become a little more complex.

It can be tempting to avoid reporting income to the IRS, but it’s important to remember that failure to report your income is illegal, and can result in fines and penalties and even criminal charges.

As the IRS works to recapture some of the revenue it feels it has been losing lately, you should understand that more people are reporting your income to the IRS than before.

So you need to be on your toes.

See What Income Tax Forms Report Your Income That You Need to Keep an Eye Out For

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What is VITA – Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (You Might Get Free Tax Preparation)

VITA can help you prepare your taxes for free.

Many people would like help with their tax returns, but don’t know how they can afford to employ the services of a tax professional.

It’s true that some of the major income tax preparation services advertise that they will file your taxes for free, but this isn’t always the same as preparing them; in many cases you can only have the 1040-EZ prepared for free.

If your taxes are a little more complicated than a 1040-EZ, yet you don’t feel like you can afford to have an accountant or other tax professional help you prepare your Form 1040, you do have a place to turn.

The IRS sponsors a program designed to help those who make less than $53,000 a year prepare and file their taxes — the VITA, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. Read on and see if VITA can help you prepare your taxes and get free tax filing.

What is the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program

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Your Guide – Tips for Holiday Tipping (and My Story Working for Tips)

Tips for tipping this holiday season

This week, I’m reviewing all of the people who provide me with services, and figuring out how much to tip them.  The following are my tips for holiday tipping.

At holiday time, it’s appropriate to tip service providers that you see on a regular basis.  And avoiding services in December in order to weasel out of tipping someone who provides you with services throughout the year is frowned upon.

Read on and see my story on working for tips and who I think you should give a little extra to for the holidays.

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How Will Your Student Loans Affect Your Credit Score?

How will student loans affect your credit score?

You’d be hard-pressed to make it through college these days without student loans.

With the cost of a post-secondary education rising each year, most people can’t afford to attend university without the help of student loans.  Even a 529 plan and a partial-tuition scholarship might not be enough to avoid student loans.

While there are many advantages to student loans, and you can get special treatment with your student loans, it’s important to understand how a student loan can affect your credit.

Since your credit score is an important part of your financial life, it’s a good idea to consider the impact of your student loans.

Student Loans And Your Credit Score

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Lifestyle Inflation: The Silent Killer of Your Finances?

lifestyle inflation: the silent killer of your finances

Chances are, you want to make more money.

Most of us think that a higher income would improve matters in our financial lives.

But would more money really be useful to your long-term financial health?

It could potentially help — as long as you don’t let lifestyle inflation drain away your excess income.

The reality is that when most people earn more money, they spend more money.  If you aren’t careful, lifestyle inflation can destroy all of the benefits that come with a higher income.

You won’t get ahead if you don’t put that money to good use for your future.

What is Lifestyle Inflation?

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Get the Job You Want! – How to Choose the Right References for Your Job Search


Anytime you search for a job, there is a good chance that you will have to provide references to the hiring manager.

Potential employers want to talk to people who know you, and who can provide insight into your abilities and strengths.

Choosing the right references for your job search is about more than just providing a list of names to a potential employer.  If things get serious, the hiring manager is likely to follow up.

Do you know what your references will say about you?

Here’s How to Go About Choosing the Right References in Your Job Search

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5 Financial Considerations Before You Quit Your Job to Be Your Own Boss


For many, the dream of working from home is a strong inducement to quit a job.

After all, if you could be your own boss and set your own hours and still make a living, wouldn’t it make sense to walk away from “the man”?

Quitting your job is about more than just making sure that you have enough income from your side hustle to replace the income from your day job.  You might not realize all the benefits you’re getting from your current job.  You will need to a way to make up for those losses as well.

Before you take the plunge and quit your job, here are a few questions you should have answers for:

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