This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Tax Basics: Consider All Your Options

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- When preparing your tax return you are often given choices on how to treat certain situations. Here are some examples:

  • File Married Filing Joint, or Married Filing Separate.
  • Claim a personal exemption for a dependent student, or allow the student to claim an education tax credit on his or her own return.
  • Claim an "above-the-line" adjustment to income for tuition and fees; an itemized deduction as an "employee business expense" if applicable; or an education tax credit.
  • Depreciate a new business asset, or claim a Section 179 expensing deduction.
  • Itemize your deductions, or claim the standard deduction.
  • Deduct state and local income tax paid, or state and local sales tax paid.
  • Deduct state and local sales tax paid from the Optional Sales Tax Tables, or claim the total actual sales tax paid.

When faced with choices, do separate tax calculations for each option to see which results in the lowest tax.

Consider how a federal choice will affect your resident and nonresident state and local tax returns. Choosing one option may save you $50 in federal taxes but cost you $100 in state income taxes.

What you want to do is select the options that will let you pay the absolute least amount of combined overall federal, state and local income taxes.

Robert Flach has more than 40 years of experience as a tax professional and also blogs as The Wandering Tax Pro.

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,804.71 -238.19 -1.40%
S&P 500 1,946.16 -26.13 -1.32%
NASDAQ 4,422.0850 -71.3050 -1.59%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs