If you work from home, even on a part-time basis, you can probably save a few dollars come tax time. That’s because if you itemize your deductions on your federal tax return, you can write off as a business expense part of the cost of owning and operating your home. Everything from electric bills to property taxes may be fair game. Those tax deductions can add up, thus lowering your taxable income and reducing the amount you owe Uncle Sam. Before you start spending that refund, however, there are a few rules you need to understand and heed. It’s a good idea to consult a tax adviser to be sure that you’re filing the right schedules and maximizing your deductions. Read more.
An iffy economy and high unemployment rate make a flock of new vehicles priced below $20,000 well timed for their 2011 debuts. They are: The Smart Car, Honda Civic, Ford Focus, Flat 500, the Mazda2, Chevolet Sonic, and the Hyundia Elantra and Veoster. Click here to read more.
The list, from Beth Pinsker of Dealnews, features some mouthwatering tech wanna-haves, along with some can’t-live-withouts. From the iPhone to GPS units, laptops to game systems, this list provides price guidance for anyone contemplating such a purchase in 2011. A little patience, it appears, can pay off big-time. Wait long enough and you can get Amazon’s Kindle eReader (now $130) for as low as $99, according to DealNews. And BluRay players, the site says, will be “priced like crockpots” at a bargain basement $39 by the end of the year. Click here to check out 12 Things That Will Cost Less in 2011.
Hey, I’ve been getting bids for several years now to do this in my home. I am told a $5000 investment would reduce my electric bill by 15-20% each month. It’s worth it! A generous federal tax credit makes solar panels more attractive to the average homeowner, especially if electric bills are sky high. Click here to read more:
In 2009-2010, you could lock out the cold with storm windows and storm doors and get up to $1,500 in tax credits Use IRS Form 5695 in 2011 to take this credit. This year’s credit, available only to those who didn’t take advantage of the 2009-2010 program, is a fraction of last year’s: For storm doors, up to a $500 credit. For storm windows, up to a $200 credit. Installation costs aren’t covered.
Tax credits limits and deadlines: 10% of expenditures, up to $500 for the year, for all energy improvements combined.Install the relevant doors and windows by Dec. 31, 2011.Save receipts and each manufacturer’s certification statement, which is used to find qualifying products. The official Energy Star site has posted new guidelines on what exactly is covered. It’s your safest bet for information on how to get the credit. Don’t rely solely on contractors who may not know the details or who promise their products will get the credit in order to make a sale. Click here to learn more.