The taxman cometh...in 2009

Consumers are struggling to make ends meet as our economy falters. And what is the answer to that from politicians? Let's raise taxes. We're being led to believe that our governments need more of our money. The truth is that families are the ones who need to keep more of their hard-earned money.

Be on the lookout for many different taxes and fees to increase for consumers. And generally, government entities have no shame over raising the taxes. They act as if it's a necessary evil.

Some of the changes are likely to include: higher personal income rates, "surcharges" added to personal income taxes, higher sales tax rates, fees and taxes on certain things like tobacco, soft drinks, and snack foods, sales taxes on services that were previously untaxed, taxes on luxury goods like jewelry, furs, yachts, and private jets, and additional income taxes on the "wealthy."

So why aren't governments talking more about cutting their spending to match up with whatever taxes they think they'll collect? Apparently that would be too hard. It's just easier to force consumers to pay more, especially if an item or behavior can be demonized. Something bad (like tobacco) or enviable (like wealth) is much easier to tax because fewer consumers will object.

And taxing, instead of cutting spending, seems to be the way to go because consumers don't do enough to stop the taxing. In theory consumers have a say over taxes when they vote for politicians. In reality, it's a whole lot harder and we're at the mercy of whatever new or higher taxes the politicians think we need to pay.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.

Capital Gains and Losses

What is a capital asset, and how much tax do you have to pay when you sell one at a profit? Find out how to report your capital gains and losses on your tax return with these tips from TurboTax.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

Stimulus 2020: Unemployment Insurance for Self-Employed Individuals

Due to the recent coronavirus pandemic, many businesses and individuals are facing challenging times — including those that are self-employed. The government has issued unemployment insurance for self-employed individuals to help them manage their finances.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

Great Ways to Get Charitable Tax Deductions

Generally, when you give money to a charity, you can use the amount of that donation as an itemized deduction on your tax return. However, not all charities qualify as tax-deductible organizations. While there are many types of charities, they must all meet certain criteria to be classified by the IRS as tax-deductible organizations. There are legitimate tax-deductible organizations in many popular categories, such as those listed below.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

Managing Your Retirement Account and Taxes During Economic Uncertainty

In times of economic uncertainty, you might start to notice some alarming changes to your retirement account. It's usually unwise to panic and withdraw early, even if the temptation is strong.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com
Read Full Story
Your resource on tax filing
Tax season is here! Check out the Tax Center on AOL Finance for all the tips and tools you need to maximize your return.