Category: Taxes

What's New with Taxes (2021)

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Aug 07, 2021
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Taxes, Current Events
The pandemic continued to impact the collection and payment of taxes this year. Here are the highlights: The date taxes were due was moved out again this year, this time to May 17. (Most states followed this as well) The IRS had a huge backlog on tax processing, due to staffing issues as well as extra volume of work due to various relief efforts based on IRS data. One significant relief effort was the exclusion of up to $10,200 worth of unemployment benefits from taxable income. Another relief...

Interactive: Reading a Pay Stub

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Aug 04, 2021
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Interactive, Budgeting, Taxes
This interactive helps students understand their paystubs. It's simple, engaging, and can be used in a wide variety of classrooms. Here are a few ways students will engage with the interactive: Drag and drop activity using common paystub items and abbreviations. Analyze and interpret pay stubs. Calculate various prompts using pay stubs. Here are some discussion starters and activities you can use to follow up using the interactive: Why do you think businesses are responsible for subtracting...

Reading List for July 16-18

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Jul 16, 2021
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Advocacy, Personal Finance, Economics, Investing, Cryptocurrencies, Financial Scams, Taxes
Advocacy The state of states’ financial literacy efforts explained, and NGPF Bill tracker mentioned. (CNBC)   Personal Finance There are many myths floating around about what happens to a couple’s credit when they marry. This sets the record straight. (PRNewswire) Speaking of couples, the Fidelity 2021 Couples and Money Study was released and is full of interesting stats. Communication is key, (and maybe counseling would help?) The pandemic made people totally reevaluate...

Reading List for July 2-4

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Jul 02, 2021
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Cryptocurrencies, Economics, Financial Literacy, Investing, Taxes
Financial Literacy/Advocacy It is always nice to start off with a Financial Literacy win. Go Nebraska! (News Channel Nebraska)  Business, sports and entertainment leaders are jumping on the Financial Literacy Bandwagon by joining the “Financial Literacy For All” movement. (PRNewswire)    Economics Jobs report June 2021 was good news! June saw the largest increase in jobs since last August. For a summary, read CNBC. If you want the details, go to the BLS. Housing...

Reading List for June 11-13

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Jun 11, 2021
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Investing, Economics, Employment, Paying for College, Taxes, Advocacy
Investing “The Mystery of the $113 million Deli” provides insight into the mechanics of SPACs while resolving this mystery. (NYT-Sunday) Here is the CNBC article on adding I-Bonds to your portfolio (following one from the Wall Street Journal in last week’s list.) Inflation figures haven’t spooked the market as the S&P 500 hit a new record yesterday. (CNBC) Have you heard of the banking app “Dave?” It is backed by Mark Cuban and will go public via a SPAC....

Reading List for May 14-16

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May 14, 2021
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Taxes, Economics, Investing, Cryptocurrencies, Budgeting
The delayed tax deadline is Monday. So let’s start this week’s list with one on Taxes. 5 tax tasks to take care of by May 17 (Don't Mess With Taxes)   Economics Here are several articles discussing the Consumer Price Index jump in April. CNBC covers the basics and the NYT (I highly recommend reading anything by Jeanna Smialek) provides a bit more analysis. The WSJ discusses Fed Governor Waller’s comments on the number, and also discusses which components of the CPI may...

Question of the Day (Updated): What income level on tax returns is audited least frequently by the IRS?

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Apr 14, 2021
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Taxes, Question of the Day
Answer: $25,000-$50,000 income level are audited 0.40% of the time or 4 in 1000 tax returns  Questions: Why do you think the percentage of returns that get audited is so low? Explain your reasoning. Why do you think that taxpayers are so afraid of being audited? Is their fear warranted? Do you think that low audit rates can contribute to more taxpayers "cheating" on their tax returns? Why or why not?  Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the...

Reading List for March 26-28

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Mar 26, 2021
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Investing, Economics, Insurance, Taxes
Investing We are one year out from the stock market bottoming out. What has happened since then? (Irrelevant Investor) What is the bond market saying about inflation expectations? (NYT) Roblox IPO, like the company, was HUGE! (Investors.com). GMA aired a story today with warnings to parents about its dangers (surprise bills and bullying).   Economics New unemployment claims dropped below 700,000 for the first time since the start of the pandemic (CNBC), but payments to millions of...

Question of the Day: How many math errors did taxpayers make on tax returns in 2019?

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Mar 24, 2021
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Question of the Day, Taxes, Research
Answer: 1.9 million Over 50% of the errors are with tax calculations/other taxes. Here are the top 10:  [2] Includes all errors associated with the calculation and assessment of income taxes, as well as other taxes, such as self-employment tax, alternative minimum tax, and household employment tax. Source: IRS data Questions: Does it surprise you that taxpayers make so many errors on their tax returns?  What are strategies that you can use to avoid making mistakes on your own tax...

Question of the Day [Updated]: How many states do not have state income taxes?

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Mar 22, 2021
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Question of the Day, Taxes
Did you know that most people have to file tax returns for BOTH federal AND state income taxes? Listed below are 8 states that do not (as of 3/16/2021) have state income taxes.  Answer: 8 states including Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming Note: New Hampshire taxes investment income but will eliminate those taxes by 2024.    Questions: How does your state's tax rate compare to other neighboring states?  Do you think...

Reading List for March 19-21

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Mar 19, 2021
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Economics, Investing, Budgeting, Taxes, Career, Financial Literacy
  Economics Retail sales fell in February. Was it the cold? Or did folks run through their stimulus money in January. (CNN) Weekly unemployment were back up slightly from last week. Read about new and continuing claims from AP. Fed FOMC met this week and will likely keep rates at or near zero until 2023 and expects GDP growth to hit 6.5% this year. (AP, Yahoo Finance) Trying to remember how the Federal Reserve Bank handled the impending financial crisis a year ago? Here is a good recap....

Question of the Day: What is the deadline for filing your 2020 tax return?

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Mar 17, 2021
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Question of the Day, Taxes
Answer: May 17th Questions: Just like school work, why is it important to know the deadline to file your tax return? Can you file your tax return early? Why might be a reason to file BEFORE the deadline? Why do you think the IRS gives people a few months after the end of the tax year to file their tax return? Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom. Behind the numbers (CNBC) The IRS and Treasury Department will postpone the April 15...

Question of the Day: How long does it take to get a tax refund?

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Mar 08, 2021
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Question of the Day, Taxes
Answer: Between 1 week and 2 months, depending on how you file Questions: Which type of tax filing would you prefer to do? Why? Why might getting your tax refund quickly be important? Why? What would you do with a received tax refund? Here are the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.   Behind the Numbers (Smart Asset): "When you get your tax refund will depend largely on how you file your return. The fastest option is to...

Question of the Day: What percent of U.S. taxpayers prepared their own tax returns in 2020?

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Mar 01, 2021
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Question of the Day, Taxes
Answer: Among those who filed electronically, 47% prepared their own returns Questions: What do you think are the factors that determine whether someone files their own returns or hires a professional to do it?  Do you hope to be able to file your own tax returns? Why or why not? What are resources that you can use to make filing your own returns easier?  Here are the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom. Behind the...

Reading List for February 19-21

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Feb 19, 2021
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Economics, Investing, Taxes
Economics Retail sales jumped beyond expectations in January. (CNN) New weekly unemployment claims back up this week, and prior week was revised up as well. (Yahoo Finance) Sales of existing homes rose in January, surprising forecasters. Inventories are low, prices are high. (Reuters) Walmart will be raising wages for 425,000 workers to average above $15 an hour. (CNBC) There is much debate over an increased minimum wage, particularly in struggling areas of the country. (NYT) Covid has driven...