Taxes 
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Tax breaks for teachers and others getting the ax next year

Teacher tax credits and others will disappear next year.Which tax breaks have you become accustomed to? Over time, even many  tax breaks that are written to be temporary from the get-go start to feel like they will be around forever. As a result, it’s often a shock when these tax breaks disappear rather abruptly. In fact, it often feels like a tax increase when these breaks expire. If you’re not paying attention for tax planning purposes, such changes can mean a large — and unexpected — tax bill.

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 Personal Finance 
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Comments of the week, renters insurance is cool edition

We had a lot of great comments on a bunch of different posts. One of my favorite types of comments are readers sharing their own experiences, and we got plenty of those on posts about renters insurance, bedbugs and financial pitfalls for veterans.

Here’s one from reader Huskervball testifying to the importance of renters insurance:

We had a killer tornado. Many apartment buildings were demolished. The importance of renters insurance was overwhelmingly clear.


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 Health Care 
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4 annoying things about the Obamacare rollout and how to deal

Just days after finally getting a stopgap budget passed and turning the lights back on at the federal government, Washington politicians woke up to an ugly reality: There have been some rather large and nasty bugs in the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare.

Here are some of the biggest Obamacare issues stressing out consumers, and how you can deal with them.
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 Taxes 
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Live and work overseas? Don’t forget to pay U.S. taxes

Working overseas can make your U.S. taxes difficultA few years ago, I worked for a company based in Taiwan. Whenever I received a check from this company, taxes paid to Taiwan were deducted. Then, during tax time in the United States, I was required to report that income, even though it was earned working for a foreign company. The good news is that I received a tax credit for the money paid to Taiwan’s government.

My situation was fairly straightforward; I lived in the United States and the income from the foreign company wasn’t very large. Others face a more daunting situation related to their residency in a foreign country.


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 Taxes 
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How the IRS ruling affects same-sex couples’ taxes

Gay pride 013 - Marche des fiertés Toulouse 2011.jpgThe recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that the federal government has to recognize gay marriage is impacting a number of people, as well as policies.

Among the policies that are being affected by the DOMA ruling are tax policies. Immediately after the ruling came down, there were questions about how the IRS would handle same-sex marriages at tax time. Recently, though, the IRS ruled on how it will proceed.


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 Taxes, The Home 
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The mortgage tax deduction: beyond the hype

House and Money on ScalesOne of the benefits of homeownership that many of us hear about is the mortgage interest tax deduction. After all, how many loans out there provide you with a tax deduction for the interest that you pay? (Student loans and business loans, as well as mortgages.)

But are you really benefiting from the mortgage tax deduction? And is it really something that has a big impact on your finances? As with most matters of personal finance, the answer depends on your own personal situation.


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 Taxes 
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Official 2014 IRS Tax Brackets (Marginal Tax Brackets)

Tax BracketsEvery year the IRS has to adjust its income tax brackets to account for the slow and steady creep of inflation. Because official measures of inflation slowed to a crawl for much of 2013, the 2014 tax brackets look pretty similar to last year’s.

This year’s federal tax brackets reflect the results of a compromise deal to extend most of the Bush tax cuts that was enacted in January of 2013. While tax rates remained flat for most taxpayers, those earning more than $406,750 for single filers or $457,600 for married couples filing jointly will now find themselves in the highest tax bracket of 39.6 percent.

If you’re looking for the 2013 tax brackets, that is, the brackets that will be in effect when you file your taxes, you can find them at here.

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 Investing 
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Basics of Stock Market Investing

Wall StreetUntil a few years ago, the stock market was a mystery to me. I understood how it worked but I was always concerned about taxes, not getting ripped off, and the sums of money it seemed to take to “make” anything in the market. This was way before the huge market gyrations of the last few years, especially the pops and drops during the “Great Recession,” and I didn’t commit myself to learning until a few years into personal finance blogging.

I thought it would be valuable to put together an article on the basics of stock market investing. This won’t explain everything about the market, that’s just too difficult, but hopefully it’s a good start that will be the basis for additional research. Let me know if you see anything missing and I can add it.

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