The Smart Taxes blog combines the best tax tips and advice from MSN Money and the rest of the Web. Among our featured contributors:

  • Teresa Mears

    Teresa Mears is a veteran journalist, a small-business owner and a blogger for MSN Money's Smart Spending.

  • Kay Bell

    Kay Bell is a native Texan, professional journalist, self-proclaimed tax geek and the author of "The Truth About Paying Fewer Taxes."

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      Featured Article

      This complex set of rules changes too often.

      Posted by Jeff Schnepper Saturday, January 16, 2010 1:45:34 PM

      He told the truth.


      Last October, in a speech at the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Governance Conference, IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman uttered the words, “the complexity of the Tax Code may make your eyes glaze over.”


      Tell it like it is, Commish!


      But this is nothing new, sir. Had you opened your eyes and actually read the Tax Code, you’d probably be blind by now. You surely would be confused and concerned.

      Tags: federal taxJeff Schneppertax lawtaxes

      Seriously. All you need is a half-hour of time to keep $1,000 or more in your pocket next April.

      Posted by MSN Money Partner Wednesday, September 24, 2014 11:21:04 AM

      This post comes from Maryalene LaPonsie at partner site Money Talks News. 

      Money Talks News on MSN MoneyWith a headline like that, you might be prepared for a bait and switch. But we're serious here. You really can save up to $1,000 in only half an hour.

      However, there is a catch. We have to talk about taxes.

      I know! Who wants to talk about taxes in September? Not me, that's for sure.

      Tags: Money Talks NewsStacy Johnsontax preparationtaxes

      Corporations are living the island life -- or at least their shadowy shell companies are -- and saving a bundle on taxes as a result.

      Posted by MSN Money Partner Thursday, July 24, 2014 10:30:30 AM

      This post comes from Maryalene LaPonsie at partner site Money Talks News.

      Money Talks News on MSN MoneyWhile you may be dutifully sending off 25 percent or more of your income to the federal government each year, corporations are sharing a whole lot less with Uncle Sam.

      According to a 2013 report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, profitable corporations paid a mere 13 percent in federal income taxes in 2010. For comparison, the statutory tax rate -- that's the one set forth in law -- is 35 percent.

      So how do corporations get away with paying only 13 percent of their income in taxes when they should be paying 35 percent?

      Tags: federal taxMoney Talks NewsStacy Johnsontax lawtax shelterstaxes

      With a tax hit like that, it had better be some pretty delicious potato salad.

      Posted by Money Staff Thursday, July 10, 2014 12:33:50 PM

      This post comes from Brianna Ehley at partner site The Fiscal Times.

      The Fiscal Times on MSN MoneyIt’s only been a few days since a top contender for the world’s most obnoxious Kickstarter rocketed to Internet fame, making a bland BBQ side dish one of the most discussed topics online, right alongside the World Cup, ISIS and the latest revelations about the NSA’s surveillance program.

      Zack Danger Brown’s potato salad Courtesy of Zack Brown via Facebook, can thank Ohio native Zack "Danger" Brown for creating the now infamous potato salad Kickstarter, which has now raised more than $70,000 from about 5,000 donors (who presumably have nothing else to do with their money).

      You read that right: 70 Grand in about three days ... and Brown has several weeks to go until his fundraising campaign ends.

      That’s a lot of dough for potato salad — but as the good people at the Tax Foundation point out, "Danger" Brown’s fundraising comes with some financial peril. The growing potato salad account is going to sprout up quite a hefty tax bill.

      Record numbers of Americans living abroad are renouncing their US citizenship over IRS reporting reqirements.

      Posted by Money Staff Tuesday, June 17, 2014 12:36:35 PM

      This post comes from Liam Pleven and Laura Saunders at partner site The Wall Street Journal.

      The Wall Street Journal on MSN MoneyPatricia Moon was born in Dayton, Ohio, to a family descended from Quakers who settled in the New World before the American Revolution.

      As a young woman, Ms. Moon fell for a Canadian man and moved to Toronto. The 59-year-old homemaker, who still visits the U.S. to see relatives, said she feels American in her bones, even after three decades abroad.

      Yet despite her deep roots, Ms. Moon walked into a U.S. consulate two years ago, raised her right hand and recited an oath renouncing her U.S. citizenship. Afterward, she said, "I bawled my eyes out."

      Ms. Moon is among record numbers of Americans cutting ties. U.S. offices abroad reported that 1,001 U.S. citizens and green-card holders had renounced their allegiance in the first three months of the year, according to Andrew Mitchel, a lawyer in Centerbrook, Conn., who analyzes  Treasury Department data.  That figure puts 2014 on track to top last year's total of 2,999 renunciations, he said, which was the most since the government began disclosing the data.

      Six weeks later, most Americans have forgotten about the 2014 tax season -- except those who didn't file by the April 15 deadline.

      Posted by Money Staff Wednesday, May 28, 2014 10:46:47 AM
      This post comes from Christine DiGangi at partner site on MSN MoneyTax attorneys and finance geeks aside, no one really likes doing their taxes. If you realize you made an error or forgot to include something in your tax return, you're probably not going to be too eager to deal with it. What happens if you just ... don't?

      Tax form © Brian Hagiwara/Brand X/CorbisAll sorts of no-good, terrible, very bad things can happen to you if you ignore problems with your taxes. Before getting into that, let's start with what you should do if you realize you messed up your tax return.

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      Jeff SchnepperTax Corner

      Jeff Schnepper, tax attorney and author of "How to Pay Zero Taxes," answers reader questions. Post yours in the Tax Corner message board.

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