MarketWatch - Stock Market Quotes, Business News, Financial News
Bulletin
Investor Alert

Tokyo Markets Open in:

10 things retirees won’t tell you that you need to know
We all know the retirement generation is growing at an astounding rate, as some 10,000 boomers turn 62 every day. But here's what you didn't know.
Fed data on retirement saving: Why it’s dismal
Why portfolio might change when you retire
Use your home to pay for your retirement

Use these 3 quick tools to gauge your financial health
Use these three fast ways to gauge your financial health.  Ryan R. Fox/Shutterstock
You don't have to hire a planner or spend hours with an online calculator to get a precise picture of your financial. Here are three easy ways to check.

How to shelter hundreds of millions in an IRA account
 Getty Images
Opinion: That's what the wealthy do, even though it violates the spirit of the law, writes Rex Nutting.
7 things you didn’t know about billionaires
Weidner: Wall Street back to its wicked ways

California dreamin': Ferrari chief's departing gift
The California is now Ferrari's volume product, with more than 10,000 sold from 2008 to 2014. A staggering 70% of California owners are new customers, and one in three is American. Dan Neil/The all Street Journal
Luca Cordero di Montezemolo has been deposed, but Dan Neil says his final Ferrari, a turbocharged redesigned California, is a masterpiece.

BMW's 2-series convertible coming to the U.S. in 2015
The 2015 BMW 2-series convertible is coming to the U.S. BMW
A convertible variant of BMW's fun, focused 2-series line will debut next month at the Paris auto show and be in U.S. showrooms in 2015.

5 big shots who lied
on their résumés
Wal-Mart's David Tovar: 5 big shots who lied on their resumes  Walmart
Wal-Mart’s top spokesman has resigned over a two-decade-old resume lie. Here are five particularly memorable examples of lying leaders.

20 amazing and affordable post-summer vacations 20 amazing and affordable post-summer vacations The fall and winter months can be an ideal time for an affordable adventure.
Need to know
This is the Wild West of the ETF industry
Fitch affirms Triple-A rating for U.S.
SAP to acquire Concur in $8.3 billion deal

Broncos top NFL in domestic violence arrests

U.S.: Allies will join airstrikes
on Islamic State
U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power (above) says U.S. has built a coalition of nations to launch airborne attacks in Syria on terrorist group.
Thousands of Syrian Kurds flee Islamic State
Turkey secures release of 49 captives

Contradicting initial reports, Secret Servic e now says the man who entered the White House Friday was armed with a folding knife.  Shutterstock
White House intruder had folding knife
Reversing its initial report, Secret Service now says man who jumped fence and entered White House Friday was armed with a folding knife.
White House intruder breaches security

Afghan presidential candidates Abdullah Abdullah (left) and Ashraf Ghani agree tro share power.  Reuters
Afghan rivals agree to share power
Three-month crisis appears to be ending as Abdullah Abdullah (above left) and Ashraf Ghani agree to share presidential power, allowing peaceful transition from departing Hamid Karzai.

Exxon is halting its exploratory drilling in tghe Russian Arctic.  Getty Images
Exxon will halt drilling in Russian Arctic
The move is forced by the U.S. embargo on Russia in retaliation for its actions in Ukraine.
Why energy stocks are set for a second rally

This 1 chart exposes climate-science deniers
Commentary: The climate science vs. denialism soap opera is dead, says Paul Farrell.

Alibaba IPO bulls are missing red flags
Insight: Alibaba's odd corporate structure could create headaches for investors, warns Chuck Jaffe.
Mark Mobius: Alibaba’s structure is dangerous
Alibaba holds on to 33% premium

Where it costs most to see college football
Most and least expensive destinations, from South Bend, Ind., and Ann Arbor, Mich., to Austin, Texas, and Baton Rouge, La.

This high-yield ETF is worth a close look
Dave Fry looks at an income-producing ETF that uses a sophisticated stock-investing strategy.
For gold bugs, it's been an unhappy month

Chrysler recalling 230,000 SUVs
Some 2011-model Jeeps and Durangos could have fuel-pump-system defects, the auto maker says, adding  no accidents have been reported.
GM recalls 221,000 cars for brake problems

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey.  Reuters
IMF's Christine Lagarde and Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey at G-20 meeting.
G-20 plans 2% global growth over next 5 years
Meeting in Australia, central bankers and leaders of industrialized nations lay out plans for world economic growth over the next five years.
/conga/frontpage.html 320413
Five ways to throw away a fortune
Even the very rich need to be mindful of these wasteful practices.


Unionist supporters gather near to George Square, where Yes activists had been holding a prereferendum event in Glasgow, Scotland  Getty Images
Scotland vote: Was it just kicking disaster down the road?
“Yes” campaign fell short, but a future referendum on a separate Scottish state can’t be ruled out.
Scotland votes to stay in U.K.
Common sense wins in Scotland: Marsh
Scotland’s vote: What strategists are saying

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key  celebrates Saturday's landslide victory by his National Party.  Reuters
New Zealand PM John Key leads party
to big win
John Key is set to serve a third term as New Zealand's leader after his National Party scores an unprecedented victory in Saturday's election.

Charlie Munger, the Calpers exit and you
RetireMentors:
Here's how money-manager shifts affect your ability to retire on time. Mitch Tuchman explains.
Arends: Be like Calpers, dump hedge funds
Weidner: Hedge funds are losing their luster
Calpers to exit hedge funds


Full night’s sleep pays off, in salary and investments
Research shows that those who get a good night’s sleep are usually more productive at work, and make better investors.
/conga/today.html 320392

Markets »

349.62MDow Volume:
Avg Vol: 80.02M
Unchanged
203
Decliners
3914
Advancers
2365
Price Chg %Chg 1 Day
Range: 1 Day
  • 1 Day
  • 5 Days
  • 1 Month
  • 3 Months
  • 6 Months
  • 1 Year
  • 2 Years
Dow
/quotes/zigman/627449/realtime 17,280 +14 0.08%
Nasdaq
/quotes/zigman/12633936/realtime 4,580 -14 0.30%
S&P 500
/quotes/zigman/3870025/realtime 2,010 -1 0.05%
GlobalDow
/quotes/zigman/629063/realtime 2,605 -6 0.23%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/635641/delayed 1,217 -10 0.82%
Oil
/quotes/zigman/2196857/delayed 92.45 -0.62 0.67%
FTSE 100
/quotes/zigman/3173262/delayed 6,838 +19 0.27%
DAX
/quotes/zigman/2380246/delayed 9,799 +1 0.01%
CAC 40
/quotes/zigman/3173214/delayed 4,461 -3 0.08%
FTSE MIB
/quotes/zigman/1482176/delayed 20,972 -156 0.74%
IBEX 35
/quotes/zigman/2759620/delayed 11,002 +11 0.10%
Stoxx 600
/quotes/zigman/2380150/delayed 349 +1 0.21%
Asia Dow
/quotes/zigman/6959860/realtime 3,208 -7 0.22%
Nikkei 225
/quotes/zigman/5986735/delayed 16,321 +254 1.58%
Hang Seng
/quotes/zigman/2622475/delayed 24,306 +137 0.57%
Shanghai
/quotes/zigman/1859015/delayed 2,329 +14 0.58%
Sensex
/quotes/zigman/1652085/delayed 27,090 -22 0.08%
Singapore
/quotes/zigman/1709939/delayed 3,305 +8 0.24%
Euro
/quotes/zigman/4867933/realtime/sampled 1.28 -0.01 0.71%
Yen
/quotes/zigman/4868099/realtime/sampled 109.07 +0.38 0.35%
Pound
/quotes/zigman/4867886/realtime/sampled 1.63 -0.01 0.58%
Australia$
/quotes/zigman/4867876/realtime/sampled 0.89 -0.01 0.71%
DXY Index
/quotes/zigman/1652083/delayed 84.80 +0.51 0.60%
WSJ $ Idx
/quotes/zigman/9625991/realtime 76.91 +0.38 0.49%
U.S. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866666/realtime 2.58 -0.04 1.60%
German 10y
/quotes/zigman/15866409/realtime 1.00 -0.04 3.83%
Italy 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866497/realtime 2.37 -0.06 2.35%
Spain 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866444/realtime 2.20 -0.09 3.73%
U.K. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866328/realtime 2.55 -0.03 1.27%
Japan 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866525/realtime 0.57 +0.01 1.67%
Crude Oil
92 -1 0.67%
Gold
1,217 -10 0.82%
Corn
/quotes/zigman/3098927/delayed 332 -7 1.92%
DJIA F
/quotes/zigman/25835223/delayed 17,189 +11 0.06%
S&P F
/quotes/zigman/21588523/delayed 2,000 -4 0.22%
Silver
/quotes/zigman/635603/delayed 18 -1 3.93%

Quotes

Symbol Price Change % Change
FB /quotes/nls/fb 77.91 0.91 1.18%
AAPL /quotes/nls/aapl 100.96 -0.83 -0.82%
GOOG /quotes/nls/goog 596.08 6.81 1.16%
BAC /quotes/nls/bac 16.95 -0.09 -0.53%
C /quotes/nls/c 53.48 -0.18 -0.34%
F /quotes/nls/f 16.65 0.07 0.42%
T /quotes/nls/t 35.47 0.31 0.88%
BP /quotes/nls/bp 46.46 0.04 0.09%
GE /quotes/nls/ge 26.29 0.08 0.31%
Visit the quote page and your most recently viewed stocks will automatically be displayed here.
Please log in to view your watchlist

World News from MarketWatch

Rates »

5 yr CD
1.4%
2 yr CD
0.9%
1 yr CD
0.7%
MMA $10K+
0.4%
MMA $50K+
0.6%

National averages from Bankrate.com

You Don’t Need Another Credit Card, You Need A Better One.
Avg. APR Last Week 6 Months
Low Interest 10.37% 10.37% 10.33%
Balance Transfer 12.73% 12.73% 12.66%
Business 12.80% 12.80% 12.98%
Student 13.24% 13.27% 13.27%
Cash Back 14.91% 14.94% 14.84%
Reward 15.02% 15.04% 14.97%
Airline 15.46% 15.46% 15.30%
Bad Credit 22.73% 22.73% 22.73%
Instant Approval 28.00% 28.00% 28.00%
Source:CreditCards.com
Trending Tickers
  • /quotes/zigman/6589867/delayed WEAT-2.85%
  • /quotes/zigman/238661/delayed PII+0.60%
  • /quotes/zigman/28455797/delayed SPXU+0.23%
  • /quotes/zigman/79648/delayed VVTV-1.64%
  • /quotes/zigman/131196/delayed BWA-0.93%
  • /quotes/zigman/8645907/delayed EPAM-0.59%
X
Powered by StockTwits
Link to MarketWatch's Slice.

As of July 2, 2013, the SmartMoney content you loved now lives on MarketWatch.

MarketWatch will continue to provide the same important news and information you rely on every day. And, as a MarketWatch user, you will be able to enjoy:

  • Personalized news and quote email alerts
  • Editorial e-newsletters about personal finance, mutual funds and market-specific coverage
  • Premium newsletters by our market experts
  • Games, such as Virtual Stock Exchange and Beat the Darts
  • Free WSJ.com registration

Email address

Password

Forgot password?

SmartMoney Blogs

The Tax Blog
The latest news, insights and tips about taxes

Tax Deductions - All posts in category Tax Deductions

  • Sep 27, 2011
    11:19 AM ET

    The Most Efficient Tax Man’s Tips for Job Seekers

    Weekend Investor’s recent feature, “Write Off Your Job Hunt!” offers a tax guide for the unemployed. It has drawn much reader interest and a few questions.

    iStockPhoto

    For answers we turned to Douglas Stives, a professor at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, N.J. Stives was a full-time CPA for 36 years and still practices part-time in addition to teaching at Monmouth’s business school. He prides himself on making optimum use of tax deductions allowed by Uncle Sam, and last spring he was featured in a WSJ article dubbing him “The Most Tax-Efficient Man.

    Stives agrees with experts cited in the story that often a job hunter’s best hope for maximizing deductions is to set up a Schedule C sole proprietorship and look for part-time as well as full-time work, so that the same deductions work for both.

    Like them, he also stresses that taxpayers must have some income to offset the deductions. “The good news is, you don’t have to have income in the first year, just in three out of five years,” says Stives. “It also helps if you can show that some of the future income was generated by your earlier expenses.”

  • Sep 19, 2011
    8:10 PM ET

    The Numbers Behind Obama’s Tax Plan

    Thanks to countless deductions and credits, the federal income tax brackets are ruined.

    Few people pay 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33% or 35% of even their “marginal” dollar in income taxes. So, Monday’s proposal from President Barack Obama is really about average tax rates.

    The plan picks up on one of Warren Buffett’s frequently cited notions — that the richest Americans pay a lower percent of their income in taxes than those earning far less. A progressive tax system, such as the one purportedly used in the United States, is designed to do the opposite.

  • May 16, 2011
    11:53 AM ET

    Depreciation Rules Favor Big Cars

    The most recent Tax Report summarized tax breaks both new and old for cars used in a business, especially new depreciation rules passed by Congress in 2010 that expire at the end of this year.

    IStockphoto

    The bottom line: There’s a big incentive for business owners to buy a behemoth gas guzzler like a Cadillac Escalade or Ford Expedition this year. They can deduct 100% of the purchase price right away (minus a disallowance for any personal use, of course).

    Lawmakers were far less generous with depreciation deductions for purchases of cars weighing less than 6,000 lbs. For these lighter vehicles they also favored more expensive cars (like a Lexus) over less expensive ones (like a Hyundai ).

    CPA Douglas Stives of Monmouth University teased this overall result out of highly complex guidance issued earlier this year by the Internal Revenue Service (See Rev. Proc. 2011-21 and 2011-26).

    Here is a longer explanation of how Mr. Stives arrived at his conclusion about larger and smaller cars weighing less than 6,000 lbs.

    *The IRS defines a “luxury car” as –believe it or not—one costing more than $15,300. Such cars are subject to depreciation limits unless they weigh more than 6,000 lbs. and the special 100% deduction applies.

    *The maximum first-year depreciation for these “luxury cars” is $11,060. This consists of annual regular depreciation of $3,060 for the first year plus “bonus” depreciation of up to $8,000. The write-off in Year Two is normally $4,900, then $2,950 in Year Three, and $1,775 in Years Four and beyond.

  • Apr 5, 2011
    3:05 PM ET

    4 Tips From a Tax-Saving Guru

    Wouldn’t it be nice to write off that flight to Hawaii? Or what about the champagne-and-caviar-adorned soirée at Carnegie Hall?  Maybe you can, says Doug Stives, a CPA from Red Bank, N.J., who re-engineered his life in 2006 to become the Most Tax-Efficient Man in America, as Tax Report columnist Laura Saunders writes. Stives shared a couple of practical, tax-saving suggestions with SmartMoney.com.

    Getty Images

    Get on someone’s payroll. Stives had been a partner at an accounting group for nearly four decades when he decided to take on a role as a tax and accounting professor at Monmouth University in central New Jersey. He also started his own consulting business on the side. While his paycheck is now 25% lower than it had been, his take home is nearly 90% as much, says Saunders. Stives estimates that the fringe benefits from working at the university – health insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, pension-plan coverage, unemployment coverage and workmen’s compensation coverage, among others – add up to about $40,000 a year.

    Mix business and pleasure. Usually it’s a No. 1 professional no-no. But combining your work life with your personal life can slim the price tag of otherwise expensive vacations. As a part-time consultant and full-time teacher, Stives travels a considerable amount for seminars and teaching gigs, often to alluring vacation spots like Hawaii and Lake Tahoe. To deduct airfare, you need to spend more than half your working days on business, says Stives. Weekends don’t count, nor do travel days. If Stives leaves for Hawaii on a Friday, works three days mid-week and returns home the following Monday, he’s squeezed a mostly tax deductible 11-day trip out of three working days. (Hotels, meals, and rental cars are only partly deductible.) But make sure you don’t get carried away, he says. It’s a good idea to pay in full for at least some trips you take to show the IRS you don’t deduct everything.

     

  • Mar 25, 2011
    3:12 PM ET

    Million-Dollar Homes Face More Audits

    Some people who owe more than $1 million on their homes are coming under the microscope at the Internal Revenue Service over how much of their mortgage interest they can deduct on their tax returns.

    The number of taxpayers involved could be in the tens of thousands because in some parts of the country, many homes sell for more than $1 million and even a buyer who puts down 20% or 30% may need to borrow. The amount of interest at stake is substantial, in some cases as much as $50,000 to $60,000 on a $1.1 million mortgage.

    The IRS didn’t comment, but the scrutiny follows a period of confusion by taxpayers, advisers and even some IRS agents about how much interest can be deducted, based on what kind of debt the homeowner holds. Tax rules distinguish between two kinds of home debt. There is home acquisition debt, which is a loan used to acquire, construct or substantially improve a qualified home, and is secured by the home. Then there is home equity debt, which is any other kind of loan that is also secured by the home.

    Some tax advisers were telling clients it was acceptable to deduct all interest on a single mortgage of up to $1.1 million. Others contended that the limit for mortgages was $1 million, but they could also deduct interest on another $100,000 in a home equity loan, according to Melissa Labant, tax technical manager at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

    IRS guidance last June helped set the rules straight. The agency said acquisition loans over $1 million may also qualify as home equity indebtedness. Now, says Labant, it is clear the taxpayer can deduct interest on the full $1.1 million, even if he has only one loan. The development, she adds, is “good news for taxpayers.”

    The rules can get “particularly complex for a mere mortal” when various refinancings get thrown into the mix, and the taxpayer owns several homes, say a house in upstate New York and a condominium in New York, according to David A. Lifson, a certified public accountant at Crowe Horwath LLP in New York, who has clients caught up in these mini-audits. In past six months, he says, the Internal Revenue Service has notified many people that it is looking at their mortgage interest write-offs.

  • Mar 16, 2011
    10:26 AM ET

    New Tax Rules for Gamblers? You Bet

    A bad economy could have some folks looking to Lady Luck for a ladder out. While most gamblers end up empty-handed, a select few win big. And when the amount of money in your pocket grows or shrinks, you know the IRS isn’t far behind. The agency has different rules for amateurs and professionals, as Tax Guy Bill Bischoff previously reported. What’s more, the IRS updated some of its recordkeeping guidelines to make them simpler and more realistic. Check out the Tax Guy’s most recent tips about how to keep your books and stay out of trouble.

    Getty Images

    Form W-2G Helps Keep Winners Honest

    For most types of gambling at a legitimate gaming facility, that facility will issue you a Form W-2G (Certain Gambling Winnings) if you win $600 or more. Of course, the IRS gets a copy too, so you better make sure the gross gambling winnings reported on page 1 of your Form 1040 (or on Schedule C if you are a professional gambler) at least equal the amounts reported on the Forms W-2G.

    Recordkeeping Issues

    Technically speaking, an amateur gambler must report the full amount of each and every win on the miscellaneous income line on page 1 of Form 1040. So in a profitable year, you cannot simply subtract losses from winnings and report the net amount of winnings on page 1 of Form 1040. But let’s face it: Even folks who attempt to keep good records will probably only record their daily net winnings and daily net losses. Reporting an amount of gross income equal to the sum total of the net winnings from all days you had net winnings on page 1 of Form 1040 will probably keep you out of trouble with the IRS (assuming the amount reported as income equals or exceeds the sum total of any amounts reported as income on Forms W-2G).

    Whether you are an amateur or a professional gambler, you must adequately document the amount of your losses in order to claim your rightful gambling-loss deductions. According to the IRS, taxpayers must compile the following information in a log or similar record.

  • Mar 6, 2011
    6:15 PM ET

    Court Rejects Anchor’s Tax Deductions

    That sunny face chirping on your local news each morning doesn’t come without a cost. There are the elocution sessions, maybe a film-production course, perhaps even a master’s degree in journalism. And then you’ve got to consider all those on-the-job expenses. You know – sports jerseys, evening dresses, bikini and thong underwear. These are some of the business expenses that a Columbus, Ohio-area television news anchor tried to deduct.  Not surprisingly, the U.S. Tax Court didn’t buy it.

    Getty Images

    From 2005 to 2008, Anietra Hamper claimed deductions for unreimbursed employee business expenses of around $20,000 each year. Some of the more outrageous items Hamper tried to deduct include the cost of bedding, self-defense classes and Internet expenses, according to the Tax Court’s opinion.

    “You should never get a deduction for anything that’s personal,” says Brookes Billman, a tax-law professor at NYU School of Law.  “The problem is trying to negotiate the business/personal line.”

    To help taxpayers navigate this gray area, the Tax Court has established fairly high standards for clothing deductions, says Billman. 1) The clothing must be specifically required as a condition of employment; 2) the clothing is not adaptable to general usage; and 3) the clothing is not so worn. What passes the test? Think lab coat, construction hard hat, bulletproof vest. What doesn’t?  Many of Hamper’s deductions.

    To abide by her employer’s “Women’s Wardrobe Guidelines,” which requires anchors to maintain a “professional and conservative appearance,” Hamper incurred “considerable” expenses for clothing and grooming, according to the opinion. However, she followed her own set of rules. She’d ask herself, “‘[W]ould I be buying this if I didn’t have to wear this’ to work? ‘and if the answer is no, then I know that I’m buying it specifically’ for work, and therefore, it is a deductible business expense,” according to the opinion. The Court disagreed, but hasn’t yet decided how much she’ll owe.

     

  • Mar 3, 2011
    11:31 AM ET

    Looking for More Tax Deductions?

    Your income: It doesn’t seem like the figure should be terribly complicated to calculate. Yet as April approaches we realize that, thanks to our tax system, a number of deductions can manipulate the amount of your taxable income. Depending on your write-offs, for instance, your taxable income could be anywhere from half to almost all of your gross income, says Tax Guy Bill Bischoff.

    The biggest and most common deductions–home mortgage interest, charitable donations, and so on—leap to mind as soon as you get your hands on that Form 1040.  But there are several others, and some will catch you by surprise. Here are a few more that may have slipped below your radar.

    1. Protective Clothing Required at Work. Need to buy your own lab coat? Apron? If you’re required to wear it at work, and the item isn’t provided by your employer, then it’s deductible, says Greg Rosica, tax partner at Ernst & Young and contributing author of the “Ernst & Young Tax Guide.” This deduction even applies to cosmetics and related application tools for makeup artists and beauticians. But don’t get too carried away. Just because your employer requires you wear a suit to work, doesn’t mean the IRS will let you deduct the cost of that Hugo Boss hanging in your closet.  If you’d otherwise wear the item in your everyday life–say to dinner, to church, to visit your mother-in-law–then it doesn’t pass the test, says Rosica.

    2. State and Local Sales Tax. This primarily targets residents of states like Texas, Washington and Florida that don’t have state income taxes. The IRS provides estimated sales-tax tables based on income — but if you bought any big ticket items (say, a car or a boat), you may want to keep track of the items yourself. Lawmakers extended this deduction for 2010 and 2011.

  • Feb 25, 2011
    11:45 PM ET

    New Deduction for Medicare Premiums

    Sole proprietors, partners, limited liability company (LLC) members, and S corporation shareholders can deduct qualified health insurance premiums paid to cover themselves and family members. This is the so-called self-employed health insurance deduction.

    For 2010, you claim it on Line 29 on Page 1 of Form 1040. Because it’s an above-the-line deduction (meaning a deduction claimed on Page 1), you don’t have to itemize to benefit.

    Medicare Part B Premiums Suddenly Count as Qualified Expenses

    Getty Images

    For years, the IRS had taken the position that Medicare Part B premiums did not count as qualified health insurance premiums. This was bad news if you are an older small business owner because your Medicare Part B premiums for 2010 could range from about $1,300 to over $4,200, depending on your income. If you are married, your spouse’s premiums could be in the same range. So we can be talking about major bucks.

     

    Now for the good news: with no fanfare, the IRS suddenly reversed course on the Medicare Part B premium issue. We know this because the 2010 instructions for Line 29 of Form 1040 explicitly allow you to include Medicare Part B premiums in your health insurance costs for purposes of the self-employed health insurance deduction.

    Make sure you (or your tax preparer) take the new taxpayer-friendly IRS attitude into account when putting together your 2010 return. The additional Line 29 write-off could lower your federal income tax bill by hundreds of dollars or more.

  • Feb 24, 2011
    8:20 AM ET

    Deducting Noncash Donations Not Easy

    If you want to claim itemized deductions for noncash charitable donations on your 2010 Form 1040, gird your loins. Thanks to herds of unscrupulous taxpayers who once made a habit of claiming bogus and inflated charitable write-offs, the Feds have tightened the screws over the years (justifiably so).

    Getty Images

    Unfortunately, innocent folks (like you) get squeezed as a result. Here’s a quick summary of the seven rules that apply to the most-common types of noncash charitable donations.

    Rule 1

    For a donation of a noncash item worth less than $250, you need a receipt from the charity–like the familiar slip you get for noncash donations to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. You need to have the receipt in hand by the time you file your return. Keep it with your tax records, but don’t file it with your return.

    Rule 2

    For a noncash item worth $250-$5,000, you need a written acknowledgment from the charity (more detailed than a receipt) that meets IRS guidelines. Once again, you need to have this in hand when you file your return. Charities know about this rule, and you should have no problem collecting a suitable acknowledgment. Keep it with your tax records, but don’t file it with your return.

About Tax

  • The Tax Blog brings together a team of award-winning tax journalists from the Dow Jones network and around the web to examine the tax issues, changes and legislation that affect families, investors and small business owners. Our contributors include Tax Report columnist Laura Saunders (WSJ), Tax Guy columnist Bill Bischoff and senior reporter Jilian Mincer (SmartMoney.com), retirement-focused reporter Anne Tergesen (WSJ), wealth management writer Arden Dale (Dow Jones Newswires), TaxWatch columnist Eva Rosenberg and personal finance reporter Andrea Coombes (MarketWatch), and reporter Alyssa Abkowitz (SmartMoney). They’ll provide the latest news and insight, mine the tax code for tips and loopholes, and answer your questions about tricky tax situations. Contact the The Tax Blog with ideas, suggestions or tax questions at thetaxblog@dowjones.com.

MarketWatch - Stock Market Quotes, Business News, Financial News
Bulletin
Investor Alert

Tokyo Markets Open in:

10 things retirees won’t tell you that you need to know
We all know the retirement generation is growing at an astounding rate, as some 10,000 boomers turn 62 every day. But here's what you didn't know.
Fed data on retirement saving: Why it’s dismal
Why portfolio might change when you retire
Use your home to pay for your retirement

Use these 3 quick tools to gauge your financial health
Use these three fast ways to gauge your financial health.  Ryan R. Fox/Shutterstock
You don't have to hire a planner or spend hours with an online calculator to get a precise picture of your financial. Here are three easy ways to check.

How to shelter hundreds of millions in an IRA account
 Getty Images
Opinion: That's what the wealthy do, even though it violates the spirit of the law, writes Rex Nutting.
7 things you didn’t know about billionaires
Weidner: Wall Street back to its wicked ways

California dreamin': Ferrari chief's departing gift
The California is now Ferrari's volume product, with more than 10,000 sold from 2008 to 2014. A staggering 70% of California owners are new customers, and one in three is American. Dan Neil/The all Street Journal
Luca Cordero di Montezemolo has been deposed, but Dan Neil says his final Ferrari, a turbocharged redesigned California, is a masterpiece.
BMW 2-series convertible coming to  U.S.

5 big shots who lied
on their résumés
Wal-Mart's David Tovar: 5 big shots who lied on their resumes  Walmart
Wal-Mart’s top spokesman has resigned over a two-decade-old resume lie. Here are five particularly memorable examples of lying leaders.

20 amazing and affordable post-summer vacations 20 amazing and affordable post-summer vacations The fall and winter months can be an ideal time for an affordable adventure.
Need to know
This is the Wild West of the ETF industry
Fitch affirms Triple-A rating for U.S.
SAP to acquire Concur in $8.3 billion deal

Broncos top NFL in domestic violence arrests

U.S.: Allies will join airstrikes
on Islamic State
U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power (above) says U.S. has built a coalition of nations to launch airborne attacks in Syria on terrorist group.
Thousands of Syrian Kurds flee Islamic State
Turkey secures release of 49 captives

Contradicting initial reports, Secret Servic e now says the man who entered the White House Friday was armed with a folding knife.  Shutterstock
White House intruder had folding knife
Reversing its initial report, Secret Service now says man who jumped fence and entered White House Friday was armed with a folding knife.
White House intruder breaches security

Afghan presidential candidates Abdullah Abdullah (left) and Ashraf Ghani agree tro share power.  Reuters
Afghan rivals agree to share power
Three-month crisis appears to be ending as Abdullah Abdullah (above left) and Ashraf Ghani agree to share presidential power, allowing peaceful transition from departing Hamid Karzai.

Exxon is halting its exploratory drilling in tghe Russian Arctic.  Getty Images
Exxon will halt drilling in Russian Arctic
The move is forced by the U.S. embargo on Russia in retaliation for its actions in Ukraine.
Why energy stocks are set for a second rally

This 1 chart exposes climate-science deniers
Commentary: The climate science vs. denialism soap opera is dead, says Paul Farrell.

Alibaba IPO bulls are missing red flags
Insight: Alibaba's odd corporate structure could create headaches for investors, warns Chuck Jaffe.
Mark Mobius: Alibaba’s structure is dangerous
Alibaba holds on to 33% premium

This high-yield ETF is worth a close look
Dave Fry looks at an income-producing ETF that uses a sophisticated stock-investing strategy.
For gold bugs, it's been an unhappy month

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey.  Reuters
IMF's Christine Lagarde and Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey at G-20 meeting.
G-20 plans 2% global growth over next 5 years
Meeting in Australia, central bankers and leaders of industrialized nations lay out plans for world economic growth over the next five years.
/conga/frontpage.html 320417
Where it costs most to see college football
Most and least expensive stadium destinations, from South Bend, Ind., and Ann Arbor, Mich., to Austin, Texas, and Baton Rouge, La.

Chrysler recalls 230,000 SUVs
Some 2011-model Jeeps and Durangos could have fuel-system defects, auto maker says, adding  no accidents have been reported.
GM recalls 221,000 cars for brake problems

Unionist supporters gather near to George Square, where Yes activists had been holding a prereferendum event in Glasgow, Scotland  Getty Images
Scotland vote: Was it just kicking disaster down the road?
“Yes” campaign fell short, but a future referendum on a separate Scottish state can’t be ruled out.
Scotland votes to stay in U.K.
Common sense wins in Scotland: Marsh
Scotland’s vote: What strategists are saying

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key  celebrates Saturday's landslide victory by his National Party.  Reuters
New Zealand PM John Key leads party
to big win
John Key is set to serve a third term as New Zealand's leader after his National Party scores an unprecedented victory in Saturday's election.

Charlie Munger, the Calpers exit and you
RetireMentors:
Here's how money-manager shifts affect your ability to retire on time. Mitch Tuchman explains.
Arends: Be like Calpers, dump hedge funds
Weidner: Hedge funds are losing their luster
Calpers to exit hedge funds

/conga/today.html 320415

Markets »

349.62MDow Volume:
Avg Vol: 80.02M
Unchanged
203
Decliners
3914
Advancers
2365
Price Chg %Chg 1 Day
Range: 1 Day
  • 1 Day
  • 5 Days
  • 1 Month
  • 3 Months
  • 6 Months
  • 1 Year
  • 2 Years
Dow
/quotes/zigman/627449/realtime 17,280 +14 0.08%
Nasdaq
/quotes/zigman/12633936/realtime 4,580 -14 0.30%
S&P 500
/quotes/zigman/3870025/realtime 2,010 -1 0.05%
GlobalDow
/quotes/zigman/629063/realtime 2,605 -6 0.23%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/635641/delayed 1,217 -10 0.82%
Oil
/quotes/zigman/2196857/delayed 92.45 -0.62 0.67%
FTSE 100
/quotes/zigman/3173262/delayed 6,838 +19 0.27%
DAX
/quotes/zigman/2380246/delayed 9,799 +1 0.01%
CAC 40
/quotes/zigman/3173214/delayed 4,461 -3 0.08%
FTSE MIB
/quotes/zigman/1482176/delayed 20,972 -156 0.74%
IBEX 35
/quotes/zigman/2759620/delayed 11,002 +11 0.10%
Stoxx 600
/quotes/zigman/2380150/delayed 349 +1 0.21%
Asia Dow
/quotes/zigman/6959860/realtime 3,208 -7 0.22%
Nikkei 225
/quotes/zigman/5986735/delayed 16,321 +254 1.58%
Hang Seng
/quotes/zigman/2622475/delayed 24,306 +137 0.57%
Shanghai
/quotes/zigman/1859015/delayed 2,329 +14 0.58%
Sensex
/quotes/zigman/1652085/delayed 27,090 -22 0.08%
Singapore
/quotes/zigman/1709939/delayed 3,305 +8 0.24%
Euro
/quotes/zigman/4867933/realtime/sampled 1.28 -0.01 0.71%
Yen
/quotes/zigman/4868099/realtime/sampled 109.07 +0.38 0.35%
Pound
/quotes/zigman/4867886/realtime/sampled 1.63 -0.01 0.58%
Australia$
/quotes/zigman/4867876/realtime/sampled 0.89 -0.01 0.71%
DXY Index
/quotes/zigman/1652083/delayed 84.80 +0.51 0.60%
WSJ $ Idx
/quotes/zigman/9625991/realtime 76.91 +0.38 0.49%
U.S. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866666/realtime 2.58 -0.04 1.60%
German 10y
/quotes/zigman/15866409/realtime 1.00 -0.04 3.83%
Italy 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866497/realtime 2.37 -0.06 2.35%
Spain 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866444/realtime 2.20 -0.09 3.73%
U.K. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866328/realtime 2.55 -0.03 1.27%
Japan 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866525/realtime 0.57 +0.01 1.67%
Crude Oil
92 -1 0.67%
Gold
1,217 -10 0.82%
Corn
/quotes/zigman/3098927/delayed 332 -7 1.92%
DJIA F
/quotes/zigman/25835223/delayed 17,189 +11 0.06%
S&P F
/quotes/zigman/21588523/delayed 2,000 -4 0.22%
Silver
/quotes/zigman/635603/delayed 18 -1 3.93%

Quotes

Symbol Price Change % Change
FB /quotes/nls/fb 77.91 0.91 1.18%
AAPL /quotes/nls/aapl 100.96 -0.83 -0.82%
GOOG /quotes/nls/goog 596.08 6.81 1.16%
BAC /quotes/nls/bac 16.95 -0.09 -0.53%
C /quotes/nls/c 53.48 -0.18 -0.34%
F /quotes/nls/f 16.65 0.07 0.42%
T /quotes/nls/t 35.47 0.31 0.88%
BP /quotes/nls/bp 46.46 0.04 0.09%
GE /quotes/nls/ge 26.29 0.08 0.31%
Visit the quote page and your most recently viewed stocks will automatically be displayed here.
Please log in to view your watchlist

World News from MarketWatch

Rates »

5 yr CD
1.4%
2 yr CD
0.9%
1 yr CD
0.7%
MMA $10K+
0.4%
MMA $50K+
0.6%

National averages from Bankrate.com

You Don’t Need Another Credit Card, You Need A Better One.
Avg. APR Last Week 6 Months
Low Interest 10.37% 10.37% 10.33%
Balance Transfer 12.73% 12.73% 12.66%
Business 12.80% 12.80% 12.98%
Student 13.24% 13.27% 13.27%
Cash Back 14.91% 14.94% 14.84%
Reward 15.02% 15.04% 14.97%
Airline 15.46% 15.46% 15.30%
Bad Credit 22.73% 22.73% 22.73%
Instant Approval 28.00% 28.00% 28.00%
Source:CreditCards.com
Trending Tickers
  • /quotes/zigman/6589867/delayed WEAT-2.85%
  • /quotes/zigman/238661/delayed PII+0.60%
  • /quotes/zigman/28455797/delayed SPXU+0.23%
  • /quotes/zigman/79648/delayed VVTV-1.64%
  • /quotes/zigman/131196/delayed BWA-0.93%
  • /quotes/zigman/8645907/delayed EPAM-0.59%
X
Powered by StockTwits
Link to MarketWatch's Slice.

As of July 2, 2013, the SmartMoney content you loved now lives on MarketWatch.

MarketWatch will continue to provide the same important news and information you rely on every day. And, as a MarketWatch user, you will be able to enjoy:

  • Personalized news and quote email alerts
  • Editorial e-newsletters about personal finance, mutual funds and market-specific coverage
  • Premium newsletters by our market experts
  • Games, such as Virtual Stock Exchange and Beat the Darts
  • Free WSJ.com registration

Email address

Password

Forgot password?

MarketWatch - Stock Market Quotes, Business News, Financial News
Bulletin
Investor Alert

Tokyo Markets Open in:

10 things retirees won’t tell you that you need to know
We all know the retirement generation is growing at an astounding rate, as some 10,000 boomers turn 62 every day. But here's what you didn't know.
Fed data on retirement saving: Why it’s dismal
Why portfolio might change when you retire
Use your home to pay for your retirement

Use these 3 quick tools to gauge your financial health
Use these three fast ways to gauge your financial health.  Ryan R. Fox/Shutterstock
You don't have to hire a planner or spend hours with an online calculator to get a precise picture of your financial. Here are three easy ways to check.

How to shelter hundreds of millions in an IRA account
 Getty Images
Opinion: That's what the wealthy do, even though it violates the spirit of the law, writes Rex Nutting.
7 things you didn’t know about billionaires
Weidner: Wall Street back to its wicked ways

California dreamin': Ferrari chief's departing gift
The California is now Ferrari's volume product, with more than 10,000 sold from 2008 to 2014. A staggering 70% of California owners are new customers, and one in three is American. Dan Neil/The all Street Journal
Luca Cordero di Montezemolo has been deposed, but Dan Neil says his final Ferrari, a turbocharged redesigned California, is a masterpiece.

BMW's 2-series convertible coming to the U.S. in 2015
The 2015 BMW 2-series convertible is coming to the U.S. BMW
A convertible variant of BMW's fun, focused 2-series line will debut next month at the Paris auto show and be in U.S. showrooms in 2015.

5 big shots who lied
on their résumés
Wal-Mart's David Tovar: 5 big shots who lied on their resumes  Walmart
Wal-Mart’s top spokesman has resigned over a two-decade-old resume lie. Here are five particularly memorable examples of lying leaders.

20 amazing and affordable post-summer vacations 20 amazing and affordable post-summer vacations The fall and winter months can be an ideal time for an affordable adventure.
Need to know
This is the Wild West of the ETF industry
Fitch affirms Triple-A rating for U.S.
SAP to acquire Concur in $8.3 billion deal

Broncos top NFL in domestic violence arrests

U.S.: Allies will join airstrikes
on Islamic State
U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power (above) says U.S. has built a coalition of nations to launch airborne attacks in Syria on terrorist group.
Thousands of Syrian Kurds flee Islamic State
Turkey secures release of 49 captives

Contradicting initial reports, Secret Servic e now says the man who entered the White House Friday was armed with a folding knife.  Shutterstock
White House intruder had folding knife
Reversing its initial report, Secret Service now says man who jumped fence and entered White House Friday was armed with a folding knife.
White House intruder breaches security

Afghan presidential candidates Abdullah Abdullah (left) and Ashraf Ghani agree tro share power.  Reuters
Afghan rivals agree to share power
Three-month crisis appears to be ending as Abdullah Abdullah (above left) and Ashraf Ghani agree to share presidential power, allowing peaceful transition from departing Hamid Karzai.

Exxon is halting its exploratory drilling in tghe Russian Arctic.  Getty Images
Exxon will halt drilling in Russian Arctic
The move is forced by the U.S. embargo on Russia in retaliation for its actions in Ukraine.
Why energy stocks are set for a second rally

This 1 chart exposes climate-science deniers
Commentary: The climate science vs. denialism soap opera is dead, says Paul Farrell.

Alibaba IPO bulls are missing red flags
Insight: Alibaba's odd corporate structure could create headaches for investors, warns Chuck Jaffe.
Mark Mobius: Alibaba’s structure is dangerous
Alibaba holds on to 33% premium

Where it costs most to see college football
Most and least expensive destinations, from South Bend, Ind., and Ann Arbor, Mich., to Austin, Texas, and Baton Rouge, La.

This high-yield ETF is worth a close look
Dave Fry looks at an income-producing ETF that uses a sophisticated stock-investing strategy.
For gold bugs, it's been an unhappy month

Chrysler recalling 230,000 SUVs
Some 2011-model Jeeps and Durangos could have fuel-pump-system defects, the auto maker says, adding  no accidents have been reported.
GM recalls 221,000 cars for brake problems

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey.  Reuters
IMF's Christine Lagarde and Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey at G-20 meeting.
G-20 plans 2% global growth over next 5 years
Meeting in Australia, central bankers and leaders of industrialized nations lay out plans for world economic growth over the next five years.
/conga/frontpage.html 320413
Five ways to throw away a fortune
Even the very rich need to be mindful of these wasteful practices.


Unionist supporters gather near to George Square, where Yes activists had been holding a prereferendum event in Glasgow, Scotland  Getty Images
Scotland vote: Was it just kicking disaster down the road?
“Yes” campaign fell short, but a future referendum on a separate Scottish state can’t be ruled out.
Scotland votes to stay in U.K.
Common sense wins in Scotland: Marsh
Scotland’s vote: What strategists are saying

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key  celebrates Saturday's landslide victory by his National Party.  Reuters
New Zealand PM John Key leads party
to big win
John Key is set to serve a third term as New Zealand's leader after his National Party scores an unprecedented victory in Saturday's election.

Charlie Munger, the Calpers exit and you
RetireMentors:
Here's how money-manager shifts affect your ability to retire on time. Mitch Tuchman explains.
Arends: Be like Calpers, dump hedge funds
Weidner: Hedge funds are losing their luster
Calpers to exit hedge funds


Full night’s sleep pays off, in salary and investments
Research shows that those who get a good night’s sleep are usually more productive at work, and make better investors.
/conga/today.html 320392

Markets »

349.62MDow Volume:
Avg Vol: 80.02M
Unchanged
203
Decliners
3914
Advancers
2365
Price Chg %Chg 1 Day
Range: 1 Day
  • 1 Day
  • 5 Days
  • 1 Month
  • 3 Months
  • 6 Months
  • 1 Year
  • 2 Years
Dow
/quotes/zigman/627449/realtime 17,280 +14 0.08%
Nasdaq
/quotes/zigman/12633936/realtime 4,580 -14 0.30%
S&P 500
/quotes/zigman/3870025/realtime 2,010 -1 0.05%
GlobalDow
/quotes/zigman/629063/realtime 2,605 -6 0.23%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/635641/delayed 1,217 -10 0.82%
Oil
/quotes/zigman/2196857/delayed 92.45 -0.62 0.67%
FTSE 100
/quotes/zigman/3173262/delayed 6,838 +19 0.27%
DAX
/quotes/zigman/2380246/delayed 9,799 +1 0.01%
CAC 40
/quotes/zigman/3173214/delayed 4,461 -3 0.08%
FTSE MIB
/quotes/zigman/1482176/delayed 20,972 -156 0.74%
IBEX 35
/quotes/zigman/2759620/delayed 11,002 +11 0.10%
Stoxx 600
/quotes/zigman/2380150/delayed 349 +1 0.21%
Asia Dow
/quotes/zigman/6959860/realtime 3,208 -7 0.22%
Nikkei 225
/quotes/zigman/5986735/delayed 16,321 +254 1.58%
Hang Seng
/quotes/zigman/2622475/delayed 24,306 +137 0.57%
Shanghai
/quotes/zigman/1859015/delayed 2,329 +14 0.58%
Sensex
/quotes/zigman/1652085/delayed 27,090 -22 0.08%
Singapore
/quotes/zigman/1709939/delayed 3,305 +8 0.24%
Euro
/quotes/zigman/4867933/realtime/sampled 1.28 -0.01 0.71%
Yen
/quotes/zigman/4868099/realtime/sampled 109.07 +0.38 0.35%
Pound
/quotes/zigman/4867886/realtime/sampled 1.63 -0.01 0.58%
Australia$
/quotes/zigman/4867876/realtime/sampled 0.89 -0.01 0.71%
DXY Index
/quotes/zigman/1652083/delayed 84.80 +0.51 0.60%
WSJ $ Idx
/quotes/zigman/9625991/realtime 76.91 +0.38 0.49%
U.S. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866666/realtime 2.58 -0.04 1.60%
German 10y
/quotes/zigman/15866409/realtime 1.00 -0.04 3.83%
Italy 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866497/realtime 2.37 -0.06 2.35%
Spain 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866444/realtime 2.20 -0.09 3.73%
U.K. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866328/realtime 2.55 -0.03 1.27%
Japan 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866525/realtime 0.57 +0.01 1.67%
Crude Oil
92 -1 0.67%
Gold
1,217 -10 0.82%
Corn
/quotes/zigman/3098927/delayed 332 -7 1.92%
DJIA F
/quotes/zigman/25835223/delayed 17,189 +11 0.06%
S&P F
/quotes/zigman/21588523/delayed 2,000 -4 0.22%
Silver
/quotes/zigman/635603/delayed 18 -1 3.93%

Quotes

Symbol Price Change % Change
FB /quotes/nls/fb 77.91 0.91 1.18%
AAPL /quotes/nls/aapl 100.96 -0.83 -0.82%
GOOG /quotes/nls/goog 596.08 6.81 1.16%
BAC /quotes/nls/bac 16.95 -0.09 -0.53%
C /quotes/nls/c 53.48 -0.18 -0.34%
F /quotes/nls/f 16.65 0.07 0.42%
T /quotes/nls/t 35.47 0.31 0.88%
BP /quotes/nls/bp 46.46 0.04 0.09%
GE /quotes/nls/ge 26.29 0.08 0.31%
Visit the quote page and your most recently viewed stocks will automatically be displayed here.
Please log in to view your watchlist

World News from MarketWatch

Rates »

5 yr CD
1.4%
2 yr CD
0.9%
1 yr CD
0.7%
MMA $10K+
0.4%
MMA $50K+
0.6%

National averages from Bankrate.com

You Don’t Need Another Credit Card, You Need A Better One.
Avg. APR Last Week 6 Months
Low Interest 10.37% 10.37% 10.33%
Balance Transfer 12.73% 12.73% 12.66%
Business 12.80% 12.80% 12.98%
Student 13.24% 13.27% 13.27%
Cash Back 14.91% 14.94% 14.84%
Reward 15.02% 15.04% 14.97%
Airline 15.46% 15.46% 15.30%
Bad Credit 22.73% 22.73% 22.73%
Instant Approval 28.00% 28.00% 28.00%
Source:CreditCards.com
Trending Tickers
  • /quotes/zigman/6589867/delayed WEAT-2.85%
  • /quotes/zigman/238661/delayed PII+0.60%
  • /quotes/zigman/28455797/delayed SPXU+0.23%
  • /quotes/zigman/79648/delayed VVTV-1.64%
  • /quotes/zigman/131196/delayed BWA-0.93%
  • /quotes/zigman/8645907/delayed EPAM-0.59%
X
Powered by StockTwits
Link to MarketWatch's Slice.

As of July 2, 2013, the SmartMoney content you loved now lives on MarketWatch.

MarketWatch will continue to provide the same important news and information you rely on every day. And, as a MarketWatch user, you will be able to enjoy:

  • Personalized news and quote email alerts
  • Editorial e-newsletters about personal finance, mutual funds and market-specific coverage
  • Premium newsletters by our market experts
  • Games, such as Virtual Stock Exchange and Beat the Darts
  • Free WSJ.com registration

Email address

Password

Forgot password?