Money Essentials

1. If you're granted an automatic filing extension, that means:
    You won't be penalized for handing in your return after April 15.
    You won't be penalized for sending in your tax payment after April 15.
    You can postpone your payment of the taxes you owe until the next tax year.
2. The W-4 is:
    A brainiac's version of the W-2.
    The form your employer sends you every January to tell you how much you made in the previous year.
    The form you fill out to tell your employer how much tax you want withheld from your paycheck.
3. If you're in the 28 percent tax bracket, a $ 100 deduction means:
    Your AGI drops by $ 28
    You save $ 28 in taxes
    You save $ 70 in taxes
    You save $ 100 in taxes
4. If you're in the 25 percent bracket, a $ 100 credit means:
    Your AGI drops by $ 100
    You save $ 25 in taxes
    You save $ 73 in taxes
    You save $ 100 in taxes
5. Your AGI:
    Determines how much you owe in taxes
    Determines what tax breaks you qualify for
    Determines whether you get into the country club
6. If you make a lot of money, but don't want friends to know, then don't tell them:
    How much you paid in taxes last year
    How many deductions you take
    Your marginal tax rate
7. You should pay estimated taxes if you're:
    A type-A personality who always anticipates what needs to be done
    Planning to sell a piece of real estate for a big gain
    Expecting a lot of investment income
    All except b.
8. What's the best way to avoid an audit?
    Don't file your return.
    Send a check to the IRS with a little extra something for the nice person who reviews your return.
    Fill out your return (and all necessary schedules) correctly, and file on time.
9. How many years does the IRS have to audit you?
    Three years.
    Six years.
    It depends.
10. Losing money when you sell a stock is never fun. What can you do to feel better about it?
    Mope for a day, then get over yourself.
    Promise from now on you'll only sell your winners.
    Use the capital loss to lower your tax bill.