Evolving Personal Finance » taxes

Grad Students: Attend My Free Tax Webinar

Grad Students: Attend My Free Tax Webinar

  On Tuesday, 3/7/2017 at 6:30 PM PST I’m presenting a live tax webinar for grad students! The webinar is free and I’m using it as a way to get my. name out there as a person who serves the personal finance needs of early-career PhDs.   I’ve been studying the tax quandaries grad students face on and off for years (and documented it here and on Grad Student Finances). I cover grad student pay and taxes briefly in my comprehensive … Read entire article »

Filed under: taxes

Where’s the Tipping Point Between a Roth and Traditional IRA?

Where’s the Tipping Point Between a Roth and Traditional IRA?

I love my Roth IRA (and my Roth 401(k)). Throughout my twenties, I didn’t have access to a workplace-based retirement account, so the IRA was a retirement-life-saver. I also was not making much money as a grad student, so using a Roth made total sense. When I speak to current grad students, I advocate using a Roth IRA for retirement savings. But at some point, doesn’t a traditional IRA or 401(k) start to make more … Read entire article »

Filed under: retirement, taxes

I Learn Something New about Taxes Every Year

I Learn Something New about Taxes Every Year

My dad loves to encourage me to “learn something new every day,” and that’s certainly a great way to grow. Kyle and I submitted our tax returns last Saturday, and I realized that we learned quite a bit about taxes this year for our personal return. (I additionally learned a lot about grad student taxes, but that was more academic for me.)   This year was our most complicated tax return to prepare to date, and we did … Read entire article »

Filed under: debt, giving, investing, self-employment, taxes, transitions

Creating Our Self-Tax Refund

Creating Our Self-Tax Refund

While most people might love to receive a fat tax refund following tax season each year, it seems that personal finance nerds converge more on either owing tax on April 15 or getting very close to getting zero refund. Kyle and I seem to have split the difference for our 2014 taxes, gaining the pluses from each side of that argument while avoiding the minuses.   For the last few years before 2014, we managed to match … Read entire article »

Filed under: taxes

How to Calculate Estimated Tax When You Don’t Know Your Income

How to Calculate Estimated Tax When You Don’t Know Your Income

If you will owe more than $1,000 next April 15 (that is, if your total tax liability exceeds your withholdings by more than $1,000), you are supposed to make estimated tax payments quarterly. The next payment is due on April 15, 2015 If you basically know your 2015 income, you can easily and straightforwardly calculate and file your estimated tax payment.   You have two choices of how to calculate the amount you should pay and you … Read entire article »

Filed under: taxes

Tax Benefits that Don’t Apply to (Some) Graduate Students

Tax Benefits that Don’t Apply to (Some) Graduate Students

Through the course of researching taxes for my own use and this blog, I have periodically gotten excited about some tax benefit available to the general public, only to find out that I was not eligible for it. Sometimes my ineligibility was because of my student status and sometimes it was because I only had fellowship income. Commenters’ questions on previous posts have altered me to additional exclusions that I had not come across in … Read entire article »

Filed under: grad school, taxes

Winning a Fight with the IRS

Winning a Fight with the IRS

I’m very, very excited about the content I have to share with you today. The story comes from someone who found EPF while searching for resources regarding grad student taxes and how to argue with the IRS. After emailing back and forth a few times about how to approach her problem, she offered to share her research and work with you through EPF. I will refer to this reader as Amanda in this post. Thank … Read entire article »

Filed under: grad school, taxes

Why Is My Take-Home Pay as a Postdoc Nearly the Same as When I Was a Grad Student?

Why Is My Take-Home Pay as a Postdoc Nearly the Same as When I Was a Grad Student?

Despite the fact that Kyle got over a 40% raise when he transitioned from grad student to postdoc, his postdoc take-home pay is depressingly similar to his grad student take-home pay. I had heard rumors of this phenomenon but had never quite believed it. The reasons for it are partially generalizable and partially specific to us, but I hope they are illuminating for other people going through this same transition.       Kyle gave me permission to share … Read entire article »

Filed under: grad school, income, taxes

Virginia Sent Me to Collections for Dodging Taxes

Virginia Sent Me to Collections for Dodging Taxes

That sounds like an exaggerated, sensationalist headline, but it isn’t!  The commonwealth of Virginia thinks that I failed to pay the income tax I owed in 2009, and last month they sent my information over to a debt collector, who renewed the efforts to track me down.  Me – the personal finance blogger and tax reporting enthusiast – accused of not paying my taxes!   In this post I will detail this experience, which from my perspective … Read entire article »

Filed under: debt, taxes

How to Enter 1099-MISC Fellowship Income into TaxACT

How to Enter 1099-MISC Fellowship Income into TaxACT

This post is the second in this series on how to convince tax software to accept grad student fellowship income – last week was TurboTax, this week is TaxACT.  I’ll refer you to sections of that post so I don’t have to repeat the information but you also don’t miss it.     Please read two words of caution regarding my qualifications (none) and the wisdom of using tax software to begin with.  Also, please again ignore the … Read entire article »

Filed under: grad school, taxes