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Tax Treatment of Travel Expenses

If you are self-employed, you may be able to deduct the ordinary and necessary expenses of traveling away from home for your business. If you are an employee and incur unreimbursed travel expenses while traveling from your “tax home,” these expenses are deductible as miscellaneous expenses subject to the 2 percent of adjusted gross income floor (if you itemize your deductions on a Schedule A). These expenses can include the cost of transportation, lodging, and/or meals.

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Tax Credits: Child and Dependent Care Credit

If you have a child or other dependent and work outside the home, you may need to pay someone to care for your loved ones. Fortunately, the child and dependent care credit may provide some financial relief. The child and dependent care credit is an income tax credit for up to 35 percent of certain expenses you paid to provide care for your dependent child, your disabled spouse, or a disabled dependent while you worked or looked for work.

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Adjustments to Income and Itemized Deductions: Members of the Armed Forces

As a taxpayer, you may be able to subtract certain amounts from your gross income to arrive at your adjusted gross income (AGI). Further, you may then subtract from your AGI the greater of either your standard deduction (which is based on your filing status) or the total of your itemized deductions. As a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, you may find the following considerations of particular interest to you.

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Taxable vs. Nontaxable Income: Members of the Armed Forces

If you’re a member of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty, you’re generally not required to pay federal income tax on all the income you receive. What’s taxed and what’s not taxed depends on what form the income takes and, in some cases, where the income is earned. Generally, basic pay, special pay, and bonuses are taxable (unless they’ve been earned for service in a combat zone), while in-kind benefits, reimbursements, and allowances are not taxable.

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Are you overspending? How military families can cut costs

Most military families are on a limited budget these days. Often families are living in communities where a household is normally supported with a duel income (husband and wife have steady full-time employment). Military spouses often find it difficult to land good employment in the communities where they are stationed. No matter how tightly you try to control your spending or how strictly you follow your spending plan, the temptation to overspend is of increasing concern for many young families. At some point you are likely to wonder how you can cut costs.

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What if I can’t pay my bills? Tips and information for military families

If you’re unable to meet your financial obligations, you have options. Which option or options you choose will depend on how severe your financial problems are and what resources you have. You should, however, act now. Delaying action could lead to further difficulties, including potential damage to your credit history, or even the possible loss of your home.

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Paying Off Outstanding Credit Card Balances

Credit card debt can sometimes become overwhelming, especially when presented with the temptation to spend. High credit limits with low interest rates can become an attraction many young families are not properly equipped to handle when the bill becomes due. Military families are often left to wonder if they will be able to pay off their balances before the interest rate increases. Or, worse yet, the bills stack up and you become unable to cover all of your monthly expenses.

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Organizing Important Records and Documents

A record-keeping system is a systematic approach to retaining and filing documents in a way that makes them easy to find when needed, even if it’s several years later. Record-keeping systems range from simple to elaborate and from basic to comprehensive. The ideal system is designed to fit your personal and family situation and lifestyle.

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Establishing a Financial Safety Net for Military Families

In times of financial crisis, the last thing you’ll want to do is start digging through the couch cushions for coins. Especially if you have a family. The stress of military life impacts families in unique ways and having a financial safety net in place can ensure that you’re protected when a financial emergency arises. One way to accomplish this is by setting up a cash reserve, a pool of readily available funds that can help you meet emergency or highly urgent short-term needs. Here’s how to get one started.

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