Skip to main content
Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
 
No. of Recommendations: 5
How on earth does one learn about this stuff?

An interactive and non-intimidating way is to use Turbo Tax or other tax software. While not perfect, they are very convenient. I don't mean to suggest you should leave everything to the software. Start taking the full interview offered by the S/W and notice (and think about the questions) how the path of the interview changes if you change your choices or amounts. It'll begin to give you a general idea of the factors involved. At most places, you'll see links to definitions, IRS guidelines (usually rewritten in English,) suggestions and nuggets of hard-earned wisdom gleaned from practicing tax professionals (like what might trigger an audit.)

The tax code is way too complicated for the average American.

*** Part *** of the reason is the need to be precise and the desire to be fair. (Imagine that!) AMT itself is an effort to be fair; built-in Cost-of-Ling-Adjustments -- among other things -- might have made it better.

This is not directed at you, but I flinch whenever people unfairly blame the IRS or INS for everything wrong with the tax code or immigration policy. Congress produces huge, ugly, complicated laws and entrusts enforcement to these agencies and then proceeds to underfund them.
Print the post  

Announcements

Disclaimer:
In accordance with IRS Circular 230, you cannot use the contents of any post on The Motley Fool's message boards to avoid tax-related penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or applicable state or local tax law provisions.
What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.