Education, Tips and Tricks

4 Tips for Filing Taxes in 2021

In case you forgot, tax season is creeping up on us again. 2020 was a bizarre year for all of us, and your taxes this year might reflect that. Don’t get caught doing your taxes last minute! Here are 4 Tips for Filing Taxes in 2021.

  1. Get organized

Start a filing system for all of your documents. Keep all the transactions and receipts that can affect your tax return in 2021. It’s important to stay organized so that you don’t lose anything and you don’t forget items from months ago. Be aware that the last day for filing taxes in 2021 is April 15. 

  1. Figure out your bracket

To estimate how much in taxes you owe this year, you need to find out what tax bracket you belong to. The U.S. has a progressive tax system, and the rate at which you are taxed ranges from 10%- 37% of your annual income. This is not a flat rate because each individual tax bracket is taxed at the rate set for the bracket. The tax brackets are as follows:

  • 10% for incomes less than $9,875
  • 12% for incomes more than $9,875
  • 22% for incomes more than $40,125
  • 24% for incomes more than $85,525
  • 32% for incomes more than $163,300
  • 35% for incomes more than $207,350
  • 37% for incomes more than $518,400

Be aware of the fact that unemployment benefits are taxable income. 

  1. Learn about the deductions and credits you can apply for

A deduction is an expense that you’ve had during the year that you can subtract from your taxable income. A tax credit is an actual dollar-to-dollar reduction in your tax bill. Many of the same deductions and credits apply from last year. Some popular ones to be aware of include:

  • Child Tax Credit – If you have a child who you can claim as a dependant, you can get up to $2,000 per child. If you end up having $0 to pay in taxes this year, you can even get a credit of $1,400 from the IRS.
  • Earned Income Tax Credit – If you earned less than $56,844 last year, you might be eligible for the EITC, which can give you $538 to $6,660.
  • Business Expenses – Those who are self-employed can claim expenses on their tax return, ranging from rent, travel expenses, and office supplies.
  • Medical Deductions – If you’ve spent time in the hospital because of the pandemic or any other reason, you can deduct anything over 7.5% of your adjusted gross income.
  • Charitable Deductions – The CARES Act allows you to deduct up to 100% of your adjustable gross income from your taxes.
  • Education – The American Opportunity Credit (AOC) allows you to deduct $2,500 from your taxes if you are in your first four years of college. If you are past that, you can deduct up to $2,000 as part of the Lifetime Learning Credit.
  • The stimulus check and the CARES Act Relief Fund count as a credit this year and not as a deduction from your taxes. 
  • The PPP loan acts as a deduction that you can use on any expenses paid from the loan from your taxable income.
  1. Retirement funds

There are generally two different retirement funds out there, the 401(k) and the IRA, and you should be aware of how they affect your taxes. Money put into a 401(k) won’t get taxed by the IRS. However, the IRA works a little differently depending on if you have a traditional or Roth IRA. With a traditional IRA, you don’t pay taxes on your deposits, but you pay taxes on your withdrawals. Roth IRAs are the opposite: you pay taxes on what you put in, but not on what you take out.

These tips should make filing your taxes this year just a little less difficult. If you need more tax help, remember to seek out a professional to avoid costly mistakes.

Children's Books, Education

2 National Geographic Kids Books to Help Beat their Boredom

2 National Geographic Kids Books to Help Beat their Boredom

Chances are it is time to replenish some toys and books in your home that have been over-played with during quarantine. Books that offer both fun and education on every page are the best books. They can keeps kids entertained for a long while and for days in a row. These 2 National Geographic kids books are sure to help beat their boredom.

book of questions

The National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Why has 128 pages of interactive question-and-answer format content about all of the things they experience in their world at this age. It is an Amazon best seller and created for ages 3-7. Find information, hands-on games, simple recipes, crafts, and more. Buy on Amazon.

book of why

The National Geographic Kids Why?: Over 1,111 Answers to Everything is 192 pages created for ages 8-12 that offer hundreds of topics ranging from silly to serious. 1,111 answers to questions about their world. The book is divided into chapters by popular topics such as animals, human body, etc. Buy on Amazon.

Children's Books, Easter, Education

Let’s Learn about Chemistry | STEM book for kids

Comment: I was sent product for this feature. I am happy to partner with this brand. There may be affiliate links contained within the article. Thank you for visiting.

Let's Learn about Chemistry | STEM book for kids

Learning science is so much more fun with books and games. This is Let’s Learn About Chemistry by Stephanie Ryan, PhD. It is a board book and loaded with chemistry basics to get them started on a science learning journey.

Let's Learn about Chemistry

As you read through the pages there are different chemistry topics such as matter and periodic symbols taught through a game of “One of these things is not like the other”. It is hard to not stay engaged through the last page. It makes a great Easter Basket gift!

Stephanie Ryan has a strong background in chemistry and biology and enjoys applying her background to develop superior educational products. You can find, Let’s Learn About Chemistry at book stores such as Barnes & Noble and online such as Amazon.

Education, STEM Learning, Toy Reviews

Coding Express Color-driven Smart Engine by Robobloq for exciting STEM play

Coding Express Color-driven Smart Engine by Robobloq for exciting STEM play

The kids have been inside ALOT! The video games and screen time has been ALOT! I will admit it, my son has had a lot of video game time. I did justify that as a 7th grader he has rocked distant learning. There has been some rough times, but he is self-motivated and still pulling A’s and B’s consistently. So, I feel as long as he puts work first and gets it done well, playtime is his.

I have also learned a bit about his learning style since he is at home for his education. He learns by doing and also has a good ear. With subjects like math and science, STEM play is a great way to teach while they have fun so learning topics like coding, construction and mapping becomes engaging. Coding Express by Robobloq is a brilliant STEM toy that kids as young as 3 can play and learn with.

This Coding Express train runs exactly how your child tells it to. You can build the included track in so many configurations, then use the 19 color-coded inductive stickers as commands that your train will read and follow. These stickers will guide in direction, certain sounds it will make in its travels, and other effects like stoppage time at certain spots, etc.

For instance, your child can place a play stoplight and code it to stop for 3 seconds then go as if it was actually stopping for the light. Have a whistle? You will want one. If your child blows a whistle at the train it will accelerate. The imagination and creativity will become outstanding as they play. The bonus, they get introduced to coding concepts.

More than commands, the Coding Express intelligent built-in infrared sensor can sense any objects in front of it and avoid/follow it. You even have the option to expand the track system easily as Coding Express track is compatible with other track systems such as Thomas 7 Friends, BRIO and IKEA.

For screen-free learning play, visit Robobloq and order your Coding Express today. You will also find other great coding toys. Also available on Amazon.