Reducing Taxes, and Picking the Best Investing Platform

Welcome to NerdWallet’s Smart Money podcast, where we answer your real-world money questions.

This week’s episode starts with a discussion of the few remaining ways people can reduce their tax bills, including contributing more to retirement and health care funds.

Then we pivot to this week’s question from Marco in New York, who says, “I’ve learned a bit about stocks, index funds, mutual funds and so much more, but it’s very overwhelming and I’ve just been circling for weeks trying to decide where to open an account. I was hoping you could dive more into how to select the best platform to invest your money. What makes some better than others? I also currently have a 401(k) through my company. Is it smart to do my personal investing on the same platform to be consistent?”

Have a money question? Text or call us at 901-730-6373. Or you can email us

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It’s Easier to Avoid Taxes When You Own a Business. Just Ask Donald Trump (and Joe Biden).

For people who want to lowball their taxes, it helps to own a business. That can offer strategies for reducing what you owe Uncle Sam—and make you far harder to audit.

This has long been the case, but it’s in the news again in a big way for President Donald Trump, and a far smaller one for his opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.

The tax spotlight is on Mr. Trump because the

New York Times

recently reported that it has obtained and analyzed years of his tax-return data despite his refusal to release it. The Times raised questions about his tax compliance, and Mr. Trump derided its reporting but provided no details. The Times’s report hasn’t been independently verified.

Mr. Biden, who has released years of returns, has been called out for employing a tax move the Obama administration wanted to end. In 2017 and 2018 he avoided as

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13 ways you can pay less taxes, too

13 ways you can pay less taxes, too
13 ways you can pay less taxes, too

According to a New York Times bombshell, President Donald Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes in both 2016 and 2017, and paid the IRS no income tax in 10 of the previous 15 years.

“FAKE NEWS!” the president tweeted early Monday morning, hours after the news broke. But during a debate with Hillary Clinton in 2016, Trump didn’t deny paying no federal income tax some years. He said that made him “smart.”

You may not be able to reduce your tax bill to $0, but chances are there are steps you can take to pay less taxes, without running the risk you’ll be audited.

Here are some of the easiest ways you can cut your tax bill, for 2020 and for many years to come.

1. Contribute to a 401(k), 403(b) or 457 retirement plan

<cite>designer491 / Shutterstock</cite>
designer491 / Shutterstock

A great

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Essential workers who pay more taxes than Trump are tweeting their anger

Essential workers who pay more taxes than Trump are tweeting their anger
Essential workers who pay more taxes than Trump are tweeting their anger

Did you ever imagine you’d be paying more in federal income taxes than President Donald Trump?

You might think that the majority of hardworking middle and lower class Americans would pay far less in taxes than someone like Trump, who appears to be a successful billionaire. But a recent New York Times report finds that isn’t the case at all.

On Sunday night, the New York Times shared information on more than two decades of Trump’s income taxes. The article revealed that Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency and another $750.00 during his first year in the White House. And it also reveals that Trump paid no income taxes in 10 of the previous 15 years. (The reasoning behind that is “largely because he reported losing much more money than

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Raising taxes would endanger economic recovery, Labour tells government

Parliament Live
Parliament Live

Raising taxes would be “dangerous” and make it harder for Britain’s economy to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, Labour’s shadow chancellor has said.

Anneliese Dodds on Wednesday warned that Labour’s support would not be guaranteed if the government went ahead with a rise in capital gains tax, warning against “last-minute decisions around tax without appropriate scrutiny and without proper planning”.

Laying out Labour’s preferred economic strategy for the pandemic she told a seminar that the government should prioritise a return to growth, and that tax rises would be counterproductive reducing demand.

“There’s been some suggestion, before today’s news around capital gains tax, that there could be a kind of generalised income tax, VAT, or national insurance rise and/or cuts to public spending,” she told the online meeting organised by the Institute for Government.

“I think that would be really quite a dangerous move at a time when the

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Chainlink’s Interest, Ethereum’s ‘ReGenesis’ and Crypto Taxes

Binance announced the rollout of its crypto debit card, the U.K.’s central bank is thinking hard about a digital currency and the taxman cometh. Here’s the story:

You’re reading Blockchain Bites, the daily roundup of the most pivotal stories in blockchain and crypto news, and why they’re significant. You can subscribe to this and all of CoinDesk’s newsletters here. 

Top shelf

AML Compliance
BitGo is offering API support for the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) “Travel Rule,” which stipulates the originators and beneficiaries of financial transactions over $1,000 be identified and that their personal data must “travel” with those transactions. BitGo’s offering seeks to remove the headache of identifying wallets and transferring personally identifiable information between clients that use the San Francisco-based firm’s technology or custodial services.

Related: First Mover: Bitcoiners Not Worried Fed Money Printer Has Stopped Going ‘Brrrr’

Binance Card
Binance has announced the first major rollout

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What Happens If You File Your Taxes Late?

Filing your taxes is an unpleasant activity for almost everyone, even when you’re getting a refund — just seeing terms like “withholdings” and “qualified dividends” tends to have a mind-numbing effect. Fortunately, there are a lot of affordable online tools to help you file your taxes with minimal headaches. And this year, we had more time to take care of our taxes than usual, with the typical April 15th filing and payment deadline being pushed to July 15th in response to COVID-19.

But now, suddenly, July 15th is just a day away. If you need to file a last-minute tax extension request, you can still do that and give yourself until October 15th to file. If you owe taxes, though, you’ll need to pay an estimate of what you owe by tomorrow. The easiest, most accurate way to calculate that may simply be filing your taxes.

With the tax deadline

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Doing last-minute taxes? The best tax software is on sale right now

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.  

The deadline to file federal taxes has finally arrived—it’s Wednesday, July 15 FYI—meaning if you haven’t yet completed your forms, now is the time. While tax season is often stressful no matter when you file, getting your documents together and knowing your options, like qualifying for a low-income waiver or filing for an additional extension, are valid ways to make the process way easier. The easiest way to lessen the last-minute stress, though: Use a great online tax software to file.

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If you don’t have a personal accountant, a tax software program will expedite the process of locating tax breaks, calculating refunds, and navigating any law changes. After testing some of the

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Everything you need to know about filing taxes before the July 15 deadline

Tax day for 2019 is finally around the corner.

Taxpayers must file their returns and pay any outstanding liabilities by July 15 this year, three months later than the typical tax deadline due to the coronavirus. In March, the Internal Revenue Service gave Americans extra time to get their tax business together as they weathered the pandemic and ensuing lockdowns.

Read more: How to file taxes: The full breakdown

But the extended deadline applies to more than just the returns and tax payments.

Self-employed workers face multiple due dates on July 15, while those with unclaimed refunds from 2016 have until that date to finally get them. You have until July 15 also to lower your taxable income, or pay penalties on early retirement withdrawals.

Here’s what the extended deadline affects.

The tax day was extended to July 15th because of Covid-19. (Photo: Getty)

If you’re a freelancer


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Taxes and IRA Contributions Are Almost Due. Here’s What You Need to Know

Tax day is rapidly approaching, and if you haven’t filed it’s time to start working on it.

Yes, you read that right. Tax day this year is July 15. That also means you have until that date to make a prior-year contribution to some retirement funds, and possibly get a tax writeoff.

Tax Deadline Extended

While the income tax payment and filing deadline as well as the related Individual Retirement Account (IRA) contribution deadline are normally on April 15, this year that date was extended 90 days due to the COVID-19 epidemic.

The new date to file your 2019 federal taxes is July 15, 2020. The date for making your 2019 IRA contributions was also extended to that date.

Some states also extended their filing deadline to match the federal filing deadline.

State Tax Information for Military Members and Retirees

If you can’t pay your 2019 taxes by the new

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