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Personal Finance Essentials: Taxes and Tax Benefits


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If you earn money, spend money, or save money, you have to pay taxes. If the money you save earns money, you have to pay taxes on that, too. This program explains the essentials of taxes, helping students to become well-informed about both earned and investment income taxes, workplace tax benefits, and filing an annual return. It covers paycheck deductions, the W-2 and W-4 forms, guidelines for using the 1040-EZ form, and tax breaks such as exemptions, deductions, and credits. Compelling graphical breakdowns urge young viewers to pay into a 401(k) plan, even if they’d prefer to spend that money now. Highlights include a demonstration of how large even a modest 401(k) contribution can grow over 30 years, and when to itemize deductions.

Video Segments

1. Introduction to Taxes Whether money is earned, spent, or saved, it will be taxed. If savings earn interest, that will be taxed too. Foreign students comment on paying American taxes. Taxes are paid to federal, state, and local governments.
2. Understanding Your Paycheck Earnings statements accompany each paycheck and list all the deductions. Gross pay is the total money earned in a pay period. Net pay is what is left after the deductions are taken. It is important to keep all employment information.
3. Doing Your Taxes Filing federal taxes requires accuracy. Viewers learn about W-2 and W-4 forms, and guidelines for using the 1040-EZ, 1040A, and 1040 forms.
4. Tax Breaks: Exemptions, Deductions & Credits Tax breaks such as exemptions, deductions, and credits are explained. Careful management of deductions can lower the amount of taxes owed. Tax credits directly cut taxes owed.
5. Workplace Tax Benefits Job benefits include health insurance, paid vacations, retirement accounts, and health care accounts. A large or even modest 401(k) contribution can grow over 30 years. Some benefits are taxed as part of gross income.
6. Taxes and Investment Income Investment income may come in the form of interest, dividends, or reselling at a profit. Typical investments include stocks, bonds, or mutual funds



Grade: 9-12

Personal Finance Essentials: Taxes and Tax Benefits (DVD)
© 2011
Time: 34 Minutes

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