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Several tax forms lying next to a laptop open to IRS website.

(Photo: Flickr/Beatrice Murch)

What to know before filing your income taxes

Before you can file your 2012 income taxes, you usually have to gather important documents, review relevant tax rules, and make a few decisions.

The process is complicated, but the tips below can help make it easier, not to mention save you time and money.

Deductions that...

Illustration of a green chalkboard with "tax deductions" written in white.

(Photo: Flickr/StockMonkeys.com)

Taxes: When to deduct a business bad debt

It happens to butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers. It probably happens in your business, too: A customer doesn't pay what they owe and you end up with a bad debt. Can you take a tax deduction?

The answer depends on how you account for income on your tax return. If you included the...

Illustration with house on top of a pile of dollar bills.

(Photo: Flickr/401(k) 2102)

Can I apply for a mortgage from 2 or more lenders?

Q: Can a person apply for a mortgage with different lenders at the same time? If so, what happens if a person gets more than one approval?

A: Yes, you may apply for more than one mortgage with different lenders at the same time. If you get more than one approval, you can...

White-and-brown goat with floppy ears in doorway of barn.

Ready to come out and play. (Photo: Flickr/Frank Jania)

How to care for a goat's dry, scabby skin

Q: My 6-year-old female goat has dry skin with no hair on the scabby spots. What can I do about this?

A: In most cases this is due to a fungal infection. This is caused by a warm environment and moisture. To cover your bases, follow these instructions:

1. Worm with...

Man eating pasta while sitting in front of his computer screen.

Sometimes work doesn't stop for dinner. (Photo: Flickr/Victor1558)

When to use Schedules C and E for your taxes

Q: When does a small business flow to a Schedule E and when to a Schedule C?

A: Schedule E is for situation where you have rental income, receive royalties, or have income reported on a Schedule K-1 from a partnership of S corporation. Here is a...

Scrabble tiles S-A-V-E over $1 bills.

(Photo: Flickr/401(K) 2012)

4 strategies to improve your finances in 2013

This article is part of JustAnswer's "Resolution Rescue" series to boost success with common New Year resolutions. Previous: "What you must do to reach your goal to quit smoking."

Whether you have a...

Teen-age boy reading a book near a lit, heavily decorated Christmas tree.

A good Christmas read. (Photo: Flickr/stuartpilbrow)

What is my 'Night Before Christmas' from 1938 worth?

December 06, 2012

Q: I was left a copy of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" by Clement Clark Moore from my late uncle. It was published by Rand McNally in 1939, illustrated by Clarence Biers. Copyright is 1938, but the edition says 1939. The book is in fair to good condition; is there any value to this...

Pumpkin pie

Home-made pie that travels by plane will make a memorable Thanksgiving. (Photo: Flickr/Browniesfordinner)

Can I take a Thanksgiving pie on an airplane?

Q: May I take a Thanksgiving pie in a plastic carrier on an airplane? More specifically, will it go through security without issue?

A: You will be able to bring your pie. It will go through the X-ray machine and be subject to explosive screening.  This means it may be...

Backyard wooden shed covered in snow.

(Photo: Flickr/Mr. Thomas)

If I leave bleach outdoors in winter, will it freeze?

November 12, 2012

Q: Does bleach freeze if left outside during cold winters, and if so, around what temperature does it freeze?

A: Yes, bleach does freeze. There are various concentrations of bleach, and each will respond at a different temperature.

The chlorine content of the...

Smiling young woman talking on the telephone.

It helps to smile when you talk. (Photo: Flickr/Justin Baeder)

Best ways to prepare for a phone job interview

Q: What is the best way to prepare for a phone interview?

A: Before starting your phone interview you will want to prepare enough time in a quiet, private location. You should print off your resume and keep it beside you as a reference for any question you are asked....

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