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April 15 has come and gone and another year of tax forms and shoeboxes full of receipts is behind us. But what should be done with those documents after your check or refund request is in the mail?

Federal law requires you to maintain copies of your tax returns and supporting documents for three years. This is call the "three-year-law" and leads many people to believe they're safe provided they retain their documents for this period of time.

However, if the IRS believes you have significantly underreported your income (by 25% or more), or believes there may be indication of fraud, it may go back six years in an audit. To be safe, use the following guidelines.

2009 Rates | 2010 Rates

2010 Tax Rates Schedule X - Single
 
If taxable income is between:
The Tax is:
$0 - $8,375 10% of the taxable amount
$8,375 - $34,000 $837.50 plus 15% of the amount over $8,375
$34,000 - $82,400 $4,681.25 plus 25% of the amount over $34,000
$82,400 - $171,850 $16,781.25 plus 28% of the amount over $82,400
$171,850 - $373,650 $41,827.25 plus 33% of the amount over $171,850
$373,650 - no limit $108,421.25 plus 35% of the amount over $373,650
 


2010 Tax Rates Schedule Y-1 - Married Filling Jointly or Qualifying Widow(er)
 
If taxable income is between: The Tax is:
$0 - $16,750 10% of the taxable amount
$16,750 - $68,000 $1,675 plus 15% of the amount over $16,750
$68,000 - $137,300 $9,362.50 plus 25% of the amount over $68,000
$137,300 - $209,250 $26,687.50 plus 28% of the amount over $137,300
$209,250 - $373,650 $46,833.50 plus 33% of the amount over $209,250
$373,650 - no limit $101,085.50 plus 35% of the amount over $373,650
 


2010 Tax Rates Schedule Y-2 - Married Filling Separately
 
If taxable income is between: The Tax is:
$0 - $8,375 10% of the taxable amount
$8,375 - $34,000 $835 plus 15% of the amount over $8,375
$34,000 - $68,650 $4,675 plus 25% of the amount over $34,000
$68,650 - $104,625 $13,343.75 plus 28% of the amount over $68,650
$104,625 - $186,82 $23,416.75 plus 33% of the amount over $104,625
$186,825 - no limit $50,542.75 plus 35% of the amount over $186,825
 


2010 Tax Rates Schedule Z - Head of Household
 
If taxable income is between: The Tax Is:
$0 - $11,950 10% of the taxable amount
$11,950 - $45,550 $1,195.00 plus 15% of the amount over $11,950
$45,550 - $117,650 $6,235.50 plus 25% of the amount over $45,550
$117,650 - $190,550 $24,260 plus 28% of the amount over $117,650
$190,550 - $373,650 $44,672 plus 33% of the amount over $190,550
$373,650 - no limit $105,095 plus 35% of the amount over $373,650
 


2010 Tax Rates Estates & Trusts
 
If taxable income is between: The Tax Is:
$0 - $2,300 15%
$2,300 - $5,350 25%
$5,350 - $8,200 28%
$8,200 - $11,200 33%
$11,200 - no limit 35%
 


Social Security 2010 Tax Rates
 
Base Salary $106,800
Social Security Tax Rate 6.2%
Maximum Social Security Tax $6,621.60
Medicare Base Salary Unlimited
Medicare Tax Rate 1.45%
 


Education 2010 Tax Rates
 
Hope Credit $2,500
Lifetime Learning Credit $2,000
Student Loan Interest Deduction $2,500
Coverdell Education Savings Contribution $2,000
 


Miscellaneous 2010 Tax Rates
 
Personal Exemption $3,650
Business Equipment Expense Deduction $250,000
Prior-year safe harbor for estimated taxes of higher-income 110% of your 2009 tax liability
Standard mileage rate for business driving 50 cents
Standard mileage rate for medical/moving driving 16.5 cents
Standard mileage rate for charitable driving 14 cents
Child Tax Credit $1,000
Unearned income maximum for children before kiddie tax applies $950
Maximum capital gains tax rate for taxpayers in the 10% or 15% bracket 0%
Maximum capital gains tax rate for taxpayers above the 15% bracket 15%
Capital gains tax rate for unrecaptured Sec. 1250 gains 25%
Capital gains tax rate on collectibles 28%
Maximum contribution for Traditional/Roth IRA $5,000 if under age 50
$6,000 if 50 or older
Maximum employee contribution to SIMPLE IRA $11,500 if under age 50
$14,000 if 50 or older
Maximum Contribution to SEP IRA 25% of compensation up to $49,000
401(k) maximum employee contribution limit $16,500 if under age 50
$22,000 if 50 or older
Self-employed health insurance deduction 100%
Estate tax exemption Unlimited for 2010
Annual Exclusion for Gifts $13,000
 
 
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