(MONEY Magazine) – TIP 1 Get set for the new kiddie tax
The tax law passed in May took a perk away from parents but threw in a few changes that could save you money--next year or down the road.
"KIDDIES" GOT OLDER Putting stocks and bonds in your child's name may not cut your tax bill as much as it once did. Previously, under the "kiddie tax," investment income earned by children 14 and older was taxed at their rate, not the parents' (usually) higher one. Now the parents' rate applies until age 18.
AMT RELIEF Once again Congress spared some taxpayers from the alternative minimum tax (15 million filers in 2006). But it's a one-year patch, not a fix.
ANYONE CAN CONVERT Say you've wanted to convert your traditional IRA to a Roth but haven't been able to because your income is too high. You can, beginning in 2010, thanks to Congress nixing the $100,000 income cap on conversions. A conversion could make sense if you think tax rates will only go up in the future.
INVESTOR-FRIENDLY The top rate on most long-term capital gains and dividends will stay at 15% through 2010. Under the old law, the capital-gains rate had been scheduled to return to 20% in 2009. --AMANDA GENGLER
TIP 2 Stormproof your trip
Experts predict up to 10 hurricanes this summer, so travelers to the Caribbean and Atlantic and Gulf Coasts could get soaked in more ways than one. Here's how to stay afloat.
• STEER CLEAR The ABC islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao are outside the Caribbean hurricane belt. Savannah and Tybee Island in Georgia, meanwhile, haven't been hit by a major 'cane since 1893; Amelia Island in northeast Florida has seen only two in the past 100 years.
• GET CREDIT Sandals and Beaches resorts and CheapCaribbean.com all offer free replacement trips if a major storm interrupts your vacation.
• CRUISE Ships can flee storms in a hurry, so you'll salvage some of your trip. A Bermuda cruise might detour to Canada (it's happened), but that beats a hurricane, eh? --DONNA ROSATO
TIP 3 Boost your teen's take-home
Is your teen bummin' about the bite Uncle Sam is taking out of his summer paycheck? These moves can put some cash back in his wallet.
• MINIMIZE WITHHOLDING Most teens claim zero allowances when they fill out their W-4 form. But as a single person with a job, your child is entitled to claim one, even if you list her as a dependent on your return.
• FILE FOR THE REFUND Chances are your teen won't owe any income tax, since anyone who earns $5,150 or less is exempt (exception: if he has investment or self-employment income). Have him file a return next tax season anyway. It's the only way to get a refund for the taxes that were withheld this summer. --CAROLYN BIGDA
...Do they need to send a résumé? A Right Management survey says 54% of employers have rehired employees laid off in previous downsizings...
Global warming: What's in it for you? 23
Find a lost pension by Ellen McGirt 24
Pick a financial adviser you click with by Jean Chatzky 30