Rocky Mengle

Rocky Mengle

Senior Tax Editor, Kiplinger.com

Rocky has more than 20 years of experience covering tax developments. He came to Kiplinger from Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting, and, before that, he worked for Kleinrock Publishing. He has a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law and a BA in History from Salisbury University in Salisbury, Md.

IRS Is Sending More Unemployment Tax Refund Checks This Summer
picture of a tax form showing the refund line with one-hundred dollar bills on it
Coronavirus and Your Money

IRS Is Sending More Unemployment Tax Refund Checks This Summer

Uncle Sam has already sent tax refunds to millions of Americans who are eligible for the $10,200 unemployment compensation tax exemption. More payment…
July 22, 2021
Taxes on Unemployment Benefits: A State-by-State Guide
picture of person applying for unemployment benefits on a laptop computer
state tax

Taxes on Unemployment Benefits: A State-by-State Guide

Don't be surprised by an unexpected state tax bill on your unemployment benefits. Know where unemployment compensation is taxable and where it isn't.
July 22, 2021
"Plus-Up" Stimulus Checks Have Already Been Sent to 9 Million Americans – Will You Get One Too?
picture of a stimulus check mixed in with several one-hundred dollar bills
Coronavirus and Your Money

"Plus-Up" Stimulus Checks Have Already Been Sent to 9 Million Americans – Will You Get One Too?

Some people who previously received a third stimulus check are getting a supplemental payment from the IRS. Is there a check coming with your name on …
July 21, 2021
The Financial Effects of Losing a Spouse
Woman comforting distraught man.
Financial Planning

The Financial Effects of Losing a Spouse

Even amid grief, it's important to reassess your finances. With the loss of your spouse's income, you may find yourself in a lower tax bracket or that…
July 16, 2021
Warning: You May Have to Pay Back Your Monthly Child Tax Credit Payments
picture of a family of four all dressed in white t-shirts and jeans with shocked looks on their face
Tax Breaks

Warning: You May Have to Pay Back Your Monthly Child Tax Credit Payments

Unlike stimulus checks, you might have to repay your monthly child tax credit payments if you get too much money from the IRS.
July 16, 2021
When Will Your Next Monthly Child Tax Credit Payment Arrive?
picture of an August 2021 calendar
Tax Breaks

When Will Your Next Monthly Child Tax Credit Payment Arrive?

The IRS has already sent one batch of advance child tax credit payments. Here's when you can expect the rest of your payments to be issued.
July 16, 2021
When to Opt-Out of Monthly Child Tax Credit Payments
drawing of a person refusing to accept a cash payment
Tax Breaks

When to Opt-Out of Monthly Child Tax Credit Payments

If you want to stop advance payments of the 2021 child tax credit, you have to opt-out using the IRS's online tool before the monthly deadline.
July 15, 2021
Are You Getting a Monthly Payment for Your Kids? Check the IRS's Child Tax Credit Portal
picture of a father and daughter using a laptop computer
Tax Breaks

Are You Getting a Monthly Payment for Your Kids? Check the IRS's Child Tax Credit Portal

The IRS has an online tool that will help you track and manage your monthly child tax credit payments (although it's not fully functional yet).
July 15, 2021
Who Won't Get Monthly Child Tax Credit Payments (Not Every Parent is Eligible)
picture of parents worried about money
Tax Breaks

Who Won't Get Monthly Child Tax Credit Payments (Not Every Parent is Eligible)

The IRS started sending advance child tax credit payments on July 15. Here's why some families won't receive these monthly payments.
July 15, 2021
Most-Overlooked Tax Breaks for the Newly Divorced
picture of wedding photo cut in half
Divorce

Most-Overlooked Tax Breaks for the Newly Divorced

Filing taxes after a divorce can add yet another problem to an already long list of challenges. But here are some tips to make your return to single l…
July 14, 2021
9 Reasons to File a Tax Return Even If You Don't Have To
picture of woman counting money
tax filing

9 Reasons to File a Tax Return Even If You Don't Have To

Although you might not be required to file a tax return, it might be wise to file one today anyway. Here are a few reasons why.
July 14, 2021
Tax-Free Weekends (or Weeks) for Back-to-School Shopping
picture of a small shopping cart filled with school supplies in front of a blackboard with "back to school" written on it
Tax Breaks

Tax-Free Weekends (or Weeks) for Back-to-School Shopping

Sales tax holidays are a great way to save money on clothes, shoes, backpacks, school supplies, and other back-to-school necessities.
July 12, 2021
The 10 Most Tax-Friendly States for Middle-Class Families
Picture of U.S. map with coins on it
state tax

The 10 Most Tax-Friendly States for Middle-Class Families

If a move from one state to another is in your future, you could save big bucks by relocating to one of these states where the tax bite is light for m…
July 6, 2021
33 States with No Estate Taxes or Inheritance Taxes
A view of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado with the mountains reflected in a small lake
retirement

33 States with No Estate Taxes or Inheritance Taxes

Even with the federal exemption from death taxes raised, retirees should pay more attention to estate taxes and inheritance taxes levied by states.
July 6, 2021
10 Most Tax-Friendly States for Retirees
picture of U.S. map with change purse filling with coins
retirement

10 Most Tax-Friendly States for Retirees

If you want your retirement savings to last longer, consider moving to one of these states that impose the lowest taxes on retirees.
July 6, 2021
Taxes in Retirement: How All 50 States Tax Retirees
Senior couple slow-dancing in their living room
Tax Breaks

Taxes in Retirement: How All 50 States Tax Retirees

We rated every state, plus Washington, D.C. on how retirees are taxed. We considered taxes on Social Security and other retirement income, tax exempti…
July 6, 2021
The 10 Least Tax-Friendly States for Military Retirees
picture of dog tags and military patches
retirement

The 10 Least Tax-Friendly States for Military Retirees

Unfortunately, some states aren't very generous when it comes to helping retired veterans at tax time.
July 6, 2021
The Most-Overlooked Tax Breaks for Retirees
picture of senior couple shocked by what they see on a piece of paper
Tax Breaks

The Most-Overlooked Tax Breaks for Retirees

Unfortunately, seniors often miss tax-saving opportunities that are available to them. Don't let that happen to you!
July 1, 2021
5 States With No State Sales Tax
Cash register at a store.
Tax Breaks

5 States With No State Sales Tax

Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon don't impose a state sales tax, but that doesn't necessarily make them the best states for low tax…
June 30, 2021
9 States with No Income Tax
Barn with American flag imagery.
Tax Breaks

9 States with No Income Tax

If you choose to live in these states, every penny you earn is safe from state income tax (although one state taxes some dividends and interest). But …
June 30, 2021
12 States That Won't Tax Your Retirement Income
picture of woman at her retirement party
Tax Breaks

12 States That Won't Tax Your Retirement Income

Retirees can save a lot of money in these states that completely exempt the most common types of retirement income – 401(k)s, IRAs and pensions – from…
June 30, 2021
14 States That Won't Tax Your Pension
picture of excited retirees
Tax Breaks

14 States That Won't Tax Your Pension

Some states have pension exclusions with limitations based on age and/or income. But these states don't tax pension income at all, no matter how old y…
June 30, 2021
Tax Changes and Key Amounts for the 2021 Tax Year
picture of a one-hundred dollar bill with a note on it that says "new 2021 tax laws"
tax law

Tax Changes and Key Amounts for the 2021 Tax Year

Americans are facing a long list of tax changes for the 2021 tax year. Smart taxpayers will start planning for them now.
June 28, 2021
13 States That Tax Social Security Benefits
Map of U.S. with U.S. flag design
social security

13 States That Tax Social Security Benefits

You may have dreamed of a tax-free retirement, but if you live in these 13 states, your Social Security benefits are subject to a state tax. That's on…
June 25, 2021
8 Tax Tips for Gambling Winnings and Losses
picture of person grabbing a pile of poker chips after winning a hand
taxes

8 Tax Tips for Gambling Winnings and Losses

If you pick the right horse at the track or win some money at a casino, don't forget that the IRS wants a cut of your winnings.
June 25, 2021
8 Ways You Might Be Cheating on Your Taxes
picture of person up to the border line between legal and illegal activity
taxes

8 Ways You Might Be Cheating on Your Taxes

Don't cross the line when it comes to your taxes. Avoid these common traps that can get you in hot water with the IRS.
June 24, 2021
18 States With Scary Death Taxes
Grim Reaper in a fog-covered cemetery
inheritance

18 States With Scary Death Taxes

Federal estate taxes are no longer a problem for all but the extremely wealthy, but several states have their own estate taxes and inheritance taxes t…
June 17, 2021