Rocky Mengle

Rocky Mengle

Tax Editor, -
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.
Is Your Stimulus Check Taxable?
picture of tax form, government check, and a one hundred dollar bill
Coronavirus and Your Money

Is Your Stimulus Check Taxable?

You may be wondering if you have to pay taxes on your second stimulus check. The answer may surprise you.
March 4, 2021
Will You Still Get a Third Stimulus Check Under the New Senate Plan?
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Coronavirus and Your Money

Will You Still Get a Third Stimulus Check Under the New Senate Plan?

President Biden and Senate Democrats agreed on a new third stimulus check plan that would reduce the number of people eligible for a $1,400 payment.
March 4, 2021
The Current Plan for $1,400 Checks
picture of notepad of person trying to figure out which bills to pay with $1,400
Coronavirus and Your Money

The Current Plan for $1,400 Checks

Here's what you need to know about the stimulus check plan in President Biden's COVID-relief package.
March 4, 2021
Third Stimulus Check Calculator
Image of a U.S. one hundred dollar bill and check from the U.S. treasury department.
Coronavirus and Your Money

Third Stimulus Check Calculator

Find out how much your third stimulus check would be if the current $1,400 stimulus check plan is enacted.
March 3, 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 tax bill on your unemployment benefits. Know where unemployment compensation is taxable and where it isn't.
March 3, 2021
Where's My Refund? How to Track Your Tax Refund Status
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tax refunds

Where's My Refund? How to Track Your Tax Refund Status

If you're waiting for your tax refund, the IRS has an online tool that lets you track the status of your payment.
March 2, 2021
Will Your Stimulus Check Increase Your Tax on Social Security Benefits?
picture of tax form and Social Security card
Coronavirus and Your Money

Will Your Stimulus Check Increase Your Tax on Social Security Benefits?

The answer to this question comes down to whether your stimulus check increases your "provisional income."
March 1, 2021
Tax Day 2021: When's the Last Day to File Taxes?
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tax deadline

Tax Day 2021: When's the Last Day to File Taxes?

Many people are wondering if Tax Day will be pushed back again this year because of the pandemic. Here's what we know so far.
February 28, 2021
IRS Extends April 15 and Other Tax Deadlines for Texas and Oklahoma Residents
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Tax Breaks

IRS Extends April 15 and Other Tax Deadlines for Texas and Oklahoma Residents

Following FEMA's recent disaster declaration for winter storms in Texas and Oklahoma, victims of the recent winter storms in those states get more tim…
February 28, 2021
How Filing Your Tax Return Early (or Late) Could Boost Your Third Stimulus Check
picture of tax form, government check, and a one hundred dollar bill
Coronavirus and Your Money

How Filing Your Tax Return Early (or Late) Could Boost Your Third Stimulus Check

Depending on your situation, you might be able to increase your next stimulus check by filing your tax return now or by waiting.
February 27, 2021
Third Stimulus Checks Are One Step Closer to Reality – How Much Will You Get?
picture of a government check
Coronavirus and Your Money

Third Stimulus Checks Are One Step Closer to Reality – How Much Will You Get?

The House passed President Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package. While the bill faces hurdles in the Senate, the provisions authorizing another roun…
February 27, 2021
$15 Minimum Wage Won't Be in Final Stimulus Bill
picture of upset worker
Politics

$15 Minimum Wage Won't Be in Final Stimulus Bill

The Senate Parliamentarian says minimum wage provisions aren't allowed in the budget reconciliation bill containing COVID-relief measures.
February 26, 2021
33 States with No Estate Taxes or Inheritance Taxes
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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.
February 24, 2021
Taxes in Retirement: How All 50 States Tax Retirees
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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…
February 23, 2021
Minimum Wage Update: Republican Senators Offer $10 Minimum Wage Plan
picture of people collecting signatures for a petition to raise the minimum wage
Politics

Minimum Wage Update: Republican Senators Offer $10 Minimum Wage Plan

Senators Mitt Romney and Tom Cotton propose an alternative to the $15 minimum wage plan pushed by Democrats.
February 23, 2021
Where's My Stimulus Check? Use the IRS's "Get My Payment" Portal to Get an Answer
picture of computer screen showing IRS website
Coronavirus and Your Money

Where's My Stimulus Check? Use the IRS's "Get My Payment" Portal to Get an Answer

The IRS has an online tool that lets you track the status of your stimulus checks.
February 19, 2021
What's the Recovery Rebate Credit?
picture of man staring at one-hundred dollar bills
Tax Breaks

What's the Recovery Rebate Credit?

If you didn't get a stimulus check, or you didn't get the full amount, you may be able to claim the recovery rebate credit on your 2020 tax return to …
February 17, 2021
Can You Claim the Home Office Deduction on Your 2020 Tax Return?
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Tax Breaks

Can You Claim the Home Office Deduction on Your 2020 Tax Return?

People working from home because of the pandemic are wondering if they can get a tax deduction out of it. It depends on your employment status.
February 11, 2021
When Can You File Your Taxes This Year? (Hint: It's Very Soon)
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tax filing

When Can You File Your Taxes This Year? (Hint: It's Very Soon)

If you're an early bird when it comes to filing your tax return, you won't have to wait much longer before the IRS will accept your return.
February 11, 2021
What Are the Capital Gains Tax Rates for 2020 and 2021?
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capital gains tax

What Are the Capital Gains Tax Rates for 2020 and 2021?

Which tax rate applies to your long-term capital gains depends on your taxable income.
February 10, 2021
Congress Moves Forward with Minimum Wage Increase
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Politics

Congress Moves Forward with Minimum Wage Increase

Despite questionable support, House Democrats still plan to include a $15 minimum wage provision in the budget reconciliation bill.
February 10, 2021
Third Stimulus Check Update: Democrats (Mostly) Reject "Targeting" of $1,400 Stimulus Checks
picture of envelope with government check in it sitting on an American flag
Coronavirus and Your Money

Third Stimulus Check Update: Democrats (Mostly) Reject "Targeting" of $1,400 Stimulus Checks

House Democrats' latest stimulus check plan applies the same phase-out thresholds used for previous stimulus payments, but families making over $200,0…
February 9, 2021
5 Tips for Finding a Tax Preparer
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taxes

5 Tips for Finding a Tax Preparer

Following these tips will help you weed out the fly-by-night preparers and zero in on the best tax professionals in your area.
February 9, 2021
What Are the Income Tax Brackets for 2021 vs. 2020?
drawing of an arrow labeled 2020 and an arrow labeled 2021 pointing in opposite directions
tax brackets

What Are the Income Tax Brackets for 2021 vs. 2020?

For both 2020 and 2021, you can end up in one of seven different federal income tax brackets – each with its own marginal tax rate – depending on your…
February 9, 2021
Tax Changes and Key Amounts for the 2020 Tax Year
picture of post-it note saying "tax law changes for 2020" on a tax form
tax law

Tax Changes and Key Amounts for the 2020 Tax Year

There were a lot of tax changes for the 2020 tax year. Get familiar with them now – before you file your 2020 tax return.
February 8, 2021
What's the Standard Deduction for 2020 vs. 2021?
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Tax Breaks

What's the Standard Deduction for 2020 vs. 2021?

If you're like most Americans, taking the standard deduction on your tax return is better than claiming itemized deductions.
February 8, 2021
Will Biden's $15 Minimum Wage Proposal Survive?
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Politics

Will Biden's $15 Minimum Wage Proposal Survive?

Even President Biden doesn't think his proposed minimum wage increase will reach the finish line.
February 7, 2021