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2005 Standard Deductions for Individuals
There are two main variations on the filing status for individuals. You can file single filing status or head of household. To file under head of household status, you have to be unmarried and have paid more than half of the cost to maintain a home for yourself and your claimed dependents or another qualifying person. The 2005 standard deduction for the head of household filing status is $7,300. To file single, you must be unmarried, divorced, or legally separated. The 2005 standard deduction for single filers is $5,000. Before you decide to claim the standard deduction, however, you should familiarize yourself with items you may claim as personal tax deductions to see if you could get a tax cut by itemizing. Generally speaking, if your itemized federal tax deductions exceed the standard deduction, your taxes will be lower—and that's like money in your pocket.
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Online Car Buying Resources
Why leave your home? There are so many online resources available to today's consumers that buying a new car can be done almost entirely from home. Instead of wandering car lot after car lot, narrow your choices down by researching your options online. You can:
• Build your car online, carefully considering options in the comfort of your own home instead of succumbing to last-minute, high-pressure sales tactics at the dealership
• Crunch the numbers by researching transaction values (what buyers are paying for the car in your area), or what Edmunds.com calls "true market value"
• You can request car quotes from multiple dealers online (doing so puts you in a much better negotiating position)
*If you're comfortable with online transactions, you can complete the transaction online conducting dealer communication by e-mail and having the car delivered to your doorstep. In this case, paperwork would be completed by mail.
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