Marketplace Money for Friday, April 12, 2013

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Episode Description 
Taxes are most often associated with death. How about a happier spin? We combine taxes and... poetry in celebration of National Poetry Month. Enjoy our listener-submitted tax poems. Plus, have you ever wondered how U.S. taxes compare to what people pay in other countries? And is it time to get rid of joint filing altogether now that many Americans are in non-traditional families? Also, property taxes are a big problem for some filers, especially low- and moderate-income families who have taken on the financial risk of buying a home to take advantage of the housing market's low interest rates. We examine the decision to buy when it's tough to get by. Finally, advice on how to make better decisions and choosing the college of your dreams without taking on loads of debt.

CPA secrets: Accountants charge higher prices for difficult clients

A CPA discusses why she charges what she does for doing tax returns. Hint: the easier you make your accountant's life, the cheaper your price will be.
Posted In: Taxes, accounting

Where do taxpayer dollars go, anyway?

When lawmakers decide where our tax dollars should go in a tough economy, how exactly do they prioritize spending our hard-earned cash?
Posted In: Taxes, municipality, local government, state government

Home makeovers: What to rennovate before putting your house on the market

Now that the housing market is picking up, making improvements on your home is worth it if you want to put it on the market. Which ones pay off in a quicker sale?
Posted In: Housing, housing prices

Just say no to joint tax filing

The joint tax return may seem as inevitable as the income tax itself. But commentator Anne Alstott says the joint return is obsolete, and the nation would be better off without it.
Posted In: Marriage and money, marriage, Taxes

Taxing poetic: Your Tax Day poems

April is National Poetry Month -- and also the time taxes are on our minds. So, why not combine the two and tax poetic?
Posted In: poetry, Taxes

College-bound? How to pay for higher education

Many soon-to-be high school graduates are settling on their choice of where to attend college. How does a family decide whether to pay for a student's dream school or a more economical alternative?
Posted In: college admissions, financial aid, applying to college, student loan, federal student loans

Comparing U.S. taxes to other countries

Many Americans feel they pay too much in taxes, and get too little in return from government. But is that a valid complaint? For some perspective, a look at how America's tax system compares to other countries.
Posted In: Taxes

How to make good decisions? Hint: A pros/cons list won't help

Most of us are bad at making decisions. And that's because we tend to limit our options, according to Chip & Dan Heath, brothers and co-authors of "Decisive: How To Make Better Choices in Life and Work."
Posted In: decision, bad decisions

Deciding to buy while just getting by: Low-income families and the housing market

Would-be homeowners balance the risks of buying with benefits like building their assets and bettering their children's chances.
Posted In: affordable housing, Housing

Music from this show

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Our House (Album Version)
House Of Cards
Be All Right
Radio Mundial
Get Inside
Johnny A.
Can't Hold Us (feat. Ray Dalton)
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
A Bird In The Hand [Explicit]
Ice Cube

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