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The Motley Fool Guide to Doing Your Taxes

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Well, it's that time again. Now that you have all your tax documents in hand (hopefully), that April 15 deadline is staring you in the face. And it's just going to get worse the longer you wait.

Much better, thank you
At least from one perspective, investors found 2009 to be a big improvement over the previous year. Most investors couldn't do anything but count their losses in 2008, as even giant companies like Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) saw their share prices cut by more than half. Yet last year was a distinct turnaround, with the stock market's rally helping most stocks recover, and pushing some, such as Ford Motor (NYSE: F  ) and Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD  ) , to gains of more than 300%.

Now, though, it's time to pay the piper. With big gains comes the potential for a big tax bill. You need all the help you can get to keep your taxes under control.

Read all about it
That's why The Motley Fool has gathered together articles on a number of tax-related subjects. In the list below, you'll find some helpful information that will help you cut your tax bill as much as you can.

So whether you're trying to figure out how to minimize the tax hit on dividend-paying stocks like Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ  ) and McDonald's (NYSE: MCD  ) , or you're looking for the latest news on the estate tax, we've got you covered. Just look below to learn more about the following topics:

Tax basics:

Taxes and investing:

Tax preparation:

Estate planning:

And remember: If you're getting a refund, the sooner you file, the sooner you'll get your money. So don't procrastinate -- find out how you can start saving on your taxes today!

Learn more about how to reduce your tax bill at The Motley Fool's Tax Center.

Fool contributor Dan Caplinger has his taxes mostly done, but he owes money, so he'll wait until April to file. He doesn't own shares of the companies mentioned in this article. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers selection. Apple and Ford Motor are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. Johnson & Johnson is a Motley Fool Income Investor selection. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. The only sure things in life are death, taxes, and the Fool's disclosure policy.

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