April is the cruelest month, but taxes don't have to be. Basic tips can go a long way, especially with how much rules can change year to year. The New York Times brought in an expert from law firm Sullivan and Cromwell to answer commonly asked questions from readers. Some of his answers were helpful and some underscore how complex taxes can be for someone on their own.

This Q&A is worth a look for anyone who's interested in learning more ways to save at tax time.

Rising unemployment has spurred plenty of Americans to branch out on their own and start their own practice, whether it's tutoring, web design or career counseling. Nearly 9% of unemployed workers started their own business in 2009, up from 5% in 2008, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., a global employment consulting firm. Along with building a strong book of business, it's also important for independent consultants to understand how accounting rules can impact their bottom line. In a recent Dallas Morning News Article, Pamela Yip explains why it's crucial for self-employed people to separate their company cash flow from what a person needs to run their business and their life. "If business and personal expenses are too closely intertwined, it can be difficult for a business owner to justify business expenses claimed on an income tax return "because things are so closely mixed up."

Read more here.

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