Watch Your Wallet, 2009
- 10 Facts About the New First Time Homebuyer Credit If you are in the market for a new home, you may still be able to claim the First-Time Homebuyer Credit. Congress recently passed The Worker, Homeownership and Business Assistance Act Of 2009, extending the First-Time Homebuyer Credit and expanding who qualifies.
- Events Requiring An Estate Plan Update If any of the following events occur, you'll probably need to update your estate plan.
- Pre-Retirement Checklist As you approach retirement, there are various matters that you should take care of. Here are some of the items you should check.
- Lower Your Taxes and Heating Bills You can weatherize your home and be rewarded for the effort.
- What Income is Nontaxable? Make sure you don't pay taxes that you don't have to.
- Tax Benefits for Job Seekers If you are searching for a job, you may be able to deduct some of your expenses on your tax return.
- Planning Retirement Withdrawals If you are thinking of retiring soon, or changing jobs, you may face a major financial decision: what to do about the funds in your retirement plan.
- Gift Taxes Gifts above $13,000 may be taxable to the giver.
- 10 Things You Should Know About Identity Theft Here are ten things the IRS wants you to know about identity theft so you can avoid becoming the victim of a scam artist.
- 8 Tips for Taxpayers Who Owe Money to the IRS Having a hard time coming up with money to pay the tax bill? Here are some options.
- A SIMPLE Retirement Plan for the Self-Employed SIMPLE plans really shine for self-employed business owners. Here's why.
- Buy a New Car in 2009 and Save The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides a deduction for state and local sales and excise taxes paid on the purchase of new cars, light trucks, motor homes and motorcycles through 2009.
- Make Home Improvements This Summer With the 2009 energy efficiency tax credits, you may be able to reduce the cost of certain home improvements.
- Saving For College With 529 Plans Many parents are looking at ways to save for college. In 2000, Section 529 plans, also known as Qualified Tuition Programs (QTP) became a popular college savings vehicle for parents. Every state now has a program allowing persons to prepay for future higher education, with tax relief.
- Coverdell Education Savings Accounts A Coverdell Education Savings Account is an account created as an incentive to help parents and students save for education expenses.
- Do You Need to Pay Estimated Taxes? Why and when do you have to pay estimated taxes?
- Home Office Deduction If you use a portion of your home for business purposes, you may be able to take a home office deduction whether you are self-employed or an employee.
- Recording Infrequent Transactions in QuickBooks From time to time you may encounter an infrequent transaction that will stop you in your tracks. Here are several common tricky transactions along with advice on how to handle them.
- Summer Travel Tax Deductions As the summer travel season is almost upon us, you might like to know that a portion of your summer travel may be tax-deductible.
- Cut Taxes on the Sale of Your Home Despite the slumping real estate market, houses are still being sold and there is money to be made. If you're so fortunate now or in the future, here's some basics on how to avoid paying too much capital gain.
- 2009 Health Savings Account Limits As we are in the month of June already, it is important to take a moment and review your Health Savings Account to ensure the maximum benefit is being obtained.
- Timing Mistakes That Cost Thousands of Dollars Timing can mean a lot. Read this tale about a mistimed bankruptcy filing that unfortunately eliminated a valuable tax "asset".
- Are Your Social Security Benefits Taxable? Here's a quick primer on benefit taxability.
- Obama's New Tax Credit Most of you have heard that under the Obama Administration's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act you will be receiving a "Making Work Pay" tax credit. But what does this actually mean to you? When can you expect to receive the money?
- Employee Versus Independent Contractor If you incorrectly classify an employee as an independent contractor, you can be held liable for employment taxes for that worker, plus a penalty.
- Household Employees and Withholding Taxes While many people disregard the need to pay taxes on household employees, they do so at the risk of stiff tax penalties.
- Offset Education Costs - 2009 Changes Education tax credits were significantly enhanced under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
- Tax Tip: Deduct Credit/Debit Card Fees on Tax Payments That fee you pay is also a deduction.
- $250 Economic Recovery Payment The economic recovery payment is a one-time payment of $250 that will be made in 2009 to some people. Will it be you?
- New Tax Relief for Individuals The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 was signed into law by President Obama on February 17, 2009. Here are some key highlights of the tax relief for individuals.
- Understanding The New First-Time Homebuyers Credit The first-time homebuyer credit created by last year's housing law didn't do much to spur home sales, but the new economic stimulus law sweetens the pot.
- Spring Cleaning: Tax Records You Can Throw Away Here's what you need to keep and what you can throw out without fearing the wrath of the IRS.
- Beware of Tax Consequences of a Job Loss Here's a look at tax questions surrounding a job loss and unemployment issues.
- Financial Planning Tips for April 2009 Here are some simple reminders to help you focus on your finances.
- Homeowner Records: What To Keep and How Long Keeping full and accurate homeowner records is vital for determining home deductions and the adjusted basis of your home. What types of records should you keep, and for how long?
- Getting The Most From Auto Expenses If you use a car for business, you have two choices for claiming deductions. Here's what you need to know to claim auto expenses.
- Retirement Savings Plan Limits for 2009 A table showing how much can you contribute to your retirement plan (401-k, IRA, etc.) this year.
- Estimated Tax Payments - Q&A What's the scoop on estimated tax payments?
- Itemizers Can Deduct Certain Taxes Did you know that you may be able to deduct certain taxes on your federal income tax return?
- You Can Still Make a 2008 IRA Contribution If you haven't contributed funds to an Individual Retirement Arrangement for tax year 2008, or if you’ve put in less than the maximum allowed, you still have time to do so
- 2009 Recovery Act: General Update on Stimulus Tax Bill Now, while Congress debates the final size and scope of the stimulus package, is a good time to take a look at the expected tax incentives and explore how they could lower your tax bill.
- Recovery Rebate Credit Available This Year If you didn't get your rebate (aka 'stimulus check') last year, you may get it this year as a tax credit!
- IRS Helps Financially Distressed Taxpayers The Internal Revenue Service kicked off the 2009 tax filing season by announcing a number of new steps to help financially distressed taxpayers maximize their refunds and speed payments while providing additional help to people struggling to meet their tax obligations.
- Guidelines for Roth IRA Contributions Taxpayers confused about whether they can contribute to a Roth IRA should consider these guidelines.
- Businesses - Use Ratios To Gauge Your Sales Force's Performance It's vital to make sure you're getting the best from on-premises sales staff.
- Financial Planning Tips for February 2009 Here are some simple reminders to help you focus on your finances.
- 5 Often-Overlooked Reasons Why You Need a Will Most people fail to appreciate the full importance of a will. Here are 5 reasons to have one.
- 7 Ways to Use QuickBooks to Manage AR Collections For businesses, it's more important than ever to keep a close rein on your accounts receivable. QuickBooks can help you manage your credit risk
- How to Get Paid On Time These suggestions can help your business tighten up its credit and collections policies and improve its cash flow.
- Cash Flow: The Life Blood of Business Cash is essential to the success of any business. Cash is the "life blood" that keeps a business operating. If cash drys up, the business fails. Understanding your business' cash flow is a key managerial skill.
- Widening of Tax Brackets and Benefits For 2009, personal exemptions and standard deductions will rise and tax brackets will widen because of inflation adjustments.
- Year-End Charitable Contributions With tax season upon us, individuals and businesses making contributions to charity should keep in mind several important tax law provisions that have taken effect in recent years.
- Non-cash Donations: So How Much Is That Sweater Worth? The IRS allows a deduction for the fair market value of items contributed to qualified organizations. So how much of a tax deduction is that old sweater that’s boxed up in the garage?
- Receive Your Refund Faster with Direct Deposit Want your refund faster? Have it deposited directly into your bank account. More taxpayers are choosing direct deposit as the way to receive their federal tax refunds.
- Tips For Deducting Vehicle Donations If you donated a car or other vehicle to a qualified charitable organization in 2008 and intend to claim a deduction, you should be aware of special rules that apply to vehicle donations.
- IRS Speeds Lien Relief for Homeowners The IRS has announced an expedited process that will make it easier for financially distressed homeowners to avoid having a federal tax lien block refinancing of mortgages or the sale of a home.
- Financial Planning Tips for January 2009 Here are three simple reminders to help you focus on your finances.
- QuickBooks: Use Closing Date to Protect Prior Year Data Use this technique to close the books on the year to help prevent potentially costly changes to those periods.