Short-Term Education Savings Strategies

As summer starts to wind down, the usual onslaught of back-to-school marketing is in full swing. And for many parents, this may lead to nervous stomachs from worry that they didn’t do enough to provide for their kids’ educations. Even if you got a late start putting money away, there are a few things to consider before the first day of college. Two Plus Two Post-secondary education is always a bit of a gamble. It’s not high school, and the … Read more

Oops, I Forgot to File!

Though April 15 is a day of dread and not easily forgotten by many taxpayers, there are still those who miss the tax filing deadline. If you know you’ll be late with your tax return, you can file for an extension which, if granted, moves the due date to October (for example, October 16 in 2017). For those who wake up April 16 or later with a sense of dread, here’s what you can expect. You’re Receiving a Tax Refund If … Read more

Money Lessons for Your Child

Chances are the skills with money management that you’ve either acquired or are still working toward didn’t come naturally. Since schools generally don’t teach much about money beyond how to count it, sharing the lessons you’ve learned or, better still, the lessons you wished you’d learned sooner may be one of the most valuable things you can pass on to your children. You don’t need to create a pre-teen Warren Buffett, but instilling a few simple ideas about money at … Read more

So You Want a Bigger Tax Refund

Tax Day 2017 has come and gone and, along with many other Americans, you were expecting a little more of a kickback on the refund check. Also like many other Americans, you may want to take steps to ensure a bigger refund, but life gets in the way and before you know it, it’s Tax Day Next Year. One thing to keep in mind is that a tax refund is a return of your own money, so the apparent windfall … Read more

Paying for College: Your CSS Profile

About 400 post-secondary schools use the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE, and application for this goes hand in hand with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA®. While the CSS application is more involved than FAFSA, it’s a resource for funding that’s otherwise not available through a FAFSA application on its own. What is the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE? This process accesses non-federal financial aid for post-secondary education. It’s administered by the College Board, the creator and administrator of the SATs. … Read more

Tax Scams: What to Avoid in 2017

The Internal Revenue Service released its Top Tax Scams for the 2017 tax season. While most tax fraud, particularly that involving identity theft, happens early in the tax season, scammers and con artists are on duty the entire year preparing. Therefore, information stolen this year could be used against you next year, so stay prepared against tax malfeasance.Phone scams — con artists impersonate IRS agents. IRS agents will not threaten arrest, deportation or seek immediate payment through a single payment … Read more

Credit Reports 101

Credit is a curious concept. If you don’t have any, you want some. When you do have it, you may not want so much! Credit reports describe your life in financial terms, but for many, the logic and nature of these reports aren’t easy to follow. Considering the importance personal credit reports have on many aspects of one’s life, few can afford to ignore how their credit reports stack up. Three-for-One: The Major Credit Bureaus For those new to the … Read more

The Difference Between Credit Unions and Banks

When it comes to financial services such as checking and savings accounts, personal loans and basic investments, a person can turn to either a bank or a credit union. Yet many consumers recognize little difference between the two, save for their type. Since each provides similar services in similar ways, pinpointing a reason to choose one institution over the other isn’t immediately obvious. So what, then, is different between the two? Let’s take a closer look to illustrate the advantages … Read more

Tax Season Opens January 23, 2017 – Paul Gaulkin CPA

On your marks. With just enough time to recover from the holidays, the Internal Revenue Service opens for business for the 2016 tax year on Monday, January 23. Expecting over 150 million individual returns through the season, the IRS accepts tax filing until Tuesday, April 18, 2017. The usual deadline of April 15 falls on Saturday, which would normally push to the following Monday. Emancipation Day, a legal holiday in Washington, D.C., happens April 17 and so last-minute filers receive … Read more

Understanding the Kiddie Tax – Paul Gaulkin CPA

kids

If a dependent child is subject to the kiddie tax and has more than $1,900 of net unearned (investment) income for the year, his or her net unearned income is taxed to the child at the additional rate of tax that the parent would be required to pay if the child’s net unearned income were included in the parents’ taxable income. This applies regardless of the source of the assets creating the child’s unearned income as long as the child … Read more