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Smart Savings Strategies for 2019

With the New Year approaching, it’s traditionally time to look at fresh starts, those tried and true resolutions that keep popping up. Having more money in your pocket, savings accounts, investments… each of these are popular goals for a wide range of Americans. If you haven’t got any financial goals that you can easily express, there’s your place to start, but if you’re like most people you have at least a running list in your head. It could be something … Read more

Changes and Improvements to Free Tax Filing

If you make $66,000 annually or less, you can take advantage of a unique partnership between the Internal Revenue Service and the tax preparation industry that, each year, provides about a dozen tax preparation software options at no charge for filing your tax return. In the 16 years the Free File system has been in place, over 53 million returns have been filed for free. In November 2018, the IRS announced updates to the Free File program that make the … Read more

Retirement Pension and Tax Payments

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of December 2017 changes the way tax is calculated for retirees, just as it does for most taxpayers. In addition, tax brackets and rates have changed, the standard deduction has increased, personal exemptions are gone, and some deductions have been reduced or eliminated. Even though you’re no longer receiving employment income, the Internal Revenue Service advises that you review your tax situation to avoid surprises come April 2019. While there’s no guarantee that you’ll … Read more

What is an S Corporation?

Most of us have heard the term “S corporation,” and many may know that it’s a somewhat sheltered form of business structure, but beyond that, there are many people who really don’t understand what an S corp is all about. If you’re the sole proprietor of a successful small business, it’s a good idea to understand what this business structure is all about, since it may be the next logical step for your company’s growth. Sometimes referred to as “C … Read more

Keeping Your Home — And Your Budget — Cool

When summer weather finally settles in, there are plenty of draws on your pocketbook, from two-week summer vacations to spur-of-the-moment trips to the beach. Ice cream treats and tropical drinks tempt your taste buds and your wallet, while in-season fruits and vegetables are at their most affordable, but still a hefty chunk of change. And you just know that gas prices are going up the day before you want to drive anywhere. However, why bypass these indulgent expenses? Living for … Read more

Make the Most of Your Garage Sale

Whether you’re saving money for a vacation or just clearing your life of clutter, a garage sale serves the purpose and can often add the allure of a neighborhood social event. Regardless of your reasons, few will argue the satisfaction of a good cash return for the effort of days of hard work. Not only is money in your pocket a reward, it’s an indicator of the relative success of your event. Maximizing your profits is easy if you keep … Read more

Passive Income Streams

So you’re behind this month due to unexpected expenses. What’s your course of action? If you’re like many Americans, you may see about the possibility of putting extra hours at your job or adding a second job to extend your income. While it’s time-honored and effective for short-term situations, there’s a serious flaw in the concept. Whether your main job is salaried or hourly, you’re essentially selling your time. Certainly, your knowledge and expertise has value, but that may be … Read more

Homeowner’s Insurance Primer

If you own a home, you should have homeowner’s insurance, and if you have a mortgage on that home, your lender likely insists upon it. Insurance is one of those things that you may scramble for at the last minute when your home purchase is closing, or it may be something you renew without thought each year. There are things you need to know, however, to ensure you’re not caught short-handed when it comes to coverage. Today we’ll take a … Read more

Tips to Boost Your 2018 Tax Refund

With about one month to go before the filing deadline for the 2017 tax year, it’s too late to take advantage of some tax refund strategies, such as making your January 2018 mortgage payment in December 2017 to boost your mortgage interest deduction. Similarly, paying property taxes or self-employment taxes early can also generate tax savings, but those ships have sailed for this tax year. However, there are still things that the tax procrastinators can do to boost the tax … Read more

Tax Withholding — Check it Now for 2019

The Treasury Department released new income tax withholding tables in January, with updates to reflect the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which eliminated personal exemptions, raised standard deductions and cut individual income taxes. These changes may affect your take-home pay as early as February 2018. However, the IRS is still working on updates to form W-4, that you complete to instruct your employer how much tax to withhold from your earnings. If you’re withholding too much, you can expect a … Read more