Are you financially literate? How about your kids? MoneyTips can help, but there may be something special soon going on in your neighborhood to help you learn more about personal finance. Money Smart Week®, a public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances, will take place April 21-28, 2018. The effort,
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When your identity is stolen, you have so many potential issues to deal with — changing passwords, closing accounts, dealing with fraudulent charges, and placing fraud alerts with the credit bureaus — that you may forget about potential tax fraud. Armed with your personal information, identity thieves can file a fraudulent tax return in your
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Waiting until the last minute to pay your taxes can cost you if you are expecting a refund, since the government hangs on to your money and receives more interest on it. However, if you owe money to the government, that same principle applies to you. Why not wait until the last minute? There is
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By Eric Olsen Executive Director, HELPS Nonprofit Law Firm According to the Kaiser Foundation, almost half (21 million) of American seniors have incomes below 200% of the poverty line. Many have debt they can’t afford to pay. When debt is not paid, collectors call, send demand letters, and sometimes file a lawsuit. Being served legal
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America’s collective readiness for retirement is improving, according to Fidelity’s latest Retirement Savings Assessment study. The study distills America’s retirement readiness into a single score representing the percentage of estimated retirement income that the average saver will require. According to the current study, America’s combined retirement score is 80 – meaning that the average American
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Why do you even bother signing your credit card receipts? Nobody ever looks at it. You could write your name, Donald J. Trump, Samuel L. Jackson, or Bullwinkle J. Moose and nobody would care – would they? Theoretically, your signature does matter. That signature indicates a binding contract for the purchase. A seller could choose
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If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. That’s sound advice for almost all aspects of life, including the search for mortgage relief services. Distressed homeowners don’t have to resort to third-party mortgage services. Free counseling is available at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD programs such as the
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How many times in life do you have to worry about removing too little money from a financial account? Before retirement, there are few such concerns – but, for most retirement plans, once you reach age 70½, you must take a required minimum distribution (RMD) every year from your plan. (Roth IRAs are excluded –
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Are you a procrastinator who waits until the very last moment to file your taxes? Thanks to Emancipation Day, the filing deadline is April 17, 2018, to file your taxes for the 2017 tax year. That gives you a few more days to consider last-minute ways to lower your taxes. Start by reviewing your possible
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What’s in your savings account? If you’re a millennial, there’s a decent chance that there’s nothing in your account but IOUs and promises. A 2017 survey by GoBankingRates found that 46% of millennials aged 18-24 have $0 in their savings account – a sharp increase over the 2016 survey where 31% of millennials reported empty
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In general, deducting pet expenses on your tax return can get you into hot water with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Usually pet expenses will not hold up should the IRS audit you. However, specific cases exist that allow you to take legitimate tax deductions for spending on your pet. Regardless of how you justify
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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) budget has been cut by $900 million since 2010 and it now has 21,000 less employees than it did then, making IRS customer service challenging to say the least. The latest figures show that the IRS subjected 8.8 million taxpayers to “courtesy disconnects” through the 2015 tax-filing season that ended
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Contributing to a retirement account can be difficult for lower income households, but one can argue that it is even more important for those families to take advantage of all the retirement savings options that are possible. One of the lesser-known options applies directly to lower-income families – the credit for qualified retirement savings contributions,
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Life Insurance isn’t for you – it’s for those you leave behind. Without sufficient insurance, your family may endure financial hardships on top of the shock and grief caused by your passing. According to a recent survey from the online life insurance start-up Bestow, many people aren’t convinced enough of the benefits of life insurance
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Some taxpayers love to test the IRS boundaries on allowable deductions. Consider the business owner who had his store burned down and tried to deduct the arsonist’s payment as a “consulting fee”, or the businessman who amortized the value of his own life and tried to deduct it as a business expense. While those efforts
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You’ve submitted tax forms for many years. How difficult can it be to submit them in retirement? It isn’t difficult – as long as you take into account basic changes that occur in retirement and the corresponding tax challenges. Fortunately, you can learn from those who have retired before you. We are happy to pass
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If you are a lending institution that loses money on the loans that you make, it’s an understatement to say that changes are required. Unfortunately, that’s the upcoming position of the federal government with respect to student loans. While student loan debt has spiraled upward to top $1.4 trillion, the government’s return on that investment
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The recently passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) gave most Americans a break on their upcoming taxes – but you don’t need legislation to cut your taxes even further with sound investment strategies that focus on tax optimization. Here are a few ways to help yourself at Uncle Sam’s expense. 1. Shift Toward Capital
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If you have done your homework leading into retirement, you probably already know that Social Security benefits may be subject to federal taxes under certain circumstances. Did you know that some states also impose taxes on Social Security? Currently there are thirteen states that impose at least some tax on the benefits of Social Security
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Help the Renters, Too For years, cities have struggled to help lower-income Americans find affordable housing. Many housing assistance programs approach this problem through making home mortgages more affordable. However, a new test program in Montana addresses an underserved area of the housing market – affordable rental homes – by making loans to help people
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