Are you tired of working for others? Being your own boss can be very rewarding both financially and spiritually, but there are challenges associated with freelance work. Taxes are one of the most difficult aspects because self-employment brings a special set of tests. Freelancers work as independent contractors and those who employ them are not
The Premium Tax Credit (PTC) may sound like it is a credit only available to top-tier incomes, but it is actually quite the opposite. “Premium” in this case refers to health care premiums, and the PTC is a way to help those with relatively low incomes to afford health insurance premiums and avoid the potential
Nature comes alive in springtime and we all want to take advantage of the warmer weather. However, some of our finances may still be recovering from our holiday spending, making a spring break seem like a pipe dream. Here are five ways to take a vacation without breaking the bank. 1. Take a road trip.
If you are over age 65 or are retired due to a disability, you may be eligible for a separate tax credit designed to help the nation’s seniors and disabled. Even better than a deduction, the Tax Credit for the Elderly or Disabled could take up to $7,500 directly off of your tax bill. (Deductions
The IRS recommends that you keep tax records for at least three years from the date you filed your original return, and longer for special situations. You may need copies of your tax returns for tasks like filing future years’ taxes, applying for a mortgage loan or student aid, or settling IRS inquiries. How to
The coronavirus outbreak that began in Wuhan, China, in late 2019 has spread fast and caused global panic. Even the financial markets have suffered, causing the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve to decrease its rate by half a percentage point in an emergency move. This sets the Fed’s target interest range
Married couples have the choice of filing their taxes jointly or separately. What is the best option for you and your spouse? Generally, it is to file jointly – but there are several factors to consider before making your choice. Obviously, the first hurdle is that you have to be married. For tax purposes, you
Tax season is upon us, accompanied by many new federal tax changes. If you are one of the many Americans struggling to understand how to fill out your tax forms, the IRS — yes, that IRS — may be able to offer you free assistance. The IRS offers the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program
To pay someone to figure out how much you have to pay the government seems like adding insult to injury. For many taxpayers, there’s an easier way. Formed in 2003, IRS Free File is the product of a partnership between the Internal Revenue Service and a group of twelve online tax software suppliers that form
Congratulations! You have just been handed your first little bundle of joy in the hospital and have embarked on the long journey of parenthood. It is a trip full of joyful experiences that make the corresponding aggravations worthwhile, and it comes with many benefits — some of which are tax-related. You can look forward to
MoneyTips By Andrea Woroch Every year, countless people throughout the country dream up personal finance-related New Year’s Resolutions. Most of the goals are centered around saving more money, whether it’s by earning more or spending less. Some folks have trips they want to take or projects they need to cross off their to-do list, while
While many deductions were cut or modified with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, most tax credits were retained. Tax credits are more powerful than tax deductions because they directly subtract from your tax bill (deductions only reduce taxable income). Refundable tax credits are even better, since refunds can be greater
Early Birds Should Be Careful Have you been waiting patiently to file your taxes? If so, you’re in luck. This tax season is now underway. January 27th, 2020, was the first day that the IRS would accept tax returns for the 2019 tax year, either electronic or paper copies. (You can mail in paper copies
To paraphrase the old adage, there are only three absolutes in life: death, taxes, and the rise of scams during tax season. A major tax scam since 2013 involves phone calls by fictional IRS agents that demand immediate payment for alleged tax debts, threatening lawsuits or even jail time to those who refused to comply.
Tax filing season is upon us. Soon you will be filing your paperwork and perhaps receiving a nice check — unless thieves file a return in your name first and falsely claim your refund. Unfortunately, if a thief has your Social Security number and other relevant information, tax identity theft is very hard to prevent.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) limited itemized deductions and doubled the standard deduction to entice more taxpayers to skip itemizing – but money-saving deductions still remain for eligible taxpayers. Do you qualify for any of the following nineteen deductions? 1. Charitable Donations – This is one of the few deductions with
By Andrea Woroch As a new decade begins, many have their sights set on change. After what feels like a lifetime of working, though, it can be difficult to transition to a cold-turkey retirement. To stay busy and supplement income many people are “semi-retiring” instead. Folks are leaving their traditional jobs, cutting costs and
Is it tax time already? You may not want to admit it, but tax time starts well before the filing deadline. Your important tax forms start arriving in the mail in January. If you simply let them accumulate in a pile, it will be April before you realize it, and you will be scrambling around,
Did you have a happy New Year? We certainly hope so. Now it’s time to get back to regular routines and take care of January chores, including gathering your tax information. The 2020 Tax Season Begins on January 27 The IRS has announced that the 2020 tax season will begin on January 27th. The beginning
Holiday Debt On the Increase Are your credit cards still smoking from holiday overuse? Based on a recent MagnifyMoney survey, it wouldn’t be surprising. Consumers who financed their holiday spending averaged $1,325 in holiday spending debt – a sharp increase from 2018’s $1,230, 2017’s $1,054 average and 2016’s $1,003 average. Increases in wages and consumer
The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, although new to some Medicare beneficiaries, has been around before. In 2011, the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period was altered and changed to the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period. The disenrollment period took the open enrollment period’s place from 2011 until 2018. In 2019, the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, imitation of your credit cards must be the sincerest form of identity theft. For years, identity thieves have produced copies of credit cards (otherwise called card cloning) by stealing the information stored on a card’s magnetic stripe and transferring it onto fake cards for their own use.
The convenience of modern digital commerce comes with an unfortunate side effect: it makes identity theft more convenient as well. The 2019 Identity Fraud study from Javelin Strategy and Research found that 14.4 million consumers in the U.S. were victims of identity theft during 2018, to the tune of $14.7 billion. “It may seem time-consuming
MoneyTips You’re determined to make 2020 the year you raise your credit score. Why not get off to a good start with these five New Year’s resolutions to send your credit score in the right direction? 1. Resolve to Check Your Credit Report – All your efforts will go to waste if identity thieves have
Many people are reconsidering their budget to prevent holiday overspending over the next few months. If you are one of these people, good for you – but why stop there? This is a great time to look further ahead and tackle your 2020 budget. Lay out your calendar, spreadsheet, or whatever method you use and
MoneyTips Can you avoid a New Year’s Day hangover? We’re not referring to the traditional hangover that comes from too much alcohol, but the financial hangover that comes from too many charges on your credit card. Of course, you can avoid a New Year’s credit hangover – especially with some help. Consider these eleven ways
The signs of the holidays are all around us. The weather has changed, pumpkin spice has been added to everything imaginable, and your mailbox is bending under the weight of catalogs – and unsolicited credit card offers. Credit card solicitations certainly aren’t limited to the holidays, but the intensity of offers tends to pick up
Do you have a rewards credit card? If not, now is the perfect time to consider one. The holiday season provides two motivating factors – special rewards offers from credit card issuers and the increased spending necessary to take advantage of those offers. Many cards offer signup bonuses of hundreds of dollars, or the equivalent
The holiday season is full of plans and activities that make December incredibly hectic. If you are the average American, tax considerations and financial adjustments are pretty low on your holiday to-do list. However, you are not the average American — you enjoy saving money, are diligent in seeking ways to save, and excellent at
Christmas Shipping Can Still Be Free Are you a procrastinator who hasn’t started your holiday shopping yet? If not, are you still hunting for deals even after Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Green Monday? In any case, you still want to take advantage of online bargains and free shipping offers. You’re in