With hurricane season underway, IRS warns of scams related to natural disasters

natural disastersWith hurricane season underway, the Internal Revenue Service is reminding taxpayers that criminals and scammers often try to take advantage of the generosity of taxpayers who want to help victims of major disasters.

Hurricane season runs June 1 to Nov. 30, and taxpayers need to be vigilant of scams that will undoubtedly pop up when and if a hurricane occurs during that time.

Fraudulent schemes normally start with unsolicited contact by telephone, social media, e-mail or in-person using a variety of tactics. Continue reading

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Posted in Charitable Organizations, Data Security, Fraud, Identity Theft, IRS, IRS Video, Personal Finance, Tax Tips, YouTube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What is a 529 Plan?

A 529 plan is a specialized investment account that was created to help families save for future college expenses. This can be for a traditional 4-year college or university, or even a community college.

The tax benefits of these accounts are undeniable. Much like a Roth IRA, the money in these accounts grows tax-free throughout the life of the account, which means the account holder will not be subject to income tax annually. Continue reading

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Missed the tax deadline and owe tax? File by June 14 to avoid higher late-filing penalty.

tax deadlineTaxpayers who owe tax and file their federal income tax return more than 60 days after the deadline will usually face a higher late-filing penalty. For that reason, the Internal Revenue Service urges affected taxpayers to avoid the penalty increase by filing their return by Thursday, June 14.

Ordinarily, the late-filing penalty, also known as the failure-to-file penalty, is assessed when a taxpayer fails to file a tax return or request an extension by the due date. This penalty, which only applies if there is unpaid tax, is usually 5 percent for each month or part of a month that a tax return is late.

If a tax return is filed more than 60 days after the April due date — or more than 60 days after the October due date if an extension was obtained — the minimum penalty is either $210 or 100 percent of the unpaid tax, whichever is less. This means that if the tax due is $210 or less, the penalty is equal to the tax amount due. If the tax due is more than $210, the penalty is at least $210. Continue reading

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Roth or Regular Retirement Plan?

When most people think of retirement, they imagine copious amounts of free time and socializing with friends while playing golf or shuffleboard. But in reality there is so much more to think about before these dreams can come to fruition.

The most important first step is considering where you are going to stash your retirement money. There are several options out there, but two of the best are either an IRA or 401(k). Whether you choose an IRA or a 401(k), you need to decide if you want a Roth or a Regular (Traditional) account. Continue reading

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Tips for Teenage Taxpayers Starting a Summer Job

summer jobs for teensNow that school’s out, many students will be starting summer jobs…from working at a summer camp to being an office intern.

The IRS reminds students that not all the money they earn may make it to their pocket. That’s because employers must withhold taxes from the employee’s paycheck.

Here are a few things these workers need to know when starting a summer job: Continue reading

Posted in IRS, Military, Payroll, Personal Finance, Personal Taxes, Planning Strategies, Self-Employed, Tax Tips, Taxes | Tagged , , , , , ,

What You Need To Know About Renting Vs. Buying A House

Many people of all ages face this dilemma: you’re ready to move, but can’t decide if you should rent or buy. This isn’t a question that has a one-size-fits-all answer. In fact, the answer varies greatly depending on your finances and life circumstances.

Here are some things to consider:

First, look at the cost of renting a place that you want to live in. This number should include not only monthly rent payments, but also a refundable security deposit as well as monthly renter’s insurance. Continue reading

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Special tax benefits for armed forces

military tax considerationsMembers of the military and their families are often eligible for certain tax breaks. For example, members of the armed forces don’t have to pay taxes on some types of income. Special rules could also lower the tax they owe or give them more time to file and pay taxes.

No matter what time of the year, it’s good for members of the military and their spouses to familiarize themselves with these benefits. Here are some things for these taxpayers to know about their taxes: Continue reading

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