Money Management Articles
'Tis the season for charitable contributions
Along with an avalanche of catalogues and holiday greetings from family
and friends, you may also find your mailbox inundated with donation
requests from charitable organizations.
How can you cut next year's taxes?
Taxes may be the last thing you want to think about at the holidays, but
the end of the year is a great time to take some smart steps that can
help you minimize your future tax outlays. The Minnesota Society of
Certified Public Accountants (MNCPA) provides these ideas for keeping
more money in your pocket.
Five questions to ask your CPA before the end of the year
Your to-do list is probably pretty full at this time of year. While the
thought of adding one more task may feel overwhelming, it's one that can
help put your mind at ease this New Year's Eve: Talk to your CPA.
Deciphering the health insurance requirements
You can't put it off any longer: Effective Jan. 1, 2014, the Affordable
Care Act (ACA) requires all Americans to maintain a minimum level of
health coverage or face a tax penalty. While some people are flocking to
www.healthcare.gov to research and purchase their insurance, others are
unsure how to proceed.
Going back to work after retirement: How Social Security, taxes and health care may be affected
Retirement isn't what it used to be. Instead of leaving the
workforce at age 65 and hitting the golf course every day, many retirees
are going back to work. According to a recent Longevity Alliance and
Harris Interactive poll, 43 percent of surveyed retirees seriously
considered re-entering the workforce shortly after they had left their
Tax tips for small-business owners
There are 23 million small businesses in America, according to the U.S.
Small Business Administration. Although each business is unique, you can
be sure that they have a common desire to minimize their taxes and make
the most of the deductions for which they qualify. The Minnesota
Society of Certified Public Accountants (MNCPA) offers these tips on how
to achieve those goals.
Financial planning for same-sex couples after the DOMA decision
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court declared the Defense of Marriage Act
unconstitutional, a decision that has sweeping financial implications
for same-sex couples who were married in states that recognize same-sex
The rising cost of day care: Manage your costs, maximize your deductions
The cost of child care in the U.S. has climbed dramatically during the
past three decades. Unfortunately, wages aren't keeping pace with the
skyrocketing increases, and working parents are struggling to keep up.
Tax tips for newlyweds
June is traditionally a time when couples tie the knot and, as is the
case with so many major milestones in life, all newlyweds should be
aware of the tax considerations associated with marriage. If you or a
loved one is planning nuptials, the Minnesota Society of CPAs offers
this advice on addressing the tax concerns.
Surviving an IRS audit: What to expect and do when Uncle Sam comes calling
Statistics from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration
show last year that 1.48 million taxpayers were invited to spend a
little extra quality time with the IRS because they underwent an
Retaining personal financial records: What do you need to keep and for how long?
Does looking at overflowing filing cabinets of bank statements and boxes
of old check stubs make you want to start a bonfire in your backyard?
Before you grab the lighter fluid and matches, make sure you know what
you can torch and what you need to keep.
Safeguarding your tax records
There are many reasons to be sure that your tax and other financial
records are safe and available when you need them. At this time of year,
as you prepare and file your tax return, it’s important to have easy
access to receipts, the tax forms you receive from employers and other
Seven smart tips for last-minute filers
In the wake of the Fiscal Cliff negotiations, the Internal Revenue
Service delayed the start of tax filing season until Jan. 30 this year.
Some taxpayers faced even further delays in filing, including those who
claimed residential energy credits or whose returns involved property
depreciation or general business credits.
New tax rules for your small business
The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 resolved most of the tax issues included in last year’s Fiscal Cliff debate and answered many pending tax questions for small businesses. What impact did the Act have on businesses?
How did the Fiscal Cliff deal affect your taxes?
The fiscal cliff problems invovled a list of expiring tax issues and congressionally mandated spending cuts.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Its impact on small businesses
When the Supreme Court upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in June 2012, it set in motion a timeline of events that may have seemed far off, but are now imminent for America’s small business owners. The Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants (MNCPA) advises that it’s now time for small-business owners to be sure they understand how the Affordable Care Act affects them and pay close attention to the timeline and deadlines ahead. The MNCPA provides this helpful information.
What to do when friends or family ask for money
While it’s natural to want to help when someone needs financial assistance, it’s important to be careful. Money can drive a wedge into friendships and family relationships. And there are tax-related considerations. The Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants (MNCPA) offers these steps to take before you commit to lending money, not only to ensure everyone understands the details of the loan, but also to reduce the likelihood of breaking a tax law.
The American Taxpayer Relief Act: What it means to your wallet
President Obama signed what is now the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) into law on Jan. 2, 2013, preserving most of the George W. Bush-era tax cuts and extending many other lapsed provisions. According to the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants (MNCPA), the ATRA contains provisions that impact nearly every taxpayer, not just the high earners. Don’t miss out on some of these now-permanent deductions that could help lower your tax liability.
Getting organized for tax season
Here are some simple steps you can take now to get your tax documents organized so you’re not in panic mode this April. Your income, deductions and expenses, and investment documents all have a home in this easy-to-use and easy-to-maintain filing system.
All about audits
Few words in the English language set off alarm bells like the word “audit.” The good news is there are ways to reduce the likelihood the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will tag you for an audit. But if a letter from the IRS does appear in your mailbox, don’t panic says the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants (MNCPA).
Do you need a CPA?
Most of the time, filing your taxes isn’t a complicated process, but there are times when you may want to call in the cavalry to ensure that you meet all of your federal, state and local tax obligations without giving away too much, according to the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants (MNCPA). A certified public accountant (CPA) can help.
Learn about the Earned Income Tax Credit
The EITC is a tax credit to help you keep more of what you earn by giving you a tax refund, says the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants (MNCPA). Yes, there are requirements you need to meet, but you should take the time to see if you qualify. After all, who couldn’t use a little more money?
Taking a trip over the fiscal cliff: Expiring tax cuts and deficit-cutting compromise measures leave American taxpayers with lots of uncertainty
The term “fiscal cliff” has become a popular phrase among politicians and pundits over the past several months, but what does it mean? If the United States goes over it, will you be affected? The so-called fiscal cliff actually refers to two separate sets of economic events that will take place starting Jan. 1, 2013. If politicians in Washington fail to come to an agreement, a popular set of tax cuts will expire. At the same time, a plan for severe government budget cuts will begin to be phased in. Over the long term, the combined effect would be significant.
Preparing for next year’s tax season
Now is the time of year when people begin to think about peace, generosity — and taxes? While it may seem to be much too early to worry about filing your tax return, the end of the year is a great time to get your records in order and take other steps that will minimize the hassles when tax time does roll around. It’s also often your last chance to take advantage of deductions or other tax-saving opportunities for the year.
Understanding your taxes: What you pay and why
For most people, taxes are a mysterious thing — a sum of money just disappears from every paycheck. And then every year, sometime before April 15, you have to prepare a tax return. Most people don’t give their taxes much thought beyond the fact that it’s money out of their pocket. It is important, however, to pay attention to tax and other paycheck withholdings. Time invested now in understanding these matters can greatly reduce tax-season uncertainty.
What you can learn from your tax return
Tax time may be over, but before you store your return in the attic, take a moment to review it. You can discover a lot about your financial situation and identify changes that will improve your tax outlook before it’s time to file next year’s return.
Tax tips for those serving in the military
Are you or a loved one serving in the military? If so, you should know that there are tax laws that make it easier to meet your tax obligations while serving your country.
Sandwich generation tax decisions: Who claims whom?
Now is a good time to decide who claims whom on their 2011 federal and state tax returns. And, the discussion isn’t focused only on minor children.
Tax and other financial considerations after a natural disaster
The year 2011 was a tough one for natural disasters. If you were affected by a natural disaster this year, you should be aware of Internal Revenue Service rules on casualty losses, as well as other financial considerations. The Minnesota Society of CPAs provides some perspective.
Five mistakes people make in choosing a tax preparer
These are a few of the many reasons it’s so important to choose tax preparers who really know their stuff. The Minnesota Society of CPAs points out common mistakes people make in making this choice and offers helpful solutions
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