Money Management Articles

Taxes

Five ways to set yourself up for a secure retirement - 4/16/2014
Approximately 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 every day until around 2030. If you're part of that group, or if you're planning ahead for a comfortable retirement, the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants (MNCPA) offers this advice for securing your financial future.

Most common tax mistakes, overlooked tax opportunities - 4/16/2014
Each year, according to the IRS, millions of taxpayers make mathematical errors on their individual tax returns and miss opportunities to take deductions.

Putting miscellaneous deductions to work - 3/31/2014
Now that you're just about ready to file your tax return, are you sure you claimed all the deductions that you're due? Most Americans know that they can deduct items such as charitable donations, mortgage interest and property taxes.

The virtual workplace: Challenging traditional notions of taxation and 'the office' - 3/31/2014
As technology continues to challenge the traditional paradigm of employees and "the office," many businesses and individuals find calculating taxes for work done outside company office space confusing.

Minnesota's new gift tax sparks questions for taxpayers - 3/17/2014
As part of a campaign to educate taxpayers on confusing, challenging and emerging tax issues, the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants (MNCPA) offers filers important reminders and considerations related to Minnesota's new state gift tax.

Five tax tips for the unemployed - 3/17/2014
If you find yourself out of work, taxes may be the last thing you want to think about; but it's important to continue your tax and other financial planning, even when you're unemployed.

Minnesota's residency laws throw 'snowbirds' for a loop - 3/17/2014
Determining residency for tax purposes often proves challenging for Minnesota's population of "snowbirds" (retired individuals who head south each winter).

Do's and don'ts for paying your tax bill - 3/3/2014
About three-quarters of individual taxpayers received refunds last year, according to Internal Revenue Service statistics. However, many people find that they do owe taxes when April 15 comes around. If you fall into that group, the Minnesota Society of CPAs (MNCPA) offers these recommendations on the best way to settle your bill.

Tax impact: First official filing year for married same-sex couples - 3/3/2014
As same-sex spouses across Minnesota prepare to file taxes jointly for the first time, many are struggling to understand the benefits recently awarded to them.

Quirky Minnesota sales tax rules: Differences in application of sales tax can leave taxpayers scratching their heads - 3/3/2014
The end of Minnesota's 2013 legislative session brought with it some hotly debated new sales and use tax rules for Minnesota taxpayers and businesses. Some of those rules are being considered for repeal this year.

MNCPA issues list of strange and unusual tax deductions - 2/17/2014
The Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants (MNCPA) recently conducted its annual CPA member survey about the most strange and unusual tax deductions proposed by clients. Responses included everything from pets and wedding rings to gifts not given.

Tips for organizing your records: Get organized now for a smoother tax-filing process - 2/17/2014
The approaching April 15 tax deadline serves as a great reminder to maintain well-organized and secure records of your personal information. The Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants (MNCPA) offers recordkeeping recommendations to significantly ease the filing process.

What you should know about taxes and Social Security benefits - 2/3/2014
Will your tax bill this year include taxes on your Social Security benefits? About 55 million people receive monthly Social Security payments and some of them pay taxes on up to 85 percent of those benefits, depending on their financial situation.

Tackling taxes if you're self-employed - 2/3/2014
Tax time is tough, there's no question about it, but it's even more challenging when you're self-employed and trying to deal with the sometimes confusing rules and recordkeeping that can go hand in hand with running your own show.

Your tax return: What could go wrong? - 1/14/2014
Every year taxpayers make mistakes on their tax returns that range from silly to serious. What kinds of errors should you keep in mind as you get ready to file this year's return? The Minnesota Society of CPAs highlights three common missteps to avoid.

Five steps to achieving your financial goals - 1/14/2014
What do you want to do now, or next year, or five or 10 years down the road? This is the time of year when people step back and consider where they stand and how close they are to achieving long-held goals. No matter what your objectives, there's no doubt that a sound financial plan will put you in a better position to achieve them, according to the Minnesota Society of CPAs.

2013 tax changes that may surprise taxpayers - 1/5/2014
With significant changes made to the federal and Minnesota tax rules in 2013, the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants (MNCPA) would like to remind taxpayers of the importance of tax planning and understanding how the new rules affect their respective tax situations.

College students home for the holidays? Discuss practical tax decisions - 1/5/2014
The winter holiday break provides a great opportunity for parents and college students to decide who claims whom on their 2013 federal and state tax returns. Surprisingly, it's not just limited to minor children.

Taxpayer identity theft on the rise: Know how to protect yourself - 12/15/2013
Taxpayer identify theft continues to increase in the U.S. In 2012, there were 1.8 million incidents of identity theft and fraudulent tax refunds, creating a $5 billion problem, according to the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. In the first half of 2013, the number of tax-related identity thefts had already surpassed the 2012 number.

'Tis the season for charitable contributions - 12/1/2013
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? - 12/1/2013
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 - 11/14/2013
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 - 10/31/2013
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 - 9/16/2013
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 companies.

Tax tips for small-business owners - 9/4/2013
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 - 7/31/2013
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 marriage.

The rising cost of day care: Manage your costs, maximize your deductions - 7/1/2013
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 - 6/16/2013
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 - 5/14/2013
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 individual audit.

Retaining personal financial records: What do you need to keep and for how long? - 5/14/2013
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.

Learn about the Earned Income Tax Credit - 12/17/2012
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 - 12/17/2012
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 - 12/3/2012
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 - 10/16/2012
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 - 5/1/2012
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.


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