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2014 Year-End Tax Planning Moves to Make Now

October 22nd, 2014 by Rebecca Lake

tax moves year end 2014Tax season is still a few months away but that doesn’t mean you can’t start working on your strategy now. There’s still time to do a few things that can have a significant impact on your tax filing. The choices you make could mean the difference between getting a fat refund or owing even more money to the IRS. If you’re looking for ways to minimize your tax liability, here are five moves you should make before the new year.

1. Review your previous year’s return.

Taking a look at last year’s return is a good idea if you’ve experienced any changes that could substantially affect your tax filing. Read more »

IRS Falls Short on Collecting Delinquent Tax Debts

October 16th, 2014 by Rebecca Lake

irs falls short on debt collectionThe last thing you want to find in your mailbox is a notice from the IRS telling you that you owe additional taxes. You could ignore it and hope it’ll go away but chances are, Uncle Sam will try to collect on the debt at some point. If you’re worried about having your wages garnished or getting hit with a lien for unpaid taxes, you may be in luck. A new report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration shows that when it comes to collecting on delinquent tax bills, the IRS isn’t always on top of their game.

More than half of uncollectible debts fall through the cracks

There are specific steps that must be followed before a debt can be deemed as such, including sending certain notices to the taxpayer and arranging for face-to-face meetings. Read more »

5 Tax Tips for Starting a New Business

October 7th, 2014 by Rebecca Lake

tax tips for starting a businessStarting a business requires a significant amount of planning but the more prepared you are, the greater the odds of success. One of the most important things entrepreneurs need to be concerned with is what new tax responsibilities are involved. If you’ll soon be debuting a new business, here’s a look at what steps you need to take to make sure you’re toeing the line when it comes paying to Uncle Sam.

Select a Business Structure

The first thing you have to decide is what type of business you’re going to run. There are several different structures to choose from and the one you pick determines how you report and file your taxes. Read more »

College Savings Plans: 529 Plan vs. Coverdell ESA

September 23rd, 2014 by Rebecca Lake

529 plan vs coverdell esaMillions of students are heading off to college and that collective groan you hear is the sound of parents who are scrambling to figure out how to handle the cost. While scholarships and grants can ease some of the burden, the demand often outstrips the supply of funding. Loans are another alternative but as the current student debt crisis has demonstrated, borrowing isn’t always the wisest move.

One of the best ways to tackle the question of how to pay for education expenses is to start saving as early as possible. Parents have plenty of options, but two of the most popular ones are 529 plans and Coverdell Education Savings Accounts. Read more »

bank settlement big tax billLast November, JP Morgan Chase made headlines when it agreed to a $13 billion settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice to resolve federal civil lawsuits stemming from the bank’s issuance of certain residential mortgage-backed securities leading up to the housing market crash. In July, Citi announced a similar settlement and now, Bank of America is the latest company to jump on the bandwagon, agreeing to pay the DOJ a record-breaking $16.5 billion.

As part of the settlement agreement, Bank of America has said it will earmark $7 billion to help provide relief for homeowners who were negatively impacted by the housing crisis as a result of the bank’s actions. Read more »

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