Are you Eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)?

Since 1975, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) has provided a tax break to millions of Americans each year. The credit was originally established to give low and medium income taxpayers a break on their Social Security taxes while providing an incentive to work. The EITC is often the subject of missed opportunity as the […]

Understanding Tax Terms: Structuring

If someone manipulates cash transactions to avoid required bank reporting to the Treasury Department, they are using the technique of structuring their transactions. Knowing what is reported and the power given to the IRS to seize related assets can be important. Background To identify questionable illegal transactions, financial institutions are required to report any monetary […]

Lost Pet? Don’t Become a Fraud Target

When a pet disappears, owners can become distraught, calling animal shelters, advertising in local papers, posting photos on every telephone pole and fence post all in the hope of hearing news of their lost animal. At such times, pet owners are also more vulnerable to fraud. Consider the following scenarios: The truck passerby: You get […]

Conquer Student Loan Debt

Obtaining a legitimate college degree is an expensive proposition. Many will be paying off student loans —month after month, year after year —for decades. With smart financial management, graduates can liquidate their college debt in a reasonable time, freeing up cash for other priorities. Here are four tips for paying off loans quickly and efficiently: […]

2020 Health Savings Account Limits

The savings limits for the ever-popular health savings accounts (HSA) are now set for 2020. The new limits are outlined here with current year amounts noted for comparison. What is an HSA? An HSA is a tax-advantaged savings account whose funds can be used to pay qualified health care costs for you, your spouse and […]

Investing Basics: Mutual Funds

When you buy shares of a mutual fund, your money is pooled with other shareholders’ money and invested in a portfolio of securities (stocks, bonds, etc.) An investment in a mutual fund offers you diversification and management by professionals. Mutual funds have no guarantee of good returns or safety of your investment; they go up […]

How to Protect Your Social Security Number from Theft

With the dramatic increase in identity theft, what can be done to protect your Social Security Number (SSN) from these would-be thieves? Here are some ideas. Do not carry your Social Security Card with you. Your parents were encouraged to do this, but times have changed. You will need to provide it to a new employer, […]

How to Defend Your Deductions

When faced with questions on your tax return deductions, it is getting all too common for tax authorities to deny everything and then make you prove that your deductions are valid. Do not let this happen to you. Here are some suggestions. The one-two punch To prove your deduction most auditors are looking for two […]

The Nine Basic Rules of Investing

There is no magic to making money by investing. It requires discipline, determination, perseverance, and hard work. In deciding what investments are suitable for you, you must first understand the nine basic rules of investing. 1. Risk versus return. The greater the risk that you will lose not only the return on your investment but […]

Investing Basics: Know When to Sell a Stock

Selling a stock is an important decision – almost as important as the decision to buy. Unfortunately, while the world is full of buy recommendations, there is very little advice on when to sell. Many investors make the mistake of holding onto losing stocks too long. Sometimes they compound this error by selling their winners […]