Five Big Tax Mistakes

Every year taxpayers are hit with tax surprises that could be avoided if they just knew the rules. Here are five big ones that are easy to avoid with some simple planning. Mistake #1. Withholding too little. This results in a tax surprise when filing your income tax. Don’t be too hard on yourself if […]

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 […]

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 […]

Avoid Tax Traps in Loans to Friends and Family

Lending to friends and relatives is a tricky business, and not only because of the stress it can place on your relationships. There are tax issues involved as well. If you have to lend money to someone close, here are some tips to do it right in the eyes of the tax code. Charge interest […]

Avoid the 10% Early Withdrawal Penalty

It is one thing to be taxed on retirement contributions and their related earnings when you withdraw funds from your Traditional IRA, it is quite another when you pay the tax PLUS a 10% penalty for early withdrawal. Need funds prior to retirement and want to avoid the early withdrawal penalty? There are cases when […]

Cut Taxes With Lifetime Giving

If you want certain individuals to receive property from your estate, there may be advantages to making those gifts while you are still alive. Consider these facts about making lifetime gifts: Gifts to spouses. The tax law permits a married individual to make gifts of any amount to a spouse without incurring any gift tax. The […]

The Alternative Minimum Tax: Will it affect you?

In your tax planning, don’t overlook how your tax-saving strategies might be impacted by the alternative minimum tax. What is the alternative minimum tax? Enacted back in 1969, the alternative minimum tax (AMT) is a separate income tax calculation that was designed to make sure that high-income taxpayers pay a minimum amount of taxes, even […]

You’re Getting Audited – Here’s What to Do

Most of us will never be audited. But when it does happen, it might feel a little scary. The truth of the matter is IRS auditors do audits every day. They know what to look for and can ask questions that you may easily answer incorrectly. Here’s how you can be more prepared if it […]

Are you working overtime preparing for the new labor rules?

  The U.S. Department of Labor updated the rules for paying overtime, and the changes take effect December 1, 2016. Under the new rules, salaried employees who earn less than $913 per week ($47,476 per year) will be eligible for overtime pay. That’s double the annual exempt amount of $23,660 under current rules. Begin reviewing […]