Watch Out for Apartment Rental Rip-Offs

Planning to move? As you scan apartment listings on Craigslist, you spy a great deal. The rental unit comes with amenities galore and lease payments well below market rates. You’re in a time crunch, so you make an appointment to tour the apartment. Unbeknownst to you, the “landlord” (AKA the guy who’s leading you on […]

Investing Basics: Picking the Right Stocks

We have witnessed such volatile activity in the stock market in recent years that the old stock selection rules are not always applicable. Seasoned investors and new investors alike want a sure-fire way to pick the winners. Well, no one can offer any guarantees, but smart investors do have certain characteristics they associate with a […]

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 […]

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 […]

Income the IRS Can’t Touch

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a source of nontaxable income? You may be more fortunate than you realize. Listed here are a number of income items that the IRS does not tax. Tax-Free Interest. Municipal bond interest is federal tax-free. This includes bonds issued by a state or municipality. The tax-free benefit increases the […]

Having a New Baby? These Tax Tips Are Essential

There are big moments in everyone’s life. A new birth is one of them. The irony is that most life events also have tax consequences attached to them. When a new member is added to your family or someone you know, here are some tips to consider. Get A Social Security Number. Obtain a Social […]

Do You Qualify for a Home Office Deduction?

Your home. Your office. Are they one and the same? If so, you may be able to take a home-office deduction that can save income and self-employment taxes. The deduction gives you the opportunity to claim expenses related to the business use of your home, such as utilities, repairs, and insurance. Meet the requirements, and […]

Know the Deduction Rules for Donating Vehicles to Charity

If you donate a used vehicle to charity, you are allowed to take a tax deduction for your generosity, but only if you itemize deductions on your tax return. Here’s the current rule governing donated vehicles. Tax law: The charity must inform the taxpayer of the price the donated vehicle sold for at auction. This […]

Parents, Children and Taxes

Being a parent brings tremendous rewards, but also the challenge and responsibility of supporting and educating your child. Fortunately, the tax code has many ways to help ease a parent’s financial burden. Here’s an overview of the many ways that taxes can affect your decisions as a parent. Exemptions and credits Most parents can claim […]

3 Natural Disaster Prep Tax Tips

The storms and wildfires during the last year are a good reminder that one of the best ways to manage the aftermath of a natural disaster is to plan ahead. If you live in a natural disaster high-risk area, you can take steps to alleviate tax and financial issues post-disaster by following these tips: Check […]