Category Archives: Tax Credits

Talking About Buying A Home

Things To Know When You Are Buying A Home

Buying a home can be a lot of different things. It will most likely be the most money you will spend on any single purchase. It may be the biggest debt you ever incur. And very likely, it could be the best investment you will ever make. Needless to say, it is a major decision to be made.

H&R Block

There are certainly many ways in which buying and owning a home is going to reflect on your personal income taxes. This is why seeking a consultation with H&R Block prior to making that purchase simply makes so much sense. They will make sure you grasp precisely what you are getting involved with.

Congress is constantly revamping the rules in the tax code, points out Lynn Ebel who is a tax attorney. Lynn works with the H&R Block Tax Institute.

Itemizing Deductions Helps Lower Tax Bill

“Itemizing deductions gets the homeowner a better benefit than the standard deduction”, Lynn points out. Homeowners doing so must complete Schedule A of Form 1040.

Regarding your home purchase, here are five things important that you know.

1. Mortgage interest may be deducted.

Homeowners are allowed to deduct the interest on their mortgage. For the year, couples may deduct up to one million filing jointly, and five hundred thousand each filing separately.

2. Real property taxes paid may be deducted

A great positive when you itemize your deductions is that you may claim your real property taxes for the time you hold ownership of a home that particular year.

3. For the purchase of your first home, a retirement savings may be used.

Without incurring the 10% penalty for early withdrawal, $10,000 may be withdrawn from your Roth or traditional IRA.

4. Closing costs are not deductible

5. At tax time, home improvements help

The bottom line is that before proceeding with a major purchase like a home, be sure to check with your tax adviser first.

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How An IRS Debt Relief Program Can Get Your Taxes Back On Track Again

IRS Debt Relief Program

The IRS is well known for pulling strong-arm tactics on those who do not pay their taxes, but to be honest, they do have a softer side for those who have a legitimate reason for being late with their payments. To make it easier for you the taxpayer, as well as the IRS, they have developed programs for you to use, to get your tax payments back on track again, and in their good books again, as it were.

IRS Form 1040X, 2005 revision

IRS Form 1040X, 2005 revision (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Installment agreement is an IRS debt relief program aimed at those who owe a large amount of money. Basically, they let you pay off the money in even installments, until the debt is fully paid. Interest will still accumulate on these late payments though, so the bigger the payment you make each month, the better.

Then there is the Penalty Abatement Program which, if you can prove without a doubt, that you have a viable reason for not being in a position to pay your taxes, will have the IRS do away with the penalties to reduce your debt to them.

The Non Collectible Status IRS debt relief program, is for those who are barely existing on their wages and just do not have the money to pay their late taxes. For these people, the taxman will stop taking any action against them, until their circumstances have improved. Again, interest will still accumulate on any money owed to the IRS, so it is a good idea to get it paid off as soon as possible.

Anyone considering using an IRS debt relief program, is can call an Enrolled Agent at IRS Tax Relief who will guide them through the whole process of getting their tax payments back on track again.

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Guidance For Personal Finance That Can Save These Days

Guidance For Personal Finance

Follow the tips that I have prepared for you and you will be able to fund projects you never thought you would be able to fund. And learning about finances is a great in many ways. Investing the right way and reducing your spending through a budget are all great talents to have today.

When you are saving for an emergency fund, aim for a minimum of 3 to six months worth of living expenses. This is not a large quantity, contemplate the difficulty in discovering new employment in the event you ever lose your job. Actually, the larger the emergency fund, the much better position you would be in to ride out any unforeseen financial catastrophes.

English: Interior of a Sam's Club in California.

English: Interior of a Sam’s Club in California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Selling some household products that are never utilized or that one can do without, can create some additional money. These items may be sold in a variety of ways such as numerous various online web sites. Totally free classifieds and auction websites offer many choices to turn these unused products into additional cash.

Avoid financial pitfalls in life by have an emergency fund on hand. Three months is the minimum amount that you should set aside for difficult times. When you face unemployment or something in the house breaks, you won’t need to use your credit card but can instead use a savings that you stored away for such an event.

It is frequently simpler to save money in the event you do not need to think about it, so it could be a good concept to set up your direct deposit so that a certain percentage of every paycheck is automatically placed into your savings account. This way you don’t need to be concerned about remembering to transfer the money.

Saving money at the store can be accomplished by purchasing items in bulk that you use on a regular basis. Warehouse stores have become quick popular as people have fallen in love with the savings they find when purchasing in bulk from the likes of Sams Club.

Cutting expenses is essential if you want to get ahead financially. Save some money after you reduce your spending on unnecessary items. Look for casual purchases that you can do without. Strip out services on the phone and the cable that are extra and that you never really use anyway. These are easy places to begin.

Make the most of your future with the tips you have learned here today. Families and retirement are not cheap so take action right away so you will be prepared. The government has become a popular source of security but real financial security is found at home when you reduce debt and have a savings.

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The Discretion of the President to Plan Cuts Under Debate

The Discretion of the President to Plan Cuts Under Debate

President Barack Obama has been pretty vocal about the effect that automatic budget cuts are going to have. These warnings are getting increasingly ominous from the President and the Congressional Republicans are preparing to counter these warnings as far as possible. Basically the Congressional Republicans are looking to aid the administration with more flexibility and that too in instituting the 85 billion dollars worth of cuts. They believe and have said that this one proposal could actually serve the vital purpose of shielding the most important programs. This should be done while the political fallout is shifted to the White House.

English: In January 2009, President of the Uni...

English: In January 2009, President of the United States of America, George W. Bush invited then President-Elect Barack Obama and former Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter for a Meeting and Lunch at The White House. Photo taken in the Oval Office at The White House. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This plan is undoubtedly facing extreme opposition from the administration. The administration has declared that it isn’t really planning to do much to soften the blows that have come upon the domestic and military programs. However, what’s worth the consideration is the fact that this is leading to apparent racks in the Democrats’ camp. This is essentially because it’s the lawmakers from the states who’re literally standing face to face with the deepest cuts. Now, this obviously goes on to say much as there are high chances that the Democrats might also be prepared to go along with the Republicans, simply so that they can manage to avoid arbitrary cuts to military programs as well as social services.

With the nation reeling under debt and that’s easily reflected with the increasing number of sign ups for programs like online debt consolidation, this political turmoil over the cuts seems literally unwanted. There’s hardly much time left until “sequestration” makes its way. Basically, the across the board cuts also known as sequestration have been scheduled to commence. It’s not surprising that the administration officials are not taking to this favorably and they’re still talking about the consequences to come in alarming terms. This is in spite of the fact that there was hardly any evidence of hardcore negotiations with the lawmakers such that a deal could be reached to avoid them altogether.

In spite of all this, a South Carolina Republican, Senator Lindsay Graham gave the impression of advancing the debate on Monday. He being a leading defense hawk expressed that this is actually the ideal opportunity to carry out the big deal. He said that he was willing to raise revenue of around 600 billion dollars provided the Democrats would be willing to reform entitlements. He believes that they can then fix sequestration together.

The secretary of homeland security, Janet Napolitano expressed that the automatic cuts would leave the country not so very well guarded. In fact, she also believes that this can actually leave the nation ill-equipped to meet terrorist threats. This is obviously going to turn into an inconvenience for millions of travelers too. There came further warnings from the interior secretary, Ken Salazar. He warned about campgrounds closing down and firefighting efforts being scaled back. He also spoke about lesser seasonal workers who’ll be hired.

Ms. Napolitano opines that there’s always a threat looming large. Though they plan to do everything they can to minimize the risk involved, yet it’s a fact that the sequester makes things really very tough.

It’s a known fact that efforts are being made to shift the responsibility completely to President Barack Obama and to cushion the attacks by the White House. Now, what’s important is the fact that Republicans were supposed to unveil legislation on Tuesday and they said that this would literally alleviate their biggest concerns. This measure is supposed to be effective because it’ll allow for agencies and departments to amass programs that had long since been proved to be ineffective. This is almost like a measure to prove that there were functions like say critic federal functions as well as air traffic control and meat inspection that had been spared.

Now, if the Congress happens to grant the White House the authority to protect the air traffic controllers and other such patrol agents, then the administration’s carefully devised plan is bound to lose impetus.

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Businesses and Phil Mickelson Consider Bailing On California

Phil Mickelson State Taxes

Thanks to California’s new state income tax, there are a lot of high earning citizens who are considering moving to a new state. One such citizen is Phil Mickelson, a top-ranked golfer. This week he suggested that the new state taxes may force him to move out of the state. Later Phil Mickelson went on to say that he shouldn’t have spoken out as he did but there are others who are saying the same thing.

Leader Phil Mickelson teeing off on the 18th h...

Leader Phil Mickelson teeing off on the 18th hole at TPC at Sawgrass during the final round of the 2007 Players Championship. Mickelson bogeyed the hole but still won the title by two shots. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many of those who will be taxed feel as though it will be excessive. They are also feeling that California is slowly becoming unfriendly to businesses. This is seemingly something that has been going on for quite a while and thus they are starting to think that there will be no end to it. In fact, some of them have even said that this can be traced as far back as Proposition 30, saying this is what changed everyone’s mindset.

Most of the wealthy businessmen who are thinking of relocating are merely thinking and talking about it right now. However, tax analysts expect that they will see the occurrence by 2014. It will take the wealthy this long to figure out how to relocate to avoid paying state taxes without actually moving out of the state. Some of these people are thinking of moving to Texas where the personal income-tax rate is zero, whereas it’s 13.3% in California. Of course, this is just one of the many states to which they may relocate as there are others who also don’t charge individual taxes.

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States Consider Alternative To State Income Tax

Alternative To State Income Tax

A trend in tax filing is already taking place in some Republican led Southern and Midwest states. Other states are considering a similar plan to eliminate their state income taxes and replace it with a higher sales tax to make up for loss of revenue. Legislative watchdogs and tax reform experts can only speculate to the success of these new tax reform campaigns.

The Push for State Tax Reform

English: Map of US states by state tax as a pe...

English: Map of US states by state tax as a percentage of average income per capita, 2007. Legend: 5%-5.5% 5.5%-6% 6%-6.5% 6.5%-7% 7%-7.5% 7.5%-8% 8%-8.5% >8.5% (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since there is little hope for any more changes with the federal tax system, many states are making plans to spur economic growth within their own region from changes in tax law. Reform activist agree that any major tax changes for this year will have to take place at the state level. However, they do not agree that states will be successful, or that this strategy is the answer to the reform problem. The states of Texas and Florida have no individual income tax which makes them attractive to residents and businesses.

States Considering Lower state income Taxes

Louisiana and North Carolina are two states who have made recent announcements with similar plans. Kansas cut those taxes last year and are talking of more reductions for the coming year. Oklahoma wasn’t successful in their attempts last year and may push another attempt through this year. Alaska eliminated their state income tax but were able to replace the lost revenue with income from the oil industry.

An Example of Republican Economics

This type of reform is an example of “trick-down” economics that was adopted by many in the Republican party 30 years ago. Eliminating the state individual tax filing would give citizens more money in their pocket and initiate consumer spending. Taxing consumers products and services would replace the lost revenue.

The Effect on Socioeconomic Class

The lower and middle socioeconomic classes would be hit the hardest with the change. Many consumers who didn’t pay the state any taxes on their income previously, would now be paying more for necessary items. Additionally, people who would normally receive a refund would no longer qualify for that income assistance.

Many states are making plans to reform their tax laws and alter their state income taxes. As the year progresses, it will be interesting to see other creative economic plans take shape.

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IRS Tax Relief Programs

IRS Tax Relief Programs

The Internal Revenue Service building in Washington D.C., one of the targets of Hubbard’s “Snow White Program” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has several programs that offer tax relief for persons who have outstanding back taxes.

One IRS tax relief program is the Installment Agreement which allows people who are financially unable to make the payments to pay their tax debt over time. Monthly payments can be made until the entire tax debt if paid off. There is also an Offer in Compromise (OIC) program which allows taxpayers to settle their tax debt for a lesser amount than what they owe. This program works well for persons with limited means.

There are also situations where the IRS may abate penalties for taxpayers who were unable to pay taxes because of a special hardship. Persons who match this criterion may have their penalties forgiven by the IRS. However, this abatement of interest is very limited and hardly is ever granted.

You are able to apply for an Installment Agreement, penalty abatement or an OIC on your own. However, if you wish for someone to represent you, there are only a few persons that can assist you.

If you are unable to pay your taxes, look at the various programs for one that you can qualify for. Then contact the IRS to see if they can help you.

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