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Once upon a time, being called a millionaire meant you were wealthy. Today, millionaire sounds almost quaint. The term of art for wealth now is high-net-worth individual, or HWNI. This clinical-sounding acronym is thrown around frequently in the financial industry to denote a person or a household with a substantial amount of wealth. What Is […]

MoneyTips

Caring for an elderly relative can be rewarding, but incredibly difficult – as well as expensive. However, it may be possible to recoup some of the costs through income tax savings.

There are two general approaches to tax savings on elder care costs – taking medical deductions that can be itemized and claiming a dependent care credit that can be subtracted directly from the taxes you owe.

First, you must determine if your elderly relative qualifies as a dependent. Full details are listed in IRS Publication 501, "Dependents, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information," but the primary criteria are that they must be a relative, you must be providing over half of their support, and their gross 2020 income must be less than $4,300.

The definition of relatives includes stepparents and in-laws. They do not...

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President Joe Biden campaigned on a promise not to raise taxes on middle-class Americans. But a little-known provision in his big social programs bill could do just that. Tucked away in the American Families Plan, is a proposal to change the way capital gains taxes are paid on estates when people pass away. This seemingly […]

Applying for a credit card? Not so fast. For first-time card seekers, there are a few things worth knowing, like how credit really works, what to do without good credit history and what to look out for when choosing a card. Here are the most important things to be aware of before you hit that […]

Travel

As vaccination rates inch upward, Americans are beginning to travel again. More than 10 times as many passengers passed through Transportation Security Administration screenings in the first week of April…

President Joe Biden announced in a speech before a joint session of Congress that he wanted to raise taxes on the richest Americans—by a lot. Jacking up the obligation to Uncle Sam on the top 1% of earners is politically popular, and will ostensibly be part of Biden’s plan to spend more money to help […]

MoneyTips

When you use your car for both personal and business reasons and you are not fully reimbursed through your employer for the business expenses, you can deduct those costs from your taxes. How do you go about claiming these deductions? Assuming that you itemize, you have two general paths:

  • Standard Mileage Method – The IRS prints flat rates of reimbursement per mile driven for each calendar year. For business use of your vehicle in tax year 2020, the standard mileage rate is 57.5 cents per mile, down from the 2019 value of 58 cents per mile.
  • Actual Expense Method – Rather than calculate an average based on miles, you can calculate the actual expenses related to the non-personal use including gas, oil, maintenance costs, depreciation, tolls, parking fees, insurance, and other applicable exp...

Retirees Not Maximizing Tax Refunds

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  • Updated

MoneyTips

A stable income is critical to a comfortable retirement – as is limiting the amount of that income that you give to Uncle Sam. Maximizing retirement income and minimizing taxes requires advance planning – as illustrated in these seven tips.

1. Use a Roth IRA

Because Roth IRAs are funded with post-tax dollars, they are flexible retirement income sources and excellent for plugging retirement income gaps. You may draw contributions out at any time and earnings may be withdrawn tax-free if you are at least age 59½ and have had the account for at least five years.

Roth IRA contributions are less attractive when you are in higher-earning years where a high tax bracket applies. Contribute to a Roth IRA when tax conditions are favorable or convert a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA in a year where your adjusted gross income (AGI) is low, taking the tax hit while you'r...

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The average credit score in the United States is 711—an all-time high according to credit score developer FICO. Not only is the average FICO® Score better than it has ever been, scores for U.S. consumers have been on a steady rise for the past decade. The reason credit scores matter so much is because lenders, insurance companies and other businesses routinely use them to evaluate risk. Consumer credit scores designed by FICO and VantageScore Solutions predict how likely you are to default on a credit obligation (pay 90 days late or worse) in the next 24 months. Credit scores range...

Nobody loves inflation, the economic force that makes your morning cup of coffee cost more tomorrow than it does today. But here’s the thing: Despite the fact that it’s making everything more expensive over time, a modest amount of inflation is completely necessary for economic growth, and knowing what the inflation rate is, whether it’s […]

Ripple is a money transfer network designed to serve the needs of the financial services industry. XRP, a cryptocurrency tailored to work on the Ripple network, is consistently listed among the top five cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. Despite its ambitions, Ripple is currently tied up in legal troubles with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), […]

Bounced checks happen. Maybe you got an unexpected delay in receiving your paycheck before you mailed out your rent payment. Or maybe you forgot that you sent a check for…

The economy is rebounding. Need proof? Check out the first quarter earnings reports corporate America is releasing, which show S&P 500 companies are on track for their highest rate of profit growth in more than a decade. Earnings aren’t the only reason to feel optimistic. More than 55% of Americans have received at least one […]

As the economy recovers, credit card companies are racing to earn your business. Chase Ink has some new offers running during May 2021 in honor of National Small Business Week: Chase Ink Business Preferred and Ink Plus: Points are worth 25% more when being used to purchase Apple products through the Apple Ultimate Rewards Store. […]

MoneyTips

In general, deducting pet expenses on your tax return can get you into hot water with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Usually pet expenses will not hold up should the IRS audit you. However, specific cases exist that allow you to take legitimate tax deductions for spending on your pet.

Regardless of how you justify your pet deductions, make sure that you have receipts and documentation for all expenses you claim on your tax return or they will be disallowed.

Guard Pets

Guard animals could pass muster for a deduction for your business. If you consider deducting your pet as a guard animal, make sure that they actually perform guard duties. Your pet's breed should be one that is often considered that of a typical guard animal. For instance, a pit bull could be considered a guard dog while a Chihuahua probably would not.

It would be beneficial if you could pr...

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Some things aren’t meant to be. If you made a purchase on plastic that isn’t working out, you might get a credit card refund. A refund issued to a credit card means the cost of the returned product will be credited back to the associated account. Depending on whether the purchase was returned in-person or […]

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