Tax Carnival Ecstasy – October 1, 2013

Good Lord, I'm sure that's Councillor Bill Smi...
Good Lord, I’m sure that’s Councillor Bill Smith from Melrose – unless my eyes deceive me (Photo credit: Ninian Reid)

Welcome to the October 1, 2013 edition of Tax Carnival Ecstasy. In this edition we start with an article from Matt Becker on the deductability of mortgage interest and why it’s not the great tax deal everyone thinks. Bill Smith reports on TurboTax and eHealth working together and the IRS Fresh Start Program. Laura Anderson has some Nanny Tax Myths that you should know about. Hope you enjoy all the articles, bookmark, share, tweet and come back soon.

deductions

Matt Becker presents Is the Mortgage Interest Deduction For Real? posted at Mom and Dad Money, saying, “When people talk about the financial benefits of home ownership, one of the big points they typically make is that the interest paid on the mortgage is deductible. This is only semi-true and in any event is not really the big win that many people claim it is. So today I’d like to run through the reasons why the mortgage interest deduction is not always all it’s cracked up to be.”

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filing

Bill Smith presents TurboTax Is Integrating With EHealth posted at 2013 Taxes, saying, “eHealth, the United States’ predominant private Internet health insurance exchange, has announced that it will enter into a partnership with Intuit Inc..”

retirement

John Schmoll presents Should You Pay Off Debt or Invest in the Stock Market First? posted at Frugal Rules, saying, “There can be a fine balance between paying off debt or investing in the stock market first. The truth is that it’s a personal decision and one that will aid your wealth building, debt reduction and saving for retirement at the same time.”

John Schmoll presents When It Comes To Investing, Be The One Who Dives In Head First posted at Frugal Rules, saying, “Many allow fear to hold them back when it comes to investing in the stock market. However, if you give yourself some practical lessons you can put yourself in better standing to build a retirement portfolio and begin to grow your wealth.”

tax law

Bill Smith presents Tax Help 101: Casualty, Disaster, And Theft Losses posted at 2014 Taxes, saying, “Financial losses incurred because of disasters, casualties, or theft may be tax-deductible.”

taxes

Laura Anderson presents Expert Insights: Nanny Tax Myths with Guy Maddalone of GTM Payroll Services, Inc. posted at eNannySource, saying, “When it comes to employing a nanny, it’s important to know what’s true and false. Guy Maddalone, founder and president of GTM Payroll Services, Inc. and household payroll and tax expert, provides some important insight that can help separate fact from fiction.”

Bill Smith presents IRS Fresh Start Program posted at 2012 Taxes – Free Tax Filing Options, saying, “There is a new system called the IRS Fresh Start Program which aims to make it easier for people to pay back taxes and avoid a lien coming against them. There are three major parts to the IRS program.”

tips

Bill Smith presents Guidance For Personal Finance That Can Save These Days posted at 2012 Tax – Free Tax Filing Options, saying, “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.”

Bill Smith presents Free SCORE Tax Tips posted at 2010 Tax, saying, “Having your own small business can be a rewarding experience. There are many aspects that can be difficult to accomplish on your own though.”

That concludes this edition.  Submit your blog article to the next edition of tax carnival ecstasy using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Handling IRS Notices For 2017

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Handling IRS Notices For 2013

Once you file your taxes, they are in the hands of professionals at the IRS. If you get IRS notices for 2013, you will need to take action immediately to avoid any penalties for ignoring the government’s request for further information or payment. Typically, IRS notices arrive after the tax year has passed and taxes have been filed. However, you may also hear from the IRS in advance of a tax year, especially if taxes you have recently filed will impact what you owe or receive as a refund in the 2013 tax year.

If you receive IRS notices for 2013, don’t panic. It’s quite possibly you are simply being asked for some additional information. Take your notice to your accountant or tax professional if you have one. If you prefer to do your own taxes and you use a system such as TurboTax, you may need to file your notice until it is time to do your 2013 taxes. Put it in a place that you keep all of your tax documents so you remember it at tax time.

The IRS will always offer to help you when you receive a notice from them. Look for a contact phone number on the notification and if you do not understand what you are being asked to do, call a representative and talk about your case. Sometimes, the IRS will notice a correction that needs to be made to your taxes, which will affect the refund or the amount owed. Whatever you do, don’t ignore notices from the IRS. They will not go away.

Higher Mortgage Rates?

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Higher Mortgage Rates In 2013?

The news that renters and home buyers do not want to hear is that 2013 will almost certainly see higher housing costs, higher rents and various mortgage fees.

This year also sees the introduction of several new mortgage regulations, and anyone applying for a mortgage will potentially be affected by these.

English: Sign of the times - Foreclosure
English: Sign of the times – Foreclosure (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you apply for a FHA mortgage and have a lower down payment, you will have higher rates for your mortgage insurance.

In an ongoing effort to add to its reserves, the FHA (Federal Housing Administration) has implemented various raises to insurance premium costs since 2008, and analysts seem to think that trend will continue. One such increase will be a 0.1 percent increase in the yearly insurance premium that is added to the monthly mortgage payment of borrowers. Currently, the charge for FHA borrowers is about 1.25 percent.

Janneke Ratcliffe of UNC Chapel Hill in North Carolina points out that once rates rise, this seemingly small increase will be noticeable.

Rental prices are rising due to a poor job market, a high number of foreclosures and tight mortgage lending, and in addition, the supply of rentals is low in many areas. Real estate firm Reis pointed out that in the 4th quarter of 2012, apartment vacancies stood at 4.5 percent, an 11 year low.

Whereas earlier refinancing options have not worked effectively, President Obama is likely to push for more effective legislation to help owners with an ‘underwater’ property, predict some analysts, including Julia Gordon of the Center for American Progress.

Consumers could be affected for better or worse when a series of new mortgage regulations are introduced early this year. One of the most important is a rule stipulating that a borrower must prove to a lender that they are financially able to pay back the loan.

Mortgage rates usually go up when investors move from Treasury bonds and mortgages to stocks, and this week was no exception. A 30 year fixed mortgage increased to 3.77 percent, while a 15 year fixed increased to 3.03 percent and a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage increased to 2.78 percent.

Top 5 tips for choosing Business Accounting Software

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If your current business accounting processes are running out of steam or your business is simply growing too big for the standard accounting package you currently use, upgrading is the logical next step.

Whether you’re a small start-up or a complex enterprise, you’ll be met with myriad of software choices. Let’s look at five no-nonsense tips for choosing the right accounting software package for your needs:

  1. Identify extra features you may need – most businesses will need the basic out of the box finance package as a given which usually includes accounting, sales and purchasing management, asset registering and payroll. But do you also need stock control? What about intercompany reporting?
  2. Make sure the new software integrates with your existing processes – Let’s face it, your staff are used to doing things in a regular way and while it’s still effective, why change it? Some of the better accounting software products such as MYOB EXO Business will fit into your existing business processes and also help improve them.
  3. Multi users and security – Dealing with sensitive company financial data should be limited to those who have the rights to do so, but going a step further, you need to be able to limit what each user can access. For example, a junior accounts person should be setup with a restricted login with less access privileges than the chief financial controller.
  4. After sales support and training – learning your new accounting software and sorting out inevitable teething problems are made easier with quality support and training. Phone and email support are essential as is face to face training involving all relevant staff. This help can be particularly useful when software updates need to be applied.
  5. Speak to others in your industry – at your next networking function, actually raise the subject of accounting software. Now, you may think it’ll send people running for the toilet of a drink refill, but you’ll be surprised how many people will tell you their experience. They’ll often recommend business software experts who helped them.

So, there we have 5 brief but very important considerations to take into account (bad pun intended) to help you make the right decision. Making the wrong choice of software can lead to headaches further down the track and even worse, you could end up making some bad business decisions because of it. Take the time to weigh-up the functions and features you need and look for a product which comes with upgradable modules you can ‘snap’ in as and when you need them.

If you’re looking for a consultant who can scope, design, implement and configure a business accounting software solution specialising in MYOB EXO, try Horizon Business Systems, a Perth based, MYOB Platinum Partner.

Chris Christie and Taxes At 10% Realistic Or Rediculous

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A ten percent income tax for every citizen in New Jersey is Governor Chris Christie‘s plan. His belief is that to change the present economic crisis requires a radical approach to income taxes. A fiscal conservative he proposing to cut the state’s spending at the same time he is promoting income tax cuts.

Christie views himself as an economic visionary who is willing to take tough actions to pull his state out of its economic quagmire. His speaking engagements on radio, television, and at town hall meetings make him appear as a current Republican candidate for president, but his goal is the 2016 election. He is confident his plan will work for New Jersey and the Nation. In California, Illinois, and New York, Democratic governors are taking an opposite approach to his plan. They are raising taxes for all citizens and making sure the upper-class proportionally pay an equal share of their taxes. These Democratic governors want to lower the deficits in their states. Borrowing on empty bank accounts will only create more debt. States cannot be competitive if their economic standing is low and they have no money for their states infrastructure and basic needs.

Tax policies, which put on increased burden a state’s ability to be economically solvent are seen by many leaders as unrealistic. His plan which borrows from a bankrupt account may not be what New Jersey needs. His plan is radical, but similar to elective surgery the people of his state may want a second opinion.