Get an “A” on your Schedule A Form: Dodge these tax deduction pitfalls to save time, money, and an IRS investigation. Trap #1: Line 6 – real estate taxes: Your monthly mortgage payment often includes money for a tax escrow, from which the lender pays your local real estate taxes. The money you send the bank may be more than what the bank pays for your taxes that will lead you to putting the wrong number on Schedule A.
Example: Your monthly payment to the lender: $2,000 for mortgage + $500 escrow for taxes. Your annual property tax bill: $5,500. Now do the math: Your bank received $6,000 for real estate taxes, but only paid $5,500. It may keep the extra $500 to apply to the next tax bill or refund it to you at some point, but meanwhile, you’re making a mistake if you enter $6,000 on Schedule A. Instead, take the number from Form 1098—which your bank sends you each year—that shows the actual taxes paid.
CHANGE IS OFTEN UNCOMFORTABLE, I don’t know about you, I do not give in easily. I came across this today, it blessed and encouraged me… “In times of profound change, the learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” Oh, I feel so much better now.
~ Eric Hoffer
Basic Family Budget Calculator. PI’s Family Budget Calculator compiles the costs of essentials such as housing, food, child care, transportation and health care in different regions of the country to provide an estimate of how much families need to get by. While the U.S. Census Bureau 1960 poverty threshold model underestimates the actual amount a working family needs to cover essentials. Unlike the official poverty threshold, which is the same nationwide, the Family Budget Calculator provides estimates of costs by state, city, metropolitan or rural area. In some cases it shows families need more than twice the amount of the official poverty thresholds to pay for food, housing and other essentials.
Answers to your questions about tax write-offs – It surprises me each year how many of my clients pay the IRS without fighting back, or searching for ways to legally deduct expenses, and these are smart people! If you’ve filed already, AMEND. Please do your homework. Google everything that says taxes. You can start here.
Broaden your life… Joel Osteen…Do you know skin color is less than 1/16 of an inch deep? I’m not going to be so petty as to let one-sixteenth of an inch come between us! We need each other’s wisdom and encouragement. We may be different cultures, nationalities and skin colors; but let’s remember, really, we’re only 1/16 of an inch different. Embrace diversity! Congrats to a successful Multi-cultural policy conference, Washington DC. Mar 3-5.
Facebook friends on Linkedin. LinkedIn Referral Policies Could Raise Legal Rift . Recommendations are a Catch-22 for companies: Recommendations are growing in importance as LinkedIn profiles become a de facto résumé in the digital era. The testimonials, however, can trigger trouble for companies. A positive LinkedIn recommendation from a co-worker could harm a company’s case for firing, praise for a worker fired for poor performance could help that ex-employee argue that the company lied about the reason for termination. Click the link to read more: http://ow.ly/42Lfq
Cities like Las Vegas and Miami boast killer buying opportunities, but you’re better off renting in New York and Seattle, according to the quarterly Rent vs. Buy index. Home prices dropped so severely in many markets that it completely changed the equation of whether to rent or buy in many cities. To determine whether it makes more sound financial sense to rent or buy, economists generally use a rule of thumb: They divide the purchase price of a home by the annual rent of a similar property. Anything over a 15, and you should rent because it will cost you less over a period of time. Below 15? Start looking for homes. Click here to read the entire article.