12/30/2002 - When You Must Borrow, Borrow Wisely
Special low teaser rates. . . No payments for one year. . .On-the-spot credit approval. . . It seems that everywhere you turn, a lender offers you credit. And, at this time of year, who couldn't use some extra cash to pay off holiday bills?
12/23/2002 - Tax Breaks Can Help Some Businesses This Holiday Season
In this season of gift giving, party throwing, and wining and dining, don't miss the opportunity to deduct the cost of bona-fide business-related gift and entertainment expenses, says the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA). The rules are not always easy to follow, but if you take the time to understand the tax law and keep accurate records, you will be gifted with valuable tax deductions.
12/16/2002 - Smart Holiday Gifts For Kids
Surely it's happened to you. You scour the toy stores looking for the latest "must have" toys for your children only to find that, within a day or two, the new toys have broken, run out of batteries, or are missing pieces. According to the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA), a far better idea is to give children financial-related gifts. Gifts that teach the importance of sound money management and investing can provide valuable lessons that will serve your children or grandchildren for years to come.
12/2/2002 - The Benefits Of Donating Stock And Other Assets
Donations to your favorite cause don't always have to be in cash. If you want to make a charitable gift before the end of the year, consider appreciated property. The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) says that whether you donate stock, mutual funds, artwork, or real estate, you may qualify for a tax break while your charity of choice reaps the full value of your donation.
11/25/2002 - Reducing Two Incomes to One: A Lesson in Cutting Back
Whether you've made a conscious choice to switch from a dual-income to single-income household or you have found yourself in this position suddenly as the result of a job loss, there are actions you can take to minimize the financial impact. The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) recommends that you take the time to better understand and take charge of your personal financial situation. Here's how to get started.
11/18/2002 - Volunteers: Don't Pass Up The Opportunity To Deduct Out-Of-Pocket Expenses
If you do volunteer work for a charitable organization and haven't kept track of your out-of-pocket expenses, you're passing up an excellent opportunity to lower your tax bill, reports the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA). Whether you have volunteered your time all year or are planning to do so over the holidays, the costs associated with your volunteer work may add up to a tax deduction.
11/11/2002 - Make It Official: Structuring Loans To Family Members
In today's challenging economy, more and more family members are seeking financial help in the form of loans from parents and other relatives. While there is nothing inherently wrong with helping a family member, the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) points out that there are important practical and tax matters that should be considered before making an intrafamily loan.
11/4/2002 - To The Rescue: An Emergency Fund Can Help Plug The Gap
If you learned suddenly that your home needed a new roof, could you access the cash to pay for it before your possessions were drenched? What if you lost your job? Would you be able to cover your monthly bills? You could with an emergency fund, says the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA). If you don't already have one, now is a great time to establish a plan for 2003.
9/30/2002 - Succession Planning: A Will For Your Family Business
By ensuring an orderly transfer of ownership and management responsibility, a well-developed succession plan provides essentially the same benefit for a family business that a will does for family assets. Yet, according to the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA), thousands of small business owners who wouldn't think of being without a will have given little or no thought to who will guide their business someday.
9/23/2002 - Seven Ways to Achieve Greater Performance from Employees
It's the question that's on every business owner's mind: How can I motivate my employees to contribute their best work? The answer is to create an environment in which employees are motivated to succeed and to reward them for their success. The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) provides the following suggestions for enhancing employee performance and productivity.
9/16/2002 - Should You Incorporate Your Business?
Many new business owners and those seeking to expand ask themselves whether they should incorporate. Unfortunately, there's no one right answer to this question. The form of business you choose can vary depending on your type of business and your specific needs. According to the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA), you might consider incorporating your business if you are interested in limiting shareholder liability, securing certain tax benefits, or obtaining financing. Here are the pros and cons for you to consider.
9/9/2002 - First-Time Financing: Advice for Small Businesses
Obtaining a commercial loan can be one of the biggest challenges facing a growing business. Even experienced small business owners can feel overwhelmed and under-prepared when seeking outside financing for the first time. The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) offers the following insights into how to borrow from a bank directly or through an SBA-guaranteed loan.
9/2/2002 - A Tax Break Small Businesses don't have to Labor for: The Welfare-to-Work Tax Credit
Small business owners shouldn't overlook the Welfare-to-Work (WTW) tax credit, according to the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA). The WTW program provides employers with incentives to hire and retain long-term welfare recipients by offering valuable income tax credits of as much as $8,500 per new hire. The program is available to businesses in a variety of industries and particularly to companies that hire entry-level people.
8/26/2002 - Insurance Check-Up for College Bound Students
As students head off to college with expensive computers, televisions, stereo equipment, and bicycles in tow, the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) suggests that parents add an insurance review to their preparation checklist. A review of your homeowners, auto insurance, and health insurance policies can help to ensure that your college-bound student is properly covered while away from home.
8/19/2002 - Financial Aid FAQs: How to Make College a Reality
Escalating college costs do not mean a college education is out of the question. There are financial aid resources that can help families meet college education expenses. To familiarize you with the available options, the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) provides answers to frequently asked questions regarding financial aid.
8/12/2002 - College Students and Credit Cards: What They Don't Know Can Hurt Them
Before your college freshman even settles into his or her dorm room, chances are, credit card marketing teams will be on campus to sign up students for credit cards. In fact, company representatives will compete for your student's business by handing out T-shirts, coffee mugs, CDs, and other enticements. According to the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA), your best defense against this marketing blitz is to set some ground rules and educate your student about the importance of using credit wisely.
8/5/2002 - Investing ABC'S: Teaching Your Kids About Stocks
More and more youngsters and teens are becoming fascinated by the stock market. Choosing stocks, tracking their performance, and making money can be exciting, challenging and rewarding. But, as experienced investors know, the market also can be frustrating and risky, especially during volatile times. To help kids understand the risks and rewards of the stock market, the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) recommends that parents talk to their children about investing. Here is some advice to help parents get started.
7/29/2002 - Refinancing: It's Not Just About the Interest Rate
Most people refinance their mortgage to take advantage of lower interest rates and reduced monthly payments - but those are not the only reasons to consider trading in an old mortgage for a new one. The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) has identified other reasons why refinancing makes sense and offers advice on getting the best deal.
7/1/2002 - Do You Need Professional Financial Advice?
Many people don't think twice about visiting a doctor when they are sick, calling the plumber when the sink is clogged, or seeing a mechanic when the car is on the blink, yet they are reluctant to seek financial help. According to the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA), there is a common misconception that only the truly wealthy need professional financial planning. In reality, most people can benefit from financial advice.
6/24/2002 - Smart Ways To Cut The Cost Of Long-Term Care Insurance
There's no denying it: long-term care insurance is expensive, particularly for buyers in their sixties and seventies. But it's also very important, especially for those who want to protect their assets from being depleted by an extended hospital or nursing home stay.
6/17/2002 - Employers Of Household Help Have Chores Too: Taxes
More and more, families are relying on household help to ease the burden of balancing work and family responsibilities. If you hire babysitters, cleaning people, yard workers, or others to help you keep house, you may have some tax housekeeping chores of your own to do - including properly classifying workers, withholding and paying employment taxes, and filing tax returns. The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) addresses some of your questions.
6/10/2002 - Vacation Homes Can Bring Relaxation And Tax Relief
Owning a vacation home gives you a great opportunity to relax and have fun in the sun - or snow - depending on your preferences. To add to your enjoyment, a vacation home also can provide significant tax benefits. Here's what the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) says all current and would-be vacation homeowners should know.
6/3/2002 - After The Honeymoon: Insurance Advice For Newlyweds
Want to demonstrate your true love for your new spouse? Take out an insurance policy, recommends the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA). Compared to planning your wedding and honeymoon, buying insurance may not seem very romantic but, in reality, coverage that protects you and your spouse against life's unforeseen risks is an important part of planning your life together. The following provides an overview of the types of insurance protection you should consider.
5/27/2002 - A Website Checkup for Small Businesses
Whether you plan to build a website for your business or you already have one, a user-friendly, accessible and informative site is essential to good business. The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) provides the following checklist to help you evaluate the effectiveness of your site.
5/20/2002 - Moving to E-Commerce: The First Steps
Electronic commerce - using electronic media to sell services or products online - can provide businesses with a competitive boost and assist them in achieving goals and customer loyalty. The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) provides the following guidance to assist businesses venturing into e-commerce for the first time.
5/13/2002 - September 11 Events Show Need for Small Business Insurance
The tragic events of September 11 affected hundreds of companies in New York City, but they especially affected small businesses. One method of protection from financial disaster, according to the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA), is business insurance. No matter what size business you own, adequate business insurance is essential to managing risk and minimizing the impact of catastrophic events.
5/6/2002 - Smart Tips for Starting A New Business
The many details involved in getting a new business off the ground could scare off even the most committed and motivated entrepreneurs. If you're thinking about starting a new business, the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) provides the following list to help you begin the process.
4/15/2002 - A Mistake On Your Tax Return? File Form 1040X To Make Amends
It's April 15. Your tax return is filed. You're relieved. The task is behind you - until you realize you've made a mistake on your return. There's no need to panic, says the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA). You can easily make amends by completing and filing IRS Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Tax Return. Generally, you have three years from the time your original return was filed or two years from the time the tax was paid, whichever is later, to file an amended return. A return filed before the April 15 due date is treated the same as filing on the due date.
4/8/2002 - How to Avoid IRS Penalties
Don't put off filing your 2001 tax return because you don't have the money to pay your tax bill. The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) emphasizes that there are separate penalties for paying late, filing late and failing to file a tax return. Here's what you need to know to avoid IRS penalties.
3/25/2002 - What You Need to Know About Filing Your Taxes Electronically
Filing your tax return is never a pleasant task, but e-file, the IRS's electronic filing option, can make it less painful, particularly if you are due a refund. With e-file, you can expect to receive your refund in three weeks - and even sooner if you choose to have your refund deposited directly to your savings or checking account. Here are six facts the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) says you should know about filing electronically.
3/18/2002 - This May Be Your Year for Claiming Miscellaneous Itemized Deductions
All taxpayers, and particularly those who lost their jobs, experienced pay cuts, or otherwise earned less than in previous years, should take the time to add up their miscellaneous expenses to see if they qualify for a deduction on their 2001 tax return. Tax law allows deductions for certain miscellaneous itemized expenses that exceed 2 percent of your adjusted gross income (AGI), according to the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA). As a result, individuals who had lower AGIs in 2001 but expenses similar to past years may find that they qualify for this deduction, even if they could not claim it in the past.
3/11/2002 - Disability: The Risk Many Forget to Insure
What would happen if you were unable to work for six months? A year? Five years? While tapping an emergency fund can help some people get by for a short period, few can go without income for an extended period of time. That's why it's so important to have disability insurance, says the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA).
3/4/2002 - Tax Breaks for Independent Contractors
A tough job market and a slowing economy have more workers taking on jobs as independent contractors. If you're among them, or would like to be, it is important that you understand the tax rules involved. According to the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA), for tax purposes, independent contractors are treated as running their own businesses. This makes them eligible for many tax benefits that are limited or not available to employees.
2/25/2002 - Tax Relief Available for Victims of Disasters
Terrorist attacks have affected Americans throughout the country in diverse ways. While nothing can overshadow the loss of so many innocent lives, property losses resulting from the attacks, as well as other disasters, are a concern to many. The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) offers the following tax advice to individuals who suffered disaster-related property loss or damage and to those who answered the call for disaster assistance.
2/18/2002 - Tax Breaks for Supporting Elderly Parents
Supporting elderly parents can be rewarding, but also financially draining. The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) points out that qualified taxpayers can get some assistance from Uncle Sam. Individuals who provide financial support for their parents may qualify for a dependency exemption on their tax returns. In addition, they may qualify for a medical expense deduction as well as a credit for dependent care expenses.
2/11/2002 - Education Tax Breaks You Can't Afford to Miss
Parents facing college tuition expenses and college graduates struggling to pay off student loans can look forward to some help. According to the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA), you may qualify for tax credits and deductions on your 2001 return. What's more, as a result of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, you may qualify for even bigger tax breaks in 2002.
2/4/2002 - IRA Options: Choose the Right One For You
Today, Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) offer a number of options for saving toward retirement or a college education. According to the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA), choosing the right one for you and your family is critical to ensuring that you have the finances for your goals. Here is an overview of some of the most popular types of IRAs.
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