12/17/2012 - Preparing for Next Year's Tax Season
Now is the time of year when people begin to think about peace, generosity — and taxes? While it may seem to be much too early to worry about filing your tax return, the end of the year is a great time to get your records in order and take other steps that will minimize the hassles when tax time does roll around. It’s also often your last chance to take advantage of deductions or other tax-saving opportunities for the year. The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) provides this advice on getting a head start:
12/4/2012 - Smart Tips on Charitable Giving
’Tis the season of goodwill to all, a time when people take time to think of others. In addition to giving gifts and planning holiday get-togethers, that means many people are also dipping into their pockets to make donations to worthy charities. While that’s a good impulse, it’s important to do your charitable giving wisely. The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) provides this advice on ways to make your money most productive:
11/30/2012 - Six Ways to Teach Children About Sensible Spending
Have you talked to your children about the value of money and the importance of managing it wisely? All parents hope that their children will grow up to make prudent use of their money, yet few actually spend time talking to them about how to accomplish these goals, a new study has found. According to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, parents are more likely to have talked with their children about good manners, smart eating habits, the importance of good grades, the dangers of drugs and alcohol, and the risks of smoking than about sensible spending. If you’re not sure how to get started with your kids, the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) has this advice:
11/29/2012 - Growing Your Small Business
Just because your small, home-based business started in your garage, doesn’t mean you have to stay in your garage. Think Apple. Think Amazon. Think Disney. OK, so maybe your goals aren’t quite that big – yet – but you’ve got a successful home-based business, and you’re ready to grow. What should you do first?
11/28/2012 - Five Tips When Considering an Assisted-Living Facility
According to government estimates, more than 1 million people nationwide live in assisted-living facilities. There’s no commonly accepted definition for these facilities, but they all offer some level of assistance to people who don’t need full-time attention but who may need help with personal care, taking medications or other concerns. If you are considering an assisted-living arrangement for yourself or a loved one, the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) offers this advice on issues to address:
10/29/2012 - Four Tips for the New Retirement
A recent study found that 67 percent of middle-income baby boomers are expecting a retirement that is different from the one their parents enjoyed. For one thing, the study, performed by the Bankers Life & Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement, found that roughly three-quarters of the generation born between 1946 and 1964 believe that financial factors, not their age, will determine when they will retire. Despite these new uncertainties, more than half are looking forward to retirement. If you’re trying to navigate plans for the new retirement landscape, the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) offers these four key pieces of advice.
10/22/2012 - Understanding What Taxes You Pay and Why
There are few topics in life that provoke as much worry and uncertainty as taxes. For most people, taxes are a mysterious thing – a sum of money just disappears from every paycheck. Then, every year, sometime before April 15, there’s that time when you have to gather information from various sources and prepare a tax return. And maybe you get lucky and get some money back. Maybe you didn’t withhold enough and you have to write a check.
10/15/2012 - Understanding Life Insurance
When you think about life insurance, you may dismiss it as something that only older people need. A life insurance policy is taken out on someone's life that pays out when he or she dies, helping to financially protect dependents and loved ones. Insurance proceeds are used to pay ongoing expenses, educate children, pay off mortgages or cover final expenses.
9/14/2012 - Donít Make These Three Common Small Business Mistakes
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), a small business is one that employs fewer than 500 employees, a definition that applies to a wide swath of companies. In fact, the SBA says that small businesses account for 99.7 percent of employer firms, making them a significant sector of the economy. There are many challenges for small businesses, however. If you are a small business owner or have plans to be one, the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) offers these tips on three common mistakes to avoid:
9/7/2012 - Avoiding Family Business Conflicts
According to Family Enterprise USA, there are 5.5 million family owned businesses in the United States. These companies often unite family members behind a common purpose, but conflicts can arise when professional and personal lives overlap. If you are involved in a family business, the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) offers this advice on how to sidestep some of the internal squabbles that can affect these companies:
8/27/2012 - It's College Textbook Time
Buying college textbooks used to be simple: Professors told you what books to buy. You went to the college bookstore and bought them. At the end of the course, you had the option to sell them back. These days, it’s a little different and a lot more expensive – the average estimated cost per student for textbooks for the 21012/13 academic year is $1,121.
8/21/2012 - Live Well in Retirement
Are you concerned about being able to pay for a secure and happy retirement? The good news is that there are many costs that retirees typically don’t face, such as job commuting, buying a business wardrobe or saving for their children’s college tuition. Many other expenses will stay the same, and the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) advises that you can make some smart choices in order to live well on a fixed retirement budget:
8/6/2012 - Don't Miss Out on Free Stuff (and Great Bargains)
Are you taking advantage of offers for discounts or free merchandise? Many people are watching their spending these days, and your dollar will go a lot farther if you can get more for less money. The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) offers these tips on how to do it:
7/23/2012 - Avoiding an Early-Withdrawal Penalty on Retirement Plans
The money that you’ve accumulated in a retirement savings account can look awfully tempting at times, particularly in an uncertain economy. If you feel you have no choice but to withdraw from a retirement account, you may find that it’s a costly option because of the potential taxes and penalties involved. The New Jersey Society of CPAs (NJSCPA) explains the price you’ll have to pay and the exceptions to the rules:
6/29/2012 - Financial Tips for Single People
Almost half of all adult Americans — or nearly 100 million people — either have never been married or are divorced or widowed. Many of these people incorrectly decide that financial planning is something that only married people do, but it’s always advisable to make sound financial decisions that will pay off now and in the future. The New Jersey Society of CPAs (NJSCPA) offers the following tips:
5/29/2012 - Dealing with Identity Theft
Nearly 12 million adults were victims of identity fraud last year, up 13 percent from the previous year, according to Javelin Strategy & Research. Identity fraud or theft occurs when thieves use your personal information to commit a crime, whether that means stealing your credit card details or using your Social Security number to create a fraudulent bank account. The New Jersey Society of CPAs (NJSCPA) recommends these steps to take after, and even before, identity theft happens:
5/14/2012 - What You Can Learn from Your Tax Return
Tax time may be over, but before you store your return in the attic, take a moment to review it. According to the New Jersey Society of CPAs (NJSCPA), you’ll find that you can discover a lot about your financial situation and identify changes that will improve your tax outlook before it’s time to file next year’s return.
5/8/2012 - Steps to Improve Your Financial Literacy
Do you wish you had more control over your financial situation? The good news is that you don’t need to read a textbook to improve your financial literacy. In fact, according to the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA), there are a few simple steps you can take to begin getting your financial house in order:
4/9/2012 - Don't Miss These Tax-Saving Opportunities
The tax filing deadline is upon us, and many people are rushing to finish their returns. If you are one of them, are you certain that you’ve taken all the deductions and used all the credits to which you’re entitled? The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) discusses just a few of the money-saving steps that many taxpayers miss:
4/2/2012 - Tax Concerns for the Unemployed
What are your tax obligations if you lost your job during the last year? The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) answers some common tax questions for those who are out of work:
3/27/2012 - What You Should Know About Estate Tax Laws
When most people hear about estate tax planning, they assume it is only for the wealthiest taxpayers. However, recent changes in the estate tax laws have been so advantageous to those passing wealth to another generation that it is worth knowing about the basics of these laws to ensure you make the most of them. Since crucial aspects of these laws are set to expire in 2013, it’s especially worth finding out about them now, according to the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA):
2/21/2012 - Tax Tips for Military Personnel
Are you or a loved one serving in the military? If so, you should be aware that there are many tax laws designed to make it easier to meet your tax obligations while serving your country. The New Jersey Society of CPAs (NJSCPA) covers some key tax regulations affecting those in the armed forces:
2/3/2012 - What Is the Kiddie Tax?
We all know that everyone has to file a tax return and pay their taxes, but does that apply to children, too? Many people may have heard of what is often referred to as the kiddie tax. The New Jersey Society of CPAs (NJSCPA) explains who is subject to it and what it may mean for your family’s tax planning:
2/1/2012 - Five Mistakes People Make in Choosing a Tax Preparer
Did you know that you are legally responsible for everything on your tax return, even if another person prepared it for you? Did you also know that your tax return paints a unique picture of your financial situation that you can use to make smart financial decisions throughout the year? Those are a few of the many reasons it’s so important to choose a tax preparer who really knows his or her stuff. The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) points out common mistakes people make in making this choice and offers helpful solutions:
1/16/2012 - Understanding Medicare
There have been some important changes in laws affecting Medicare during the past year, but some other program aspects remain the same. With a new wave of Baby Boomers reaching age 65 each year, the New Jersey Society of CPAs (NJSCPA) offers these tips on what you need to know to ensure your coverage and minimize potential added costs.
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