Survey Suggests Economic Overconfidence If the economy is so great and unemployment is so low, why do so many Americans live paycheck to paycheck? And why don’t we seem to care? The February PYMNTS.com Financial Invisibles Report attempts to answer these questions, noting, “For three consecutive quarters, consumers have been optimistic about their financial futures
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To pay someone to figure out how much you have to pay the government seems like adding insult to injury. For many taxpayers, there’s an easier way. Formed in 2003, IRS Free File is the product of a partnership between the Internal Revenue Service and a group of twelve online tax software suppliers that form
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First-time homebuyers face many obstacles, but perhaps the most frustrating one is accumulating down payment money. Traditional loans require a 20% down payment. Using Zillow’s $229,800 median home sale price for November 2018, that’s over $45,000 – and in many urban markets, a 20% down payment will easily top $100,000. How long will it take
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If you’re a traditional employee, every year you receive a W-2 form from your employer that records your earnings for the year and the amount of taxes withheld from those earnings. IRS 1099 forms are complements to the W-2 form for non-traditional employee relationships. They are generally designed to record sources of income that have
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Valentine’s Day may be one of the few times per year that you go out and buy fresh flowers, but that is no excuse for rookie mistakes. The gift of flowers is a reminder that you are thinking of someone and February 14 is an excellent opportunity to send this message. Make that gesture count
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So Long, Free Credit Monitoring Were you one of the nearly 148 million consumers affected by the 2017 Equifax data breach? You may have taken advantage of Equifax’s free one-year offer of their TrustedID Premier service, extended to all affected consumers. TrustedID Premier allowed consumers to lock their Equifax credit report, provided identity theft insurance,
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To paraphrase the old adage, there are only three absolutes in life: death, taxes, and the rise of scams during tax season. A major tax scam since 2013 involves phone calls by fictional IRS agents that demand immediate payment for alleged tax debts, threatening lawsuits or even jail time to those who refused to comply.
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Your Medicare eligibility date impacts the coverage that you qualify for. If you are eligible for Medicare before 2020, then your options will be different than those of Americans who become eligible from January 1, 2020 on. Since Congress passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) in 2015, the plans with no
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Tax filing season is upon us. Soon you will be filing your paperwork and perhaps receiving a nice check — unless thieves file a return in your name first and falsely claim your refund. Unfortunately, if a thief has your Social Security number and other relevant information, tax identity theft is very hard to prevent.
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By Sandra Parsons When you apply for a credit card, the card issuer collects personal information, including your income. It’s one of the factors they consider when deciding whether to approve or decline your application. If they do approve you, your income, along with your current debt load and credit score, helps them decide how
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By Amy Beardsley You are given the option of “debit or credit” when making purchases with your debit card. As it turns out, there’s a lot more to consider before swiping your debit card to pay for that next purchase. Although debit cards may look like credit cards, they don’t function like credit cards. When
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The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) limited itemized deductions and doubled the standard deduction to entice more taxpayers to skip itemizing – but money-saving deductions still remain for eligible taxpayers. Do you qualify for any of the following nineteen deductions? 1. Charitable Donations – This is one of the few deductions with
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One of the most controversial provisions of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was the limit it placed on state and local tax (SALT) deductions. The TCJA capped the deduction on combined payments for state and local property, sales, and income taxes at $10,000 beginning in the 2018 tax year. According to the
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The Shutdown’s Housing Market Woes It’s a great time to buy a home, and you’re ready. You’ve saved up a suitable down payment, found a home, and settled on a lender. As an added bonus, interest rates are at their lowest point in the last nine months – despite the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes.
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A balance transfer card with a 0% introductory interest rate can be an excellent way to consolidate high-interest debt and efficiently pay it down. It can also be a way to avoid reality and rack up even greater interest payments in the end. A new study by CompareCards.com finds that too many Americans are taking
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Identity thieves have many ways to steal your money – including fraudulent tax returns. They file a return in your name as early as possible to beat your legitimate return, with fake financial data designed to claim a large refund. You won’t realize this until your tax return is denied because there’s already been a
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Did you have a happy New Year? We certainly hope so. Now it’s time to get back to regular routines and take care of January chores, including gathering your tax information. The 2019 Tax Season Begins on January 28 Despite the partial government shutdown, the IRS announced that the 2019 tax season will begin on
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Holiday Debt On the Increase Are your credit cards still smoking from holiday overuse? Based on a recent MagnifyMoney survey, it wouldn’t be surprising. Consumers who financed their holiday spending averaged $1,230 in holiday spending debt – a sharp increase from 2017’s $1,054 average and 2016’s $1,003 average. Increases in wages and consumer confidence are
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