Do You Have to Pay Tax on Airline Miles?

You’ve been earning rewards for signing up for a credit card or using it to earn airline miles.

Are those miles now considered taxable income?

You would think not, but some Citibank customers received a 1099-MISC for airline miles they were awarded for signing up for an account in 2011.  These customers are understandably upset as there was no clear documentation as to the impact of accepting the extra miles.

The Internal Revenue Service hasn’t been clear on how they treat airline miles, either.

Some reports say taxpayers who fail to include the reported 1099-MISC income will not be pursued by the IRS, but do you really want to chance an audit over 20,000 airline miles?

Are Airline Miles Taxable Income?

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Should I Climb The Corporate Ladder Or Start My Own Business?

When it comes to accumulating wealth, there are 3 main ways to go about it.

  • One, you can work for someone else, get paid a salary and try to save some money with every paycheck;
  • Two, you can make your money work for itself by investing it wisely;
  • And three, you can start your own business and become your own boss.

The 3 choices above are not all equally effective.  In fact, I would say that investing your money wisely and starting your own business are the only truly scalable ways to make money.

First off, what do I mean by scalable?

Let’s take your day job as an example.  If you work for someone else, chances are you are either paid by the hour or paid a fixed salary.  As a result, since there are only 24 hours in a day, there’s is only a finite amount of money that you can possibly make in a given year.

Sure, you might get a small raise from year to year, but in reality you will never be able to make “life changing” money with just your day job.

Now I’m not saying that having a day job is bad.

After all, having a steady salary is an excellent way to make ends meet and pay the bills.  But the best way to expand your pool of wealth is by starting your own business and investing the money that you do accumulate.

The Trap Of Working For Someone Else

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6 Audit Red Flags the IRS Uses to Choose Which Returns to Audit

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When it comes to your taxes, there are few things scarier than the prospect of a tax audit.

The good news is that most people aren’t audited.

Further, most audits are actually taken care of through the mail.  Many audits are routine, and require only that you send in a piece of missing documentation.

However, most people still prefer not to be audited at all.

As you prepare your tax return, consider the following 6 audit red flags that could lead to an increased chance of audit:

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Save Money by Bundling Insurance Policies

Handwritten Insurance Claim Form with pen and calculator

How many insurance companies do you have?

Not just insurance policies, but how many insurance companies are you juggling?

If you are working with multiple insurance firms you might be missing out on significant savings that you can get by bundling your insurance policies.

Most Americans have several lines of insurance to cover various aspects of their lives: car insurance, homeowners or renters insurance, and life insurance are some of the most common policies.  Price shopping is common by consumers and often the lowest bid company wins.

But is that the best strategy?

How Does Bundling Insurance Policies Save Money?

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Bank of America Mortgage to Lease Pilot Program

Although the foreclosure crisis is making far less headlines than it once did, it is still a big problem in America.

In fact, underwater mortgages are back to 2011 levels, currently at 11 million homes or 22.8% of all residential mortgages.

For those 11 million homeowners, an underwater mortgage represents an impossible financial situation to rectify because homeowners can’t sell their home but also can’t afford the payments and for most, it will likely be many years, at least, before they see the value of their home return if they see it at all in their lifetime.

When a homeowner can’t meet their mortgage obligation, the bank or mortgage lender holding the loan suffers because the bank still has to make the payment to the investors holding the loan.  These toxic loans aren’t draining the balance sheets of these large banks but it does affect profitability and that’s bad for business at a time when banks have underperformed the stock market since 2009.

For four years, banks have tried to get these bad loans off their books.
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President Obama Signs STOCK Act – No Congressional Insider Trading

If you’re a retail or individual investor you may feel like the little guy can’t win in the stock market.

The individual investor is a little fish in the vast ocean we call the world’s investment market and only the biggest of the investors can actually get ahead.

Many of us have said that in the past but we were hoping that it wasn’t true.  The market is supposed to be set up so everybody has the same information and although insider trading is difficult to police, some high profile cases over the past couple of years have made big investors a little less likely to share illegal information when others aren’t looking.

How does it make you feel to know that insider trading was not only legal, but your elected officials were taking part?

Thanks to the recent signing of the STOCK Act, or Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge Act, members of Congress can no longer profit from insider trading. Continue Reading

In Honor of Financial Literacy Month: Back to Basics

April is National Financial Literacy Month, and that means it’s a great time to reflect on your finances, and think about what we can be doing to improve financial literacy for our children, and for others around us.

One of the best places to start when it comes to improving your finances is the basics.

It seems unnecessary to go back to basics; after all, many of us feel like we have the basics down pat.  However, no matter how advanced we think we are in the world of finances, it never hurts to have a refresher on the responsible use of money.

Here are some of the basics to get back to during financial literacy month:

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