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Tax Time: Are You Reporting Your Income? Different Tax Forms to Look For

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For many, income reporting at tax time is fairly straightforward.

You get a W-2, there’s your income.  The IRS gets a copy of the W-2, your state gets a copy, and you keep a copy for yourself.  Your income is reported on this form, and you don’t have to worry a great deal about other income reporting.

However, in a world that increasingly provides opportunities to earn money from side hustles and investments, reporting income has become a little more complex.

It can be tempting to avoid reporting income to the IRS, but it’s important to remember that failure to report your income is illegal, and can result in fines and penalties and even criminal charges.

As the IRS works to recapture some of the revenue it feels it has been losing lately, you should understand that more people are reporting your income to the IRS than before.  So you need to be on your toes. Continue Reading

Four Places Not to Use Your Credit Card

Americans are in love with credit cards.

Many of us have replaced the cash in our wallets with our cards, charging everything from a cup of coffee to large purchases like automobiles.

Although credit cards are convenient, they aren’t right for all purchases even if you can get rewards points or cash back.

In what cases are credit cards a bad idea?  Here are some places NOT to use your credit card: Continue Reading

Should You Buy a Bigger House?

Because home prices and mortgage interest rates currently are so low, if you are in a stable financial position, now might be a good time to enter the home buyers’ market or sell your current house and buy a bigger one.

Remember all of the McMansions people built and bought before the housing bubble burst?  Perhaps you are tempted to get your own larger, dream home.

The question is, should you?

If you have weathered the current recession and have the funds, those beautiful, large houses that were built just fifteen to twenty years ago may be tempting.  Even if the price on a larger house is one you can afford, think carefully before upsizing.  With an upsize comes many other upsized costs.

Consider the following if you want to buy a bigger house:

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There’s Some Orange in Your Pocket – Capital One Gains Approval to Acquire ING Direct USA

This story didn’t make front page headlines in the financial media but behind the scenes, a battle took place with Capital One emerging as the winner.

Capital One, well known for their “what’s in your wallet” commercials agreed to purchase ING Direct USA for $9 billion paving the way for Capital One to become the 5th largest bank in the United States based on total deposits.

This acquisition faced tougher than expected scrutiny by Federal Regulators although they recently approved the deal.

By banking standards, this was not a large deal so why did it face such tough headwinds? Continue Reading

How to Deduct Your Moving Expenses

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According to the U.S. Census bureau, up to 40 million people move from their current residence each year.

That represents just over 14% of the population and as everybody knows, moving is expensive, stressful, and back breaking.

For those who are moving because of a new job, the IRS softens the blow by allowing a portion of those moving expenses to be deducted on your tax filing– but be careful.

In order to deduct your moving expenses, you have to pass two important IRS tests.
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Save on College Costs by Attending a College with Free Tuition

Attending a college without paying any tuition sounds too good to be true, but it is not

There are a handful of colleges that are tuition-free, but as you can guess, they are extremely competitive to get into.  If you would like to send your child to a tuition-free school, the early high school years are not too early to begin to prepare to apply for these schools.

Specialty Tuition-Free Colleges

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Alternatives to Foreclosure

If you are concerned that your home might become a foreclosure risk, you are probably casting about for other options.

Foreclosure can impact your credit score, and make it difficult for you to purchase a home in the future — at least for the next two to four years.

When you are trying to avoid foreclosure, you do have some options.

However, it’s important to realize that you will have to meet certain requirements in order to qualify for some of these options.  Additionally, some of your foreclosure alternatives will impact your credit score, even if it isn’t impacted as much as it would be with a foreclosure.

Here are some of your alternatives to foreclosure:

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