Five Simple Ways To Earn And Save Money

Save Money In 2015 photo
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The year 2015 is finally here and my family has created some big savings goals. We plan to increase our income while cutting back on frivolous expenses. If you would like to save money this year than you may be interested in our money saving tips.

TurboTax

1) Carefully review your health insurance, tax information and retirement benefits. This year make sure that you have the best health plan possible and are taking advantage of any tax breaks available. You can use TurboTax 2013 to help you with your taxes. Using Turbo Tax 2013 is a better option than paying a hefty fee for professional services. By increasing your retirement contributions now, you can enjoy a worry free retirement down the road.

2) You can earn extra money doing the thing you love the most by starting up a small part-time business. If you enjoy woodworking, making crafts or organizing cluttered rooms you can sell your goods or services. This is a terrific way to earn a few extra dollars in your spare time.

3) Sell the things you no longer use. You can clean out your basement or garage and make some money in the process. You can sell gently used items online at Craigslist or through a local buy and sell group.

4) Weatherproof your home. Weather you are a homeowner or a renter who pays for utilities you can save a bundle this year by weatherproofing your house. You can save on both heating and air conditioning costs by sealing up any drafty windows in the home.

5) Get a cheaper cell phone and monthly plan. Far too many people pay too much for their cell phone. Rather than buying an expensive cell phone that comes with a pricey payment plan and long contract you can purchase an older model and sign up for low monthly services that can be cancelled at any time. You can even purchase a gently used cell phone for a bargain price.

Find Out How To Make Your Child Care Expenses Work For You

Get tax credits this summer for your dependent care and Child Care Expenses

A lot of adults pay for day camps or child care during the summer months when they have to go to work. If you are a parent who covers these costs, you may be qualified to receive a federal tax credit that will reduce your taxes. Following are several important facts about the Child And Dependent Care Tax Credit:

  1. You must be paying child or dependent care costs for at least one qualifying person. Dependent children or those who are below the age of thirteen will often qualify. To learn more about this rule, see the IRS publication 503 for Child and Dependent Care expenses.
  2. These expenses have to be related to your work. Thus, you must pay for this care in order to maintain a job or look for one. If you and your spouse are filing a joint return, this rule will also apply to your spouse. A spouse can meet this requirement in any month in which he or she is enrolled as a full-time student. A spouse can also meet this requirement if he or she is mentally or physically incapable of self-care.

  3. It will be necessary to have earned income, such as monies that come in the form of wages, tips or your normal work salary. If filing jointly with your spouse, this individual must also have income as well. Any month that your spouse is enrolled as a full-time student or incapable of caring for his or her self, this can be counted as earned income. This rule is also applicable to you if filing jointly. Check out IRS publication 503 for additional info.

Child Care Expenses
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  1. If you are married you will need to file jointly in order to use this credit. This rule is not applicable, however, if you have left your spouse and live separately or if you are legally separated.

  2. You could be qualified for this credit whether you pay for child care at home, at a day camp or at a daycare facility.

  3. The credit is representative of a percentage of the qualified child or dependent care expenses that you pay. It can be up to 35% of your expenses, as determined by your income level.

  4. The total expense that is applicable for this credit annually is limited. $3k is the limit for one qualified individual and $6 is the limit for two parties or more.

  5. School tutoring costs, summer school costs and overnight camp charges are not qualified expenses. You will not be able to include the costs of care if this care is provided by a a child below the age of 19 or by your spouse. You may not claim a child as a dependent and claim the cost of any care that this child provides. There are special rules concerning dependent care benefits that employers provide.

  6. Diligently maintain your records and receipts. Take note of the address, name and employer identification number or social security number of the individual who provides care. This information will need to be reported when filing your return and claiming this credit.

Considering Your Home Mortgage Tax Deduction

Let Turbo Tax 2014 guide you at tax time.

Many people debate the merits of having a mortgage tax deduction when they file their taxes.

It makes sense to work at lowering your taxable income and getting all of the credits and deductions that you are entitled to, and claiming mortgage interest may be at the top of the list for you. Some homeowners think so much of this deduction that they forgo paying off their mortgage in spite of having enough money to do so. The question becomes whether it makes more sense to keep the savings or eliminate the mortgage debt entirely.

Home Mortgage Tax Deduction
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One example:

Q: I have enough financial resources to pay my mortgage debt in full and still have money left for emergencies. The savings account pays a low interest rate, and I am concerned that paying off my mortgage and losing this deduction will adversely affect me at tax time. I feel that I budget wisely, and I am committed to putting as much money in my retirement account as possible. What would you recommend?

Singletary: I would advise you to pay off your mortgage, but with the following caveat.

Review the items on your return, and remember that a tax credit is different than a mortgage deduction. Tax credits lower your taxable income, and deductions eliminate percentages of your tax obligation. You may pay more in taxes if you do not have a mortgage, but this amount may be much lower that you would pay in annual interest on your home loan. Keeping a mortgage just for a possible tax break does not make sense in the long run.

The caution about eliminating your mortgage refers to using your savings in the current economic climate. You should consider things like your job security, your health, and your ability to find work if you lost your job before you take steps to pay off your mortgage. You cannot predict when you may need an emergency fund of available cash, and tying up your money into your home equity may force you to borrow against your home or sell it. If you can continue to save for retirement and sustain a proper emergency fund, then I would recommend taking the steps to pay off your mortgage.

The Mortgage Interest Tax Deduction Is Being Eliminated

The mortgage interest tax deduction is going to be ditched. The president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, David Stevens, said the MBA is not religiously wed to the deduction. He said this is as long as any change is part of a tax reform proposal that is comprehensive and not just a one-off change.

Almost 44 million taxpayers deducted around $72 billion in mortgage interest from taxes, ending in the year 2014. However, by 2019, that figure may go up as high as $96 billion. This means this will be the largest tax breaks that individuals have ever taken.

Homebuyers who are middle-class benefit the most, as around 43% of taxpayers had adjusted gross incomes between $100K to $200K. Another 40% made less than $100K.

In the past, the MBA appeared to oppose attempts to reduce the deduction or to eliminate it. The statements by the CEO shows they are departing previous opposition.

An Important Guide On Filing Taxes Online

An agreement between a group of private companies that produce tax filing software,the Free File Alliance, and the IRS has made it very easy to file your taxes. Even filing taxes online. The companies have availed their software to be used at absolutely no charge. This has resulted in over 40 million people turning to filing taxes electronically because of the ease and safety associated with this method. When you file your returns electronically, you also benefit from being able to receive your refund faster than those who have to go through a lot of paperwork.

Filing Taxes Online
FILE Rubber Stamp (Photo credit: Enokson)

In order to use the Free File software, you need to visit the IRS website (www.IRS.gov). Here, you will have to choose the preferred program for preparation, printing and filing of your taxes returns.

The free File software employ numerous techniques to help you accomplish the task. The use of questions and answers is a very common technique used in order for the software to determine the tax forms to be use before it goes ahead and computes the required calculations. This way, you can also identify tax breaks and tax credits that can be claimed.

In case your revenue for the previous year was less than $58,000, you can use TurboTax 2014 or Free File forms for anything above that.

When you use Free File, you can easily and freely request for an extension of up to six months in case you are unable to file your taxes by April 15th deadline. Check IRS Publication 17 for details. However, it is advisable to file your taxes by April 15 to avoid penalties and accumulation of interest. You can eliminate the headache and stress associated with filing taxes by choosing to use Free File. It is not only easy but quick. To find out which brand you are eligible for and any other pertinent information, visit IRS.gov/freefile.

Tax Carnival Ecstasy – November 29, 2012

We need to get this to the Fiscal Cliff! What ...

Welcome to the November 29, 2012 edition of Tax Carnival Ecstasy. In this edition we start with two articles from Bill Smith, a look at Eco Products That Are Tax Deductible and an article all about the Buffett Rule. Then there’s a post on the Fiscal Cliff and whether large corporations are immune by John Schmoll. Finally David de Souza examines Where Your Taxes Go. Hope you enjoy the material, bookmark, share, like on Facebook, tweet and follow the next edition of the carnival.

Shelby Martin presents 5 Reasons to Give Your Nanny a Year-End Review posted at GoNannies.com Blog, saying, “Annual nanny reviews do more than give nanny employers an opportunity to give their nanny a raise; they provide a much needed opportunity to evaluate the health of the working relationship.”

credits

Morris presents How It Is Possible To Obtain A Mortgage Loan With Bad Credit posted at Fast Bad Credit Loan Blog, saying, “A bad credit mortgage loan is acquirable for those people who may have less income and have adverse scores and allows them to get loans sooner and more quickly. It is however important for the applier to know that there is a price to pay in order to get a bad credit home loan.”

Morris presents Things You Need To Apply For A Bad Credit Business Loan posted at Fast Bad Credit Loan Blog, saying, “When masses begin to think about bad credit business loans, chances are that they have had a difficulty repaying their former loans or debts within the right time. This is a ordinary thing majorly with start ups. Having negative history for debts does not imply irresponsibility.”

deductions

Bill Smith presents Eco Products That Are Tax Deductible posted at 2010Taxes, saying, “There are plenty of things that can help you save money if you go green. In 2011 you could write off home energy efficiency improvements.”

tax law

Bill Smith presents Learn About The Buffett Rule posted at 2011 Taxes, saying, “Dr. Cornwall wants everyone to know that there will never be a tax increase on the extremely wealthy population (The Buffett Rule) that will put the tiniest dent in the tax shortfall of the United States.”

taxes

John Schmoll presents Are Large Companies Immune to the Fiscal Cliff? posted at Frugal Rules, saying, “Unless you’re living under a rock you’ve heard of the Fiscal Cliff. We all know how it could possibly affect individuals, but how would it affect companies? Many companies will have to make decisions about what they’re going to do with their cash after the Fiscal Cliff meets its outcome.”

David de Souza presents Where Does Your Tax Go? posted at TaxFix Feed Update, saying, “If you have ever wondered where you tax goes this post highlights how your taxable income is spent by the government.”

James Powell presents What The Child Benefit Changes Mean To You posted at Tax Credits, saying, “Child Benefit is changing. This blog posts highlights what the Child Benefit Changes Mean To You.”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of tax carnival ecstasy using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Tax Credits Available for Students

Returning to school can be a huge decision.  It is not only extremely time consuming and stressful, it is also a big financial burden.  In order to pay for college tuition, room and board many individual take out hefty student loans from
private loan institutions and the government without any consideration on how these loans will be paid back in the future. One way to either avoid these loans or pay a portion of them back while you are still in school is to take advantage of the tax credits and deductions offered to individuals in pursuit of a higher education.

The first education credit that is offered to students is called the Hope Credit or American Opportunity Credit.  The full
credit, generally around $2,000-$2,500, is available to students whose modified adjusted gross income is below $80,000 as a single individual or $160,000 as a joint tax filer.  Another stipulation for this tax credit is that you must be enrolled in an accredited undergraduate college or university at least half time in order to take the credit on your yearly taxes.

Another credit that may be beneficial is called the Lifetime Learning Credit, which is worth approximately $2,000 a year.  The difference between the Lifetime Learning Credit and the Hope Credit (American Opportunity Credit) is that while the Hope Credit can only be taken for undergraduate studies, the Lifetime Learning Credit can be taken for any
“higher education courses” you take throughout your life.  The two credits cannot be taken during the same tax year, however, and it is recommended that you take the credit that offers you the most benefit for that particular year.  Additionally, eligibility for the Lifetime Learning Credit is based around your modified adjusted gross income, which must be below $50,000 as a single individual or under $100,000 as a joint filer.

Finally, if you are either finished with school and making student loan payments or are still in school but making payments (either interest only or regular payments), you can deduct the interest you have paid on your student loans on a yearly basis up to $2,500.  In order to take the maximum allowable deduction of your student loan interest on your yearly taxes, your modified adjusted gross income must be below $60,000 for a singleindividual and $120,000 for a joint filer.

The IRS, your local financial consultant, or a tax professional can offer you more detailed information about the credits available to you and how they can be claimed on your yearly taxes.

Author’s Bio: Val Anne is an in-house writer from Franklin Debt Relief , a company specializing in programs for people with high credit card debt.