financial education
home prices

Home prices rise across the nation, says index

Nineteen of the 20 cities tracked by the monthly Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index saw price increases from March to April, as the housing market continues its sluggish crawl to recovery. The poor job market, however, hinders further economic growth. Rising monthly index That largest home price increase was in and Phoenix, where homes
16th century painting Poborcy podatków by artist Marinus van Reymerswale.

How to figure out your tax bracket, taxable income and tax rate

Tax time has come and gone in 2012 for most of us, but it’s never a bad time to learn more. This is particularly true if you earn a raise at work during the year, as you may be in a new tax bracket. Here’s some background on the various tax brackets that the IRS
dinosaur shoe tax

Tariffs inflating the cost of shoes for kids

Shoes are a necessity, especially for working parents with children who seem to grow out of them on a weekly basis. Yet, import tariffs are jacking up the prices of nearly all U.S.-sold shoes, cutting into the fixed budgets of people who can afford it the least. Cheaper materials taxed more The so-called “shoe tax”
Tax debt

IRS expands its taxpayer forgiveness program

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced Monday that it will be expanding its “offer in compromise” tax debt forgiveness program with some key changes that will make it easier for more middle-income Americans to pay down their delinquent tax debt. A more flexible Fresh Start The changes to the “offer in compromise” program, part of

Stupid ways to pay off debts

Debt is how our nation got into its current economic predicament. Once upon a time, credit was readily available and easy to get. Many of us became over-extended, never dreaming that the gravy train would slow down and make it hard to catch up again. But catch up we must, or sink deeper. Here are
grave robbers

Trading on the dead: postmortem identity theft

Grave robbing has traditionally been the option of very desperate criminals with exceptionally low scruples. In the novel and movie “True Grit,” a frontier dentist tries to make a deal with passersby for the ownership of a dead body. The dead have always had some value for those willing to plumb low enough to get
kids n money

Financial literacy concerns us all – Part 2

Many children don’t receive a proper financial education at home. As we have seen, many parents are woefully uneducated themselves in basic money management skills. That leaves the schools to save us from becoming a nation of the financially illiterate. However, most schools are not making it a curriculum priority. Trend slowing down A 2011
Kids and money.

Financial literacy concerns us all – Part 1

Some parents teach personal finances to their children at home. However, most do not. Only a handful of states require personal finance education in high schools at this time. So where do most children learn about money? Usually, the evidence suggests, they learn about it on their own in real-life trials by fire. Those who

What tax records to keep, which to shred

It has been nearly a week since 2011 income tax returns were due. Many tax payers may be wondering which records need to be saved and which ones can be shredded. Keep old returns According to Kiplinger magazine, keeping old returns is imperative. They contain information on your background that can be useful for mortgage
Multiple $10 bills folded into a flower, origami-style.

What to do with your tax refund

Tax refunds are on their way to many U.S. taxpayers. Along with a tax return comes the annual decision on what to do with your tax refund. The average refund for the 2012 filing season is $2,899, according to the IRS, $100 less than in 2011. In case you’ve forgotten, here are some sound ideas.
Warren Buffett

Most Americans say Buffett Rule is fair

The so-called “Buffett Rule,” which states that all millionaires and billionaires should be required to pay at least 30 percent income tax, is currently being debated by the Senate. But a new poll shows that most Americans agree with Warren Buffett. Nearly all groups favor rule The study, conducted by CNN, found that 72 percent
debt spiral

Why paying taxes with credit card is a bad idea

Chances are, anybody who hasn’t filed their taxes yet probably is not expecting a refund. Since the IRS has partnered with several credit card providers, paying by plastic seems the most convenient way to go. But is it? Most of the time, tax experts say no. Two reason it’s a bad idea The two main
Form 4868

File even if you are unable to afford tax bill

Tax day is only a few days off. So what happens if you find, in this time of financial hardship, that you can’t afford to pay your tax debt? Experts say don’t put off filing. Higher penalties for late filing The reason for this is that the Internal Revenue Service penalizes those who don’t file
A new house.

Factors that influence a refinanced mortgage rate

When considering mortgage refinancing, it is important to know what factors can affect the refinance rate. Each factor can have as much as a full percentage point’s difference in the new mortgage rate, according to various mortgage experts. Armed with knowledge, you can approach your own mortgage refinancing with greater confidence. Advertisements typically reflect points
Benjamin Franklin

Traffic deaths increase on Tax Day

Benjamin Franklin famously said, “The only things certain in life are death and taxes.” A study released this week combines the two in a far more tangible way than Franklin ever could have guessed. The study shows a spike in traffic deaths on each of the last 30 tax days. Spike in each of the
An unsliced bagel.

Strange state taxes for tax day fun

State tax codes don’t make for a riveting read, but there are hidden chestnuts that are sure to please. Here are a few strange state taxes, presented for taxpayers who can use a bit of a laugh. See if your state’s tax laws are opportunistic or hopelessly arcane! Bagels and dogs, salt and arrows The
Pennsylvania State Lottery

Lottery winner tax evasion thwarted by IRS

Taxes and the lottery have both been prominent in the financial news recently.  A recent story touched on both. A man was indicted Wednesday for trying to hide lottery winnings from the IRS, proving, once again, that tax evasion is a risky proposition at best, and a bad idea for sure. Man failed to report