Andy Kim had a hit record back in 1968 with the song “Baby, How’d We Ever Get This Way?” That was a great question then and an even greater one today, especially when it comes to the national debt.
I feel a little like Sgt. Joe Friday of “Dragnet” as I give you “the facts and just the facts” on the status of “all things debt”. This week both the Senate and the House passed the Trump proposed budget for next year and it will not be cutting any of the national debt in the plan, that’s for sure. In fact, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the proposed tax cuts combined with the CBO’s already-projected mounting deficit could ultimately drive the deficit upwards another $10 trillion in the next 10 years. Increasing the debt another $10 trillion seems just crazy! Continue reading
It seems we are always talking about jobs and unemployment numbers, doesn’t it? After all, no matter who you are or where you live, earning a living is your major priority and concern. That applies even if you see yourself as a minimalist who is focused on being totally earth friendly and working just for yourself on the internet or even if you are a corporate mogul running a Fortune 500 corporation out in Silicon Valley. But as was heard long ago on the old 60’s “Lost in Space” TV show: “Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!”
What will happen when robots take your job?
Robots are taking over the world’s workforce—and why shouldn’t they? For so many jobs, machines are faster, more consistent, smarter, and cheaper than you or I will ever be. As advances in artificial intelligence (AI) accelerate, robots will spread into all corners of the labor market: blue collar and white collar, service work and knowledge work alike. Continue reading
Just so you know, it requires a great deal of restraint on my part to keep from writing about my political opinions here on the blog, especially about our new president and the chaotic events that seem to occur almost every day down in Washington, DC. My wife has reminded me that my readers here at Super Saving Tips aren’t looking for that sort of thing, and that you the readers are more likely to peruse the New York Times or Washington Post if you want political fodder. But wonder of wonders, I finally do have a little something to say that actually involves your personal finances and politics. So hopefully you’ll be interested this time around. It’s about…tax reform!
Trump’s Proposed Tax Reform
Our new president has presented the first trickles of information about his plans to reform the tax code and fulfill his campaign promise to review and change the federal tax laws. He and his Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, say it will be the biggest tax cut ever (fact check: actually it will be the biggest cut since the 1980’s and Ronald Reagan). Now normally when you talk about cutting taxes, that’s a pretty popular idea out there among the constituents. Continue reading
Benjamin Franklin once said “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”. Particularly here in the USA, you certainly can’t deny that, can you? You can’t really ever avoid the subject of taxes, especially right around now since the big and dreaded April 15th deadline (ok, this year it’s April 18th) is less than a month away! The truth however is this: income taxes are not the only taxes we have to deal with every day, and retirement and taxes is something we need to plan for. It’s not something that is new and it’s not something that is going away.
The net is this: my paycheck is gross!
Back in the days when I used to get an actual paycheck, the first thing I would look at was the “net” amount of my check compared to the “gross”. There was always a big difference between those two numbers and most of it was centered on taxes. It always amazed me how many different ways they could slice up my paycheck and no matter what my salary was that number was always smashed by those payroll tax deductions. Continue reading
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It’s now income tax season and (hopefully) you are gathering all of your tax information and planning to file your return over the next couple months, certainly by the April 18th, 2017 deadline. Yes, you have a couple of extra days this year because the 15th is a Saturday and the 17th is a Washington, DC holiday this year.
But once you’ve gathered your information, how are you planning to prepare your returns? Are you planning to do it yourself, or will you hire a tax professional to help? Continue reading
If you’re anything like me, you sometimes think about the possibility of a tax audit and wonder what you can do to make sure that never happens. Truthfully, tax audits are pretty rare, only about 1% actually ever get audited. They mostly occur with wealthy people (audited at 2.5%) and questionable returns with itemized deductions that may net the IRS some substantial amount of money. There also audit some small number of totally random returns as well. Those that earn less than $200,000 (audited at about 0.7%) and file as individuals or joint earners stand the very least chance of an audit even though the numbers are increasing ever so slightly since 2008.
Billions of dollars are left behind every year by people who prepare their own taxes, often because they fail to take advantage of all the tax deductions available to them. While I believe that most of us can do our own taxes and not leave our money on the table, it’s imperative to prepare now for the tax return deadline which is April 18th this year (the 15th is a Friday and this year’s deadline has been extended to Monday the 18th). In Maine and Massachusetts it’s the 19th due to Patriots day.
To help you with your 2015 tax returns, don’t skip this important list. While I’m not a tax professional, you can always research these and other tax deductions at IRS.gov. Remember, if you have difficulty or your return is more complex than you can handle, see an accountant or check out the many free options either online or in your own community. Continue reading
You can’t get through a day right now without hearing something about the presidential election and the Democratic and Republican campaigning that is going on. Between the news, talk shows, debate stages, and the constant updating and interviewing of the huge number of candidates wanting your vote, it’s just inescapable isn’t it?
How much attention do you pay to it all? Have you taken a look at what each candidate says and stands for? That may have a huge impact on your life, money, and your financial future. Here are some of the big issues that are being talked about that you should consider and may very well influence your choice when you vote in your state primary/caucus and of course next November when you have the chance to vote for President. Continue reading
It’s that time again to examine the moves you need to make to increase your net income and save on your tax bill for 2015 and beyond. It’s really important to start now and review all the opportunities that can save you money, since in most cases (for personal taxes, not business), December 31st is the deadline for adjustments. Doing your year end tax planning now means you can claim these benefits when you file your return by April 15th. If you itemize your deductions, many of these actions should look familiar, so let’s begin!
Here where I live in New Jersey, we have the highest real estate taxes in the United States (and probably the universe as well!) with a whopping average of $3,971 per year. Now that we’re closing in on a new fiscal year in my town, and my first quarterly tax payment is due on August 1st, I am reminded again that many of us simply accept the tax evaluations we receive from our local assessor and pay up without really knowing what can be done. In fact, if there has been some kind of error made or even if you just need a further explanation as to how the assessment was calculated, there’s a lot you can do.
It matters not whether you pay your taxes through an escrow account (which I don’t recommend if you have that choice) or you do as I do and pay them directly to your local office, you still have the right to challenge your assessment and you may in fact have good reasons to do exactly that! Continue reading