Category: Financial Matters

Extended Deadlines to be Aware of

Extended deadlines represented by calendar and note pad

Due to the Corona virus pandemic, some important deadlines have been extended. The ones below include state and federal deadlines faced by most of us. But many other institutions are extending deadlines for things like payments and applications. If you need some extra time, check with entities you are involved with to see whether they will accommodate you. As they say, “It can’t hurt to ask.”   Federal tax returns are now due July 15 Realizing that people may have a hard time gathering the information needed to file their income tax returns or make payments by April 15, the U.S. government extended the deadline to July 15. State return deadlines may or may not be extended You’d think all states would follow the lead of the federal government and extend their tax return deadline to July 15th. Most, but not all, did. To find the deadline in your state see The Motley Fool. Property tax deadlines may be extended In San Francisco the property tax deadline has been extended from April 10 to May 4. Check with your tax collector to see if the deadline has been extended. The Real ID deadline is extended to October 1, 2021 With […]

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Tax Return Help You Can Really Use

tax return help

There was a time I didn’t need tax return help. My finances were so simple I could get a form at the post office, fill it out and mail it to the IRS the same day. These days my finances and IRS requirements are more complicated. So I pay a CPA to prepare and e-file my returns by the April 15 deadline. Almost everyone can use some help with tax returns. Here are some tips: How to get federal income tax forms and publications Online: IRS.gov IRS  Taxpayer Assistance Centers Order by phone: Call 1 800 829-3676 to order current year forms, instructions and publications. Post offices and libraries: Some post offices and libraries have forms, but call to confirm before you go. How to get state income tax forms and publications Online: Search for “income tax forms” plus the name of your state Post offices and libraries: Some post offices and libraries have forms, but call to confirm before you go. Ways to file Prepare and mail paper returns yourself (free). Fill out and e-file your return with IRS free file or fillable forms. Best for annual income of $69,000 or less. Use a free tax return site. The IRS […]

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Will Money Management Software Help?

Woman needs help from money management softeware

When I was young and single I didn’t need money management software. (It’s a good thing, because there wasn’t any such thing!) As the years passed, along came the husband, the children, the house, the dual incomes, multiple bank accounts and, yes, eventually, investments. I was the chief budget manager and financial record keeper for our household, so when the first personal money management software appeared, I was an early adopter. Most families will benefit in many ways. Financial software takes time to set up, but the benefits are worth it. It’s not too late in the year to set up money management software. When it’s time to file your tax returns next year, you’ll be glad you did. Also, if couples share access and data entry, both will know where things stand at any given time. Depending on which software you choose, here’s how money management programs can help: Create and track a budget Balance bank accounts Keep tabs on credit card balances Pay bills electronically Print checks Calculate your net worth Plan for retirement Monitor investment portfolios Print reports Keep tax related data and export it into tax preparation software Which software works for you? There are many money […]

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Curious About Cryptocurrencies?

about cryptocurrencies

I’ve been curious about “cryptocurrencies” since they appeared in 2009. But until recently I wasn’t sure what they were. I don’t think I’m alone. I wanted to add an “About cryptocurrencies” link to the “Financial Matters” category at HabiLinks, my web  guide, so I did some research. Wow! Cryptocurrencies are complicated. I’m still not an expert. And I’m not ready to use them myself. But there is growing interest in these financial tools and they seem to be here to stay. Here are some basic things to know about cryptocurrencies. What are cryptocurrencies? Cryptocurrencies are forms of digital currency that use cryptology (code) to conduct financial transactions. Transactions are sent and received directly between buyers and sellers without the need for intermediaries like banks. The first cryptocurrencies were introduced in 2009. Since then many more types have become available. Some of the most popular are Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and Ripple. You may see images of  “bitcoins,” but don’t be mislead. The coins shown  are  just visual representations of the digital currency concept or novelty items. They have no digital value. How to get them You can buy and sell cryptocurrencies through online platforms or exchanges. Coinbase is one of the […]

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Credit Cards That Pay You Back

credit cards

Because there are countless credit cards to choose from, they offer all kinds of perks to entice you. But offers are confusing at best and can be misleading if you don’t read the fine print. If you’re thinking of applying for a new credit card, get one that earns its keep with offers that fit your lifestyle.   Things to know before applying for new credit cards. Check your credit score free at annualcreditreport.com. Apply for one card at a time. Applying for more could affect your credit score. To avoid affecting your credit score, don’t cancel the credit card you’re replacing. Just stop using it. Decide which features and benefits fit your lifestyle. Cash back rewards Check for easy redemption, cash back limit or expiration, bonus categories. Interest rates If you carry a balance, beware of introductory APR vs. the eventual rate. Travel perks May include miles, baggage check, upgrades, airport lounge fees, etc.. Bonus for new account Check the bonus amount and spend requirements. Annual fee If there is one, make sure perks cover the cost. Late fees If you have trouble paying on time, these can be enormous. Balance transfer offers If you plan to transfer a […]

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