5 Time-Saving Hacks To Getting Your Tax Refund As Quickly As Possible

Have you ever noticed how time seems to move more slowly when you’re looking forward to something? Vacations, parties, special events – the countdown to the big day can be excruciating. The same principle applies when you’re waiting for your tax refund.

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Checklist: 3 Tax Breaks for First-Time Homebuyers

In an effort to streamline the tax code, the new tax legislation has eliminated some of the special credits provided to first time homeowners. However these may be offset by lower tax rates overall and a much larger child credit as a help to families. Although some changes are being introduced in 2018, it is important to understand which deductions and credits still may help the taxpayer who is buying a home for the first time.

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Looking forward to that refund check?

Most taxpayers will only have to wait 21 days to receive their refund checks from the IRS. This is similar to previous years. Once you have determined your filing status there are two ways to look at the way you file. If you have a lot of deductions, itemizing may be the way to go. However, if you have fewer deductions, taking the standard deduction, may make better sense.

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Side Jobs and Taxes: how to plan for them

Although freelance self employment has been around for ages, our post recession economy has created an entrepreneurial boom like no other in recent history which means if you want to hustle – you can reap many, many rewards. Say you are one of the lucky individuals who have made some money (on the side) this year, created a home office, are tracking your mileage and expenses and are ready to take the next steps in your business journey. . . where do you go from here?

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Hobby or Business? The IRS will need to know.

According to the IRS, if a business is presumed to be for profit — it makes a profit in at least three of the last five tax years. The taxpayer cannot deduct losses from doing an activity purely for pleasure, in the same way as if the activity was a business – and incurred a loss. For new business, the IRS expects you to turn a profit in at least three of five years or it will consider your business a hobby.

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Hurry up and take advantage of solar tax breaks – they won’t be there forever

If you are a homeowner and have ever considered going solar, or are in the process of building a home and have been offered the option, you might consider that in 2015 Congress made the decision to extend the solar panel tax credit (officially the investment tax credit (ITC)) several more years, which means it will not expire until the end of 2021. This credit makes installing solar panels more affordable for all US customers (residential and commercial) by allowing us to deduct 30 percent of the cost of installation of a solar system on our taxes, at least until and through 2019.

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Want to rent out that spare bedroom? Here is how it may affect your taxes.

If you have seriously considered offering a spare room, a vacation condo or even your own home to short or long term lodgers, there are some tax considerations you should consider. To be sure, a host should become aware not only of state occupancy taxes (and sales taxes) but also of local occupancy taxes. It is up to you to determine if your city or region actually requires the taxes to be paid.

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Changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for 2018

Open enrollment for health insurance in the ACA marketplace for 2018 began on November 1, 2017 and ended on December 15, 2017, providing a shorter open enrollment than previous years. Although the standard enrollment period is over in mid December, there are still special circumstances where people can enroll throughout the year. This is called special enrollment.

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How Healthcare Savings Accounts work in retirement

Healthcare Savings Accounts (HSA) are tax advantaged accounts designed for people enrolled in high deductible medical insurance plans (HDHP) to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses with pre-tax dollars. Your HSA contributions are only tax deductible before you turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare. Consumers who are eligible (have a HDHP), and looking forward to retirement, would do well to stockpile the maximum amount in an HSA for use as a buffer against rising healthcare costs.

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Three Smart Financial Exercises for Millennials and Others

The generation of people born between the early nineteen eighties through 2000 are commonly referred to as the Millennials or Generation Y. They follow Generation X, and grew up through two national events which had world-wide significance: The World Trade Center collapse (9/11) and the Wall Street financial crash followed by the Great Recession starting in late 2007 and ending in 2009. Unlike other generations before them, they also have unprecedented levels of student debt. So, how does this factor into their ability to create wealth?

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