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Wednesday, 29 June 2016 12:25

The Money Edge - (06/29/2016)

Written by Marion Syversen

Marriage and Money: Ten Money Conversation Starters

Summer is the most popular season for weddings. So what better time to discuss your marriage, as well as one of my favorite topics, money?

Wednesday, 10 February 2016 14:20

Maine's Best Tax Credit?

Written by Anne Powelson

Emmys, Grammys, Tonys what awards should we give for great tax credits? The Creddys?

I may not have a good name for the award, but I have a great nominee the Maine Educational Opportunity Tax Credit.

What is the Maine Educational Opportunity Tax Credit?

It's a credit on your Maine tax return, reimbursing you for student loan payments made.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016 22:04

A financial pyramid for your new year

Written by Marion Syversen

Learnvest published a Financial Pyramid for making healthy financial decisions, and I thought it was a great way to start the new year. This is what to aim for instead of perhaps spending every spare bit of money on 'stuff.'

The basics

The bulk of your focus is on this first point. It sets the foundation for the rest of the spending that you do and it is wisdom that you have already heard. But today will be the day for your really understanding how to do this! I'm sure of it.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016 22:00

ABCs of healthcare reporting (01-13-2016)

Written by Anne Powelson

Once again you'll be asked to verify if you and your tax household had minimum essential health coverage through the year. But new this year is an alphabet of forms! Fortunately, most people will not need these forms to do their taxes. Why is that fortunate? Well, this year some of these forms may be arriving well into tax filing season.

This year's healthcare forms are 1095-A, 1095-B and 1095-C.

Let's go through them one at a time.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015 19:35

Your last tuition payment

Written by Anne Powelson

Everyone has innocuous things which make them cringe. In my case, it's people announcing they've just sent in their last tuition payment.

I know they're proud, and I understand their relief, but I'm tempted to ask if that was a good tax decision. Specifically; is there an advantage to pay at the end of 2015, or is it better to wait until the start of 2016? How do you make this decision?

Tuesday, 24 November 2015 19:32

Thankful on a budget

Written by Marion Syversen

We all know how the costs can add up around each special event and holiday. How can we be thankful on a budget? We can, and if we are careful we can lift a lot of stress off our shoulders and make the day more about gratitude for all of our blessings and way less about us.

Food Reward cards, loyalty programs, coupons and cash-back may all be ways to get the turkey and side dishes more cheaply. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, September turkey prices have historically been less expensive than the price of turkey in November. Though it is already November, you can still save money now by stocking up in the weeks prior, when there are deals on canned or frozen veggies. Try not to buy things the day before you need them. In a frantic, last-minute search of the store, we tend to overspend.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015 18:38

Hobby or business?

Written by Anne Powelson

Do you have a hobby or a business? The line isn't always clear. Take, for example, a sculptor: sometimes people sculpt purely as a hobby, maybe once in awhile they sell a sculpture or win a prize, but they aren't primarily in it for the money. Then, there are sculptors who do nothing else. Their days are spent in the studio, or arranging for exhibits and publicity. Sales of their work provide their primary source of income. In between those two points, there is an infinite spectrum of individuals; how do they determine whether they have a hobby or a business?

Profit motive

Tuesday, 08 September 2015 21:56

Mid-year tax reminders and notices

Written by Anne Powelson

There's three reminders for the mid-year. The first is important for everyone, the second for those who had marketplace health insurance in 2014, and the third for anyone who currently has marketplace insurance or looking to replace their insurance mid-year.

The IRS cautions of more sophisticated scams. For years, the IRS has reminded filers that they do not contact taxpayers by phone or email. Requests for information or immediate payment by phone or email are scams and should be ignored. Unfortunately, the scammers have been listening as well, as they have added letters to their schemes. Some people are receiving letters with official looking IRS letterhead looking for information or payment. That creates more of a challenge, since the IRS does contact taxpayers by mail and these letters often have short deadlines.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015 20:20

About lending money

Written by Marion Syversen

The opportunity to lend money to family or friends is a sticky one but also a common concern.What do you do?

What can you afford to lose?

Tuesday, 11 August 2015 14:49

Revised tax return deadlines

Written by Anne Powelson

Tax deadlines: miss them and you could wind up owing penalties and interest. Not fun, so I'd thought I'd give you a head's up about changes included in the recent highway funding bill. These changes especially effect business partnerships and overseas investors and, mostly, go into effect for your 2016 return, filed in 2017.

Partnership Returns, series 1065, will be due a month earlier than before. Returns for calendar year filers will be due on March 15. For fiscal year filers, partnership returns will be due on the 15th day of the third month following the close of their fiscal year. A six-month extension may be allowed for partnership returns.

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