Thursday, March 29, 2012

5 Reasons Why Gold Is a Good Investment

Gold has been an extremely desired expensive metal for coinage, jewellery and other arts since its invention. Monetary markets have always been doubtful. But, today is the world of globalization; economic situation is much severe than ever before. This just might be a good time to avoid insecurity by investing in gold. Gold is also known as the money of last resort. It is useful because it does not only protect you against the falling demand and value dollar, but you could make a heavy profit in precious metals. Here are the best five reasons for converting your money into gold:
Limited Supply
Gold does not lose its value every day, like paper money. Gold is not exaggerated by inflation or devaluation as there is a limited natural supply of the precious metal. Many people realize it that there is no alternate for the gold. By buying gold, you can have a sense of security that if anything happens to the market prices and the worth of paper currency to falls, you would be in control of a very valuable material, whose prices are not determined by governments of various countries.
Globally Acceptable Currency

As you know that gold is a very expensive and precious metal. It is acceptable in any place of the world without any hesitation. It is an easy and comfortable investment, which is accepted as currencies all over the world.
Historical Value
No one can make gold as much as he wants because gold cannot be made by hand. It is the gift of God for the people. That is why the worth of gold has been used for over 5,000 years. Gold is a great preservative for all economies.
Economic Recession Periods
In the economic recession around the world, gold emerges as being more reliable, because the market believes that it will not fall to fluctuations in economic trends like paper currency does. Gold is measured as the greatest investment in times of crisis.
Gold As Jewellery Business
In the last two years, gold jewellery business has earned a lot of popularity as a small size business. There are a lot of women who do not do any work at home, but buy jewellery according to their choice; they get new designs and sell them on high prices. It is a means of a profitable business for women. They can use their innovative faculties and employ their hours in creation of gold jewellery, which can later be sold off.
As we have looked at gold that can be kept for investment purposes, its stunning looks and shortage have made it the perfect means of exchange. Gold is the finest metal for this purpose because of its high value, durability, portability and easy divisibility. The importance of gold, as a great store of worth and investment, is not a recent phenomenon. It has been there for many centuries. Gold was the main commodity that was used as money and was used for carrying out barter dealings.

Article Source:

Monday, March 26, 2012

The 7 Biggest Mistakes Trustees Often Make

This seminar is entertaining and informative. It is our main educational seminar. In the first half of the seminar we explore a real case to determine where the clients, trustees and successor trustees went wrong and what those mistakes cost. Unfortunately, only some of the costs in these cases are measurable in financial terms. The real costs are emotional and involve the damage to family relationships. Again, this is damage that is preventable.
In the second half of the seminar we examine each of the mistakes that was made and identify what could have been done to avoid them. The seminar is wrapped up by another look at a sample case that demonstrates the difference that proper planning can make in the lives of clients and their families for two or three generations and beyond.
No seminars currently scheduled at the present time.
Please click here to be added to our upcoming seminar list. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Some Things You May NOT Know About the American Opportunity Tax Credit For Education

The new American Opportunity Tax Credit that was placed in force for the 2010 tax year offers a very nice credit of up to $2,500 per year for each student that qualifies. So far this credit is being used to replace the Hope Tax Credit until the 2012 tax year.
What You Probably DO Know:
This new credit has an adjusted gross income (AGI) limit that phases the credit out for single taxpayers between $80,000 up to $90,000, and for married couple between $160,000 up to $180,000 of AGI.
This credit can be used for the first four years of the students post secondary college education. The student must be enrolled in an approved program and must be at least half time student ( minimum 15 credit hours per year or 5 classes per year). You can claim this credit for qualified expense that you have paid in excess of any tax-free educational assistance that you received.

Qualifying expenses include tuition and fees, books, supplies and certain equipment needed for a course of study that was required for enrollment at an eligible institution. Eligible institutions include most colleges, universities, vocational schools or other schools that participate in the student aid programs administered by the United States Department of Education.
What You May NOT Know:
1. You can receive up to 40 percent or $1,000 per student, per year of this credit even if you do not owe any income tax. That means that this 40 percent is a refundable credit for those with lower incomes, high deductions because of large families or other tax factors.
This can be especially important for families with lower incomes that receive good financial aid, but may have a student loan for the balance. They should be extra careful to make sure that they have their income taxes prepared professionally or by someone who understands the new education tax credits. It would be unfortunate to lose this $1,000 refund per student if you were eligible for it, but didn't know how to claim it.
2. There may be some situations where you will not want to use this new credit if you only have part-time college education costs and enrollment. If you are just starting college, but only attend part-time, your expense may be too low to qualify for the full tax credit for that tax year. If you are planning on going full-time next year, it might be a good idea to wait until you are enrolled full-time and get your full $2,500 credit for the year.
Otherwise you will lose a year of eligibility for this credit, which at $2,500 per year for four years equals a total; of $10,000. If you only get $800 for that part-time year, you have lost the other $1,700 that you could have collected.
This credit is a nice tax savings for families and students that have paid those high costs for a college education. But make sure that you take full advantage of it and if you do not understand how to file for it, hire a good tax preparer. It will save you a lot of headaches and money.

Article Source:

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Avoiding Filing Your Taxes? This Year You Get 3 Extra Days!

taxes Pictures, Images and Photos
For some filing annual income taxes brings about feelings of dread. Owing the government money rather than receiving a tax refund isn't particularly fun. The good news is that this year, you get 3 extra days to file your taxes.
The government isn't giving extra time however the 2012 calendar gives extra days. The deadline to file your taxes is April 15th. This year it falls on a Sunday which traditionally pushes the deadline to Monday April 16th but not this year. April 16th is District of Columbia's Emancipation Day. Federal holidays include District of Columbia holidays by law so that pushes the tax deadline to April 17th.
Thanks to 2012 being a Leap Year a third day is added because February has 29 days instead of 28 this year. These extra days give filers the opportunity spend the time organizing their tax documents and it also allows extra time to save the money that may be owed to the government after filing.
If you garner tax debt you run this risk of having the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) contact you to collect the debt. If there is enough debt there is a chance that the government will put tax liens on your assets. Tax liens prevent you from selling the assets without paying the debt. It can be complicated to try and sell a home that has a tax lien on it.
For those with tax debt it can be very beneficial to hire a tax lawyer to help navigate the tax filing and debt. If you already owe back taxes and work with an IRS tax attorney make sure you communicate with them when you file your 2011 taxes. They will need to know if anything is changing with your debt.
Filing your taxes each year should not be something that causes feelings of fear. The government is flexible about payment plans and they will work with you to pay off the debt. It is important not to ignore the problem though. Hire an IRS attorney and face the issue head on. The sooner you come up with a plan the sooner the debt will be paid off.
If you owe significant money each year you might discuss your tax withholding with your attorney. You should be able to have money come out of your check each pay period to avoid owing money at the end of the year.

Article Source:

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Tax Tips: Earned Income Tax Credit

If you work but don't make a lot of money, see if you are eligible for the earned income tax credit.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Earned Income Tax Credit Increases Your Tax Refund

Earned Income Tax Credit, more commonly referred to as EITC or EIC, increases your income tax refund. If you file as single taxpayer or are head of a household, with one or more dependents, and earn a low to moderate amount of gross income during a tax year, you are eligible for this tax credit. Unlike income adjustments or deductions that change the amount of your gross income, a refundable tax credit increases your tax refund literally dollar for dollar. EITC, created through Congressional legislation in 1975, has grown into a significant reporting function in our US income tax system. Taxpayer information supporting an EITC claim has grown more complex and onerous over the years. This tax credit even has its own Internet web page at EITC Central. This resource, separate from the IRS website, provides eligible taxpayers and those who prepare tax returns important help following the rules and regulations (collectively called due diligence) in reporting eligibility information associated with this single tax credit. The requirements are documented in IRS Publication 596, Earned Income Credit. If you are eligible for EITC, you need to understand the growing set of rules imposed by tax authorities and follow them carefully to insure receiving your full tax entitlement.
Earned Income Tax Credit eligibility factors
EITC is based on income you earn. According to the Internal Revenue Service, earned income comes from a person, company, or agency you work for or from a business activity you operate or own. Wages, salary, or compensation, are all considered taxable income and are combined in order to determine the amount of the earned income tax credit. This government credit is a generous incentive to low to moderate income earners. Maximum gross income limits pertaining to eligibility are however imposed. Taxpayers require a valid Social Security number and must be either a US citizen, resident alien or a nonresident alien filing jointly with a US citizen. You cannot have any source of foreign income nor can you have unearned sources of income like savings account interest or stock dividends that exceed specific dollar limits. These limits can change from year to year. It is best to review current EITC income limits, maximum EITC amounts, and related tax credits like child tax credit (especially if you file Head of Household) on the official IRS website,
Earned income and unearned sources of income cannot exceed specific EITC eligibility dollar limits.
Income tax filing status is also a factor. If you are legally married as of December 31 of a tax year and claim the earned income tax credit, you cannot file an income tax return as Married Filing Separate (MFS). In addition, you can not be considered or file with someone considered a qualified child (QC) of some other person. If you file as Head of Household and claim one or more dependents, there are eligibility "tests" regarding age, relationship, and residency of these dependents during the tax year. These eligibility factors are an important part of your EITC claim in the 2011 tax year. Another valuable resource is IRS Pub 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information, which has the most current source of IRS rules that relate to filing status and dependency for the current tax year.
An Earned Income Credit checklist
You must provide sufficient documentation to answer EITC eligibility questions. This tax credit is calculated on how much earned income you report on your individual income tax return, your filing status for the tax year, and the number of dependents you support. Both you, as an eligible tax payer, and your tax preparer, are responsible for fulfilling all the information requirements when completing your individual income tax return. In fact, you can find IRS Form 8867, Paid Preparer's Earned Income Credit Checklist, on the official IRS website. It includes specific questions that must be answered when completing your eligibility information. Failure to meet any of these requirements will result in significant financial and/or tax-related consequences to both you and the person preparing your income tax return.
Tax incentives like the Earned Income Tax Credit are ways government agencies offer incentives to those who work but, despite their best efforts, earn low to moderate amounts of money. The EITC helps, for example, hardworking single parents responsible for others who depend on them for support. This tax-free money added directly to your income tax refund boosts not only your personal standard of living but, in fact, the entire economy. The significant size of this government-funded entitlement however has brought about a complex set of rules and regulations. Seek professional tax advice especially when filing an income tax return. An EITC checklist covering specific eligibility factors will help you, and the person who prepares your income tax return, remain in compliance with changing tax definitions and specific rules of due diligence documenting your eligibility for this valuable earned income tax credit. For annotated citations, please visit one of my tax-related blogs.

Article Source:

Friday, March 2, 2012

Entrepreneur's Relief - Capital Gains Tax (CGT)

Before the rate of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) was raised from 5% or 10% to 18% or 28%, small businesses were promised some sort of concession would be announced. We were expecting a form of retirement relief to be announced, but a brand new"Entrepreneur's Relief" was introduced instead.
Entrepreneur's relief is available to most, including individuals, trustees (in some circumstances), but not to limited companies.
You can claim Entrepreneur's Relief when you sell all of your business, or even shares in your own company after 5th April 2008. The capital gain, when entrepreneur's relief is applied, is taxed at an effective rate of 10%, instead of 18% or even 28%.
There are, however, some stiff limitations to entrepreneur's relief:
1. You must be selling all, or a material part, of your business, including: 
  • Selling shares in a qualifying company. The shareholder MUST own at least 5% of the ordinary voting shares, as well as having been an officer or employee of said company
  • Selling the whole of your business
  • Selling partnership interest
If you sell the assets, without selling the actual business, or ceasing to trade, then this will not qualify for the relief. For example, if an accountant sold part of their practice, entrepreneur's relief would not apply.
2. You need to have owned the assets/shares for at least a year prior to the sale.
3. The business must be defined as a trading business, which means that, for example, a property letting business would not qualify. A furnished holiday letting company, however, would.
4. Entrepreneur's relief only applies to capital gains made after 6th April 2008. Taxpayers are restricted under certain conditions to claiming this relief on lifetime gains up to £10 million worth of gains (£5 million prior to 6th April 2011, £2 million prior to 23rd June 2010, and £1 million prior to 6th April 2010.) For capital gains realised before 6th April 2010, and exceeding £1 million, no additional relief is given.
It may also be possible to claim relief where gains are deferred as a result of either the Enterprise Investment Scheme, or Venture Capital Trust investments.
When a material disposal relates to the sale of shares, or a partnership share, the person who is disposing is also able to claim relief against any gains made in the disposal of an asset that is used in the business. This later disposal can happen as long as 3 years after the original disposal. However, the relief is restricted if rent is charged on the property.

Article Source: