Advantages and Disadvantages of Filing Your Own Taxes

Advantages and Disadvantages of Filing Your Own Taxes

Neglecting your personal finances can lead to all types of problems in the future. Therefore, you should stay organized and make sure to keep close track of your finances. Part of keeping your financial life in order includes dealing with filing your income taxes. Failure to do so can result in fines and various other charges. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may even decide to contact you by mail, which is usually not good news.

Therefore, you should make sure to plan ahead and prepare to file your taxes on time or even early if possible. However, whether you decide to file your taxes yourself or hire a competent tax professional, such as Western Shamrock Corporation (Local) tax preparation service(s), will depend upon your knowledge of tax laws and accounting and also how much time and energy you are willing to spend. You should carefully examine the pros and cons of filing your own taxes since there are some significant risks and disadvantages in choosing to do so.

Time factor

Time is money, as they say. This is one thing to think about before choosing to file our own taxes. In many instances, depending upon your situation, filing your own taxes can be an extremely time-consuming venture. Taxpayers spent an average of 13 hours, according to the IRS. If you have to file a Form 1040 then that amount of time goes up to 16 hours. However, if you have to file business taxes, the amount you will spend jumps up to 24 hours on average. In more complex cases, the amount of time spent can even be more. Depending upon your situation and how much you value your time it may make sense to hire a tax professional.

You can deduct tax preparation fees

One of the drawbacks of hiring a professional tax preparation service is the fees charged. However, if you itemize your taxes you may be able to deduct the fees charged for a professional tax preparer. If you file Form 1040, you can deduct tax preparation fees under miscellaneous deductions as long as your deductions under this category is 2 percent or less of your adjusted gross income.

Constantly changing tax laws

Another reason to consider hiring a professional tax preparer is the constantly-changing federal tax code. Each year the tax laws are adjusted making it almost impossible for the everyday person to be completely aware of the changes and if they may be applicable to his or her situation. A good tax preparation service should be up-to-date on all of the latest tax laws in order to make sure you are in full compliance with regulations while ensuring you are aware of all of your options. This will allow you to minimize your tax liability and possibly even help you receive a large tax refund.

Save money

Of course, the obvious reason to do your own taxes is to save money on the preparation fees. This may make sense if your taxes are fairly simple and straightforward. If you have a basic understanding of tax law you may be able to get by. With the amount of free information on the Internet, it is definitely possible to teach yourself. However, you will have to be careful to only use accurate sources of information. On the other hand, there are certain circumstances which are too complicated for most untrained people to handle, requiring the help of a competent tax preparation service.

If you own, sold or started a business it may not be a good idea to do your own taxes. Also having various investment gains or losses can make filing more challenging. Capital asset, real estate, and trust fund transactions will require significantly increased time and effort to report. If you receive income in a state or country that is not the same as your residence, certain tax laws may apply in different ways which could require significant tax law knowledge. Additionally, if you are self-employed your tax filings will be significantly more burdensome than the average nine-to-five worker.

Debunking 4 Business Bankruptcy Myths

Debunking 4 Business Bankruptcy Myths

While there are plenty of articles on the web that dispel consumer (i.e. personal) bankruptcy myths, there are few if any that focus on the misunderstandings and misinformation that surrounds business bankruptcies.

To remedy this critical knowledge gap, here is the truth about 4 enduring business bankruptcy myths:

Myth #1: Filing for business bankruptcy spells the end for your business.

Fact: If you file for chapter 11 bankruptcy, you’ll be able to keep your business operational while you restructure and repay your debts. Many large companies like General Motors have successfully emerged from chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Myth #2: Filing for business bankruptcy means that you will lose all of your business assets.

Fact: Some of your business assets — such as those that are required to generate income and profit — are likely to be protected from liquidation (i.e. sold by the court-appointed trustee with the proceeds being distributed to creditors).

Myth #3: Bankruptcy court is pro-creditor and anti-debtor.

Fact: Overly-aggressive creditors (which unfortunately describes most of them) repeatedly tell debtors that the court won’t be sympathetic to their plight. On the contrary, they say, the court will be hostile and punitive. This simply isn’t true, and never has been.

The court is not for or against creditors or debtors. The court is interested in two things: correctly applying prevailing law, and ensuring that the bankruptcy process is properly structured and documented.

Myth #4: Filing for business bankruptcy will lead to an exodus of customers, employees, suppliers and vendors. 

Fact: As noted above, the purpose of chapter 11 bankruptcy is to give businesses a realistic opportunity to restructure their debts while they keep their business operational. If it was true that customers, employees, suppliers and vendors raced for the exits the moment they learned about a bankruptcy filing, then it wouldn’t matter if a business remained open: it would be doomed.

Fortunately, this isn’t true. Filing for bankruptcy does not indicate that a business has done anything deliberately wrong, and it certainly has nothing to do with criminal activity. Essentially, it is an administrative protection and process.

With this being said, businesses that file for chapter 11 bankruptcy will typically need to get the trustee’s permission to make investments, procure equipment, and so on. This is simply to ensure that the purchase is in alignment with the debt restructure plan.

The Bottom Line

Filing for business bankruptcy is a serious decision, and shouldn’t be done without consulting an experienced bankruptcy attorney. To give your business the best chance of long-term success, remember that bankruptcy-related facts are your friends — and myths are your enemies!

Loan Options for All Your Financial Needs

Loan Options for All Your Financial Needs

Most of us think of loans when we need to make a major purchase, such as home or automobiles. Really, there are loans that can help us with all sorts of situations that we find ourselves in. Today we are reviewing some options that are out there and what they do to help us repair our financial situation or obtain the things we need.

The Short-Term Loan Option

Imagine a moment in which you have a bill due and for any number of reasons, no money to cover it. Maybe you are about to have your electricity shut off, the cell phone turned off, or even just need some extra cash so that you can get groceries. It happens all the time to people and sometimes, the solution is as easy as a short-term loan. This is especially true if you have struggled with less-than-stellar credit. When you have bad credit, a bad credit payday loan alternative is going to get you the help you need without struggling to meet loan requirements elsewhere. These types of loans are based on the income you currently bring into your home, are paid off within six months to a year, and can be available for withdrawal as soon as the next business day.

The Personal Loan

Personal loans are smaller loans, often less than $5,000, that can be used for anything in your life. Many people use it to pay off old debt that has high-interest rates so that they can have one monthly payment that is sometimes lower and with a smaller interest rate. Others will use it for moving expenses or to get the home computer equipment that they need. The best thing about a personal loan is that they are not earmarked for any specific expense, like when you want to buy a home or car. Repayment terms will vary based on the bank that you select but most personal loans must be paid off in less than three years. Usually, you obtain a personal loan from a bank but a growing number of personal loans are easily obtainable by non-bank organizations. Peer to peer lending is popular for the personal loan and you can also find internet businesses that are in the lending business.

Loans From Your Retirement

If you have a retirement account, you can occasionally borrow from your retirement savings. This one is a very important option that can also make a mess of your retirement very quickly. Firstly, you should always consult with an accountant or financial counselor before opting to borrow against a retirement account. Simply put, they can look at your financial situation and take into consideration any tax penalties for the loan and let you know if it is a viable option. Having said that, there are other things to think about. If you want to take a vacation, borrowing from your retirement savings is not a good idea. If you are about to go into foreclosure on your home, it’s a pretty good idea to tap into retirement. Most of these loans must be paid within five years so be sure that your current income status will be able to handle the repayment while maintaining your current monthly expenses.

There are even more options when it comes to loans and these are some of the basics that just about every person can use in their lives. Don’t forget the importance of living on a budget, having an emergency savings account on hand, and talking with family about support should you lose your employment or home. Having a plan is the best way to go when planning for a very rainy day!

The Five Simple Steps You Need To Follow To Use Any Remittance Service

The Five Simple Steps You Need To Follow To Use Any Remittance Service

Remittance services are some of the most viable options for transferring money to someone overseas.

The reason why is because they are quick, efficient, and cheap, especially more so than other options such a wire transfer at your bank.

In addition, most remittance services operate the same way as well, meaning that the process you need to undergo

Here are the five simple steps that you will need to follow to use any remittance service:

Step #1 – Create An Account

The very first step you will need to take is simple: you’ll need to create an account. You can easily use a money transfer service either online or on their website; you won’t need to walk into a physical establishment at all. Creating an account is just like how you would anywhere else; you’ll just need your email and to create a password, and then later you’ll need your financial information.

Step #2 – Have Your Information Ready To Go

You’ll need two types of information in order to send money internationally: your banking or debit/credit card information so you can send the money yourself, and the information about your recipient, including their name, financial account, address, and country.

Step #3 – Get A Quote

This isn’t something that you should overlook when transferring money overseas. Getting a quote from your remittance service of choice is important for two main reasons: it tells you what your fee is (it usually should be between 1-3%, but you’ll want to make sure it’s good for you) as well as your foreign exchange rate, which you’ll need to pay a small margin of.

It is important to get a guaranteed exchange rate in your quote from the remittance service, as the exchange rate can vary significantly from one another in the course of just a few hours.

Step #4 – Send The Funds

Once you are satisfied with the fees and exchange rate in your quote, the only next thing you’ll need to do is send the funds. Type in how much money you would like to spend and then have it converted into the foreign currency.

At that point, there’s nothing to stop you from sending the money to your designated recipient. Just make sure that you’re fine with everything in your order before proceeding.

Step #5 – Get Confirmation

After you’ve sent the money, you’ll want confirmation from your remittance service that the money has been sent and then that it has been delivered (it should be sent and delivered in a matter of minutes in most cases).

You’ll also want to get confirmation from your recipient him or herself as well that they have received the funds.

Using A Remittance Service

For using most of the remittance and money transfer services that are out there, the above steps are the ones you will need to take in order to complete a transfer.

Best Aftermarket Car Accessories

Best Aftermarket Car Accessories

Parts Of A Tire And Wheel

Tires and wheels are the two important accessories of vehicles/automobiles. The overall look and performance of a rider is greatly affected wheels and tires.

The three important parts of a wheel include spokes, hub and rim. Apart from these, wheels also have some parts (wheel studs) that help in holding different automobiles of vehicles. Brake dusk is used for attaching the vehicle hub.

Last wheels also have some parts called lug nuts that help in securing the wheel.

Like portable parts of a wheel, we also have some movable parts of tires such as tread, sidewall, sipes that help in more precise rotation.

Jeep Wrangler Tops

The latest jeep wrangler tops offer some extra benefits. For adding some value to your off-road vehicles, you must buy the modern day jeep wrangler tops.

Our jeep wrangler tops are strong and easily carry up to 136 grams of gear. Whiles, changes in designs are being made from the last year, the goal is to  provide extra comfort to the users.

Filter your results by selecting model. Engine type, year, door style and get the best type of jeep wrangler tops.

2 Door JK Jeep Wrangler Tops

  1. Bestop Trektop NX Replace-a-Top
  2. Bestop Trektop NX Glide Soft Top
  3. Bestop Trektop NX Glide Soft Top – Black Diamond

4 Door JK Jeep Wrangler Tops

  1. Barricade Premium Complete Replacement Sailcloth Soft Top
  2. Smittybilt OEM Replacement Soft Top
  3. RT Off-Road Fold Back Soft Top – Black Diamond

Method Nv Wheels

We carry all types of wheels such as forged-style wheels,  hard solid steel wheels and the latest alloy wheels. Our primary purpose is to provide our customers with the best Method Nv wheels that offer superb rotation and thereby an amazing car driving experience

Top 3 Method Nv Wheels

  1. 305 NV HD Matte Black Wheel– This wheel can easily keep the heaviest of rigs on different toy haulers and trucks. The 305 Matte Black Wheel is available in different sizes and can be purchased at less than 250 dollars.
  2. Method Race Wheels With Zinc Plated Accent Bolts– Because of the presence of Zinc Plated  Accent Bolts, these wheels are ideal for heavy duty vehicle activities. These wheels are compatible with TPMS and also have a hub center cap.
  3. Method MR305 NV Wheels– These wheels are particularly designed for Jeeps, SUVs, trucks and other off-road vehicles. These wheels feature a push-through hub and come in various offsets and bolt patterns.

Summing Up

Choosing the quality parts of a car, truck, jeep is an essential thing. Therefore, we provide the best wheel, tire parts, flexible jeep wrangler tops and attractive Nv wheels

Get your car, truck moving by purchasing the decent quality parts. Have a better driving experience.

Mack Prioleau on Considerations Businesses Make when Choosing a Financial Analyst

Mack Prioleau on Considerations Businesses Make when Choosing a Financial Analyst

The role of the financial analyst is incredibly important and these professionals must take their responsibility seriously. Financial analysts like Mack Prioleau I have identified a number of Key things businesses tend to look for in there analysts. He feels that it is important that businesses look for these qualities because of the high levels of responsibility does an analyst holds. It is particularly important that businesses investigate the potential skills and credentials of the analysts if they are not a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst).  Having CFA designation almost instantly proves skill.

Mack Prioleau Advises Businesses on Key Strengths of a Financial Analyst

A good financial analyst should have extensive planning credentials. The CFA designation previously mentioned is a good one but so is the CFP (Certified Financial Planner) and the PFS (Personal Financial Specialist) Having any kind of credentials means that the individual is committed to being the best it can be.

Financial analysts should also be experts in their subject matter. Often, they choose a specific area of finance to focus on and obtain credentials in those areas. For instance, they could be focused on accounting, taxes, budgeting, investments, and so on. It is important to understand that anyone who sells securities or focuses on investments and anyone who files reports with the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) must be certified.

Furthermore, a good financial analyst should be able to specialize in certain types of clients. It is quite common that the best ones pick a very specific profile. For instance, they may focus on a certain stage of life, those who hold certain professions, those who have a certain amount of net worth, and so on. While some people think that taking on this type of specialization is limiting, the reality is that it proves that they are highly knowledgeable in relevant areas.

If a financial analyst is brought in for a certain project rather than a permanent member of staff, the business should also look for a transparent fee structure. Some financial analysts charge fees for their advice, offering a flat fee either for the project or per hour. Others will also add other financial incentives such as referral fees and commissions. Generally speaking, financial analysts who only charge a flat fee to be the most unbiased because it means that they cannot earn more by working in a different manner.

Finally, the financial analyst should be available. It is quite common for organizations to require the skills of these types of professionals quite immediately, so there is no point finding the best analyst around if they are incapable of coming into the business straight away. On the other hand, availability should not override quality of work. At the end of the day, finances are the bread and butter of any business and it is not possible to cut corners in this. Thankfully, many good financial analysts also have high availability and can come into a business as and when required.

The 3 ingredients of a private equity investment decision

The 3 ingredients of a private equity investment decision

It’s a form of investment that is constantly grabbing the headlines and over recent times, really seems to have picked up the pace. However, if you were to question the Average Joe about the bread and butter of private equity investments, there’s every chance that you would be met with a blank look.

In short, this can be a complex type of financing and one that is difficult to get your head around. One element that is quite simple is the way in which investors approach it though. Whether it’s Marc Leder from Sun Capital, or a completely different investor from the other side of the world, most have very similar principles when it comes to private equity investments.

This is what we are going to be looking into today; as we scour through three of the key ingredients that form the typical private equity investment.

A good management team

One of the big misconceptions about private equity is that all groups are looking for an immediate change in management, as soon as their investment is finalized. Generally, this isn’t the case.

An investment team would much prefer to take control of a company which has an impressive management team. This is because the existing team already has inside-knowledge of the company; they know what is working well, and what is necessary for improvement.

If a company is forced to completely change the management, there are all sorts of issues to combat. They will firstly have to pay to replace the team, before then waiting for the new management to learn the internal processes of the company before they can implement any sort of change.

The potential for growth

This is related to both the market, and the company in question. One of the main requirements for a private equity company is the potential for high growth. Without this potential, their investment just isn’t going to work. Most approach companies with an exit strategy, which obviously will depend on a high rate of growth.

As such, they need to analyze firstly if the market has any potential for growth. From this point, they need to see if there is any space for this company to grow. In particularly small markets, this might not be possible, so a great deal of research will be placed into this area before the investment is made.

A good reputation

This is perhaps one of the more surprising elements of private equity, but one of the big things that investors look out for is a good reputation.

This is something that can only be harvested through time, which is one of the reasons why it’s regarded as being so important. A company can’t suddenly decide to buy an enhanced reputation; it’s something that can take years to build up.

As such, if there have been reputational problems in the past, this might mean that a private equity firm isn’t as interested in your company as you initially might have thought.

Drug Violations

Drug Violations

The ability of the modern world to keep lots of statistics leads to research that was not easily possible in the past.  One statistic that is always followed is crime.  However, with modern data, many interesting facts about felonies are possible to investigate.  A limited review of the data shows the most common felonies involve burglary, drug violations and theft.

States With the Most Felonies

The state that has the most people guilty of felonies is Texas.  Texas is the second most populous state in the union, although many parts of it are empty desert.  Next in line is Wisconsin. Wisconsin ranking 20th in population, is second.  Third is North Carolina, 29th in population, followed by Oregon, and Connecticut.

Clearly, felonies are being committed more in states with lower populations.  Texas seems to be a bit of an exception, but like the other top 5 states, all states have in common a shore area and large areas of the state with small numbers of populations.

A writer for Vox, Matthew Iglesias, who writes on politics and crime, figures that the more populated areas such as California and New York have many more police officers per person.  Plus, there are more people around to observe the commission of a crime.

Generational Groups and Felonies

In any case, if you look at felons by generation, Generation Y commits the most felonies.  In second place is Generation X, closely behind Generation Y.  In a few states, Generation X beats out generation Y.  A review of generations starting in the 1950s shows that felonies rapidly increased for both these Generations.  Generation Z has a felony rate that has fallen substantially from Generation Y.  In fact, Generation X and Y are responsible for the commission of 70% of all felonies.  The next group, Generation Z, shows a large reduction in felonies.  Perhaps this is due to changes in drug laws.

Felonies and Age Groups

Felonies occur in all age groups.  As one might expect, they decrease with advancing age.   Which ages are most likely to commit felonies?  It turns out that age 20 is a bad year for felonies.  They peak at age 20 and decline thereafter.  Persons of 19 years of age commit nearly as many felonies as 20 year olds.  After age 20, felonies maintain their decline through all age groups.

To find out more about generational felony statistics  visit a company that collects data on crimes.  Using this data, one can find out even more about the effects of generational crime.

Important Considerations Before You Buy Your Next Home

Important Considerations Before You Buy Your Next Home

Buying a new home is a very exciting milestone in your life. It’s a huge decision that requires a lot of your time and energy. You have to do your homework to find the right property for you and your family, and hope that what you’re moving forward with is the right choice for everyone involved. Before you uproot your entire life, though, you need to first ask yourself a series of important questions. Not only can this fill you with confidence, but can also bring excitement to a new chapter in your life.

Can You Envision Your Style?

Before you purchase any furniture, you need to determine your new home’s overall theme. If you like everything vintage, then see if your house matches that style. However, if you prefer a more timeless and classical approach that matches any house’s interior or exterior, then looking for a seller that deals in contemporary furniture is ideal. Start with each room and picture what furniture you’d like to include. If you want a modern bedroom, then stylish modern beds from Lumens can be the centerpiece of your bedroom. If you want a contemporary living room, then hang statement lights that act as art but are also functional.

How Much Work Will You Need to Put in?

Take a look around and understand the condition your potential property is in as it stands. Read through the inspection papers and make sure you’re clear on what needs fixing and what can wait. Talk with your spouse and agree on what projects you’re willing to do yourself and which ones will require you to hire a contractor. Remember that it’s not only money, but also your time and energy that’s going to be spent in redecorating or renovating this house.

Do you like the Neighborhood?

Although you like the house, consider if the neighborhood is a good fit for you and your family. Walk around, go to the stores and drive through the areas outside of your specific neighborhood. Talk to people you see on the street and do research into how the schools are rated. You have to immerse yourself in the scene to get a true feeling for what you’re getting yourselves into. Don’t let your love for the house sway your decision one way or another. You have to evaluate the neighborhood on its own and decide if it’s a good fit.

Is there Space to Grow?

You might love the way the house you want to buy looks and feels. However, determine if it’s going to meet your needs as your family grows and matures over the years. Think about whether you want to have any more kids and how much stuff you’ll need to store as the kids grow older. It may not be a smart move to purchase a place that barely fits you and your family if you’re looking to expand.

Conclusion

When it comes to buying a house, whether it’s your first or fourth, you need to think clearly and carefully about the property in question. Rather than rush into such a move, consider the questions listed above and make a logical decision with your whole family in mind.

How To Do Your Own Taxes

How To Do Your Own Taxes

Doing your own taxes is easy with e-filing. Next year, don’t waste money hiring someone else do the math, make sure you keep your pay slips and records of your expenses and familiarize yourself with the process. Here’s how to do your own taxes and save.

Approximately 43% of Americans take care of their taxes themselves.

Tax season can bring headaches to many U.S. taxpayers, especially for those who don’t want the hassle of handling tax filing on their own.

However, it is possible to do your own taxes and achieve the largest refund possible. You don’t have to be numbers-savvy to do so, either.

In this post, we discuss how to do your own taxes to your financial advantage.

1. Gather Documentation

The secret to successful navigation of your tax filing lies in the documentation. You’ll need to collect all relevant paperwork concerning income, employment, and expenses.

If you are a regular employee at an institution, you will likely receive a W-2 tax document from your employer several months before the April filing deadline. This form details your gross and net income (as well as taxes paid) for the prior year.

Independent contractors, business owners, and self-employed individuals will have different documents. These may include 1099-MISC, receipts of cash payments, personal revenue documents, and beyond.

Additionally, the Internal Revenue Service recommends that taxpayers gather documents related to investment, rental property, and unemployment income. If you receive social security benefits or acquired cash through lottery or gambling winnings, these should also end up in your stack of tax papers.

Lastly, collect all paperwork that accounts for relevant expenses. This includes business and work-related expenses and costs associated with childcare, education, loan interest, and health insurance.

For a full tax document checklist, click here.

2. Understand Eligible Deductions

When you do your own taxes, the easiest way to a fat deduction is financial knowledge.

Understand which credits and tax deductions you are eligible for. If you are a college student, for example, you are likely eligible to deduct student loan interest and education costs.

Self-employed individuals can deduct costs for home office and work-related expenses. If you have dependents or are a first-time homebuyer, you may qualify for certain credits.

Check out the IRS’s full list of qualifying deductions before you do your own taxes.

3. Use E-Filing Software

The easiest way to do taxes involves using e-filing software. We recommend programs like TurboTax because they enable taxpayers to file from the comfort of their own homes.

What’s more, e-filing software walks taxpayers through the entire filing process, checking for all viable deductions and minimizing errors. In fact, e-filed taxes have a 0.5% error rate, in comparison to a 20% error rate for paper filed returns.

E-filing enables taxpayers to file full returns electronically. You don’t even have to go to the mailbox or worry about buying printer ink!

Taxpayers who e-file are also likely to receive a faster return right into their checking or savings accounts.

Programs like TurboTax also offer specialized filing services for independent contractors, business owners, and families. They also have a close alliance with Quickbooks, a personal finance management system that can generate invoices, create a paystub, and keep track of expenses.

How to Do Your Own Taxes

Tax season does not have to be daunting. If you’re curious about how to do your own taxes successfully, invest in e-filing software.

When you electronically file your taxes, you can feel confident that you are doing so accurately. This is particularly the case if you have gathered appropriate income and expense documentation and understand your eligible deductions.

At Nonsociety, we believe in your great power to take charge of your own life. Learn about how we operate here!