It is no secret that one of the biggest fears people have is receiving an audit notice from the IRS. It ranks right up there with being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Of course, the IRS does nothing to alleviate this fear because the more frightened you are, the less likely you will be to cheat on your taxes.
The IRS audited one out of every 104 tax returns in federal fiscal year 2013. It's becoming increasingly evident that the greater your total income, the more you'll attract the agency's attention. Last year, the IRS audited about 10.85 percent of taxpayers with income greater than $1 million. The audit rate dropped to 0.88 percent for those with income less than $200,000.
Some of the audits were taxpayers pulled at random. The rest of the returns are selected for examination in a variety of ways.
If you want to participate in the potentially attractive returns of a market-driven investment but would also like a guaranteed return, an indexed annuity might be worth checking out.
The performance of indexed annuities, also referred to as equity-indexed or fixed-indexed annuities, are tied to an index (for example, the Standard & Poor's 500*). They provide investors with an opportunity to earn interest based on the performance of the index. If the index rises during a specified period in the accumulation phase, the investor participates in the gain. In the event that the market falls and the index posts a loss, the contract value is not affected. The annuity also has a guaranteed minimum rate of return, which is contingent on holding the indexed annuity until the end of the term.
This guaranteed minimum return comes at a price. The percentage of an index's gain that investors receive is called the participation rate. The participation rate of an indexed annuity can be anywhere from 50 percent to 100 percent. A participation rate of 80 percent, for example, and a 10 percent gain by the index would result in an 8 percent gain by the investor. Some indexed annuities have a cap rate, the maximum rate of interest the annuity will earn, which could potentially lower an investor's gain.
New business owners tend to hit the ground rolling – eager and exited to prove to the world that it can be done. A byproduct, however, is that the owner often works so hard that life is not balanced.
Time flies, the years – 2, 3, 4, 10 – pass and these well-intentioned entrepreneurs are still grinding. The kids are growing rapidly, recitals are missed and sports activities have to be watched on cell phone video. Going to work becomes something to dread and when they get there they have little to contribute other than being present.
Such owners may be experiencing entrepreneurial burnout, a state of emotional and physical exhaustion. With the weight of the livelihood of others in their hands, small business owners cannot afford burnout. Still, it is a troubling occurrence that happens all too frequently.
The importance of money is impressed upon most Americans as soon as we're old enough to buy candy. But the importance of money management is an entirely different story, says self-made millionaire Mike Finley.
"Think about all that we do to prepare children for the world; we fill them up with things we think are most important for doing well as adults and spend tens of thousands of dollars for higher education, but they never take a class on how to manage personal finances," says Finley, author of "Financial Happine$$," (www.thecrazymaninthepinkwig.com), which discusses his journey to financial literacy and applying the principles that allowed him to retire from the Army a wealthy man.
If your child only has earned income reported on a W-2 and the total isn't more than $5,350, then a return does not need to be filed. However, you'll want to file a return for a refund if there was any federal withholding, see Form W-2, box 2. If the total of earned income is over $5,350 a return must be filed.
Earned income includes wages and salaries on Forms W-2. If the child is self-employed, the Schedule C net income is included as earnings.
If the child received any 1099-INT, 1099-DIV, or 1099-B tax documents in addition to those W-2s, then unearned income was received and the rules does not apply.
Today, middle class households feel the same financial stress that low-and- moderate income families have borne for years, says new research by the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), a national nonprofit organization working to alleviate poverty and create economic opportunity.
In its report, Treading Water in the Deep End, CFED analyzes the financial security of American households and public policy responses to the financial crisis.
"As millions of Americans struggle to save for emergencies, investing in their futures is increasingly out of reach," states the report.
The number of licensed African-American architects working in Tennessee – and across the United States for that matter – is a mere pittance compared to the overall percentage of architects working for themselves or for architectural firms.
Count the husband and wife team of Michael and Carolyn Robinson among those who are fortunate to work in a field that may indeed be considered by some as an exclusive membership club. This wasn't a factor for the Robinsons when they launched Robi4 Design and Planning, Inc. in 1999.
Consider the numbers: There were 105,596 registered (licensed) architects in the U.S., according a 2012 survey of U.S. architectural registration boards by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). Of that number, 1,558 (or 1.5 percent) were African American, according to Dennis Alan Mann's Center for the Study of Practice at the University of Cincinnati.