Receiving Benefits for Innocent Spouse Relief

by Sean Bryant on August 31, 2014

Innocent Spouse Relief

Filing for joint taxes with your spouse is a somewhat murky area in terms of determining who is liable for each particular obligation. Because you often share a mixture of common assets as well as personal assets, your taxes might be different from those of your spouse. In the event of a divorce, those obligations can become even more complicated.

According to Investopedia, innocent spouse relief is “a measure of relief built into the tax code that allows a person, if eligible, to avoid paying his or her spouse’s tax if it was reported incorrectly. The innocent-spouse rule applies to a spouse that can prove that he or she did not incur the tax bill and did not somehow benefit from the failure to pay.”

What Are the Qualifications for Innocent Spouse Relief?

In order to qualify for spousal tax relief, the non-delinquent spouse must be able to prove to the IRS that he or she was not the person that signed off on evasive tax maneuvers or was not the one to fail to comply with his or her tax obligations. In addition to providing the appropriate documentation to evidence their innocence, innocent spouses must be able to establish with reasonable certainty that they neither benefitted from the failure to pay taxes nor were they aware that such actions were taking place at the time.

The IRS list three different types of spousal tax relief from jointly filed returns. These are innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, and equitable relief.

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Labor Day Magazine Sale – Save up to 90%

by Sean Bryant on August 30, 2014

DiscountMags

This weekend DiscountMags.com is running a pick your savings sale where you can save up to 90% off the cover price on select magazine titles.  This is good for new or renewal subscriptions and you can also give these as gifts.

Expires on September 1, 2014 at 11:59 pm EST

85%-90% Off Category

80%-85% Off Category

75%-80% Off Category

70%-75% Off Category

65%-70% Off Category

60%-65% Off Category

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Get It Covered: Small Business Edition 

by Sean Bryant on August 28, 2014

Small Business Edition

Small businesses today face a range of ongoing challenges that can be daunting to even the most seasoned business person. From ethical issues to financial and resource management to increased competition due to technology, business owners are constantly weighing options and making decisions.

Some of the most common areas businesses must manage well include legal, insurance and every day services like phone and Internet. Fortunately, there are affordable and cost-effective options to help business owners get the protections they need to cover their growing enterprises.

Legal

Small businesses encounter many legal issues from incorporation to employment law compliance to contracts. They may not always have resources to retain a business lawyer, so The U.S. Small Business Administration provides information about legal resources for small businesses such as finding and hiring a lawyer, legal help on the Internet and a guide to contracts. They also have resources to help understand legal fees and expenses, how to negotiate legal fees and how to get a fee agreement in writing.

Small business owners can get economical legal information and assistance with services like Rocket Lawyer on Call, a subscription legal plan service. Services like this provide ongoing legal help with issues like incorporation, business organization, patents, copyright, contracts and intellectual property at affordable prices so small businesses get the legal advice and protections they need with more predictable expenses.

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Book Review: Outsmarting the System

by Scott Sery on August 27, 2014

Outsmarting the System

I recently received an email from Tony Campidonica asking me to review his book Outsmarting the System: Lower Your Taxes, Control Your Future, and Reach Financial Freedom. Since I am always up to hear new advice and different ways to achieve financial freedom, I agreed. I glanced through a few of the reviews on Amazon, and was fairly prepared for the book. Here are my key takeaways.

Published by ScioPress, Inc.

The first thing I did before I even began to read was check to see who published the book. If you don’t do this, I recommend you start for two important reasons. First, a well-known publishing company does not publish just anything that comes through its doors. In fact, to get published with some of the larger companies, you have to have an agent that works with them; they don’t accept inquiries. Second, there are self publishing companies out there that will publish anything as long as they are paid to do so. ScioPress, Inc. is a self publishing company. Does this mean Tony’s book is any less credible? Absolutely not. But it does mean it should be read with a little more caution.

The Concepts

The entire idea behind Tony’s book is that if you are going through life the way that we are taught (go to college, get a job, save, retire); you are doing it the hard way. He uses the first few chapters to talk about how putting aside money this way is actually designed by the government to maximize the amount of taxes that you pay. I paraphrase his example:

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Surviving Your First Year of College

by Scott Sery on August 25, 2014

Surviving Your First Year of College

College can be daunting. Not only is it a whole new world (often the first time out from under your parents’ roof), but there is a whole new set of responsibilities. While it may be tempting to slack off for your first year, and then try to buckle down later, these first two years are extremely important to build that base of good grades, and to get in the good graces of your professors. Striking out on your own, even if you’re “just” living in the dorms, is a big step. And being prepared is the best way to make the most of your college experience.

Save Your Financial Aid

By signing a couple of papers, you suddenly have access to thousands of dollars. While a good portion of that will be spent on your tuition, there will be plenty left over. I know many people who have used this money to pay for vacations in Europe, eat out, throw parties, and all around blow the money on whatever they want. Keep in mind that every dollar you spend now, you will have to pay back. So calculate out what it will take to live, and put the rest in a safe place that is hard to get at. It will be there for emergencies, but you won’t be as tempted to spend frivolously.

Build Your Network

There are two important aspects to college life: social interactions and educational studies. While making sure you study hard and get good grades is extremely important, don’t neglect the social aspects of this time period. Now I am not talking hit up every kegger you can find, but rather develop a core group of friends. These friends will stick with you throughout your life and most of you will go into vastly different careers. As you mature in your career you will find out exactly how important it is to have this large network of people you know. Build it now, and save yourself a lot of trouble later in life.

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Accounting as a Freelancer: How to Stay Organized

August 22, 2014
Accounting as a freelancer

As a freelancer, you wear a lot of hats. In addition to the services you provide, you also have to deal with a lot of administrative work as well. In a traditional job, you typically have a Human Resources department, an Office Manager, etc., to take care of the majority of this work. Freelancers, however, need […]

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Choosing Home Improvement Projects to Get the Best Return

August 20, 2014
Home Improvement Projects

When it comes to your house, there’s always room for improvement. The kitchen could use an update, you wish your master bath was bigger and more storage would be wonderful. Even if you had your home custom built for your family, you can amass a laundry list of changes you’d like to make. But what […]

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