Category Archives: Government Laws

Money Monday: 3 Ways to Cut Taxes

Nobody likes to pay more in taxes than they absolutely have to. By the time you start preparing your return, it’s too late to use some of the smartest tactics to control the size of your tax bill. Instead, you have to plan in advance to make sure your refund is as big as possible.

Read them here: “3 simple ways to cut your taxes.”

Money Monday: Tax scams to avoid

Here are 12 of the biggest tax scams the IRS is flagging this year:

  1. Phone scams
  2. Phishing
  3. Tax return preparer fraud
  4. Falsely inflating refunds
  5. Falsely inflating income
  6. Falsely padding deductions
  7. Improperly claiming business credits
  8. Making frivolous tax arguments
  9. Abusive tax shelters
  10. Fake charities
  11. Hiding money offshore
  12. Identity theft

Read up on these: “12 tax scams you’ll want to avoid.”

Money Monday: Can you deduct interest on your home equity loan?

“The new federal tax law created a lot of confusion over whether tax filers may still deduct the interest they pay on their home equity loans and home equity lines of credit.

money“The new law suspends the deduction for interest on home equity indebtedness for the next eight years.

“But it turns out the suspension does not apply to all home equity loans (HELs) and lines of credit (HELOCs). It just applies to those that are used to pay for non-home-related things, like paying off your credit card or buying a car. But you can still deduct home equity loan interest that is used to pay for home improvements…”

Read more at Money.CNN.com: “Yes, you can still deduct interest on your home equity loan …”

It’s Labor Day!

Celebrating American workers!

First United States Labor Day Parade, September 5, 1882 in New York City.

First United States Labor Day Parade, September 5, 1882 in New York City.

“Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country” (“History of Labor Day.” Department of Labor. https://www.dol.gov/general/laborday/history).

Enjoy the holiday! (Perhaps with a San Diego event?)

Thank you for working so hard to make our country an even better one!

Money Monday: Financial perks for veterans

As a thank you for their huge service to our country, our veterans have financial perks.

  1. flagSchool loan — Vets get 36 months of educational expenses paid through the G.I. Bill. But, you can also transfer that benefit to family–as long as you sign up to serve four more years from when you sign up for it (Time.com/money).
  2. Housing mortgage —  As a veteran, a VA loan allows you to get a no-down-payment, competitive-rate home loan.
  3. Business coaching — Veterans Business Outreach Centers offers boot camps and free resources for entrepreneurs.

This information is from Time; view their article on this topic here: time.com/money/3567560/vet-benefits-business-school-housing

2016 Laws for Homeowners & Renters

Some new laws to note for 2016

hand house keyMold(SB 655)
Mold must be cleared from any rentals or criminal penalties could be filed against the landlord. A health department official must visit the property and declare it unfit to qualify for filing court charges against the landlord. Law also says the tenant could be liable if was their fault due to inappropriate housekeeping practices.

Clotheslines(AB 1448)
Landlords and homeowner associations must allow renters or residents to put up a line or rack to dry their clothes. They can not attach it to the building without the Home Owner association or landlord’s permission.

Pesticides(SB 328)
Landlords must tell residents 24 hrs before application, what pest is being sprayed, what kind is being used, and alert to warnings about the toxicity of the product.

Fake Grass(AB 349)
Home Owner Association Guidelines are no superseded to allow homeowners to put in artificial turf, rocks, or something else that doesn’t need as much water, like cacti.

Money Monday: How you’ll benefit from the new tax deal

Parents, low-income families, students, teachers and mass commuters are among those who will benefit from a $760 billion tax deal that was signed into law on December 11, 2015.

taxes“The deal, which was combined with a $1.1 trillion spending package for 2016, is dominated by business tax breaks. But it also includes more than $250 billion worth of tax breaks for individuals”:

  • Bigger refund when you have kids.
  • More generous tuition tax credit.
  • Higher refund for low-income working families.
  • Fairer treatment for mass transit commuters.
  • Permanent deduction for residents of states without income taxes.
  • Teacher deduction made permanent.
  • Deduction for mortgage insurance premiums.
  • Income exclusion for mortgage debt that’s been forgiven.
  • Tuition tax deduction.

All information is from CNN Money; read the full article here: “How you’ll benefit from the new tax deal”.

 

Don’t Miss these Tax Deductions

upside-downFrom mortgage interest to property tax deductions, here are the tax tips you need to get a jump on your returns.

Owning a home can pay off at tax time.

Take advantage of these homeownership-related tax deductions and strategies to lower your tax bill: Continue reading