Friday, May 30, 2014

Health Savings Accounts Contribution Limits Raised for 2015

The Internal Revenue Service has increased the annual limitation on deductions for Health Savings Accounts (HSA) for 2015 according to an announcement made in April. The increase will raise the individual contribution limits to high deductible health plans to $3,350, and the limit for family coverage in a high deductible plan to $6,550. The Internal Revenue Service defines high deductible health plans as a “plan with an annual deductible that is not less than $1,300 for self-only coverage or $2,600 for family coverage, and the annual out-of-pocket expense do not exceed $6,450 and $12,900 for individuals and families, respectively”. This increase is effective as of calendar year 2015.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Nearing Retirement? Time to Fortify Your Finances

Your financial goals for retirement can seem far off, but follow the steps below and you will be able to achieve them:
1.      Save More: Tax-free growth is a sure-fire way to boost wealth. Contribute to Health Savings Accounts, which can be used as a long-term savings plan for retirement as well as for storing money for medical expenses. Experts also recommend paying for things with cash or checks, as that causes you to realize how much money you actually have. Contribute to your savings account every month.
2.      Bring Joy Back to Investing: Invest in stocks that you have actual interest in with extra money, and watch your investments grow. CNN Money recommends investing in LinkedIn, Skyworks, and Walt Disney.
3.      Make Your Home an Asset: Purchase a modest home at the lower end of your range. Over 30 years, this decision can save you six figures. You would save $162,000 by buying a $300,000 house instead of a $375,000 house, if you put $75,000 down and take out a 30-year mortgage with 4.4% interest. Also, consider renting out a property if you can do so. The average monthly rent in the United States is $1,089, versus the average monthly mortgage which is $900.
4.      Invest Against the Grain: Invest in slower economies to reap bigger gains, and boost your stake in undervalued small-company shares (which have historically outperformed).
5.      Use Funds to Tap High Municipal Yields: According to CNN Money, “Tax-exempt municipal bonds now offer a yield of more than 2% for intermediate-maturity issues, versus and after-tax equivalent of about 1.5% for regular bonds”.
6.      Cut the Cost of College: Cut your college student’s cost of living by considering co-ops rather than dorm rooms, pick a less selective school to get more aid, and invest in 529 savings plans for children.
7.      Boost Your Income: Know the income you will have at your disposal come retirement time. CNN Money notes that 35% of 401(k) investors who become aware of their income after retirement change their savings habits, and three-quarters of those people boost their savings an average of 25%.
For the full article from CNN Money, follow this link.

Friday, May 23, 2014

US Unemployment Drops to 6.3%, Lowest in 5 ½ Years

The unemployment rate dropped to 6.3% this month, which is the lowest the rate has been in 5-1/2 years. In March, the unemployment rate was 6.7%. In April of this year, employers added 288,000 workers to their payrolls, which was more than expected and positively contributed to the rate decrease. The job gains in April were the highest since January of 2012. Another attributing factor to the rate decrease is the number of people working or looking for work dropped sharply. Those who are not actively looking for work are not considered unemployed. The hiring that occurred in April was broad-based and included higher-paying jobs, such as manufacturing (12,000 new positions), construction (32,000 new positions), and professional and technical services, such as accounting and engineering (25,100 new positions).

Thursday, May 1, 2014

NCDOR Reminds Taxpayers of Use Tax Obligations

The North Carolina Department of Revenue has issued reminders to taxpayers of certain use tax obligations on remote sales. North Carolina use tax is due by individuals and businesses on tangible personal property and certain digital property purchased, leased, or rented inside or outside the state for storage, use, or consumption in North Carolina. Use tax is also due on taxable services sourced to North Carolina. Each and every taxpayer has an obligation to pay use tax. Even if a retailer does not collect tax, consumers are still required to report and pay the use tax. The use tax is calculated at the same rate as the sales tax. If you have any questions about sales and use tax, please contact us!
518 Arbor Hill Rd.
Kernersville, NC 27284
 Ph: 336-996-3338
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