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April 15, 2011

April 18 Tax Day

This year tax day falls on Monday, April 18th. As you work on getting those dreaded taxes done, keep the following IRS tax tips in mind - otherwise you may have a delay in getting your tax refund.

File electronically. Filing electronically vastly reduces the errors in a tax return, as the tax software does the calculations, flags common errors and prompts the taxpayers for missing information. (Visit ManagingMoney.com Tax Center to compare brand name online and desktop tax providers)

Remember Making Work Pay. The Making Work Pay tax credit -- available in 2009 and 2010 -- is worth up to $400 for individuals and $800 for married couples. Most people got it as a reduction to their paycheck withholding. Form 1040 filers must complete Schedule M, attach it to their returns, and claim the credit to benefit from it. (Tax software handles these calculations automatically for e-filers.)

Mail a paper return to the right address. Paper filers should check the appropriate address where to file in IRS.gov or their form instructions to avoid delays in processing. Fill in all requested information clearly, including Social Security numbers.

Check only one filing status. Also, check the appropriate exemption boxes. When you enter Social Security numbers, make sure they are correct.

Double check all figures. While software catches and prevents many errors on e-file returns, math errors remain common on paper returns.

Get the right routing and account numbers. Requesting a federal refund directly deposited into one, two or even three accounts is convenient and allows you access to your money faster. Make sure the financial institution routing and account numbers entered on the return are accurate. Incorrect numbers can cause a refund to be delayed or deposited into the wrong account.

Sign and date the return. If you are filing a joint return, both you and your spouse must sign and date the return. E-filers can sign using a self-selected personal identification number (PIN).

Attach forms to the front of the return. Paper filers need to attach W-2s and other forms that reflect tax withholding, as well as other necessary forms and schedules, to the front of their returns. Those claiming credits that require special documentation, such as the Homebuyers Credit or the Adoption Credit, are also reminded to include all the suitable records with their returns.

Request a Filing Extension. If you cannot meet the April 18 deadline, requesting a filing extension for your return is easy and will prevent late filing penalties. (Go to ManagingMoney.com -Taxes File for an Extension for providers who can help you.) Keep in mind that while an extension will grant you additional time to file, you are still required to pay any taxes owed by April 18.

Do you owe tax? If so, a number of e-payment options are available. Or send a check or money order payable to the "United States Treasury."

April 12, 2011

ING Direct Offers $50 Cash Bonus

ING Direct is offering a $50 Cash Bonus when you open an ING Electric OrangeSM Checking Account. The ING Electric OrangeSM Checking Account earns a great interest rate on all balances. With an ING checking account there are No Fees and No Minimums to open an account. You will have free access to over 35,000 ATMs, a Free MasterCard Debit Card, and Free Online Bill Pay.

Opening an Electric OrangeSM checking account is easy and only takes minutes to do. To open an account you must be 18 years old, a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident, and have a valid Social Security Number. Once you open your Electric OrangeSM Checking account and make a total of 3 Card purchases or P2P (Person2Person) payments (or any combination of the two) within 45 days of account opening, $50 will automatically be deposited into your account on day 50.

ING DIRECT is a member of ING (NYSE:ING), a global financial institution of Dutch origin, and one of the largest financial services companies in the world offering banking, investments, life insurance and retirement services. ING DIRECT is a member of the FDIC (FDIC Certificate Number: 35489) and all savings accounts are insured up to $250,000 per owner.

April 6, 2011

Wedding Season

Wedding Season is right around the corner. Here are a few legal "I Do's" you should be aware of and plan for whether it's your wedding, or the wedding of your family member or friend. If you (or they) keep these legal items in mind you (or they) will enjoy wedded bliss instead of legal woes:

• Get signed contracts with all wedding vendors. Whenever you make an agreement with a vendor be sure to put it in writing. If any of your vendors don't have a standard contract, you can create vendor contracts such as a "Venue Rental Agreement".
• Get liability insurance for your wedding. Often wedding event spaces require a Release of Liability for an event, which can be completed through a simple form. When you're signing the contract with the venue, ask about their liability requirements so you can prepare accordingly.
• Create or update your estate plan. Once you're married, you'll need to include your new spouse in your Will, Living Will, Living Trust, Power of Attorney, or any other family legal documents. Planning your life with your fiancé includes planning for all circumstances, in sickness and in health. Talk with your fiancé about your estate plan so you're prepared for anything.
• Consider a Prenuptial Agreement. It's not just used to protect your assets in case of divorce. A Prenuptial Agreement allows both spouses to disclose their financial situation before the marriage -- so both parties know what they're getting into, and can create a plan.
• Decide on married names. The easiest way to get a legal name change is to write your new name on the marriage license. The hard part is deciding what this name will be.
Visit ManagingMoney.com Legal Directory for a variety of legal forms, software, and books to make your special day, and future life, worry free. Happy Nuptials!


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