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February 26, 2013

Capital One 360 MONEY Teen Checking Account

While we're enjoying our springtime weather, our thoughts quickly turn to summertime and children's upcoming summertime jobs. Last year we informed you of ING DIRECT's MONEY Teen Checking Account and we wanted to let you know that ING DIRECT was acquired by Capital One and has transitioned their brand to Capital One 360. Although the name Capital One 360 has changed, there has been no change to the MONEY Teen Checking Account product. The MONEY Teen Checking Account continues to be an interest-earning checking account and debit card that parents and teens can manage together. The "bank of mom and dad" is officially closed. Below are the details of the MONEY Teen Checking Account from Capital One 360.

Help put your teen on the path to financial independence by opening a MONEY Teen Checking Account. The MONEY Account is designed to help your teenager save and spend their money in a responsible way which will help them on the road to financial independence. Teens can directly deposit their paycheck, or allowance, into their MONEY Teen Checking Account while keeping track of their total savings and spending, and can do so either online or with the Capital One mobile app. There are no fees or minimum balances required and your teen will have access to 38,000 FREE ATMs nationwide with the Allpoint® network. With their MasterCard® Debit Card they can make purchases anywhere MasterCard is accepted or skip the swipe and use PayPass™.

You as the adult can do everything your teen can do but you won't receive a debit card. You can sign in with your own Customer Number and Sign In PIN to transfer money, set up an Automatic Savings Plan and manage account details. You also have the option to set up text alerts and email notifications for card transactions and account activity. With the MONEY Account you get financial independence for your teen and financial piece of mind for you. To learn more about opening an account, click here.

Capital One 360 is a division of Capital One, National Association, a subsidiary of Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE: COF) based out of Mclean, VA. FDIC Certificate Number: 4297.

February 22, 2013

Tips for your Upcoming Cruise

As springtime edges closer, so does the thought of taking a vacation -- possibly a vacation cruise.... One of the best parts of taking a vacation cruise is that typically everything is taken care of for you and all you have to do is show up and enjoy! However, if you're not prepared for the unexpected, your dream cruise could be your vacation disaster. Do some simple planning in advance, so you are ready for anything. Below are some helpful tips:

Plan for Plenty of Time Between Your Flight and Your Cruise: No matter where you are traveling, be sure to allow plenty of time between your flight and your ship's departure. You may even want to consider arriving a night or two in advance. In the case of weather delays or cancellations, which could result in you missing the cruise's departure, you should consider purchasing travel insurance. Travel insurance would help cover the cost of and arrange flights so that you can catch up with your ship.

Secure Important Documents: Since a cruise typically involves visiting several destinations or countries, you need to bring your passport and make sure that it is safe at all times. If you plan to use your driver's license or photo I.D. as your main form of identification while you are in port, you can always lock your passport in the safe in your cabin. If you prefer to use your passport at all times, consider purchasing a money pouch that you can wear underneath your clothes. It's also a good idea to bring along a copy of your passport and credit cards. If at any point during your trip you realize that your passport or credit cards have been lost or stolen, and if you've purchased travel insurance, your provider may be able to help to coordinate obtaining emergency cash and a replacement passport. Also be sure to bring with you a copy of all the prescriptions and list of medicines you are taking.

Use Your Carry-On Bag for Necessities: Be sure to pack a carry-on bag with the necessities you don't want to be without (complete change of clothes, swimsuit, essential toiletries, and medications). If you get to your cruise ship on time but your luggage doesn't make it to your destination before your cruise departs, your carry-on bag will be a real lifesaver. However, even with your carry-on bag, you still may have days of inconveniences while you're waiting for your luggage to be located. In this case having travel insurance is a big plus. Travel insurance providers can assist you in a number of ways including helping you find your luggage if it has been displaced or helping you fill emergency prescriptions. Also travel insurance may help cover the cost of necessities if your luggage is delayed.

Other Necessities (not often thought about): You may also want to consider packing the following uncommon items as well: duct tape/strapping tape or extra plastic cable-lock ties for securing your luggage for your return trip home; zip loc bags of all sizes and garbage/laundry bags; and crazy glue for the unexpected breaks.

As mentioned above, Travel Insurance can help you with a number of items such as: medical emergencies, emergency cash, transfer assistance, language interpretation assistance, airline strikes, legal referrals, and much more. For a list of the top Travel Insurance companies, visit ManagingMoney.com.

To ensure a fun and relaxing cruise, be prepared for the unexpected by considering the above mentioned travel tips. You'll be glad you did!

February 12, 2013

Do You Need to File? If So, What Should You Do if You Don't Have Your W-2

It's that time of year again! Tax Time! And all of your questions are just beginning. For instance, who needs to file? What are the rules requiring that you file? If the answer is yes you do need to file, have you received your W-2 yet? If not, what can you do? Below are some answers so you can get started.

Who should file an income tax return:

Generally, the amount of income you earned in 2012, your tax filing status, your age and the type of income you received will determine whether you are required to file. Even if you do not believe that you are required to file a tax return, you may still want to do so for a number of reasons. You may be surprised to learn that you are entitled to a tax refund if you have had too much federal income tax withheld from your pay, or you may qualify for certain tax credits. You should check the Internal Revenue Service website at IRS.gov for specific income tax filing requirements. According to the IRS below are 5 reasons to consider filing (even if you are not required to do so)

1. Federal Income Tax Withheld. If your employer withheld federal income tax from your pay, if you made estimated tax payments, or if you had a prior year overpayment applied to this year's tax, you could be due a refund. You should file a return to claim any excess tax you paid during the year.

2. Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). If you worked but earned less than $50,270 last year, you may qualify for EITC. EITC is a refundable tax credit; which means if you qualify you could receive EITC as a tax refund. Families with qualifying children may qualify to get up to $5,891 dollars. You can't get the credit unless you file a return and claim it. To find out if you qualify go to the IRS website at IRS.gov and use the EITC Assistant.

3. Additional Child Tax Credit. If you have at least one qualifying child and you don't get the full amount of the Child Tax Credit, you may qualify for this additional refundable credit. You must file and use new Schedule 8812, Child Tax Credit, to claim the credit.

4. American Opportunity Credit. If you or someone you support is a student, you might be eligible for this credit. Students in their first four years of postsecondary education may qualify for as much as $2,500 through this partially refundable credit. Even those who owe no tax can get up to $1,000 of the credit as cash back for each eligible student. You must file Form 8863, Education Credits, and submit it with your tax return to claim this credit.

5. Health Coverage Tax Credit. If you're receiving Trade Adjustment Assistance, Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance, Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance or pension benefit payments from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, you may be eligible for a 2012 Health Coverage Tax Credit. Spouses and dependents may also be eligible. If you're eligible, you can receive a 72.5 percent tax credit on payments you made for qualified health insurance premiums.

Now that you've decided that you definitely are going to file a return, what should you do if you have not yet received your W-2? Technically your W-2, "Wage and Tax Statement", should have been mailed to you by your employer by the end of January.
If you have not received your W-2, the IRS recommends that you follow steps:

1. Contact your employer first. Ask your employer - or former employer - to send your W-2 if it has not already been sent. Also, make sure that your employer has your correct address.

2. Contact the IRS. After February 14, 2013 you may call the IRS at 800-829-1040 if you have not yet received your W-2. When you call the IRS be prepared to provide them with your name, address, Social Security number, and phone number. You should also have the following information when you call: your employer's name; address and phone number; your employment dates; and an estimate of your wages and federal income tax withheld in 2012, (based upon your final pay stub or leave-and-earnings statement, if available).

Even if you have not yet received your W-2, you must still file your tax return on or before April 15, 2013. In this case you will need to file Form 4852, "Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement", instead of the W-2. Use the Form 4852 to estimate your income and withholding taxes as accurately as possible. (Note that the IRS may delay processing your return while it verifies your information.)

If you need more time to file your taxes you can get a six-month extension of time by filing Form 4868, "Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File US Individual Income Tax Return". If you are requesting an extension, you must file this form on or before April 15, 2013.

Note: If you receive the missing W-2 after filing your tax return and the information on the W-2 is different from what you reported using Form 4852, then according to the IRS, you must correct your tax return. File Form 1040X, "Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return" to amend your tax return.

To compare online tax preparers, visit the ManagingMoney Tax Center.

February 5, 2013

Things To Keep In Mind When Filing Your 2012 Taxes

This year you have until Monday, April 15, 2013 to file your 2012 tax returns and pay any tax due. If you can not file in time you can request a 6-month extension. Keep in mind that this is an extension to file your return, not to pay any taxes due. If you believe you will owe money, you must complete the estimated payment section and submit your payment. Filing online is the easiest way to go. If you have a simple return you will find that major online tax preparers have a Free edition for Federal returns. Don't know which form you will need to complete? Here are a few IRS tips to guide you:

You can generally use the 1040EZ if:

• Your taxable income is below $100,000;
• Your filing status is single or married filing jointly;
• You are not claiming any dependents; and

If you can't use Form 1040EZ, you may qualify to use the 1040A if:

• Your taxable income is below $100,000;
• You have capital gain distributions;
• You claim certain tax credits; and

You claim adjustments to income for IRA contributions and student loan interest.
If you cannot use the 1040EZ or the 1040A, you'll probably need to file using the 1040.

The reasons you must use the 1040 include:

• Your taxable income is $100,000 or more;
• You claim itemized deductions;
• You are reporting self-employment income;

These are just some major tips to get you started. As you continue to get everything organized, remember that eFile, when combined with direct deposit, is the fastest way to get a refund. Another reason to consider eFile is that if you owe tax, you can eFile early and set an automatic payment date anytime on or before the April 15 due date. You can pay by check, money order, debit card, credit card, or by transferring funds electronically from your bank account.

Once you file you can check the IRS website at IRS.gov under the heading "Where's My Refund" to check on the status of your refund. According to the IRS, initial information will generally be available within 24 hours after the IRS receives your eFiled return or four weeks after mailing a paper return. To compare online tax preparers, visit the ManagingMoney Tax Center.


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