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Tax Planning

Several changes in the tax code may impact taxpayers this year.

Automatic extension: Previously, individuals were allowed an automatic extension of four months, and they could file for another two-month extension later. Now, the automatic extension is valid for six months, which will create less administrative work for both taxpayers and accountants.

IRA deductions: The IRA deduction limit was increased to $4,000 per individual under the age of 50, and $4,500 to those age 50 and older. read more »

 

It may be difficult to focus on financial matters in December, when the overwhelming holiday season brings long to-do lists and when spending, not saving, is on people’s minds. But tax time is not that far away, and this is the last chance to get some last-minute credits. read more »

 

The state’s Economic and Revenue Forecast Council has announced that the state’s sales tax revenue was 6’5 percent. or $67.9 million, higher than expected. The state collected $1.13 billion in sales tax from Oct. 11 to Nov. 10.

Retail sales, business and occupation, use and public utility taxes, real estate excise tax payments, and other revenue, primarily unclaimed property transfers and brokered natural gas tax payments — accounted for most of the increase. read more »

 

Are you one of the almost 100 million taxpayers who will receive a refund when you file your federal tax return? The IRS says that requesting direct deposit and filing your tax return electronically will put that money in your pocket faster and easier.
Every year, more taxpayers find out how safe and easy it is to have their tax refund deposited directly into their checking or savings account. This option is available for both e-filers and paper return filers. read more »

 

It’s something most people don’t want to think about: death. But you might want to ponder it now so your family will have a financial cushion when you pass away.
That’s where life insurance comes in. It gives your spouse, children or an aging dependent parent money when you die. It can also be used to protect your business, pay off debts, leave money to charity and cover estate expenses. You make periodic payments, or premiums, which vary based on your age, sex, medical history and the type and amount of insurance you are getting. read more »

 

If you’re trying to follow the bear and bull markets in coming up with an investment strategy, Ed Stern of Piper Jaffray has a word of advice: There are two different barnyard animals that will be much more helpful, chicken and pigs.

“It’s important to bring perspective into the market…People tend to be motivated by fear and greed, it can overtake them and cloud their objective judgment,” said Stern, the hands down winner of the Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal’s Stock Watch competition two years ago. read more »

 

Fiduciary: Relating to the holding of something in trust for another. In this case you the employer are considered to be making decisions that affect the assets of your employee’s retirement plan in trust. read more »

 

With the rush and bustle of the holiday season, the last thing many people are thinking about is the 2005 tax season. But, with just a few weeks left in 2004, time is running out to increase your tax deductions. read more »

 

The holiday shopping season is in full swing. In a country where spending is already a national past time, this is the time of year when many people significantly increase their debt and overextend their already overextended finances. Many people will be starting the New Year faced with a pile of credit card bills, wondering where all their money went.

Corrie J. Moore, a financial advisor with Waddell and Reed, Inc., of Silverdale, gave five reasons why people end up in financial dire straits, both during the holidays and throughout the year. read more »

 
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