Forward Thinking & Wealth Building

Learn why it is important to think about “where you want to go” as you build wealth…

 

In the current economy it is important that you take a serious look and analyze what lies ahead or what potentially lies ahead as you build wealth.

 

Although no one knows what their future holds—it is still important that you give serious thought to how you can direct your future, build wealth and enjoy your life on your terms.

 

In this discussion TheWealthIncreaser.com will look at ways that you can think about your future and then move to action to make what you think about happen in real time.

 

It is important that you leave your past in the past unless you use your past as motivation to move forward, know where you presently are so that you can put a plan in place that will move you forward and think about and put into action–steps that will move you forward in new and more empowering ways.

 

*Dealing with your past…

 

It is important that you realize that you have a past—however you must not let your past limit you or slow you down in any way.  You must make it a point to learn from negative actions in your past and build upon positive actions in your past.

 

In short, it is you–who control the path to making your dreams come true!

 

*Dealing with your present…

 

You must let your past be in the past and know where you now are so that you can build a better future.

 

You must know your current cash flow position, your current credit position and your current level of financial knowledge so that you can put effective plans in place to enhance your future.

 

At this time you control the direction that your life can go–and it is up to you to get results that will show!

 

You possess the ability to make the commitment to obtain a financially alert mind and “not just” financial literacy and really achieve at a higher level of excellence.

 

*Dealing with your future…

 

By thinking about your future and putting in place measurable action steps you can reach your goals more efficiently and achieve at a higher level.

 

You must know your current cash flow position, have a handle on your credit and know how to manage your credit effectively throughout your lifetime so that you can position yourself to know how to manage all areas of your finances throughout your lifetime in a highly effective manner!

 

You can plan those yearly vacations that you desire, you can live at a higher level and entertain and save at a higher level, you can donate to your favorite charities in more effective ways–however all of that and more, requires that you plan your future in a more efficient and effective way–starting today.

 

Conclusion

 

It is your responsibility to analyze your past, present and future and come up with better ways to achieve your goals both financial and non-financial.

 

By taking the right steps at the right time you can positively build off your past and current positions and achieve far more if you take the right actions on a consistent basis.

 

Today is “the day” that your “forward thinking” puts you on a path to “achieving your goals” in a better way!

 

All the best toward your future success and putting excuses to rest…

 

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Taxing Subjects & Wealth Building

Learn more about taxes and how you can use that knowledge to build wealth…

Understanding your income taxes at a basic level is important in the current economy and with recent changes to the tax laws it is more important than ever that you understand your taxes at the state and federal level and know some of the ways that you can minimize your taxes and build wealth more efficiently.

 

In this discussion TheWealthIncreaser.com will briefly discuss a number of individual tax topics as it relates to the IRS that could possibly be of benefit to you or a loved one.

 

It is important that you understand that you have a “bill of rights” that came into effect in 2014 (give thanks to National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson) that outlines what you can and can’t do as it relates to filing your federal income taxes and your relationship with the IRS if you are a U.S. citizen or subject to taxation by the IRS.

 

Your Rights:

 

*Be Informed *Quality Service *Pay no more than the correct amount of tax * Challenge the IRS’s position and be heard *Appeal an IRS decision in an independent forum *Finality *Privacy *Confidentiality *Retain representation *A fair and just tax system

 

Go to taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/taxpayer-rights to learn in more detail about your rights…

 

What is the difference between injured spouse and innocent spouse?

 

Injured Spouse

A: An injured spouse is simply someone whose tax refund is used to cover the past-due debts of a spouse or exspouse. When married taxpayers file a joint return, each spouse has an interest in the jointly reported income and in the debt.

 

Generally: If you file Form 8379 with a joint return electronically, the time needed to process it is about 11 weeks. If you file Form 8379 with a joint return on paper, the time needed is about 14 weeks. If you file Form 8379 by itself after a joint return has already been processed, the time needed is about 8 weeks.

 

It will primarily benefit you if you file form 8379 and you are the spouse who is injured (the injured spouse) on a jointly filed tax return when the joint over-payment was (or is expected to be) applied (offset) to a pastdue obligation of the other spouse.  By filing Form 8379, as the injured spouse you may be able to get back your share of the joint refund that was initially taken by the IRS to settle a debt that was owed by your spouse.

 

To qualify for an injured spouse claim, you must meet the following conditions:

 

You are not required to pay the past-due amount.

 

This means that the debt is one which your spouse incurred before you got married or that the debt is one for which only your spouse is liable.

 

Form 8379 lets you (the “injured spouse“) get back your portion of a jointly-filed refund if it’s seized or offset to pay your spouse’s debt. You must file jointly to use this form. Filing an 8379 will delay your federal refund by up to 14 weeks.

 

But it could — if you file the injured spouse form allow you to get back a portion of the refund.

 

As an injured spouse, you are in essence asking the IRS to pay attention to whether you or your spouse has the refund and who has the debt. 

 

It’s not just federal tax debt that gets collected. A potential refund could be used to offset past-due child support, defaulted student loan payments, state or local taxes, or any other money owed to a state or federal agency. The IRS will inform you and your spouse if an offset takes place. A formal Notice of Offset will be mailed to the taxpayer’s address, which gives the taxpayer time to respond by filing Form 8379 as an injured spouse [source: IRS].

 

For example, if you were newly married, and were filing taxes jointly for the first time and you always filed individually in the past and you were used to getting a nice refund and your spouse doesn’t usually receive a refund because the IRS garnishes any tax over-payments to cover past-due student loans–you could potentially file as an injured spouse using form 8379.

 

Once you file as a couple, your refund will be used to cover your spouse’s back student loan payments. By filing for injured spouse relief, you are asking the IRS to keep your refund away from your spouse’s debt.

 

The IRS takes many things into account when calculating how much the injured spouse might be due. There are two formulas used, including subtracting your share of joint liability from your share of the credits and income. There is also a separate tax formula, which looks something like this [source: IRS]

 

IRS Formula:

 

(Injured spouse’s separate tax liability / Total of spouses’ separate tax liabilities)
x Joint tax liability shown on return= Injured spouse’s share of liability

Instructions for filing…

Innocent Spouse

By requesting innocent spouse relief, you can be relieved of responsibility for paying tax, interest, and penalties if your spouse (or former spouse) “improperly reported items or omitted items” on your tax return.

 

The IRS will figure the tax you are responsible for “after” you file Form 8857!

 

In contrast, as mentioned above an injured spouse is someone “whose tax refund is used to cover financial obligations” of a current or former spouse.

 

Please note that the financial obligations can be outside of your federal income taxes as mentioned above!

 

You are an injured spouse if “your share of the over-payment” shown on your joint return was, or is expected to be, applied (offset) against your spouse’s legally enforceable past-due debts.

 

IRS Definition:

 

Innocent spouse relief provides you relief from additional tax you owe if your spouse or former spouse failed to report income, reported income improperly or claimed improper deductions or credits.

 

If you qualify for Innocent Spouse Relief, you “will not” be held responsible for your spouse or ex-spouse’s unpaid taxes.

 

You may qualify as an Innocent Spouse if all of the following are true:

 

*You filed a joint tax return.

*Due to the circumstances, it would be unfair to hold you liable for the unpaid taxes.

 

Am I responsible for my spouse’s debt?

 

If you were married when your spouse incurred the back taxes, then yes.

When you file jointly, then you assume “joint and several” liability.

 

Instructions for filing…

You must file Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to request any of the methods of relief. Publication 971, Innocent Spouse Relief, explains each type of relief, who may qualify, and how to request relief.

 

What is the benefit of purchasing a home as it relates to the filing of my income taxes?

 

If you purchase a home you will enjoy the benefits of your own dwelling (privacy, equity build up, peace of mind and the like) along with a number of potential tax advantages at the federal and possibly state level as well.

 

Those advantages will be unique to you based on your income, family size, state of residence, loan amount, real estate taxes paid, interest paid, whether you have mortgage insurance and the timing of your purchase among other factors.

 

It is important that you put yourself in position for success by knowing on the front end whether you are properly prepared to purchase and you know how you will benefit in a proactive way–not after your purchase.

 

What effect does interest and investment income have on my taxes?

 

It depends on the amount and whether the interest and/or investment income was earned inside or outside of your retirement account.

 

If earned outside of your retirement account(s) you may have to pay annual taxes at your ordinary income or capital gains tax rate depending on the type of account and the amount of your income.

 

Your family size and whether you itemize deductions and other factors will have some effect on the overall taxes that you will pay or the amount of refund you will receive.

 

If earned inside of your retirement account(s) you may defer or possibly avoid taxation until your retirement years or possibly later depending on the “type” of investment and your (including your spouse if filing jointly) overall income at the time of retirement and the years thereafter.

 

Conclusion

 

Taxing Subjects can be a broad area and this discussion only touched the surface as far as taxes are concerned.

 

Even so, your high level of comprehension and proper application of the subject matter that you learned in this discussion that you can use in your life at this time (or later on down the road) can put you far ahead of those who go about their daily life with no real concern or understanding of their tax position and where they want to go in life.

 

Also be aware of and look for ways that you can improve your tax position in other areas outside of your income taxes.  Can you improve on the payment of your real estate taxes, ad valorem taxes, sales taxes, utility fees, telecommunication fees and other taxes or fees that are not defined as taxes but have the same effect?

 

All the best toward paying less and continued success…

 

 

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Good Intentions & Wealth Building

Learn why your “good intentions” won’t lead to the success that you desire if you don’t have a serious action plan…

 

In the current economy many are coming to the realization that they must do more in the financial realm of their life and they have good intentions as far as starting and pursuing a serious path toward financial freedom and wealth building.

 

Although that is a good first step and important realization it is important that you combine your good intentions with a serious plan toward building wealth.

 

In this discussion TheWealthIncreaser.com will show you how you can use your good intentions to achieve far more in the current economy.

 

What are you motivated toward achieving?

 

It is important that you have a high level of motivation as that will help propel you toward the goals or good intentions that you now have.

 

You must know why you want to achieve the goals that you choose and you must use that “why” as a guiding force to reach higher and achieve at a level that is your absolute best.

 

What are the consequences of the choices that you make?

 

It is important that you choose goals that are meaningful and significant to you and your family and you must realize that even though you may have good intentions–bad outcomes or consequences may occur from time to time.

 

It is important that you prepare your mind with the right knowledge on the front end so that you can achieve positive outcomes that align with your good intentions.

 

What action(s) will lead you toward the outcomes that you desire?

 

It is important that you know the action steps that you need to take at the various stages of your life that will propel you and your family forward on a consistent basis.

 

Will you put together a budget or personal cash flow statement so that you can improve your focus?

 

Will you put in the required effort to maximize your credit knowledge and credit score?

 

Will you spend the time that is necessary to review and improve upon your insurance, investments, taxes, emergency fund, education planning, estate planning/wills and retirement planning?

 

These are basic questions that you must ask and answer in a sincere way if you are to achieve more on a consistent basis—starting today.

 

Conclusion

 

Although you may have good intentions and desire success—you must realize that attaining that success is normally a process.

 

Your level of motivation along with your real desire to achieve will normally take you to where you need to be if you arm yourself with the right knowledge and preparation at the right time.

 

You can make positive outcomes occur on a consistent basis by knowing what you need to do in advance and applying that knowledge on a consistent basis throughout your lifetime.

 

Use the good intentions that you have at this time to make something BIG in your life materialize in your future.

 

From this day forward you no longer have to be a victim of your own self-doubt and insecurity!  From this day forward you must believe in you and know that you are capable of making “your own dreams” come true!

 

You must never let your setbacks that may occur or what others may say send you in the opposite direction of the success that is already yours. 

 

By moving forward with your good intentions and mastering the action steps in this discussion (or choosing another source that can lead you forward) you will soon have the thought process and action steps that will provide you the right movement on a consistent basis!

 

However, you must realize that good intentions on your part will sometimes lead to bad outcomes or consequences.

 

Even so you must press on and consistently move toward the goals that you desire.

 

All the best toward attaining major success–as now is “not” the time to rest…

 

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Difficulties & Wealth Building

 

Learn why difficulties at various points during your life will occur, however you must know that you can still build wealth and achieve lasting goals…

 

It is important that you realize that difficult times will happen to us all, and it is very important that you understand that difficult times will occur as you build wealth.

 

However, it is how you respond to the difficult challenges that will occur during your lifetime that is the real key to your long term success.

 

Over the years the creator of TheWealthIncreaser.com has seen  many who were on a serious path to success face difficult bumps along the way that derailed or slowed down their path to success—but did not deter the success that they so desperately wanted to achieve because they had a strong foundation.

 

You too must cultivate a “mindset of endurance” as it relates to your goals and it all starts with a “plan of action” on your part to detail a path toward the goals that you desire.

 

In this discussion TheWealthIncreaser.com will show you why difficulties during your lifetime are to be expected—however the success that you desire or need to achieve should also be expected (inside your mind and heart) on a consistent basis.

 

Once you put in place a plan that will take you toward the success that you desire you must also “plan for” uncertainty, adversity and difficult times that will undoubtedly occur as you build wealth.

 

A properly established emergency fund will act as a shield to protect you and your family when difficult times occur in some instances.

 

However, non-financial difficulties that life will throw at you in other areas of your life will also occur!

 

During these periods of your life you may feel empty–therefore you want to do all that you can in advance to prepare your mind and heart so that you can overcome any difficulty that you will face along the way–and still reach or exceed your goals.

 

By equipping your mind with the “mental qualities” that are needed for success at the highest level that is within you—you will be equipping your heart and mind with the right information that can propel you during difficult times and challenges during your lifetime.

 

Conclusion

 

A plan of action is a good starting point as you build wealth, however you need far more than that if your goals is to achieve lasting success.

 

You must be fully aware that it is your responsibility to prepare your mind for difficult challenges that will undoubtedly be in your future.  Your decision to land on this page and navigate this site at this time shows a real commitment on your part to meet that responsibility.

 

By preparing your mind with the right information on a consistent basis you can not only build wealth more effectively and efficiently, you can strengthen your level of determination to a point where difficult challenges that occur during your lifetime will be managed more effectively and the joy that you desire can be achieved at a much higher level.

 

All the best to overcoming difficulties and achieving lasting success…

 

 

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Foundation & Wealth Building

Learn why a “strong financial foundation” lies at t he center of your future wealth building success…

 

It is important that you realize that a strong financial foundation is what you need at this time if you are to succeed and build wealth in a more appropriate manner throughout your lifetime.

 

It is important that you live for the future in a manner where worry, anxiety, fear, frustration, lack of effort and excuses play no meaningful role in your forward movement.

 

If you now lack a strong financial foundation it is important that you “at this time” make a real commitment to have a very strong foundation as you pursue your wealth building efforts as that foundation will set you apart from those who struggle daily in the management of their finances.

 

In a similar manner as a weak foundation in the building of the San Francisco  Millennium Tower made what appeared to be a beautiful creation on the inside and outside—but the foundation was faulty—so too must you be aware of the foundation that you lay as you build wealth.

 

If you do not possess what it takes on the inside to build a foundation that cannot be shaken you are selling yourself and your family short when it comes to building lasting wealth.

 

Even though it may appear to you at this time that you possess what is necessary and you are headed on an upward trajectory—you must take steps at this time to ensure that you will achieve at your highest level of excellence—and it all starts with a strong foundation.

 

In this discussion TheWealthIncreaser.com will show you in emphatic terms why a strong financial foundation is not only the key to your success, but will provide you the impetus to achieve at a level that allows you to pursue your financial goals in a manner where you will give it your absolute best!

 

Step 1

 

Determine your level of financial knowledge and financial preparation that you have at this time…

 

You must analyze where you now are with your financial level of understanding and you must use that knowledge as a guide to let you know that more work is required of you—if you truly desire to make your dreams come true.

 

You must know your areas of strength and know your money management personality so that you can take a more introspective (look deep inside your mind, heart and soul) approach as you move toward the goals that are most important to you—whether they be financial or otherwise!

 

Step 2

 

Determine if you have what it takes on the inside to achieve optimally…

 

You must realize that those who purchased at the San Francisco Millennium Tower thought that they had what it took on the inside and outside to achieve financially and enjoy a beautiful dwelling.

 

However, they did not properly analyze the foundation of the building and in some cases it cost them possibly  thousands of dollars (or even more) by being in an adverse position–when it really didn’t have to be that way.

 

When it comes to your financial foundation you must know what is the appropriate knowledge that you must know that will allow you to achieve results that will show!

 

If you fail to do a careful, critical, analytical and accurate assessment of where you truly stand at this time as far as your finances are concerned—you are demonstrating an unwillingness to confront your finances and the foundation that you desire to start or that you have already started as it relates to your wealth building will-possibly look good to you on the inside and outside (your heart and mind may feel that you are doing great) but the generational wealth building success that you need or want to achieve may be lacking.

 

Step 3

 

Know that a faulty foundation will send you backward or at best keep you where you are now at…

 

Even if you have what it takes on the inside (have fire and desire inside your heart and mind) to successfully achieve at what appears to be a high level—you can do far more on a daily basis if you start off with a strong credit and financial foundation.

 

You can get momentum rolling and turn your current position into one of lasting success if you acquire the right knowledge and you apply that knowledge in a manner that works with your mind and propels you toward the future goals that you desire.

 

You possess inside the “ability to choose” a new and more rewarding way to achieve wealth building success today.

 

Conclusion

 

The mere fact that everything looks good from the outside (or even the inside) does not mean that all is well!

 

You must approach your financial future with a “comprehensive perspective” and you must know that major success lies ahead if you properly turn the gravel and analyze the soil (know where you now stand and sincerely look for real ways to achieve more).

 

You don’t have to approach your future in a fearful or cautious manner if you make the decision at this time to build a foundation that cannot be shaken!

 

All the best toward your future success based on the decision that you are now making that will allow you to achieve at your absolute best…

 

 

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Mega Success & Wealth Building

Learn how you can achieve the type of financial and life success that you need or desire to achieve…

 

It is important that you realize that you have the ability within to achieve “mega-success” in the management of your finances so that you can achieve many of your dreams such as retiring early, vacationing when and where you want to, volunteering for your favorite causes, donating to your favorite causes, increasing your net worth to the level that you desire and achieving any other goal that you may have in mind!

 

In this discussion TheWealthIncreaser.com will show you in precise terms how you can achieve “mega-success” and build your wealth in a way where you can leave behind an inheritance for your future generations yet unborn.

 

If you have struggled in the past with your credit and finances or you are currently struggling—your future can be bright in spite of where you now stand.

 

If you are now on a successful path in the management of your credit and finances you too can learn other and possibly more effective ways to achieve the goals that you desire.

 

Over the years we have received many questions about how to achieve more in the credit and financial areas of the lives of many.

 

In this discussion TheWealthIncreaser.com will explain how you can achieve lasting financial success in a more efficient manner as you build wealth over time.

 

Know where you are in your “life stage” and use that knowledge to your advantage…

 

You must pursue stability in your financial life and pursue the “quality of life” that you desire in a way that gets you real results.

 

You must know your cash flow position, know how credit works and know all of the areas of your finances that you must address at the various stages in your life.

 

Know how to use “success qualities” to your advantage in your financial life…

 

You must know how to use the “qualities of success” to your and your family’s best advantage and you must have the determination and grit to give it your best at all times and in all endeavors in spite of what others may be doing.

 

You are responsible for pursuing your goals at a high level and gaining the preparation and knowledge that allows you to pursue success more efficiently and more effectively in all areas of your life.

 

You are responsible for responding to adverse situations that will occur throughout your lifetime in a winning manner.

 

Know how to “integrate your financial knowledge” so that you can achieve more…

 

You must look at and analyze your financial position as it relates to insurance,  investments, taxes, emergency fund, education planning, estate planning and retirement planning on a consistent basis.

 

To attain mega-success you must know whether you are investing for income, growth–or income and growth–and you must know what vehicles will take you to where you need or desire to be.

 

Will you use money market accounts, money market mutual funds, bonds, stocks, mutual funds, closed end funds, REIT’s, MLP’s or Master limited Partnerships or more exotic investments to get you the returns and growth that you desire?

 

By answering those and other questions you will be well on you way to success—and if you do it at your highest level you can attain “mega success” because you decided to give it your best.

 

Conclusion

 

If you do a critical analysis of where you now stand financially and you look within in a sincere manner and decide to improve in areas where you are weak both financially and personality wise you can attain much more on a daily basis.

 

You are now in position to make a real choice about the direction that you desire to go and it is you who can steer your investments and personality in the direction where success lives—or if you do it at your absolute best—where mega-success lives.

 

All the best toward giving your best and achieving mega-success…

 

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Tax Preparation Tips & Wealth Building

Learn how you can build wealth and use the tax code to assist in your efforts…

 

The proper preparation and filing of your tax return is an important step in the upward movement of your net worth and is a key aspect of your wealth building efforts.  Now is the time that you rise up and achieve more in your life and knowing a few tax tips can possibly lead to you flying higher.

 

With another successful tax season in the books TheWealthIncreaser.com thought that helping prepare you and others who desire more success in the coming tax seasons was in order.  In this discussion TheWealthIncreaser.com will discuss how “preparing in advance” is a key step in filing your taxes and building wealth.

 

It is important that you realize that record keeping is an important responsibility whether you decide to file your own tax return or you hire a professional to do them for you.

 

If your taxes are not complex and you are computer savvy you may be able to file your taxes yourself.

 

If you make under $66,000 the IRS offers free filing if you qualify.

 

Other online services also offer free tax preparation as well.  If you choose a free provider be sure to read the fine print and know all of your obligations going in—not after the return is prepared and filed.

 

You also have the option of purchasing tax software and doing your return yourself.  Live chats and explanations are normally included in the software purchase.

 

The average cost to file a tax return is over $200 in most areas of the United States.  In many cases it can be money well spent.

 

If you dread doing your taxes yourself consider a professional who knows how to complete the type of return that you will file.  If you have schedule A entries, capital gains or losses, investment properties, business income and the like you may want to choose a highly competent tax professional as there are nuances and certain understanding that is possessed by those who do taxes on a regular basis and take the profession seriously.

 

Whether you decide to complete and file yourself or you decide to hire a pro, the following paragraphs will provide you with basic insight on how you can build wealth more efficiently by effectively using the tax code.

 

Maintain Good Financial Records Relating to Deductions

 

  • Document non-cash contributions and donations
  • Assign a value to each item you donate
  • Document all of your medical expenses and mileage to and from your medical provider(s)
  • Save all mail and correspondence that is marked “Important Tax Information”
  • Organize all of your financial data
  • Start an “IRA” if you or your loved one qualifies at the earliest time possible and keep a record of your annual contributions

 

It is important that you avoid common mistakes that many make whether they prepare their return themselves or use tax professionals.

 

You want to definitely maintain good mileage records as the mileage rate for 2018 is 54.5 cents per mile.

 

Don’t overlook any of your itemized deductions or potential itemized deductions as with the new law many have been eliminated–however you may still need to run the numbers to see if your federal and state refund amount or amount owed will be more or less beneficial to you–depending on the approach (itemized or standard deduction) that you take.

 

Be sure you know all entries that you can legally enter on schedule 1   and schedule A now–and in future tax years.

 

If you are a business owner and travel don’t overlook travel expenses and keep good records.  You also want to be aware of a potential home office deduction that you may be entitled to take.  Also document and keep records of all business related purchases whether they be office supplies or major assets such as machinery, computers, automobiles and the like.

 

Also, if you are not doing so contribute to your 401k or other retirement account as well as HSA, FSA and other tax advantaged accounts.

 

If you qualify consider a ROTH or Traditional IRA (income qualification and contribution limits apply).  Of course, whether and how much you contribute will depend on your current financial condition, therefore it is imperative that you know how to manage your finances at an optimal level.

 

Student Loan Interest

 

You can deduct up to $2,500 in student loan interest annually on your tax return if you qualify.  However if you are single and earn over $80,000, you would not be eligible for the deduction–which seems quite unfair–you borrow to pay your way through college and when you start earning decent money to pay the loan back you are penalized and not allowed a deduction on your tax return.

 

Outside of earning less (usually a bad option) or getting married (your income limit increases some) your options to qualify may be limited!  Are those real options for you–probably not and a change in the tax code would be more appropriate–however by knowing the income limitation at this time–you can at least plan proactively or plan to avoid student loans altogether if you find yourself in a precarious position at this time.

 

If you are currently seeking higher education or you have dependents who are now seeking higher education you may be eligible for credits and deductions that could help lower your taxes.

 

You can also save for higher education in a tax efficient manner by utilizing a 529 plan, a prepaid tuition plan or other tax advantaged educational savings plans–including IRAs.

 

Itemized Deductions

 

Medical deduction limit in 2018 is 7.5% of your AGI and 10% of your AGI in the 2019 tax year.

You can no longer deduct moving expenses unless you are in the military.

Casualty losses are non-deductible unless in a federally declared area.

Unreimbursed employee expenses, tax preparation fees and other 2% miscellaneous deductions are no longer allowed on schedule A.

If you need to make changes on your tax return remember the 3 year rule (three years from the filing deadline–including extensions) form 1040X allows you to amend your return.

If you have not filed your return in the past three years and you are due a refund–file now as after three years you will no longer be eligible for the refund.

 

Always consider your overall “effective” tax rate–that means looking at your taxes from a federal tax point of view as well as state and city (local)—where applicable.

 

 Investments

 

If you have investments be aware of the type you choose and the present and future tax consequences.  If you have children or grandchildren consider setting up a 529 plan, an IRA or other tax favored savings plan for their educational and/or retirement future.

 

It is important that you are aware of how your “investment choices” affect your future and your taxes–and it is you who must gain the “right knowledge” that you need–to succeed.

 

You can set up an IRA for your child or your grandchild if they have income and by saving consistently and gaining an average rate of return you can set your heirs up for a prosperous future in a relatively painless way.  However, it is important that you plan now and set up systems that allow you to do that and more.

 

In addition, you must insure that you are on track to meet or exceed the goals that you desire and you must also operate in a sound manner in all of the financial affairs in your life.

 

Conclusion

 

With many changes in the new tax law of 2017 many may feel uncomfortable tackling their own taxes.

 

However, in many cases your taxes may not be complicated and tax software can lead you toward an accurate and cost saving preparation of your taxes.

 

Under the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act the standard deduction has basically doubled for most taxpayers and personal exemptions are gone except in limited cases (now called a tax credit).

 

The tax rates were reduced for most taxpayers, the child tax credit doubled from $1,000 to $2,000 for children under 17.

 

If you own a business and had income you may qualify for the Qualified Business Income deduction.

 

In addition, you want to form the right type of business (sole proprietor, corporation, LLC, partnership etc.), pay your estimated taxes (January 15th–April 15th–June 15th–September 15th) in a timely and accurate manner, record your revenue and expenses accurately and stay in good standing with the IRS in a proactive way.

 

Be sure to keep a separate bank account for your business, separate credit card(s) for your business and avoid commingling your business and personal records including bank deposits and withdrawals.

 

Also, allocate your income and expenses in the appropriate categories so that you can see where your income is coming from—and how much you are paying out in expenses–and where!

 

Keep a mileage log in your car (vehicle) or use an automated system and log all business related miles as well as repair and maintenance expenses such  as gas, oil changes, parking/tolls and other expenses in case you decide to use actual expenses instead of mileage.

 

A monthly profit and loss statement will help your tax professional at tax time (or yourself if you plan on doing your own taxes) and also help in planning your business now and in the future as you can use the data for employee staffing, inventory, maintenance and other areas of concern that are particular to your type of business.

 

In short, by previewing your tax position now–you can plan better for your future.  It is the desire of TheWealthincreaser.com that this page has given you some added insight on how you can achieve more in your future and lighten your tax burden as well.

 

Now is the time that you use T P T & W B to achieve results that you can see!

 

All the best toward your tax saving and wealth building success…

 

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Investment Choices & Wealth Building

Learn why knowing how to choose your “Investments” in a wise manner is critical for your “Wealth Building” success…

 

In today’s economy there are a number of choices or investment options for you to choose from after you have determined your cash flow position, maximized your credit position and looked into the future of your finances in a comprehensive manner.

 

In this discussion TheWealthIncreaser.com will discuss several investment options—along with the tax angle that you can use to build wealth more efficiently in the economy that we are now in.

 

You can invest in stocks, mutual funds, bonds, MLP’s, real estate, futures, precious metals and many others—and it is important that you understand your potential tax position going in.

 

Although the creator of TheWealthIncreaser.com has been quite busy this tax season, the inspiration to create this page occurred as many of my clients over the past few weeks made investment choices and had capital gains and an increase in their net worth in the 2018 tax year.

 

STOCKS & MUTUAL FUNDS

 

First and foremost you must understand the difference between short-term and long-term gains and you must know the tax treatment of investments when they are “inside” or “outside” of your retirement account.

 

In addition you want to be aware of when and if you can carry losses forward and from what type of investment.

 

If your investments are outside of your retirement accounts your purchase price, sale price and how long you hold the investment is key! 

 

If your investments are inside of your retirement accounts you may avoid or defer taxation until a future date–normally retirement or at the time of withdrawal!

 

If your investment is held for less than a year outside of your retirement account(s)–you will have a short-term gain and you will be taxed at your ordinary income tax rate (if you have your 2018 tax return get it out and look at line 10 of form 1040 page 2 to see where you fall as far as taxation) that could range from 0% (lower end of spectrum) to 40.8% (higher end of spectrum).

 

If you hold your investment for one year and one day you will get the more favorable rate that is determined by your taxable income (long term capital gains rate that could range from 0% to a maximum of 23.8%).  If your brokerage or mutual fund company sell during the year and “they don’t specify a date” or if they state “various” on the 1099–your gain will be taxed as “ordinary income” unless you can prove that the stock or mutual fund was held for one year and one day.

 

If you have a combination of short and long-term capital gains and capital losses you can offset the gains against the losses.

 

However, you must offset short term losses against your short term gains and long-term losses against your long-term gains —you then aggregate your losses and if they exceed your gains you can use the losses to offset your taxes.  If the losses exceed $3,000 you can carry them forward up to a maximum of $3,000 per tax year until it is used up.

 

Qualified stock dividends (stock held 60 days before or after the ex-dividend date) are also taxed at capital gain rates and if the stock dividend is unqualified it would be taxed at your “ordinary income” rate (which is usually a higher rate) and would be entered on your tax return as “ordinary dividends” on line 3b of your 2018 tax return.

 

If you invest in a mutual fund or your investments are handled by a brokerage they will normally spell out the differences on their 1099’s that you get around tax time.

 

They will also normally provide you your cost basis (the purchase price adjusted for tax purposes).

 

Always remember that it is important to adjust your cost basis for re-invested dividends.

 

You pay tax on re-invested dividends in the same manner as if you received cash.  The good news is you won’t be taxed twice because your cost basis will be adjusted upward as a result of the dividend re-investment and again most brokerage companies will do this for you.

 

When you decide to sell your stocks or mutual funds you have four options to choose from:

 

  • FIFO or first in-first out
  • LIFO or last in-first out
  • Use the average cost per share
  • Specify certain shares

 

Be aware that there are caveats and regulations that apply when categorizing for tax purpose so be sure you use competent tax professionals.

 

If you own stocks or mutual funds you may have to pay tax on the capital gains even if you don’t physically utilize the gain!

 

If you have a desire to avoid capital gains consider an index fund that only pays dividends or a tax efficient fund that avoids both capital gains and dividends.

 

Also if your fund has foreign holdings they will withhold taxes paid on dividends and if box 7 on 1099-DIV has an entry that means foreign taxes were paid.

 

You can use the foreign tax credit (U.S. residents) to reduce some or all of those taxes or you can choose the deduction (reduces your taxable income—use form 1116).

 

BONDS, MLP’S & REAL ESTATE

 

There are a number of bonds and the taxation depends on what type you own:

 

  • Corporate–taxed at ordinary income rates

 

  • Treasury–income is subject to federal but not state

 

  • Municipal–income is not subject to Federal and if issued and purchased in your home state may avoid state and local

 

  • Series I and EE bonds—taxation depends on how you use the proceeds at maturity or cashing in of bond

 

In most cases Master Limited Partnership‘s and Real Estate Investment Trust‘s are taxed at ordinary income tax rates.  Under the new tax law enacted in 2017 you may be able to deduct 20% of MLP or REIT income as qualified business income.

 

If you buy and sell real estate such as a personal residence and you meet the 2 out of 5 year rule—you have a tax free gain up to $250,000 if single and $500,000 if married filing joint.

 

If you sell rental property that property will be subject to recapture of depreciation (the depreciation that you took or had the option to take will be added back thus reducing your overall gain) and will be taxed at your ordinary income rate if held for less than one year and your “capital gains rate” if held for one year or more (see capital gain rates below).

 

1031 exchange may allow you to avoid or delay taxes and is an effective tool that is utilized by serious seasoned real estate investors and may be worth considering–depending on your goals.

 

Long-Term Capital Gains Rate:

 

0% if you are single and your taxable income is $38,599 or less or if you are married $77,199 or less

 

15% if you are single and your taxable income is between $77,200 and $425,800 or if you are married and your taxable income is between $77,200 and $479,000

 

20% if you are single and your taxable income is above $425,800 and married above $479,000

 

Note: If your modified adjusted gross income is above $200,000 if you are a single filer and $250,000 if you are married filing jointly you have to pay a 3.8% net investment income tax, potentially bumping your capital gains rate to 18.8% or 23.8% respectively.

 

If on your K-1 (if you have holdings in a trust, partnership or S-corporation) some portion is a return of capital—you may not owe taxes on that amount—your tax professional should be aware of whether you will owe taxes based on the data on your K-1.

 

FUTURES & PRECIOUS METALS

 

Profits from futures trading are generally taxed at 60% long-term capital gains and 40% short-term gains no matter how long you held the contract.

 

When you buy or sell option contracts on an exchange, the tax rules are the same as for stocks that was mentioned earlier in this discussion.

 

The taxation of options can be tricky and is beyond the scope of this discussion, however it is worth mentioning that you will need a tax professional who is familiar with option taxation.

 

Precious metals are often classified by the IRS as a collectible—rather than an investment and they would be taxed at 28% (long-term).

 

ETF’s or exchange traded funds that invest in precious metals are also taxed at the 28% rate.  Funds and ETF’s that invest in mining stocks of precious metals generally get the same capital gains rate as any stock fund!

 

OTHER

 

With the advent of  cryptocurrency such as bitcoin, block chains and other more complex investments, the taxation is not clear in some instances at this time as regulations are underway or the tax treatment is not clearly defined.

 

Most investments will normally be taxed in the U.S. if a gain is going in your pocket or it is traceable and it is important that you have a tax professional who has experience in handling the type of investments you now invest in—or you anticipate investing in during your lifetime.

 

CONCLUSION

 

You have a vast number of investment choices available and it is important that you have mastered your credit, you understand your life stage, you have an emergency fund that will add an additional layer of protection in case your investments don’t materialize as you planned, you are on track with your retirement income and you review your finances on a consistent basis.

 

Another key point worth mentioning is you “must know” how the taxation of your investment income will occur in the state that you now reside in–and/or anticipate moving to in your future!

 

By doing all of the above you will put yourself on a serious path toward wealth building and you will enjoy life along the way.

 

You can build wealth in a worry-free way and win throughout your financial life because you took the time (when others chose not to) to look at investments on the front end and knew ahead of time the tax ramifications that lied ahead in your future.

 

All the best toward your investment choices and future success…

 

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Fatigue & Wealth Building

Learn why you must give your absolute best even when operating on limited rest…

 

As you build wealth in the current economy it is important that you realize that you may feel tired and lack the inspiration to move forward or move forward at a faster pace.

 

Although that is often the norm with many—it is important that you operate outside of the norm and you must have the mindset that you will press on and make the dreams that you desire occur—in a timely manner.

 

Although we all are hit with moments where we don’t operate at an optimal level or a more prosperous pace—you don’t want to let that type of behavior direct your future.

 

It is important that you find a way that allows you to reach the goals that can make your life more meaningful and enjoyable.

 

In this discussion TheWealthIncreaser.com will show you how moving forward in a determined and consistent manner—even when you are fatigued can help you achieve more and reach the goals that you aspire to reach that may appear to be out of reach at this time.

 

1) Put a plan in place so that you have something to look forward to

You can make the goals that you seek occur in a more realistic manner by putting in place a plan that will move you toward success.

 

If you desire to build wealth more efficiently you must know your current financial condition and position, know your credit standing and put into place a plan that allows you to review and make improvements in all areas of your finances, thereby allowing you to pursue your goals at a higher level.

 

2) Make your best effort to reach or exceed the plan that you put in place

You must realize that it is your responsibility to make the dreams that you desire occur.  It is you who must expend the effort that is necessary to reach higher and pursue your goals at a level of excellence that is the best that is within you.

 

3) Realize that setbacks will occur, however setbacks must not deter you—or make you weary

You must pursue your dreams and dream big.  You must also expect adversity and have the mindset to continue moving forward in spite of the adversity that you will undoubtedly face.

 

You must see success clearly and you must use what you are now learning to move forward at a more efficient pace.

 

4) Move forward at a consistent pace even if you feel fatigued

You will at some time feel exhausted and feel that you can’t move on.  In life, we will all face difficult stretches where we feel we can’t move forward and inaction seems to be our calling card.

 

That is the time that you must dig in and find new ways that you can move forward!

 

You must have a determined spirit, put your frame of mind in position to move forward consistently by learning new and more encouraging ways of reaching your goals and building wealth–and always have the mindset that you will press on as best you can.

 

You must have a vision of your future that is inspiring and will direct you toward the results that you desire.  In short, you must make the decision at this time to reach higher.

 

Conclusion

 

As you formulate goals and move toward building wealth you must determine at this time if you are truly sincere—or whether you are just “testing the waters.”

 

Your level of commitment and your willingness at this time to put in place a plan that will take you toward your dreams in a real way is what will move you forward and separate you from the rest—even when you are not feeling your best or you are operating on limited rest.

 

Always realize that if you lack a solid financial foundation you will often approach your finances with a sense of fear or you will timidly approach your finances because you don’t know if you have missed an area of your finances that should have (or needed to be) addressed and therefore in most cases you will not be operating at your highest level of mental efficiency as it relates to your finances.

 

Hopefully, if you are one who lacks a solid financial foundation–this discussion has at least provided you a  “meaningful blueprint” so that you can at a minimum get started on the right path toward major success.  By applying what you have learned in this discussion at your highest level of mental energy–you can start on a serious journey that can lead you toward building the solid financial foundation that you need and deserve in this economy–or any economy.

 

By seeing your success and knowing that you can accomplish what you see if you stick to your plan you will be motivated at a much higher level and when fatigue or that tired feeling kicks in—you will overcome and continue to move forward because you will be operating at a level of focus that allows you to reach your goals more efficiently.

 

In addition, your internal motor (mind, heart and spirit) will be inspired at such a high level that the success that you see will be the only outcome that could be–because you will make a serious commitment to plant a new tree (overcome all obstacles) so that you can truly be all that you were meant to be.

 

Even though doing all of the above is not the master key–it will help “you” achieve results that you can see.

 

All the best toward getting your needed rest and achieving at your absolute best…

 

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Bond Frequently Asked Questions

 

Bond Frequently Asked Questions

 Learn more about bonds and bond funds by reviewing common questions that many have asked about bonds…

 

Q: What can I do to position myself for successful bond investing?

A: It is important that you “have all your bases covered” prior to starting on your bond investing or any investing as it is important that you have reduced or eliminated your debt to an acceptable level, you have a properly funded emergency fund (or you are working toward that goal), you understand credit—and you have looked at your finances in a comprehensive way.

By doing the above you put yourself in position for lasting success and you make your bond investing (or any investing) more likely to succeed—and even if you are unsuccessful your living conditions won’t be adversely affected.

 

Q: What is a bond?

A: a bond is a debt instrument used by corporations (and government entities) to help fund their growth.  Bonds are issued in increments of $1,000 and are sold at either a discount (below $1,000) or at a premium (above $1,000) and yield and yield to maturity is used to determine rates of return.

Interest rate movement will play a large factor in determining the actual yield or yield to maturity.  Bonds come in all durations with short, intermediate, and long-term available on the markets.

Governments also issue bonds (i.e. series EE and Series I) directly to individuals as well and they also issue municipal bonds  and treasuries among others.

 

Q: What is a bond fund?

A: a bond fund is a collection of bonds and can be mixed in any number of ways such as corporate and government, long-term only, short, intermediate and long-term, national and international and many other ways that a bond fund manager sees fit to create.

 

Q: What is the difference among corporate, municipal, government, international, series EE, series I and junk bonds?

 

  • Corporate bonds are a debt security issued by a corporation and sold to investors. The backing for the bond is usually the payment ability of the company, which is typically money to be earned from future operations. In some cases, the company’s physical assets may be used as collateral for bonds.

 

  • Municipal bonds (or “munis” for short) are debt securities issued by states, cities, counties and other governmental entities to fund day-to-day obligations and to finance capital projects such as building schools, highways or sewer systems etcetera. Generally, the interest on municipal bonds is exempt from federal income tax, however some municipalities issue both taxable and non-taxable munis.   Pension funds and foreign investors normally don’t get the tax break.

 

  • Government bonds are a debt security issued by a government to support government spending. Before investing in government bonds, investors need to assess several risks associated with the country, such as country risk, political risk, inflation risk and interest rate risk, although the government usually has low credit risk. Federal government bonds in the United States include savings bonds, Treasury bonds and Treasury inflation-protected securities (TIPS).

 

  • International bonds are a debt investment that is issued in a country by a non-domestic entity.  International bonds are issued in your country but are purchased outside of the country in which you reside and are purchased in your  country’s currency.  They pay interest at specific intervals, and pay the principal amount back to the bond’s buyer (you) at maturity in the same manner as domestic bonds.

 

  • Series EE bonds are a “non-marketable”, interest-bearing U.S. government savings bond that is guaranteed to at least double in value over the initial term of the bond, typically 20 years. Most Series EE bonds have a total interest-paying life that extends beyond the original maturity date, up to 30 years from issuance.

 

  • Series I bonds are a non-marketable, interest-bearing U.S. government savings bond that earns a combined: 1) fixed interest rate; and. 2) variable inflation rate (adjusted semiannually).  Series I bonds are meant to give investors a return plus protection on their purchasing power.  Series EE and I bonds are considered “non-marketable” savings bonds meaning they can’t be bought and sold in the marketplace.  The can be redeemed at many banks and financial institutions.

 

  • Junk bonds are a fixed-income instrument that refers to a high-yield or non-investment grade bond. Junk bonds carry a credit rating of BB or lower by Standard & Poor’s (S&P), or Ba or below by Moody’s Investors Service. Junk bonds are so called because of their higher default risk in relation to investment-grade bonds.

 

They do well when the economy is growing rapidly and stocks are rising.

 

Q: What are bond rating agencies and how do they operate?

A: There are a number of bond rating agencies and they include Weiss, S & P’s, Moody’s, Fitch and several others and they rate corporations, cities, counties, states and national government’s based on their ability or perceived ability to repay their debt.

In a sense it is based on the financial strength that they bring forward based on their past, present and projected ability to repay their debt obligations.

  

Q: What is the bond rating of the United States?

A: With the United States being the strongest economy in the world in the minds of many it is a big surprise for many when they learn that the United States does not have the highest bond rating.

The United States was recently downgraded from AAA to AA by Moody’s and Standard & Poors (several credit rating agencies around the world have downgraded their credit ratings of the U.S. federal government, including Standard & Poor’s (S&P) which reduced the country’s rating from AAA (outstanding) to AA+ (excellent) on August 5, 2011.

 

Q: If the interest rate rises what will happen to bond prices?

A: The bond price “will fall” as there is an inverse relationship (opposite relationship) to bond prices–meaning if interest rates fall bond prices will rise.

 

Q: What is YTM or Yield to Maturity and how do I determine what my YTM is prior to purchasing a bond?

A: Yield to Maturity takes into consideration the interest (coupon payments) during the period of bond ownership up until the bond is sold at its maturity date—thus YTM.

Yield on the other hand only includes the coupon payments that you will receive on an annual basis.

You can possibly get the YTM or projected YTM from your broker or other published financial publications.

 

Q: What is duration as it relates to bonds?

A: Duration is a measure of a bonds interest rate sensitivity.  You can use a bonds duration to make a better decision as to whether the bond will rise or fall based on interest rate movement.

 

Q: How are bonds taxed?

A: Many are taxed depending on whether they are inside or outside of a retirement account and the taxation is based on the interest received during the year.

If they are inside of your retirement account they may avoid taxation until withdrawals or retirement distributions begin to occur.  Some bonds (depends on the type) are taxed on an annual basis and some are taxed at maturity and those that are used for certain purposes may avoid taxation altogether.

 

Q: What is the biggest risk that I will normally face if I invest in bonds?

A: Market activity is the real key especially as it relates to rising inflation.  If inflation is stable or not moving upward much, interest rate movement will normally be stable as well and bond investments will remain a good play.

When a large number of bondholders move over to stocks for varying reasons that too can be a cause for concern.

However, rising inflation is something you must be aware of and if you are a bond owner you want to be aware of that movement so that you can countermove and limit your losses or protect your gains—in a timelier manner.

 

Q: What is bond laddering and how can I ladder my portfolio to increase my returns?

A: You can ladder your portfolio by purchasing bonds at different times and purchasing bonds with differing durations.

For example you can purchase short, intermediate and long-term bonds at differing intervals such as every 6 months, every year or every other year for a specified period of time—and that will help protect your gains or limit your losses.

 

Q: What is my number 1 concern if I decide to invest in bonds?

A: Depending on the type of bond you invest in inflation is normally the major concern as it will devalue the real worth of future interest payments and usually results in higher interest rates that will bring down the bond’s current market value.

 

Q: What is an inverted yield curve and how will it affect my bond investments?

A: It usually means the economy is slowing and moving into a recession.  Investors may forecast lower interest rates and pull money out of bonds and put into cash, stocks or mutual funds.

 

Q: How are bonds typically sold?

A: Usually in multiples of $1,000 if you purchase from a broker. Bond funds and mutual funds may offer investment of a lower amount.  Series EE and I bonds can be purchased for as little as $50.

 

Q: If a company liquidates where do I as a bondholder fall in claiming whatever cash becomes available as a result of the liquidation (bankruptcy)?

 

A: The good news is that bondholders are first in line to be paid during bankruptcy proceedings.  You would be considered a general creditor, along with employees, contractors and suppliers–stockholders would be the last in line.

 

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