Mortgage insurance in the simplest of terms is the backup plan for a lender. In the unfortunate event that the borrower is unable to repay the loan, the lender can cash in the mortgage premium and recover the losses. However, there is more to it than what meets the eye. Here are some more details of this rather intriguing insurance and why you should opt for it.
What Is It?
Statistics reveal that most home buyers pay less than 20% of the entire property cost as up front or commonly known as down payment. Read More
The IRS is urging tax payers to “avoid the rush” and use IRS.gov to find quick answers to frequently-asked questions. We’ll go over some of these questions below and be sure to let us know any other you have in the comment section.
New Security Step – IR-2016-124 (9/22/16) – The IRS alerted people filing an extended return electronically for 2015 (due 10/17/16), that they likely would be asked to enter their AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) for 2014. The purpose is to help properly identify the taxpayer. The information release reminds people how to order a tax transcript from the IRS should they not have it.
Millions of Americans forgo critical tax relief each year by failing to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a federal tax credit for individuals who work but do not earn high incomes. Taxpayers who qualify and claim the credit could pay less federal tax, pay no tax or even get a tax refund. Read More
If your employer does not reimburse you for your work-related expenses, any allowable expense in excess of 2% of your adjusted gross income is fully deductible on Schedule A.
If your employer does reimburse you, the deductibility of the expense depends on the type of reimbursement plan you have. There are two types of employer reimbursement plans: an accountable plan and a non-accountable plan.
An accountable plan
Under an accountable plan, your employer’s reimbursement or allowance arrangement must require you to: (a) adequately account your expenses to your employer, and (b) return any excess reimbursement or allowance. Read More
If you are an employee with unreimbursed work-related expenses, you may be able to deduct them as an itemized deduction on Schedule A. You can deduct all unreimbursed employee business expenses incurred in the normal course of carrying out your responsibilities as an employee. Note that employee business expenses are subject to the 2% of AGI limitation, meaning that they must exceed 2% of your adjusted gross income before you can claim the deduction
You can deduct only unreimbursed employee business expenses that are:
• Paid or incurred during your tax year.
• Incurred for carrying on your trade or business as an employee. Read More
You can claim a deduction for medical and dental expenses you incurred, but as a word of caution, you should expect a deduction, only if you incurred major unreimbursed medical expenses during the year. This is so, because you can deduct medical expenses only to the extent that they exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income (AGI).
For example, your AGI is $50,000 and your medical expenses total $6,000. Since 10% of $50,000 is $5,000, you can only take a deduction of $1,000 ($6,000-$5,000). The criteria for applying this restriction, from the government’s perspective, is to prevent taxpayers with large salaries from claiming expenses they can certainly afford, while benefiting lower income taxpayers who are burdened by unforeseen medical costs. Read More
Generally, taxpayers are allowed to deduct personal exemption allowances of $4,000 (2015) each for themselves, their spouses and their dependents. In addition, taxpayers are allowed a standard deduction or, if their deductions are large enough, itemized deductions.
However, both the personal exemption allowances and itemized deductions are being phased out for higher-income taxpayers. The phase-out begins when a taxpayer’s adjusted gross income (AGI) reaches a phase-out threshold amount that is annually adjusted for inflation.
The phase-out threshold amounts for 2015 are based on taxpayers’ filing statuses, Read More
The government affords all taxpayers a standard deduction from their incomes. This deduction naturally decreases your taxable income, and the amount you are entitled to, is based on your filing status. However, if your total eligible deductible expenses exceed the standard deduction amount, you may be allowed to itemize your deductions. Also, you must itemize if you do not qualify for the standard deduction. Itemized deductions are comprised of certain eligible expenses that individual taxpayers in the United States can report on their federal income tax returns in order to decrease their taxable income. Most taxpayers are allowed a choice between the itemized deductions and the standard deduction.
To claim your itemized deductions, you must complete Schedule A, Itemized Deductions. Read More
Millions of taxpayers oftentimes overpay on their taxes every year, simply because they do not take advantage of all the tax adjustments, deductions and credits that they are entitled to. Overlooking some of these tax breaks can be a very costly mistake. Claiming all the adjustments, deductions and credits that you are legally entitled to will ensure that you do not leave money on the table.
There is a distinction between adjustments, deductions, and credits, and we shall proceed to look at these below:
These are subtracted from your total income, to determine your adjusted gross income Read More
As with all good tax questions, the answer is: It Depends! The new 3.8% tax on your Net Investment Income (NII) only kicks in at the higher adjusted gross income (AGI) levels. So unless you are in the top 3% of earners then the answer is no.
But if your AGI is over the threshold then you will possibly have to pay an additional 3.8% on the NII. The thresholds are $200,000 if unmarried, $250,000 if married filing jointly, and $125,000 if married filing separately.
Once you have determined that your income is over the threshold, you must determine what types of income applies. The IRS, of course, has a handy new form, the Form 8960, for just that calculation. The long and short of it boils down to this. You will pay the additional tax on the lesser of the amount of your NII or the amount of your income over the threshold. Read More