Personal Finance

A&A

Small Businesses Have More Credit Card Debt

A newly released report by the Small Business Administration (SBA) finds that small businesses have acquired more outstanding debt. Most of it was credit card debt. From June 2004 to June 2005, both the number and dollar amounts of small business loans rose 25 percent. All commercial lending institutions accounted for the numbers, not just SBA loans and the increase in business debt was especially prevalent in the smallest businesses, under $100,000.

As Annual Enrollment Deadline Nears, Study Finds Seniors Better Off Buying Canadian

Just as the December 31 deadline for annual enrollment approaches, a study of Medicare Part D was released showing that for most seniors it is less expensive to order drugs from a Canadian pharmacy. Recent changes to the US regulations, due to a rider on the Homeland Security spending bill, now make it legal to do what thousands have been doing for years to keep costs down, order drugs from our northern neighbor.

Survey Identifies Best Credit Cards for Holiday Shopping

A new survey finds that more holiday gift buyers will be using credit cards this year and it can be a rewarding experience if the cards are used wisely. Credit-Land.com is a group that keeps an eye on credit cards for the consumer by analyzing and ranking cards that offer the best values to customers.
Tax

IRS Offers Tips for Year-End Charitable Donations

‘Tis the season of gift-giving.
Technology

The New Gift Card Market: Buy, Sell or Trade

Chances are that most people either have or will receive a gift card this holiday season and some may not want that particular card or will spend only a fraction of the total.
Community News

2007 Excellence in Project Accounting Philosophy Essay Scholarship Contest Begins

The 2007 Excellence in Project Accounting Philosophy essay scholarship contest launches on January 1, 2007.

Holiday Spending for 2006

Americans are digging into their pockets, or credit cards, preparing to spend $457.4 billion this holiday shopping season, according to the National Research Federation (NRF), with gift cards being bought in record numbers. This year, according to the American Express 2006 Gift Card Survey, 66 percent of the 1013, 18 years and up, individuals surveyed via telephone, plan to give a card in 2006, compared to last year's 57 percent.
Practice Management

2007 Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance Professionals Released

Compliance demands and expansion of businesses will increase the need for skilled workers in the accounting and finance fields and make recruitment even more difficult in the coming year, according to the 2007 Salary Guide released by Robert Half International.Advertisement
Tax

IRS Issues New Guidelines for Charitable Payroll Deductions

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on Friday announced new guidelines for taxpayers to follow to substantiate donations to charities made by payroll deductions. Notice 2006-110 explains how a taxpayer who makes charitable contributions by payroll deductions can meet the new recordkeeping requirements. The recently enacted Pension Protection Act of 2006 changed the recordkeeping requirements for taxpayers claiming deductions for cash contributions to charities, including contributions made by payroll deductions.
Tax

Guidance on Reporting and Withholding Under Code Section 409A Issued

The Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2006-100, Reporting and Wage Withholding Under Internal Revenue Code Section 409A on Thursday, providing guidance to employers and payers on their reporting and wage withholding requirements for calendar years 2005 and 2006, with respect to deferrals of compensation and amounts includible in gross income under Code Section 409A and relief from reporting deferrals that are not includible in income during those years.Notice 2006-100 supersedes Notice
A&A

Credit Card Companies Marketing New Small Business Cards

Spurred by the growth in small business owners since 2001, up 4 percent to 5.9 million, and the business potential of the 90 percent of small business spending not on credit cards, American Express, Visa and others are marketing new cards designed for the small business owner.

Credit Card 101: Advice Before Shopping

The numbers of bankruptcies is again on the rise after the tough bankruptcy law of 2005, and they are returning in large numbers.Advertisement

Tips for Holiday Travel in the Air, on the Road or by Rail

If you are traveling during the holidays, be prepared to wait. With roads, rails and airlines packed to capacity and sometimes beyond, any hiccup, from weather to gridlock, can cause ripples throughout the system.In The AirChances are travelers will encounter long lines, particularly at airport security checkpoints, as an expected 25 million passengers take to the skies between Friday, November 17 and Tuesday, November 28, 2006. The Wednesday before thanksgiving and the Sunday after are the busiest travel days.
Tax

The Formula Business Is Waiting For: IRS Reveals How to Calculate Excise Tax Refund

“Businesses and tax-exempt organizations generally have more varied phone usage patterns than individuals,” Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Mark Everson explained in a statement announcing a formula businesses and tax-exempt organizations can use to estimate their federal telephone excise tax refunds. “The IRS has met with a number of businesses and tax-exempt organizations to understand their concerns.

Bank, ATM Fees Reach Record Highs

The Fall 2006 Checking Account Pricing Study, a survey conducted by Bankrate.com, found that some customer fees and requirements hit record highs."What makes these fees especially irritating is that they're avoidable," according to Greg McBride, senior financial analyst for Bankrate.com.
Tax

Understanding Your 401(k) Fees, Tax Implications

With more pension plans floundering or failing altogether, workers are advised to step up their knowledge of their company's 401(k) plan.Financial advisers say workers should understand the overall structure of these popular retirement savings accounts, as well as the fees they are paying and the tax implications of 401(k)s.Advertisement
Tax

2007 Standard Mileage Rates Released

Beginning January 1, 2007, the optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business will increase by 4 cents, to 48.5 cents per mile. The mileage rate for medical and moving purposes increases 2 cents, to 20 cents per mile driven. These standard mileage rates apply to cars, vans, pickups and panel trucks.The standard mileage rates for business, medical and moving purposes are based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile.
Tax

More Than $186 Billion in Cross-border Investment Taxes Are Recoverable

GlobeTax, the world's largest filer of withholding tax reclaims, has released the results of an aggregation survey showing $186 billion or more of withholding tax on cross-border investments income that is recoverable in 2006/07. Director of Marketing Ross McGill states, "Previous surveys probably gave a restricted view of the market, in our opinion, because they were derived from limited data sets. And so, while the results were interesting, they were of questionable value.
Education & Careers

College Grads Earn More; Accountants’ Pay Continues to Climb

The cost of a college education pays off for most people, according to data from the Census Bureau’s 2005 Current Population Survey released last week. The average gap in earnings for all working adults with a bachelor’s degree and those with high school diplomas is about $23,000 a year, the Associated Press reports. College grads earned an average of $51,554 a year in 2004, the most recent figures available, compared with $28,645 for high school graduates and $19,169 for high school dropouts.

Home Prices At 35-Year Low

Last month new home prices fell in the largest year-over-year measure since September 2005. Although some buyers still say home prices are out of range, the Associated Press reports that the median price for a new home was $217,100 in September, according to the Commerce Department (DoC). The report, released this past week, announced that this was the sharpest decline in median home prices since December 1970. The Associated Press reports these numbers emphasized the slowdown in the housing market, while home sales increased by 5.3 percent.

Pages