Personal Finance

Energy Conservation Urged

President Bush has urged Americans to drive less in the wake of hurricanes and fears that our nation’s economic growth may slow down with the current cost of energy. The president also issued a directive for all federal agencies to promote the use of carpooling and public transportation for their employees and to slash their own energy use.Bush proposed to continue the suspension of certain antipollution laws concerning diesel fuel and gasoline to help alleviate shortages and to attract imports.
A&A

Retail Merchants Groups Sue Credit Card Companies

Four merchant associations have filed a class action suit against Visa USA, MasterCard Inc. and major US banks including Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., and JPMorgan Chase & Co., alleging collusion in setting interchange fees, according to a report from Reuters. Merchants pay an interchange fee on every transaction, part of which goes to the merchant’s bank and part to the consumer’s credit card company.
Tax

Tax Relief Granted for Hurricane Rita

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on Monday announced that deadlines for taxpayers and businesses in the areas of Texas and Louisiana affected by Hurricane Rita have been postponed to February 28, 2006.

26 Approved to Offer Credit Counseling Under New Bankruptcy Law

When the new bankruptcy law goes into effect next month, at least 26 credit counselors have been approved by the U.S. Trustee Program to provide counseling to consumers filing bankruptcy.
Tax

Mark Your Calendar: Facing a Financial Crisis Teleconference

The Department of Labor Women’s Bureau is holding the sixteenth Wi$e Up Teleconference Call on Friday, September 30 from Noon to 1:30 p.m Eastern. The topic is Facing a Financial Crisis and among the issues discussed will be planning for and recovering from disaster.
Tax

RIA Projections Give You a Jump on Tax Season

Some people will probably say it’s too early to be thinking about the 2006 tax season. After all, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) isn’t even required to release their tax figures for 2006 until December.

Pace of Giving Slows: Donors Scrutinize Charities

Donations for Hurricane Katrina relief to the online giving site, Network for Good, have dropped 30-fold since September 1st, Katy Anderson, vice president of marketing told the Washington Post.
Technology

Longevity: The Most Dangerous Planning Tool

Life and death are not exact sciences.

Medicare Premiums Increasing in 2006

In 2006, seniors and disabled citizens will be paying another $10.30 over the $78.20 that they are already pay this year. This represents a 13.2 percent increase for Medicare Part B premiums.
A&A

U.S. Businesses Unprepared for Disaster

For nearly 40 percent of American businesses, said business continuity planning is not a priority.
Community News

Katrina Victims Get More Time to Get Direct Deposit

The U.S. Department of the Treasury on Tuesday announced the activation of accelerated direct deposit enrollment procedures for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) check recipients displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
Technology

Growing Use of Data Mining in Businesses and Government

Data mining technology, which can scan unstructured data to identify trends or link users, and generate reports that answer analytical questions, is finding new users in both government and businesses, according to the Seattle Times. Success came for the technology with the development of programs that allow computers to understand content.
A&A

Insurance Industry Ready to Pay Katrina Claims

As the devastation from Hurricane Katrina becomes more clear and property loss estimates continue to be revised upward, insurers say they should be able to pay the claims.Insurance experts say the industry is prepared to withstand the cost of the claims without threatening its own solvency.
Tax

Giving Guidelines: Be Careful Where You Lend a Hand

As the people affected by Hurricane Katrina begin to spread out across the nation, organizations offering help are springing into action. Unfortunately, some of the organizations springing up are actually scams.

Spending Rises, But Katrina May Slow Economic Growth

Purchases of new cars and goods from the nation's big chain stores drove up consumer spending by 1 percent in July, but observers worry that the fallout from Hurricane Katrina may put the brakes on the nation's economy.While spending was up in July, savings was down. A small, 0.3 percent increase in incomes in July, combined with generous spending, pushed down the personal savings level to a historic low, the Associated Press reported. The rate was negative 0.6 percent, which is the lowest since 1959, when the government began keeping records.
Tax

Motorists Told To Drive Less As Gas Prices Peak

President Bush and the American Auto Association (AAA) are telling us to reduce our driving and not buy gas if we don’t need it. Gas prices continue to rise especially overnight and the analysts keep saying prices are going to get higher so much that the analysts seem to be setting the price of gas. Deliveries to independent gasoline stations are slowing down and the major stations are controlling their greed by splitting hairs when queried.
Tax

Accounting and Tax Relief for Business Owners Hit by Katrina

The financial impact of Hurricane Katrina will not be known for many days, even weeks. But that is not stopping the Internal Revenue Service or the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) from doing what they can as fast as they can.The IRS is offering taxpayers immediate relief in those counties and parishes that have been declared disaster areas by President Bush. The deadlines for making employment and excise tax deposits has been extended to September 23 while those for tax returns and other tax payments have been extended until October 31.
Education & Careers

Teaching Financial Independence to the Next Generation

While some young adults know how to make money, they might not know how to manage it. Parents still usually control, or have a hand in controlling, their children’s personal and even their business finances. Protecting a grown child’s money may seem natural but with education costs, spiking home costs, not to mention rising loan and credit card debt, transitioning control might be the best idea.“What is new is the increasing number of young adults unable to succeed financially on their own,” said John Gallo, an estate-planning attorney speaking with the Associated Press.
Technology

Issues and Impacts of Email Security: Financial Webinar

Security breaches and identity thefts are appearing in the news almost every day. At the same time clients, customers and even staff are demanding access to services, data and even each other, around the clock. When you are dealing with financial information, these competing interests become even harder to balance.A panel of experts from the banking industry, arguably the leaders in providing secure access to financial information is coming together to help organizations understand and manage the impact of the dueling concerns.
Practice Management

New Roth 401(k) Option Will Be Offered in January

Employers can offer a new 401(k) retirement account starting January 1, 2006. The Roth 401(k) merges the traditional 401(k) account with the tax benefits of the Roth IRA. The new Roth 401(k) is funded using after-tax dollars and withdrawals from the account are tax-free while the traditional 401(k) is funded with pre-tax dollars and withdrawals are taxed as income. The Roth IRA has income eligibility limitations for single filers making more than $110,000 a year and joint filers making more than $160,000 yearly.

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