April 15 is nearly here and if you are like about 25% of Americans, you still have yet to submit your 2014 tax return. With only a few days remaining before the deadline, MoneyTalksNews offers some tax tips to help you file your taxes accurately. Some of these include:
- Get Organized – Collect all required documents and information before you get started including W-2 forms, 1099 forms, social security numbers and your previous years tax return. Additionally, you will need form 1098 if you are itemizing your deductions.
- Pick a Preparer – You can either prepare your tax return yourself or choose a professional. Also determine if you are filing with paper forms or e-filing. There are a number of e-filing service providers such as TurboTax, TaxACT and H&R Block. For information or forms, visit IRS.gov.
- Don’t Rush – Taking your time can help you avoid mistakes. Some common errors include incorrect social security numbers, address, or filing status. Also, forgetting dividends or other income can result in costly errors.
Please read the entire article to learn all of the tax tips here.
When we speak or write, the proper use of words really does matter. Incorrect grammar or misused idioms can make someone question the intelligence of another person. There is a lot of misuse out there and even credible websites and smart individuals can be guilty. Christina DesMarais, a contributor with Inc.com, described in 20 Embarrassing Phrases Even Smart People Misuse some common idioms that are misused and can be found all over the web.
David Castillo Dominici freedigitalphotos.net
- Sneak peak – “Peak” refers to the top of a mountain, “Peek” refers to an early or quick look at something. “Sneak peek,” is the correct expression.
- Piece of mind – “Piece of mind” would indicate a part of the brain. “Peace of mind” however, refers to harmony and calm.
- I could care less – This would actually refer to being able to care less. Rather, “I couldn’t care less” is what should be said when you wish to express extreme indifference.
- Baited breath – “bated” means suspense or anxious. “to wait with bated breath” really means to hold your breath with anticipation. “Bait” refers to luring or trapping. Baited is not the correct usage.
- Make due – “make due” would mean to “make owed,” however, “make do” means to manage to get along, or “to make something sufficient.”
- Wet your appetite – Wet refers to moistened or soaked with a liquid. “Whet your appetite” is the correct expression. “Whet” means to sharpen, stimulate or awaken.
- One in the Same – “One in the same” would suggest that the one is actually inside itself. The correct idiom is “one and the same,” meaning the same thing or the same person.
How many of these idioms have you accidentally misused? Check out the entire list of top 20 idioms here.
Most of us dream about not having to worry about money and being able to live our lives comfortably and freely as we choose. However, often we are held back from achieving this.
“Dollar” by dream designs Freedigitalphotos.net
Simon Cave’ with Addicted2Success recently wrote 6 Reasons Why You Will Never Become Financially Free. He outlines the reasons why people don’t meet their financial goals. He also describes how to change those reasons around including:
- You must believe that it is possible – Most people fail because they feel like it is impossible to get to financial independence. With a lack of belief, then the action needed to get where you desire will not be taken. Actions such as reading books, attending seminars and talking with those who have achieved financial independence, are important steps.
- You need a plan – Just wanting something will not make it happen. A plan is needed including a 5 year plan and strategies to reach your financial independence.
- Save a percentage of your pay before paying for other things – Before you spend any of your pay, be sure to set aside 10% or so to savings. Then you can pay your rent, loans, groceries, etc. Saving is crucial and should be your #1 priority.
- Only take advise from people who have achieved what you want– many of us listen to our friends, family or coworkers when looking for advise. However, to get the information that you need, you should only take advice from people who already have the result you want to get.
To see the other ways to become financially independent, please read all of Cave’ article here.
All companies would like to be considered one of the “best places to work.” Local business community recognition as well as employee recognition go a long way in attracting and retaining talented recruits and current personnel.
“Businessman Holding Paper” by pakorn FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Typically, businesses that are named as such have three common traits according to Andre Lavoie with Entrepreneur. He writes in Companies That Are “Best Places to Work” Share These 3 Things:
- The company has a strong, positive culture. Communicating the companies vision helps employees understand and establish their work goals, with the company mission in mind.
- Employers invest in their employees – People are the most valuable asset of a company so it makes sense that they be provided opportunities to grow professionally. Options such as mentorship programs, professional development events, webinars, or other training and development programs could be utilized.
- Performance reviews are valued. A good performance review should include regular ongoing feedback, recognition of positive employee performance, and establishment of goal expectations.
Please read the entire article here.
As many of us prepare to file our income tax returns again this year, we can’t help but feel concern about the potential for tax refund fraud. What began in 2008 has tripled over the past three years. Millions of American citizens are affected.
“Scam Laptop Shows Scheming Theft Deceit And Fraud Online” by Stuart Miles Freedigitalphotos.net
Identity theft has many unfortunate consequences. One of which is tax refund fraud. With your name, date of birth and social security number, a thief can file a fake tax return and collect your refund. The IRS has not been able to stop it. In fact, they estimate that it sent out almost three million fraudulent refunds last year. The Government Accountability Office estimate that it cost tax payers $5.2 billion. And, the Treasury Department estimates the numbers are even much higher.
Launching your startup requires a good team working with you. This task of hiring can be a challenge especially with competition from large established companies. Firas Kittaneh with Entrepreneur describes some thoughts on hiring in 5 Effective Hiring Tips for Early-Stage Startups.
Included in some of his tips are:
“Job Interview” by Ambro freedigitalphotos.net
- Be transparent about your needs (and how they may change). – Startups often experience changes in direction, goals and staffing needs. Informing candidates of the potential for change not only keeps them aware but brings them onboard with realistic expectations.
- Build positive relationships with all candidates – Not all candidates are a good fit initially for a startup, but keeping a good connection can prove valuable on many levels such as referrals or potential employment in another capacity down the road.
- Make the benefits awesome – Aside from some expensive benefits, there are some cost-effective options available that are desirable to a candidate. Offering opportunities for professional development and growth in responsibility within the startup, can be valuable incentives.
Please read all of the tips here.
Smartphones are great. iPhone’s in particular are a favorite among many. However, in spite of all the wonderful things they do for us and how they enhance our lives, their batteries don’t always last as long as we need them to as we conduct our day-to-day business.
Most of the battery drainers of our smartphones are the features that we love most about them. GPS, internet streaming, and endless apps all take a toll on your battery. Natasha Stokes of Techlicous discusses some great tips on how to save power by using features more effectively in her article How to Make Your iPhone Battery Last Longer.
Here are some of Stokes Tips:
- Check what’s sapping the battery – Go to your settings and scroll down to see a list of which apps are using what proportion of the battery power when the phone isn’t charging.
- Enable airplane mode in areas of poor reception – When your iPhone detects a low signal, it increases power to the antenna so it can stay connected to the cellular network. This will drain your battery so if you don’t need to make calls, switch temporarily to airplane mode.
- Use Wi-Fi instead of cellular internet – When possible, use Wi-Fi to save battery life.
- Turn your phone off once a week – By turning off your phone at least once a week, it will help preserve the battery capacity.
It’s not too late to set some resolutions for 2015. Your business also may need some resolutions. According to Sam Meenasian with All Business Experts, he writes in 5 New Year’s Business Resolutions, some resolutions that he feels are important to all business owners.
Some of his Business Resolutions include:
- Market more – Marketing connects customers to your company. There are many ways you can market your business without much financial cost such as using social media and email marketing to reach out to customers.
- Provide better customer service – Customer service can always be improved. One way to find out where to begin is to ask your customers what they think are the good and bad points of your customer service as it is now. This can be done by conducting a survey or by talking to some regular customers.
- Make sure you have enough staff – Many companies cut back on staffing during the recession. If possible increase you staff by either hiring full-time employees, part-time employees, and/or independent contractors depending on your specific needs.
To see all of the resolutions go here.
All the best wishes to you and your family this holiday season.
And wishing you a wonderful New Year, 2015!
Did you overspend last year on your holiday gifts? Want to keep your costs under control this year? Janet Bodnar with Kiplinger outlines 10 ways to keep you out of debt this year in Ten Holiday Shopping Tips. Some of Bodnar’s tips are summarized below:
“Piggy Bank With Gold Coins” by cute image
- Pay cash – Using cash, especially large bills will make you think twice about what you are spending. Also, if you use your debit card you can only spend what is in your account.
- Know thy enemy – If you must use a credit card for shopping, be sure to read the fine print and choose the card with the lowest rate and most favorable terms. Also, pay the bill off in full if at all possible.
- Keep a running tally of your credit-card spending – After shopping, deduct all that you’ve spent from your checking account balance. This will ensure that you have enough money available to pay for your purchases.
- Have a plan for paying off your bills – Set a goal of when you should have all bills paid off. It will help if you cut your spending budget this year.
Please read all of the ten tips here.