Newsletters & White Papers
Fraud and Social Media: Phishing for Data
June 27, 2015
According to Experian Credit’s ProtectMyID.com, social media is ‘a new venue for old frauds’. The old fashioned ‘confidence man’ has gone online.
Social network sites encourage us to share the details of our everyday lives. We feel that because we build our networks around our families, colleagues and friends, we can trust the communications we receive via these sites. Unfortunately, cybercriminals have moved in to exploit this trust and serve their own nefarious purposes.
Congress Passes the “Achieve a Better Life Experience” (ABLE) Act to Assist Disabled Individuals
As part of the Tax Prevention Act of 2014, Congress has passed the Stephen Beck, Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience (529A ABLE Act) to encourage individuals and families to provide private funding to assist disabled individuals in maintaining their health and independence. The money saved may be used to pay for education, housing, health care, transportation, and other needs. President Obama signed it into law in December 2014.
Good News for 529 Plan Savers: More Investment Flexibility
Call it a holiday gift. Thanks to legislation passed in December, beginning in 2015, owners of 529 accounts will be able to change the investment options on their existing plan contributions twice per calendar year instead of just once. This increased flexibility is a welcome option for parents and grandparents who use 529 plans to save for their children's or grandchildren's college education.
Education Tax Credits and Deductions
What are the tax credits and deductions relating to higher education?
There are two education tax credits--the American Opportunity credit (formerly the Hope credit) and the Lifetime Learning credit--that provide some relief to families in the midst of financing their children's college education. There is also a federal income tax deduction for certain taxpayers who pay qualified higher education expenses, as well as a deduction for certain individuals who pay student loans. As a general rule, a tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction against taxes owed, and it is therefore more valuable than a tax deduction of the same dollar amount.
Tax Information for Students Who Take a Summer Job
Many students take a job in the summer after school lets out. If it’s your first job it gives you a chance to learn about the working world. That includes taxes we pay to support the place where we live, our state and our nation. Here are eight things that students who take a summer job should know about taxes:
Financial Fitness for Freshmen
As you get ready to go to college, now is a good time to expand your knowledge of day-to-day money management, including smart budgeting and debt management steps. The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) offers these tips to students who want to get through college with the right financial footing.
Save Money on Your Vacation
Are you planning to take a family vacation this summer? If so, it could become a pricey proposition. For those Americans with summer vacation plans, 41 percent expect to pay an average of $3,000 for transportation, lodging, meals, activities, entertainment and pet care, according to a new survey conducted for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants by Harris Poll. The New Jersey Society of CPAs (NJSCPA) offers some tips on how you can set a budget for and hold down the cost of a family trip while still having an enjoyable break:
Financial Planning for “Boomerang Parents”:
How to cope with your adult child returning home.
Some call it a perfect storm. A tough economy, lagging job market and burdensome student loan debt have created an environment where once empty nests are no longer all that empty. The US Census Bureau estimates approximately 22.6 million adult children are once again enjoying mom’s cooking on a regular basis. A decade ago, that number was closer to 5 million. If trends continue on this course, that number is sure to rise.
The media has coined the phrase “Boomerang Generation” to refer to the current crop of young adults (typically age 18 through 35) who’ve either returned home to live with their parents due to economic reasons after college or those who have not yet left.
Tackling Taxes If You’re Self-Employed
Tax time is tough, there’s no question about it, but it’s even more challenging when you’re self-employed and trying to deal with the sometimes confusing rules and recordkeeping that can go hand-in-hand with running your own show. The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) answers some of the most frequent questions about taxes and self-employment and offers tips that can help you lower your tax bill.