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What Baseball Can Teach You about Financial Planning

Spring training is a tradition that baseball teams and baseball fans look forward to every year. No matter how they did last year, teams in spring training are full of hope that a new season will bring a fresh start. As this year's baseball season gets under way, here are a few lessons from America's pastime that might help you reevaluate your finances.

Sometimes you need to proceed one base at a time

Ten Things to Know about the Taxpayer Advocate Service

 

1. The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is an independent organization within the IRS and is your voice at the IRS.

2. We help taxpayers whose problems are causing financial difficulty. This includes businesses as well as individuals.

3. You may be eligible for our help if you’ve tried to resolve your tax problem through normal IRS channels and have gotten nowhere, or you believe an IRS procedure just isn't working as it should.

4. As a taxpayer, you have rights that the IRS must respect. We’ll help you understand those rights and ensure that they’re protected in any contacts with the IRS.

5. If you qualify for our help, you’ll be assigned to one advocate who will be with you at every turn. And our service is always free.

Filing Your 2013 Federal Income Tax Return

 

For most people, the due date for filing a 2013 federal income tax return is April 15, 2014. Here are a few things to keep in mind this filing season.

Lots of changes to consider

While most individuals will pay taxes based on the same federal income tax rate brackets that applied for 2012, a new 39.6% federal income tax rate applies for 2013 if your taxable income exceeds $400,000 ($450,000 if you're married filing jointly, $225,000 if married filing separately). If your income crosses that threshold, you'll also find that a new 20% maximum tax rate on long-term capital gain and qualifying dividends now generally applies (in prior years, the maximum rate was generally 15%).

The Premium Tax Credit

 

The premium tax credit can help make purchasing health insurance coverage more affordable for people with moderate incomes. To be eligible for the credit, you generally need to satisfy three rules.

First, you need to get your health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. The open enrollment period to purchase health insurance coverage for 2014 through the Health Insurance Marketplace runs from October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014.

Second, you need to have household income between one and four times the federal poverty line. For a family of four for tax year 2014, that means income from $23,550 to $94,200.

Third, you can’t be eligible for other coverage, such as Medicare, Medicaid, or sufficiently generous employer-sponsored coverage.

Tax Court Says One Tax-Free Rollover Per Year Means Just That

Background

The Internal Revenue Code says that if you receive a distribution from an IRA, you can't make a tax-free (60-day) rollover into another IRA if you've already completed a tax-free rollover within the previous 12 months.

The long-standing position of the IRS, reflected in Publication 590 and proposed regulations, is that this rule applies separately to each IRA you own. Publication 590 provides the following example:

Weekly Recap: Complicated Border Cases Resolved

Weekly Recap: Complicated Border Cases Resolved

Jennifer Behm, associate attorney with Berardi Immigration Law, had a busy week at the Peace Bridge. Following is an overview of some border cases she presented to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) these past few days.

TN Engineer vs. TN Computer Systems Analyst

No Frills Buffalo Publishing Company Releases Three New Books

No Frills Buffalo Publishing Company Releases Three New Books

 

No Frills Buffalo publishing company has announced the release of three new books. Joining the No Frills collection are “Walking Through The Mist” by Sinead Tyrone; “Slanted Windows” by Marjorie Norris; and “Sharks Don’t Eat Peanut Butter, written by Mark Privateer and illustrated by Jennifer Dunlap.