Tax Free Weekend – Success or Bust?

tax free

This weekend in tax free weekend and people will be lining up everywhere to get items that they want at a “great” discount. And usually, with a deal like this, people tend to purchase items with a larger price tag, such as TVs.

But is tax free weekend really all it’s cracked up to be? Experts say that you would be better off with any regular sale that a store is having that offers 20% off. When you get down to the nitty gritty, tax free weekend only takes off around 6% of your purchase. “‘Tax free’ sounds impressive but it’s only about a 6.25% off sale, compared to routine advertised store sales of 20% off or more,” states Joseph Henchman from the Tax Foundation.

The reality of all this is that tax free weekend is a good idea, but not as good of a bargain as everyone makes it out to be. You can save much more by just going to a regular sale at the store any other time of the year. Feel free to go out and enjoy the weekend, but be aware of how much you spend and when other sales will be occurring for those bigger items, in case you can get a better deal another time in the near future.

What is your take on tax free weekend?

http://taxfoundation.org/blog/massachusetts-approves-last-minute-sales-tax-holiday-again?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%253A+TaxPolicyBlog+%2528Tax+Foundation+-+Tax+Foundation%2527s+%2522Tax+Policy+Blog%2522%2529

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Savings in Retirement

retirement

It is never too late to start saving money. Whether is it for a house, car, or retirement, it is always a good idea to have money saved away for the big things and so that you feel comfortable making these big steps.

I feel as though the biggest thing to save for, and to start saving for right away, is retirement. Everyone wants a good retirement that is financially stress-free and that they do not need to worry if they spend a little too much on their grandkids. And the only sort of work anyone wants to do during retirement is usually just to keep themselves busy and is not considered much of an income. When you retire, you want to have enough money saved that you do not need to have a little part-time job on the side to keep you afloat; you want to enjoy your well-earned time!

You want to start saving for your retirement as soon as you can. Right out of college, you can put away a portion of your paycheck to retirement every week to slowly, but surely, build up a hefty retirement fund for yourself. Do some research on different kinds of accounts that you can put your money into so that you can build a good amount of interest as well. You would be amazed at how much you can save when you commit to putting “X” amount in every month for a long time. And as you get older and get paid more, you can put away more.

Many times, people will need money or they want to buy something (maybe a car, home, debt, etc.) and they will possibly take money out of their retirement fund to use towards this thing. Restrain yourself! Remember that that money is for your long term gain. And if you are willing to dip into that fund once, who says you won’t try it again? Keep that money under lock and key until you have retired and need the income. If you don’t, you are only hurting yourself and your time.

The last thing you want to be doing with your retirement and your retirement money, is using it to pay off debt. Make sure that all of your debts are paid so that debt is not a concern for you. And keep yourself out of debt by budgeting with the retirement money that you have acquired. Make sure that you have enough to possibly surpass the age you expect to live. Debt is only going to hinder you from relaxing and enjoying your time.

What are your tips for saving for retirement? If you are already retired, what strategies did you use to save enough money for your retirement? Comment below!

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/stop-worrying-and-start-saving-2013-08-01?link=sfmw

Wealth in America

wealth

What does wealth in America look like to Americans? Most of us probably look at celebrities and how they have large homes with six exotic cars in the driveway and describe that as wealth. Others just believe it is having enough saved for financial emergencies. And some may not even have a concept of what wealth looks like.

But many wealthy Americans do not view themselves that way. Maybe they think they have just enough or they are not satisfied with the amount of money they have in savings. Brad Tuttle (TIME) states, “Compared with the huge portion of the population that barely has any savings — about half of Americans don’t have an emergency fund that’d cover three months of expenses — it sure seems like the people in the survey are doing quite well financially.”

Our views on wealth are also varied when it comes to our location in the country. Certain states might have a very high bar for being considered wealthy or rich, such as New York or Massachusetts. Other states, like those in the Mid-West will probably have a lower expectation of what rich is compared to New England. Expenses in some areas almost require people to be wealthy so that they can afford to pay the bills.

Wealth is a continually varying thing and many people have differing views on what wealth looks like in our country and in our world. There are too many variables that we cannot truly pinpoint what wealthy looks like for each individual person

What is your view on wealth, and what do you consider wealth to look like? Comment below.

http://business.time.com/2013/07/24/what-it-means-to-be-wealthy-in-america-today/

RI Tax for Unemployment Under Scrutiny

Rhode-Island-facts-rhode-island

Rhode Island is trying to figure out how to best handle it’s unemployment tax. Many companies will hire an employee and lay them off for a season when their business is slower. They will then rehire them after a period of time once business picks up again and there is a need for more workers. Rhode Island’s unemployment tax is the highest in the nation, as well, which is what is causing much of this new questioning.

“They point to a pattern that suggests some businesses, despite the high costs, are finding the tax to be a real bargain. These businesses lay off on a regular basis, which raises their tax bills. But even with the extra money they pay in, the return on investment is bigger. That is, their contributions fall short of what the fund pays out to their laid-off employees.” (Providence Journal)

What is your take on this new policy? Do you think it will help businesses?

http://www.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/content/20130622-r.i.-unemployment-tax-targeted-as-unfair-bad-for-business.ece

Credit Cards vs. Cash

Here is an interesting article by the Atlantic about how credit cards are making us less responsible. I think we can all agree with that fact, as most of us have a credit card. We shop for things and spend more than we can afford because we don’t have to be mindful of our cash. This is another reason to use cash and to limit the number of credit cards you have.

http://www.businessinsider.com/credit-cards-are-making-you-a-bad-person-2013-6What is your take on this article? Do you agree or do you find credit cards make you more financially responsible? Comment below!

What can we offer?

What does a small office like ours have to offer a new client? A more important question might be what does an accounting office even do? We usually just think of individual income taxes, but what about all the other services?

We have two different categories of services that we offer at the office of Robert A. Cooper:

1. Income Tax Services: This category includes individuals, businesses, estates and trusts, non-profits, and deferred compensation.

2. Business Services: This category includes audits, reviews, compilations, write-ups and bookkeepings, Quickbooks installation and integrations, and information technology services.

Now that you know what services we offer, what can we help you with? What questions can we answer about any of these areas of concern?