2018 Tax Law Changes

The House and Senate have passed a tax reform bill that could dramatically change what you have anticipated for your tax refund or bill. These new rules may benefit you significantly.

On the other hand, the new 2018 tax law changes could dramatically reduce your tax refund. This will depend on your assets, investments, children, and any businesses that you may own.

I will outline the key changes for you in this article. You can also get an estimate of how the 2018 tax changes will impact you with the Wall Street Journal tax plan calculator.

The 2018 Tax Law Changes are as follows:

The tax brackets have been adjusted for individual filers and income tax rates have been reduced

The individual tax brackets for 2018 have been reduced and income tax rates have been lowered. These adjustments are set to be in place until December 31, 2025, unless Congress makes any new adjustments to the tax code.

I have included the new tax table with the tax brackets and corresponding taxable income reductions.

Tax brackets and taxable income table for 2018

Currently, corporate tax brackets are at 35%, they will be lowered to 21%. These are permanent changes and are not set to expire in 2026.

Standard Deduction Increased

The standard deduction and personal exemption have been combined forming a higher standard tax deduction.

Currently, the standard deduction is $6350/individual and married filing separately, $9350/head of household, and $12,700/married filing jointly.

The 2018 tax law changes are $12,000/individual and married filing separately, $18,000/head of household, and $24,000/married filing jointly.

standard deduction of 2018

Child Tax Credit Increased

The child tax credit has been increased from $1000 to $2000, also it increases the amount of the credit that is refundable to $1400. For children over 17 years of age, you will receive $500.

The child tax credit of 2018 phase out at $400,000/married filing joint, $200,000/individual. This is a pretty big increase from the previous limits of $110,000/married filing joint and $75,000/individual.

New Dependent Tax Credit

There is a new dependent tax credit for 2018. Previously, there was no dollar amount/credit assigned to non-child dependents.

The amount that the credit is $500 and applies to non-children, elderly parents, and adult children with disabilities.

Senior Citizen Standard Deduction Increased

The standard deduction for senior citizens (over age 65) has been increased.

Currently, the current deduction for is $1,500/individuals and $2,500/married filing jointly. The 2018 tax law changes are $1,600/individuals and $2,600/married filing jointly.

For the senior citizen’s deduction for married filing joint both spouses need to be over the age of 65.

These new terms will expire if not renewed or adjusted for taxable years after December 31, 2025, and 2017 tax regulations would resume.

With the higher standard deductions, it will not be beneficial to many families to itemize deductions. This will depend on your specific household financial situation.

In addition to the above changes, there are many adjustments that have been made to 2017, tax credits and deductions. I have detailed these items below.

Mortgage Interest

The mortgage interest deduction for 2018 has been decreased from $1 million/primary, second homes, and some home equity debt and limited to $750,000/primary and secondary homes.

This provision applies for taxable years after December 31, 2017, and expires after December 31, 2025,.

State and Local Tax Deduction (SALT)

The state and local tax deduction has been capped at $10,000/sales and state and local property taxes or sales and state and local income taxes.

Medical Expense Deduction

The medical expense deduction for 2018 has been adjusted. Previously, medical expenses that were greater than 10% of the AGI (adjusted gross income) were deductible.

This threshold has been lowered to 7.5% for 2018. This deduction can also be claimed for tax year 2017,.

Adoption expense tax credit

The adoption expense tax credit for 2018 remains unchanged with qualifying expenses up to $13,570.

Retirement Savings Incentives

Retirement savings incentives for 2018 remain the same. Since the current 2017, retirement incentives and contribution limits are considered favorable the new rules do not call for any changes.

Health savings accounts have also rules have also remained intact.

Roth IRA recharacterization options are over for 2018; however, 2017, recharacterizations will still be permitted.

Temporary Increase in Federal Estate Tax Exemption

The federal estate tax exemption of 2018 will temporarily be increased to $11 million/per person ($22 million/couple). The law change will revert to the current law after 2025,.

Changes to AMT (Alternative Minimum Tax)

The AMT will raise the minimum income level at which the AMT will apply. The Alternative Minimum Tax of 2018 will increase from $50,600 (AMT of 2017,) to $70,300/individuals and from $78,750 (AMT of 2017,) to $109,400/married filing joint.

The Alternative Minimum Tax was intended to stop those with high incomes from avoiding paying their income taxes via stacking credits and deductions.

New Corporate Tax Rate and Pass-Through Tax Rate

The corporate tax rate for 2018 will be reduced to 21% and this tax law change is not set to expire as the others are in 2026. This change is permanent.

Sole proprietorships, pass-through businesses, S-corporations, and partnerships will be taxed at individual rates and will be able to deduct 20% of income.

This deduction will only be available to married filing jointly with income below $315,000 to avoid those with high incomes taking advantage.

Those with higher incomes will have more complicated rules, however, there are specific businesses that may still have eligibility for a limited deduction.

529 Plans Become More Flexible

The 529 plans of 2018 allow up to $10,000/year to be used for expenses for grades K-12, college, and post-graduate studies. Certain circumstances will allow for a temporary increase in contributions limits for ABLE accounts.

February Paycheck Income Tax Withholding Decreases

Due to the 2018 tax reform changes, your employers will be withholding less money for income taxes from your paychecks no later than February 15, 2018. This law was released by the Department of Treasury and the IRS on January 11, 2018, click here for more detailed information.

Well, that sums up the 2018 tax law changes for the tax brackets, rates, deductions and credits.
If you have a tax agency prepare your taxes for you they will have all the updated information, however, it is always a good idea to have this information for better financial planning.

If you are like me and prepare your own taxes, this information is imperative to have. I use Turbotax which has a live CPA and tax professionals to assist with any questions that may arise. If you want more information on Turbotax you can check out my Turbotax review by clicking here.

If you have any further questions or comments, feel free to leave them below and I will get back to you right away.

Intuit TurboTax Review

In this article, I will be providing you with a detailed, honest  Intuit TurboTax review of their tax preparation software. You can get this product in the form of a CD from your local computer, electronic, or convenience store, or you can
start filing online for FREE right away. I recommend the online version as CD’s can be lost or damaged; and in this case, they are completely unnecessary. TurboTax saves all your tax forms on their servers and they are accessible whenever you need them.

Since the 2018 tax year is here with the e-file date of January 29, 2018, you need to know how you will be filing your taxes this year.

Name: TurboTax

Website: https://turbotax.intuit.com

Price: $0 – $149.99

Owners: Intuit

Overall Rank: 5 Stars

TurboTax Overview

TurboTax is the #1 best-selling tax preparation software available for use to the public. Gone are the days when you must pay hundreds to thousands of dollars to get your taxes filed. Depending on your financial situation and the assets you hold, the most you will pay with TurboTax is $149.99; and that is the largest product that contains filing information for business owners. Many who don’t own their own business, home, or have many assets or expenses qualify to use Free Edition of TurboTax.

Turbotax makes it easy to file your taxes like a professional. All you do istaxes with 100 dollar bill 3d answer simple questions about your life situation; the answers to those questions are used to complete the necessary tax forms. It’s so easy that a child could do it! TurboTax calculations are 100% accurate, and that is guaranteed! All tax laws are up-to-date, so you can rest assured that you are getting every tax deduction and credit that you are entitled to.

The Good & the Bad

The Good:

User-friendly interface

Step-by-Step Instructions

good check mark and bad x mark

Start Filing for Free

Pay Nothing Out of Pocket

Audit Support Guarantee

TurboTax Mobile App

The Bad:

The only downside associated with the Turbotax preparation software is that to get the maximum amount of deductions, depending on your assets, you will have to purchase the Deluxe, Premier, Self-Employed or Turbotax Live products. The Free Edition will not be sufficient.

In addition to the cost of the products, there is a mandatory filing fee required by the federal and state government, with the exception of the Free Edition which is free for all.

TurboTax at a Glance…

TurboTax can be used by anyone who is required to file a tax return over the age of 18. You don’t need to be a professional CPA or tax preparer to use this service.

In addition to tax preparation products, TurboTax includes a free service called Intuit Turbo; information on verified income, credit scores provided by Transunion and your debt-to-income ratio with personalized tips based on tax and credit data.

The current products offered by TurboTax are listed below in the chart.

TurboTax tax preparation software products

==>To Start Filing your Taxes Now Click Here!<==

TurboTax Tools

Multi-factor authentication, touch ID, data encryption, login device history, auto email notifications

TurboTax Live – Live help from tax preparation professionals and CPA’s.

Tax Tips and Videos – Featured and recent tax tips and videos to help you with tax credits and deductions as well as self-employed information.

ItsDeductible Donation Tracker – Track all your charitable donations for tax return credits.

TaxCaster Refund Calculator – Estimates tax refund or amount of taxes you will owe.

Tax Bracket Calculator – Enter filing status and taxable income to determine the tax bracket you fall in.

E-File Status Refund Tracker – Check filing status and refund dates with the IRS.

Self-Employed Expense Estimator – Estimates tax saving based on yearly work-related expenses.

TurboTax Support

Turbotax provides 24/7 support for both tax and products; answers are provided by experts. There is an FAQ section, you can browse Q & A’s by topic, or search for your answer by typing in your question. In addition, there is aTurbotax support options community where you can post your questions if you cannot find your answers in the AnswerXchange.

There is also a blog which can be personalized, if you do so you can receive an additional 10% off whichever Turbotax product you choose. It also includes news topics that you can filter by; most popular, most recent, author, and category.

The TurboTax blog covers topics such as tax deductions and credits, tax planning, income and investments, news and social, tax reform, and self-employed topics.

TurboTax Prices

The pricing for Turbotax ranges from FREE to $149.99 depending on which product you go with; Free Edition, Deluxe $39.99, Premier $59.99, Self-Employed $89.99, or TurboTax Live $149.99.

The Free Edition is free because this version is for simple tax returns, for those that don’t have assets such as houses, businesses, or rental properties. The Deluxe product is the most popular because it includes the ability to maximizePricing question your deductions and credits which leads to a larger refund.

Premier Edition includes all features of the Free and Deluxe Editions, however, will maximize credits for those with investment and rental properties.

The Self-Employed Edition includes all features of the Free, Deluxe and Premier Editions but maximizes business income and expenses.

Of all TurboTax products this my favorite because all deductions and credits are maximized. Additionally, you receive immediate support for any questions that you may have while filing your taxes.

Click here now to see why I prefer TurboTax’s Self-Employed Edition.

My Final Opinion of TurboTax

Intuit TurboTax Review
  • Price
  • Usability
  • Website
  • Support
4

My final verdict on Turbotax is that it is legit product and by far the best tax preparation software available. I have used this product every year since 2008
so I can say with 100% certainty that TurboTax is a reputable product, very easy to use, and does maximize your tax refund.

The amount of my tax refund when using Turbotax was much higher than when I would go to H & R Block tax preparation service. Additionally, I get my refund back 9 days after I file. TurboTax says that you should receive your tax refund back within 19 days, personally I have never waited more than the 9 days.

For those of you who are not familiar with H & R Block, it is a tax preparation agency. They charge a large fee for their services and it can fluctuate depending on the amount of your personal refund. Of course, they do not advertise their fees this way; however, you find this out when you have been there and invested a couple of hours of your time.

The same services that you receive from tax professionals you can do for yourself. The same questions they are asking you to complete your tax forms are the same questions that Turbotax asks you to answer to complete the tax forms on their software. Therefore, you do not need to pay anyone to do this for you. Do it for yourself and save your money!

Well, this concludes my review, I hope that I have provided you with enough information to make an informed decision. If you have any further questions feel free to leave them below and I will get right back with you with an answer.

Click here now to file your tax returns and get the biggest refund you have ever received!

Intuit Mint Review

In this article, I am going to be providing you with an honest, unbiased review of the budgeting suite Intuit Mint, or Mint for short. In addition to helping youIntuit mint logo manage your money, Mint has an intuitive interface, helps you manage your 401K, other investments, and bill payment service. Mint also helps you find savings on services like insurance, credit card, loans, and bank accounts. What I like most about Mint is that you can link your bank counts, utility bills, and credit account so that you can manage all in one place. Mint is 100% FREE, so it fits into all budgets!

Intuit Mint Review
  • Price
  • Usability
  • Website
  • Support
5

Available Features

  • Bill Payment – Schedule bill payments, receive the bill due-date notificationsMint Features Overview and track all finances under one location.
  • Investments Tracking – Investments are a huge part of your financial health; this feature enables you to stay on top of your portfolio. Instant view of asset allocations for all investments such as mutual funds, 401K, IRA’s and brokerage accounts.
  • Credit Recommendations – Personalized credit card, insurance, bank account, lending, and investment options provided.
  • Account Link/Management – Ability to link all bank accounts, credit accounts,Mint Linked to personal accounts and utility accounts into the database.
  • Easy budgeting – This feature calculates your spending habits by category which enables you to create a budget with your spending patterns in mind. Budgets can be adjusted from the auto-suggestions.
  • Free Credit Score – No credit cards required, after identity verification a free credit summary will be provided with credit education and alerts whenever new credit information is received by Equifax.Mint Credit Score Overview
  • Alerts and advice – Get alerts when bills are due, fees are charged, over on your budget, or any suspicious transactions are in process.
  • Simple categorization – Default categories for spending which are easy to rename, also able to add own categories for spending habits/budget
  • Security – With all the personal information housed within the Mint platform securing information is of the utmost importance. Multi-factor authentication is included as well as the ability to remotely delete all account information ifMint weekly summary needed. Security scanning with Verisign ensures sensitive data transfer is secure.

As you can see, Mint has plenty of features so that you can monitor and track your finances as well as your credit.

Additionally, you are able to set up notifications so that you are always up-to-date on the status of your finances.

==>Click Here Now to Set Up Your Budget With Mint<==

Support

  • Mint Help – Featured questions, bill pay, accounts and transactions, login and multi-factor authentication, ability to search the entire site for specific answers.
  • Blog – Bankruptcy A-Z, credit information, travel tips, investing advice, moneyMint Help options audit, food budgets, housing finances and more topics for your review.
  • Sitemap – All pages listed by category or topics contained within the website.

Final Thoughts

Overall, Mint is an intuitive platform that is everything one needs for budgeting, managing finances, and credit all in one place. There is no need tomint sign up login to multiple platforms any longer. I have no negative findings except that reporting can be delayed from 1-3 days when the system is gathering updated bank account balances, account payments, or fees that have been charged.

You can say goodbye to late fees as the payment notifications and bill due dates approaching come right on time.

Mint has a sitemap which is separated into categories that make it easy to find the topics or answers to the questions that you are searching for. The user interface is very friendly and easy to use, even for those that are not tech savvy.

Start managing your finance now, registration is free and easy, you can sign up by clicking here.

If you have any further questions or comments feel free to email me at shwana@yourcreditrestoredfast.com or leave your comment below.

Synthetic Identity Theft – Protect Yourself

What is Synthetic Identity Theft?

Synthetic identity theft encompasses 80-85% of all identity fraud; so, as youSSN card synthetic id theft example can see it is prevalent and you need to be sure to protect yourself against it. You are probably wondering “What is synthetic identity theft”, right?

Well, synthetic identity theft is creating a fake identity with either valid or phony credentials such as names, Social Security numbers, date of birth, and addresses. This information is stolen from dark web marketplaces or via data breaches.

What is the Dark Web?

Dark web marketplaces are places on the web that are not accessible by normal internet browsers. It’s a network of websites that are hidden and, IP addresses can activate masking software and move around on encrypted connection to hide their locations and identities.

The process of synthetic identity fraud is somewhat intricate; theseDifferent Layers of Internet Browsing fraudsters combine real and fake personal information and create a new identity. It’s amazing the things that can be done with a stolen SSN; it can be combined with a real but different name and geographic information, and a new identity exists.

After this new identity is formed is when all the fraudulent activities begin; new credit card accounts, new bank accounts and other types of credit accounts are opened, and havoc is wreaked on your SSN.

Steps to Take if Your Social Security Number is Stolen

If your Social Security number is taken you need to ensure that no further damage can be done to your credit or to your identity. If your identity or credit is compromised it can take years, and a lot of money to repair it. This can be avoided if the necessary steps are taken.

Freeze Your Credit with Each of the Three Major Consumer Credit Bureaus – In order for credit accounts to be opened with your personal information, your credit profile must be accessible. Call Experian, Equifax, and Transunion separately and request that your credit file is frozen. While frozen, no new creditors can access your credit to open new accounts unless you temporarily grant them access. The credit freeze is usually secured with a pin number; chosen by you or the credit bureau. For Experian credit freeze click here, for Equifax credit freeze click here, and for Transunion, credit freeze click here.

  • Notify Responsible Government Agencies about Identity Theft – Even ifprotect your identity tips you have not yet seen evidence that your SSN has been used for fraudulent reasons report your stolen SSN to the Social Security Administration, the Federal Trade Commission’s website https://IdentityTheft.gov and file a police report with your local precinct. Police reports are required to recover any losses from identity theft.
  • Inform Fraud Department of Companies You Think Fraudulent Use of Your SSN has Occurred – Contact companies where you believe your personal information has been used and advise them that you are a victim of identity theft. Follow their procedures, if necessary change all login profiles and passwords.
  • Place a Fraud Alert on Your Credit File – To ensure that all three major consumer credit bureaus are aware of the situation place a fraud alert on your credit file. This process is a little easier than freezing your credit; you only must place the fraud alert on one credit bureau and the other two will be notified electronically. The purpose that this serves is that if a lender requests your credit they will be made aware of the situation. You can even request that you be called prior to the opening of any accounts and add your personal contact number in the alert. You can initiate the credit alert through Transunion by clicking here.
  • Monitor Your Identity – To ensure that there is no one is using your Social Security number you need to get a monitoring service that monitors the dark web; MyFico is the perfect service for this, you can check out my review here.

MyFico ID Theft Monitoring

MyFico not only monitors all three major consumer credit bureaus’ activity, but they also provide black market web surveillance. They provide SSN alias watch which monitors names, addresses, and other personal information associated with your Social Security number; this is called intelligent identity theft monitoring.

Synthetic ID theft is hard to fight as it is thought of as a victimless crime; asmyfico ad the fraudulent activities and accounts that are opened are done so under a fake identity.

The major concern is minor’s SSN’s being taken; as they will not know there is a problem until they become adults and try to open credit accounts of their own. It falls on the parents to also monitor our children’s SSN’s as well as our own.

Act now and start monitoring your identity before it is too late! Go to myfico.com and start protecting yourself now. If you have any further questions, feel free to ask below or email me at shwana@yourcreditrestoredfast.com.

Credit Sesame Review

Credit Sesame Review

Credit Sesame is a credit, debt, and loan management platform that providesCredit Sesame Financial Analysis and Online Tools 100% free credit scores, credit monitoring, credit report card, identity theft protection, and saving recommendations. They have been in business since 2010, and from that time on have been helping consumers repair their credit.

Credit Sesame is BBB (Better Business Bureau) certified and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Today, and The New York Times.

Credit Sesame Review
  • Price
  • Usability
  • Support
  • Website
5

Available Products

Credit Sesame provides a full suite of credit features so that you can keep track of your credit standing. These services do not require any trials, credit cards, or commitments. The products that are available are:

  • Free Credit Monitoring – Real-time daily alerts sent by text or email if changes occur on your credit reports as soon as they happen to help deter identity theft or errors on your credit reports, helping you improve your overall credit score and financial health.
  • Free Monthly Credit Score – Monthly credit scores and debts from Transunion VantageScore, compiled with advanced analytics to customize recommendations on credit cards and loans. This gives you a look at your overall financial picture with objective savings recommendations for your debts.
  • Free Credit Report Card – Full credit report card analysis which tracks your credit accounts, debts and a complete, comprehensive look at your credit activity.
  • Free Identity Theft Protection – $50,000 in identity theft insurance and live support to guide you through the identity restoration process.

In addition to the features above you can download the Credit Sesame mobile app to receive the real-time notifications that are available. Credit Sesame also provides financial tools and personalized recommendations to help you save money on accounts that are on your credit profile.

==>Click Here to Start Monitoring Your Credit Now<==

Additional Benefits

Credit Sesame is also a financial advising center that provides ways to save money on a home, auto, credit cards, and loans. There are also credit cards options that are aligned with your credit rating, home value estimates, and trending graphs that monitor your savings and are easy to use. These benefits include:

  • Mortgage Loan Research Center – Analytics engine that compares debt and credit score profile to match you with best mortgage options and rates.
  • Mortgage Calculator – Provides a visual projection of potential home loansFinancial Services rates; information about loan details must be input into the mortgage calculator.
  • Auto Loan Rates – Provides information on the blog and how to improve your credit so that you can land a great interest rate.
  • Auto Insurance – Rate provider tool matches you with the best rates and providers that match your needs.
  • Free Credit Strategy
  • Student and Personal Loans – Different loan options for repayment or refinance with different payment plans for all situations.
  • CD Rates
  • Savings Accounts – Information on different saving methods.

In addition to free services, Credit Sesame also provides premium services for those that want extra protection which consists of a full spectrum of credit monitoring from all 3 credit bureaus. Premium services include:

  • Unlimited Daily Credit Score Updates
  • Downloadable Monthly Credit Report
  • Social Security Number Monitoring
  • $1,000,000 Identity Theft Insurance
  • Dispute Resolution 24/7 Live Help

The premium services offered correspond to the regular products with their being 4 differences; the amount of identity theft protection doubles from $50,000 to $1,000,000, credit score updates are unlimited instead of 1/month, social security number monitoring, the credit score updates are from all 3 credit bureaus instead of only Transunion.

Support

The Credit Sesame support platform consists of:

  • Q & A Forum – Hosted by financial experts that you can trust in a secure environment enabling categorical searches such as credit score, insurance, credit cards, loans, and mortgage.
  • FAQ Section – Includes troubleshooting, credit questions, advice and recommendations, general questions and debts questions.
  • Email Support – When all else fails you can ask your questions directly and get your response from their credit experts.
  • Credit Sesame Expert Corner – Latest expert advice and commentary from their expert John Ulzheimer who was formerly employed with FICO and Equifax. His advice has been published 3000+ times in materials like CBS MoneyWatch, Forbes, Bankrate, TIME, Yahoo Finance and more.
  • Blog – Includes guides on mortgage down payments, student loans and defaults, personal/business credit, and credit score information.

With these services, you have a platform that will give you immediate access to the answers that you are needing exactly when you need them.

And the Verdict Is…

Credit Sesame is a great platform that provides your credit and debt information in one location. Not only do they provide you with the necessary tools to successfully monitor and improve your credit; they also give you the tools to help you on your journey to financial freedom. There is also a blog filled with a plethora of credit and financial information and a Q&A platform with answers from financial experts to help you along the way. Don’t wait for a second longer! Click here or on the picture below to get started on your road to financial independence!

Free Credit Score Sign Up

Best Budget Programs

Best Budget Programs

Maintaining a budget can be a lot of work, but it is not impossible. In the past, budgets were handwritten, which took a very long time. Not only did handwritten budgets take a long time to put together, they also were prone to many errors. Thankfully, presently writing budgets are a thing of the past, for most of us at least. Now, we are able to plan our budgets with the help of technology. The best budget programs have a user-interface that makes it easy for even the least technology savvy person to use.Stacks of coins with the word BUDGET isolated on white background
There are different programs available, however, one of the best budget programs is Intuit’s Mint and Quickbooks. Intuit is also the maker of Turbotax which I talked about in my earlier post. Below I will give you more details on each of their products.

Intuit Mint

Intuit Mint is a very powerful budget platform that has many facets. This platform allows you to easily create budgets with suggestions that are based on your spending habits. Mint also tracks and pays your bills. Additionally, you can schedule payments and set up alerts that notify you when your payments are due. There is a built-in credit score monitor with improvement tips. There is no credit card required for this service.mint logo

Intuit Mint also keeps track of your money; you can link your bank accounts, credit cards, retirement and investment accounts all in one location. This alleviates the need to log into numerous accounts to pay your bills and manage your money or investments; you can do it all with Intuit Mint. There is also an app that you can download onto your phone.

Intuit Quickbooks

Intuit QuickBooks is an accounting platform that is very user-friendly. With this program, you can track your money for both your business and personal accounts. QuickBooks enables you to stay on top of your business(s) mileage, income/expenses, invoicing/payments, payroll, track time/sales/inventory, track receipts. QuickBooks also helps you maximize your tax deductions.quickbooks logo There are four different products; self-employed, simple start, essentials and plus. The prices range from $5-25/monthly. You can click here for a 70% discount.

Intuit QuickBooks Canada

QuickBooks also has a Canadian portfolio with all the same features and benefits that are discussed above. The only difference is that they have three products; EasyStart, Essentials, and Plus. The prices range from $6.50-$12/monthly. These are Black Friday sale prices and will increase on November 29, 2017. This is up to a 70% discount; you can take advantage of these prices by clicking here.

Spentapp (Spent Money)

Spentapp or Spent Money is an application that helps you manage your  finances and with the money that you are already spending on your daily purchases you can earn cash back. This is in addition to any existing loyalty accounts that you have previously set up already. Spentapp has partnered with thousands of financial institutions to enable their users to securelyphone displaying cash back for spent money app connect all credit and debit accounts; these will automatically earn cash back from everyday purchases made.

Once your accounts are linked, your transactions are then categorized. You do have the option to update these categories as well as create additional folders to help classify your expenses. Spent Money analyzes your expenses and makes it easier for you to pin point opportunities for savings. You can separate your business and personal expenses.

Additionally, Spentapp allows you to personalize your cash back options; they provide a list of featured brands monthly of which you can choose from. There are companies such as Amazon, Uber and Walgreens just to name a few. You earn an automatic 1% cash back and up to an additional 15% cash back when you use your connected debit/credit accounts. This is an awesome application and can make your debit account work just like a cash back rewards creditcash back stamp card.

Spentapp for business allows for simple expense reporting; employees can report expenses up to $75 and capture and submit e-receipts. There is an administrator dashboard which enables expenses to be reviewed and approved. Additionally, there is detailed analytics provided for company expenses. There is a free version as well as a Pro version which costs $4/month; where Pro is integrated with QuickBooks. You can get Spentapp for business by clicking here.

The budgeting programs that I recommended above I personally use and they are great products. If you have any questions at all feel free to leave a comment below.

 

Best Online Tax Preparation Sites

Best Online Tax Preparation Sites 

Every working person in the United States all have one thing in common, we all must file taxes. It is almost that time again! Many people are terrified of filing their own taxes, and because of this tax preparation companies are making a killing. People do not realize how much money they would be saving if they filed their own taxes. I believe that many more people would file their own taxes if they knew how easy it is to do on their own.

I have been filing my own taxes for many years. Prior to that, I used to have agencies such as H & R Block file my taxes for me. The amount of money that they used to charge for the filing fees were ridiculous, that is why I was determined to learn how to file my own taxes. Thankfully, it was much easier than I had anticipated. Preparing my own taxes was one of the best financial decisions I’ve ever made. It feels great to save the hundreds of dollars that I used to pay to the tax preparation agencies. For those of you that are considering filing your own taxes for 2017 but do not know where to start, I have a few options for you.

Intuit Turbotax

Turbotax is an easy-to-use platform with a great user interface that you can use to prepare and file your own federal and state taxes. Tax forms are available for different types of tax filers; individuals and business owners. There are four different products; Federal Free, Deluxe, Premier, and Self-Employed. The prices range from $0-$114.99. There is a side-by-side comparison chart for each tax filing product. In addition, there are tons of support given by licensed tax professionals to answer any questions you may have. Personally, I prefer Turbotax over any other tax software. Check Out My TurboTax Review Here.

Intuit Turbotax Canada

Turbotax Canada is like the original Turbotax except that it is for Canadian residents. They have four products; Free, Standard, Premier and Home & Business. Their prices range from $0-$49. It seems that their Canadian products have a lower price point than their US counterpart. Turbotax Canada does have a 60-day money back guarantee.

 

 

E-Smart

E-Smart is backed by Liberty Tax and is another user-friendly option to file your federal and state tax forms. There are four different products; Free, Basic, Deluxe and Premium. The prices range is from $0-$59.95 so their packages have a great price. There is 24/7 support and the new tax code laws are available. There is a 100% accuracy guarantee. For 50% off of all online tax filing solutions go here.

E-File.com

E-File.com is an authorized IRS e-file provider and was one of the first platforms which allowed for the electronic filing of your taxes. There are three products; Free Basic, Deluxe and Premium. The prices range from $0-$39.95 for federal filings; state tax filings are an additional cost. E-File.com has a meet ‘n beat price match guarantee and tax calculators.

TaxAct

TaxAct has online and downloadable products to choose from. They have three products; Free, Plus and Premium. The prices range from $0-$47. TaxAct has a price lock guarantee in addition to a personalized financial assessment. Their platform is also very user-friendly. They do save your prior year taxes.

Personally, I use Turbotax every year. It’s very user-friendly and walks you through all the necessary forms that you need for a complete tax filing. After your tax file is complete you have the option to e-file or you can print it off and send it in. It is much quicker to e-file; I usually get my refund direct deposited in my checking account within 9 days of the e-file.

I hope this has been helpful. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

How to Make a Budget

How to Make a Budgetsaved money in a jar

Making a budget is more important than many realize. Without one, it is hard to achieve your long-term financial goals. You may also find that you are living outside of your means and that you don’t have enough money for the things that you need. This is most likely because you have spent money on things that you want in the interim without factoring in all the necessities of life.

Many people don’t even think about following a budget let alone prioritizing their spending. If you make up your mind to create a budget and stick to it, you will find that you have the money for the things that you need even if you must cut out a couple of things that you want. This will depend on the amount of income and outgo that you have.

There are many reasons why making a budget is beneficial to your household. Below I have outlined the easiest way to make a budget for those that want to but don’t know where to start.

Calculate Your Net Income/Total Monthly Income

First, combine all your income received monthly. This includes your earningsbudget tips with sample budget from employment and any other source such as Social Security or Disability. Make sure you are listing the after-tax amount, and any income received from your spouse if you have one. Don’t leave anything out.

List All Your Monthly Expenses

Add up all recurring monthly expenses such as electricity, rent or mortgage, and any other utility payments. You must also list other bills like HOA dues, gas, food and items that you spend towards your monthly entertainment such as the movies. Every single dollar that goes out must be accounted for.

Pay Yourself First

When you get your paycheck the first thing that you should do is deduct the amount you can afford your savings. You should have at least $1000 in your savings as an emergency fund. You can put aside whatever you can afford, $5,retirement and savings street signs $20, $50 or $100 prior to paying anything else.

Subtract Your Expenses from Your Monthly Income

When the first two steps are complete just subtract your monthly expenses from your total monthly income. Hopefully, when this step is complete there is a positive number remaining. If the result is a negative number, this means that you are living above your means by spending money that you do not have.

There are programs that can help you budget your income as well as save you money. I have listed them below.

Shrinkabill

logo for Shrinkabill

Shrinkabill saves you money on your existing bills. Their employees’ focus is to negotiate on your behalf to lower your bills. They have a great track record at lowering many types of costs such as your cable, internet, cell phone, and home security bills. Shrinkabill has been featured in Cnet.com, Forbes, AARP, Newsweek, and CBS news. They also provide a 100% risk-free double guarantee, and they also will send you a $25 gift card if they do not lower your expenses.

Trim

Trim is an AI (Artificial Intelligent) assistant that can automatically you save money by negotiating lower rates on your bills, cancel old prescriptions, cuts off forgotten recurring charges, contests overdraft fees with your bank, andTrim assistant services identifies expenses that can be reduced. You can also give commands to Trim for specific actions such as real-time balances on your accounts. Trim also helps you save for retirement and can open investment accounts. You can even communicate with Trim through text. They have been featured in The New York Times and NBC News. There are a lot of advancements coming soon.

Sticking to your budget is key to its success. You will find that making your budget and sticking with it will lead you to financial freedom. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask below.

How to Rebuild Credit After Bankruptcy

How to Rebuild Credit After Bankruptcy

After you file bankruptcy your credit score initially takes a negative turn as there are many debts that were not getting paid and getting reported as delinquent. In addition to this bankruptcy can be reported on your credit report for up to 10 years. Filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy wipes out all your debt it does not clean up your credit report. There are steps that need to be taken to ensure that your credit score is restored. In some extreme cases, filing bankruptcy can lower your credit score as much as 240 points. I have listed a few tips that will help you rebuild credit after bankruptcy.

Review your credit reportsSign up for free credit sesame credit score id protection with no credit card required

Get copies of your credit reports from all three credit bureaus; Experian, Transunion, and Equifax. You are entitled to one free credit report yearly; you may acquire all three from Annual Credit Report at https://www.annualcreditreport…. You may also get all three credit reports from MyFico.com and Credit Sesame. Check out my review for MyFico.com by clicking here. You can also click here for my Credit Sesame review.

MyFico.com has a credit monitoring service with alert settings that notify you of any changes to your credit reports the instant that they happen and can be sent by text to your phone or email.

Credit Sesame also has free credit scores, free credit monitoring, and free identity protection. After you get your credit reports, review them for any errors; incorrect names and addresses,  or accounts not belonging to you.

Ensure that the accounts that were included in the bankruptcy filing are not present.

FICO Scores that Lenders Use

Dispute Inaccurate Information

If there are errors that need to be disputed on your credit reports, you need to do so with all three credit bureaus. To dispute any inaccurate information you must send in a dispute letter, you can use this template on the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) website https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0384-sample-letter-disputing-errors-your-credit-report .

Make sure you keep a copySeal of the Federal Trade Commission of the United States of America for yourself and send this letter to the recipient by certified mail with a return receipt request; this way you have proof that the creditor has received your correspondence and you have a date of receipt on record.

The creditor has 30 days to respond. If you don’t hear from them the credit bureau will be forced to remove the item(s) from your credit reports.

Open a Secured Credit Card Account

A quick and easy way to get a boost to your credit score after your bankruptcy is discharged is to open a secured credit card account. The process is very simple.

All you need to do is go to the bank or credit card company of your choice and complete an application for a secured credit card account. Next, you will need to make a deposit into an account that is specifically for the credit card balance.

The credit line that you receive is usually 50% to 100% of the initial deposit. I strongly suggest that you choose a credit card company that will make your credit line equal to the amount of your deposit.

Secured credit cards are like traditional credit cards in that they also charge interest on the existing balance. The interest rate can range from 15% to 23%. There is also an annual fee and in some cases an application and processingsecured credit cards fee.

You will want to compare rates and fees prior to making your decision on which credit card company to get your card with. A great place to do this is at CreditCards.com.

CreditCards.com has options for many types of credit cards and you can compare them by the benefits they provide. There is also a side-by-side comparison tool, so you can weigh the pros and cons of each credit card’s features.

Most importantly, you need to make sure that the credit card company reports your credit limits and payments to all 3 major credit card bureaus; Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. Also, make sure that the credit card that you choose doesn’t report that the card is secured and offers periodic credit limit increases.

Pay your bills on time

It goes without saying that paying your bills on time has a high impact on your credit score. Your payment history accounts for 35% of your credit score. Even one late payment can have a drastic impact on your credit score sopay your bills here ensure that your payments are all made on time.

Following these few steps will help you to restore your credit after you have filed your bankruptcy. Don’t forget to create a budget and stick to it. You need your bills to be paid on time to keep your credit score points from decreasing. These steps are relatively easy and can be done on your own. No attorney is needed. If you have any further questions or you need clarification of any kind, please feel free to email me at shwana@yourcreditrestoredfast.com or you may comment below. Good luck!

Debt Consolidation Loans for People with Poor Credit

Debt Consolidation Loans for People with Poor Credit

To get out of debt you may want to consider a debt consolidation loan. Debt consolidation loans allow you to pay off all your high-interest credits cards or multiple debts that have high payments. In exchange, you end of up with one payment, and in some caStreet sign guiding you towards financial freedomses, a lower payment than what you were paying with your combined debts. Thankfully, debt consolidation loans for people with poor credit are available.

Personally, I believe that getting a debt consolidation loan to pay off all debts is better than debt settlement when working with a debt settlement agency during negotiations of your debts you are advised to stop making payments. This is obviously not favorable for your credit. Missed payments will cause you to lose many points on your credit scores.

In the case of debt consolidation, no payments are missed. You apply for however much money is needed to pay all your balances in full. This results in a boost to your credit score, especially paying off your revolving credit, your credit cards. You only will have one payment to make to the creditor that you got the debt consolidation loan from. I have listed a few options below.

Bad Credit Loans advertisement for debt consolidation loans

The name says it all, even with bad credit you can get this loan to consolidate your debts. They have been in business and helping those with bad credit since 1998. The APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for these loans range from 5.99%-35.99%. Bad Credit Loans has a simple application process with straightforward directions. You can access their website by clicking here.

Curadebt

Curadebt is a debt relief company that provides many services with debt consolidation being one of them. They have been established since 2000. Curadebt has excellent online reviews and ratings. You have a choice between secured/unsecured debt consolidation loans after you have paid off the balances on your debts you can get credit restoration services from Curadebt.

PersonalLoans.com

Personalloans.com takes an easy convenient approach with loan amounts ranging from $1,000 to $35,000. Depending on the loan terms, repayment time frames range from 6 to 72 months. The rate of the APR (Annual Percentage Rate) depending on the terms of the loan range from 5.99% to 35.99%.
Personalloans.com do have loan requirements:

advertisement from PersonalLoans.com for credit card debt consolidation loan up to $35,000

  • You must be 18 or older, have a valid SSN card and be a legal citizen or permanent resident
  • You must have a full-time employer, self-employed, or receive reliable income such as Social Security benefits or disability. Income verification may need to*
    be submitted.
  • You must have a bank account; this is where your funds will be directly deposited
  • Excellent or good credit is not necessary; however, you must demonstrate that you are responsible
  • No accounts more than 60 days late
  • No active or recent bankruptcies
  • No pattern of late payments
  • Debt must be covered by income
  • No recent charged-off accounts

The types of loans given are peer to peer loans, personal installment loans, and bank personal loans. These can be used to consolidate your debts. If you have any further questions or comments feel free to ask.