Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Tax Strategies for the New Year

While you may not have the total amount your household will spend on taxes, you can prepare for them throughout the entire year. There are strategies that can save thousands of dollars and your time by preparing for your taxes year-round. These tips can work for both state and federal taxes.

Records Organization

Gather your previous year’s tax return, 1099s and W-2s for the current year, receipts, and anything else you need for tax time. This will save you the time of locating all of these documents. Using a checklist will help you to keep track of the items that you need to prepare your taxes. Take the time to find the correct forms to file your taxes.

Retirement Accounts

Fund your retirement account ahead of the tax filing deadline for traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs.

Estimated Tax Payment

Making an estimated payment by the 15th of January can help you to eliminate penalties from the fourth quarter. You will owe a penalty for other quarters if you have not sent estimated payments for them at the time.

Itemize Deductions

The standard deduction is easier to take but it is possible to save more money by itemizing your expenses if you own your home, have a high tax rate, or are self-employed. Charitable donations and mortgage interest are well-known deductions. Portions of medical expenses over 10 percent of adjusted gross income can also be deducted.

Home Office Deduction

Make sure to examine the home office deduction closely. The rules for eligibility have changed, so be sure to run through the necessary qualifications closely.

File on Time and Electronically

It is imperative that you file your taxes and pay any taxes owed on time in order to prevent penalization. Filing electronically can save you on processing time as well as getting any refunds issued up to a month earlier.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Home Renovation Trends for 2020

Home renovation is very cyclical and reactive, just like many other aspects of life. The home improvement projects that are in effect in 2020 will not be the same ones that are present from five years ago. Here are some of the biggest home improvement trends for 2020.

More Money for Projects

Our economy has been on a tear for several years and the economy is reaching full employment which is translating into larger home improvement projects. Further, loans with low-interest rates are more accessible than ever before and this is resulting in large scale projects, particularly in suburbs such as kitchen renovations, floor additions, and redone outdoor spaces.

Smart Homes

The internet is beginning to realize its smart home potential and more homes are being renovated with smart devices in mind. Smart devices are entering into our kitchens and appliances with smartphone-controlled timers, our heating and cooling systems with remote smart devices that let you optimize your heating and cooling, and smart security systems that allow for access away from home. More than minor tools, these smart home devices are being fully integrated and allow for remote and voice accessed tools that make the future fully accessible today.

Clean Air and Focus On the Environment

Home improvement looks to improve on the spaces in your home with advanced air and water purification kits, green recycling options, and integrated home efficiencies. Homeowners are increasingly concerned with these items and are great selling points for those who are looking to live cleaner.