Financial News from Bankrate.com

  • 13 ways to cut your taxes without itemizing Bankrate.com - 19 hours ago

    All taxpayers have a choice: They can claim the standard deduction, or they can itemize deductions. Taking these deductions will reduce your AGI, which in most cases, directly cuts your overall tax bill. The less taxable income, the less you'll owe the IRS.

  • How to get a tax deduction for charitable donations Bankrate.com - Mon, Mar 27, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Taxes Tax Deductions JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images Giving away your stuff that no longer brings you joy may instead bring happiness to others who could use them. An added bonus: You get a tax deduction ...

  • What is President Donald Trump's net worth? Bankrate.com - Fri, Mar 24, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    President Donald Trump started his path to the White House in Brooklyn, New York, working with his father and making deals in the real estate development business. From there, he entered the world of Manhattan real estate and eventually branched out into properties throughout the world. Trump claimed in a presidential campaign disclosure form that he was worth in excess of $10 billion.

  • Teachers are special. Even the IRS thinks so Bankrate.com - Fri, Mar 24, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Teachers and other educators can get a tax deduction of up to $250 for some of those costs as well as continuing education expenses. Educator expenses are one of the so-called above-the-line deductions claimed directly on a Form 1040 or via tax software. Congress made the tax break for educators a permanent part of the tax code in 2015.

  • Where will mortgage rates head next week? Bankrate.com - Thu, Mar 23, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Will rates go up, down or remain unchanged? Intro Up 9% Down 36% Unchanged 55% Panel Prediction Up Down Unchanged 9% 36% 55% This week (March 23-29), 9 percent of the panelists believe mortgage rates will ...

  • Fed reassures mortgage market, and rates fall Bankrate.com - Thu, Mar 23, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Homebuyers and refinancers have received a belated gift from the Fed: Mortgage rates have fallen because the Federal Reserve reassured bond investors that it won't raise short-term interest rates aggressively. This decline in mortgage interest rates might not last, because in the long run, rates are trending upward. Early last week, mortgage rates went up more than they normally would have.

  • Made money on an investment? See if you owe capital gains tax Bankrate.com - Tue, Mar 21, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    If you've made money on the asset and have held it for longer than a year before selling, you can pay a lower tax rate -- if you have to pay any tax at all -- because your gain is considered a long-term capital gain. Your income ultimately determines what long-term capital gains rate you pay. Taxpayers in the two lowest tax brackets -- 10 percent and 15 percent -- could end up without any capital gains tax bill at all.

  • Americans have a big disconnect about saving money Bankrate.com - Tue, Mar 21, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Americans are feeling better about how much they're saving, for the first time in six years of Bankrate polling. It turns out that consumers aren't really doing a better job with saving. Bankrate's new survey finds that, for the first time, more Americans feel comfortable with their savings than feel uncomfortable.

  • Calculating the cost basis of a long-time family property Bankrate.com - Tue, Mar 21, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    What are some of the tax consequences and other considerations we should think about? --Because your father inherited the property, the general rule for you to use is the fair market value, or FMV, of the property on the date of your grandfather's death. If the executor of the estate or the personal representative chose to use the "alternate valuation date," then you would use the FMV on that date, which is six months after your father's death.

  • How Brexit could affect your travel Bankrate.com - Fri, Mar 17, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Tom Bonaventure/Getty Images After the United Kingdom officially parts ways with the European Union in about two years, Americans could see fewer flying options abroad -- and longer passport lines when ...

  • 5 mortgages that require little or no money down Bankrate.com - Fri, Mar 17, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs, or VA, guarantees purchase mortgages with no required down payment for qualified veterans, active-duty service members and certain members of the National Guard and Reserves. Private lenders originate VA loans, which the VA guarantees. There is no mortgage insurance.

  • When a traditional IRA makes the most tax sense Bankrate.com - Fri, Mar 17, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Saving money today for your retirement takes discipline, but you can enjoy immediate gratification in the form of a tax deduction with a traditional IRA. Rather, your contribution amount is subtracted from your income to help determine your taxable income -- and your tax bill. The allowable contribution amounts can be deposited into your traditional IRA as late as the annual tax-return filing deadline and still count toward cutting your prior year's tax bill.

  • Earned income tax credit: Complex, but worth it Bankrate.com - Thu, Mar 16, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT
    Earned income tax credit: Complex, but worth it

    Workers who don't earn much money or who lost a job last year may benefit from the earned income tax credit, or EITC. With this tax break, qualified individuals can get a portion of the taxes they paid reimbursed. It even can produce a tax refund for eligible filers who had no tax liability.

  • Mortgages rise. Get one sooner, not later Bankrate.com - Thu, Mar 16, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Asia Images Group/Shutterstock.com Even before the Federal Reserve raised short-term rates, mortgages already had gone up to their highest level in nearly three years. And mortgage rates probably won't ...

  • Know the rules for your Roth IRA during tax season Bankrate.com - Thu, Mar 16, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    You have until the April tax-return-filing deadline to set up an IRA for the 2016 tax year. With a Roth account, you won't get an immediate tax break, but you won't pay any tax on your money when you eventually take it out. The IRS, however, has specific rules on just who can have a Roth IRA and how much money can be contributed each year.

  • 4 reasons you need an HSA to go with your IRA Bankrate.com - Tue, Mar 14, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    There are lots of reasons to love a health savings account, or HSA. You can sign up for an HSA if you have a qualifying high-deductible health insurance plan. HSAs are designed to help you pay the medical costs that aren't covered by the plan.

  • These taxes can actually lower your IRS bill Bankrate.com - Tue, Mar 14, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Taxes Tax Deductions JGI/Tom Grill/Getty Images Like most Americans, you probably pay more than just federal income taxes. If you itemize deductions (rather than take the standard deduction), you can write ...

  • Want free checking? Just head to a credit union Bankrate.com - Mon, Mar 13, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    If you're paying a monthly fee for your checking account, the big question is: Why? Make that: WHY??! Free checking is becoming more available every year, and that's particularly true at the nation's credit unions, Bankrate finds. According to our 2017 Credit Union Checking Survey, 84 percent of credit union checking accounts now come with no monthly maintenance fees.

  • Credit Union Checking Survey: Find the best account for you Bankrate.com - Mon, Mar 13, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Credit Union Syda Productions/Shutterstock.com Bankrate surveyed 50 of the nation's largest credit unions to find the best checking accounts. Compare checking accounts Alaska USA Federal Credit Union (Anchorage, ...

  • Tax credits help with higher education Bankrate.com - Fri, Mar 10, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Attending college can be costly, but two tax credits can help defray education expenses. The American opportunity credit and the lifetime learning credit, as the names suggest, are credits rather than deductions, so they take a bigger bite out of your tax bill. A deduction reduces your taxable income, which can reduce your final tax bill.

  • Mortgage rates climb. Lock your rate this week Bankrate.com - Thu, Mar 9, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Blame this week's rise in mortgage rates on the Federal Reserve, which is probably going to raise short-term interest rates next week. The 30-year fixed went up 0.07 percentage point to nearly a three-year high. 90 percent of the RTI voters predicted that mortgage rates will rise over the next week.

  • Does the IRS owe you money? Bankrate.com - Wed, Mar 8, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    The IRS is holding onto more than $1 billion in unclaimed refunds, and some of it may be yours. Tax law says a taxpayer has three years to file a return and get the associated refund. Since the 2013 tax year returns were due by the April 2014 deadline, that three-year window allows these forms to be filed by the 2017 filing due date, which is April 18.

  • Is the stock market too hot? See what experts say Bankrate.com - Wed, Mar 8, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Watch out, investors, because the rampaging stock market has gotten too hot, say a group of leading economists in a new Bankrate survey. "Investors have really gotten way ahead of themselves," says Robert Brusca, chief economist at FAO Economics. If it becomes clear Trump and Congress can't deliver, we could see a "sharp selloff," warns Alan MacEachin, corporate economist at Navy Federal Credit Union.

  • 2 ways to claim your home office on your taxes Bankrate.com - Tue, Mar 7, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    If you work from home, you may be able to write off the home office on your taxes. Original home office deduction: Fill out the 43-line Form 8829 to claim a deduction. Simplified home office deduction: Fill out a six-line page and deduct up to $1,500.

  • You're doing it wrong: How not to handle your tax refund Bankrate.com - Mon, Mar 6, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    A third of us will get a tax refund and spend it on necessities. Having too much income tax withheld from paychecks will produce a larger refund, but it means we're surrendering our money all year in a 12-month interest-free loan to the federal government. The newest Bankrate Money Pulse survey found 29 percent of people, a record-high for the fourth year of the survey, will use tax refunds on necessities.

  • Claiming dependents on taxes: A How-to Guide Bankrate.com - Fri, Mar 3, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Most likely you can, but dependents must meet certain tests not academic, but IRS, tests to qualify as exemptions on your tax return. Dependence tests that must be met by ... Making sure the requirements are met is critical, because claiming dependents on taxes can help reduce your bill.

  • Where will mortgage rates head next week? Bankrate.com - Thu, Mar 2, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Will rates go up, down or remain unchanged? Intro Up 70% Down 0% Unchanged 30% Panel Prediction Up Down Unchanged 70% 0% 30% This week (March 2-8),70 percent of the panelists believe mortgage rates will ...

  • Tips on claiming the adoption tax credit Bankrate.com - Thu, Mar 2, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Parents can claim a tax credit that covers some adoption expenses. To get that tax credit, however, you need to keep close track of the adoption process. The exact year you can claim your expenses depends on several factors, including when the expenses were paid, when the adoption was finalized, and even whether your new son or daughter is a U.S. citizen or resident.

  • Bankrate glossary: Short Sale Bankrate.com - Thu, Mar 2, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    A short sale is a real estate transaction where a property sells for less than the amount owed on the property. Short sales are options for homeowners who can no longer afford their home. Lack of approval from all parties is one reason that short sales fall through.

  • Mortgage rates headed higher. Lock your rate now Bankrate.com - Thu, Mar 2, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Kzenon/Shutterstock.com Mortgage rates are poised to go up. You should lock your interest rate now. Rates on home loans edged slightly upward in Bankrate's weekly survey. They likely are headed even higher ...

  • Bankrate glossary: Commodities Bankrate.com - Wed, Mar 1, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    What are commodities? Commodities include any basic good used in trade that is easily interchangeable with like commodities. Some of the different commodities include energy products, grains, livestock, meats and precious metals.

  • 11 must-do's for the first-time homebuyer Bankrate.com - Wed, Mar 1, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    Had it with rentals and roommates and think it's about time you took advantage of low mortgage rates and became a first-time homebuyer? Do a quick search of actual multiple listing service, or MLS, listings in your area on a number of websites, including the National Association of Realtors. 2. Use Bankrate's mortgage calculator to get an idea of what your monthly mortgage payments would be if you bought today.

  • 5 factors when claiming a parent as a dependent Bankrate.com - Wed, Mar 1, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    More than 40 percent of family caregivers spend at least $5,000 a year on caregiving, according to Caring.com, a Bankrate company. Nearly 25 percent of family caregivers spend $10,000 or more. The key to Internal Revenue Service assistance in caring for an elderly relative is whether you can claim the person as a dependent.

  • Sick of your job? Search for a new one, get a tax break Bankrate.com - Tue, Feb 28, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    You could get help from the government when it's time to file your taxes, since job-hunting expenses are generally tax deductible. Deductions aren't allowed for employment-search costs when there is a "substantial break" between your last job and when you begin looking for a new one. The costs you incur in getting your first job aren't deductible, because the tax law only allows you to write off expenses incurred in searching for another position in your present occupation.

  • The toughest and easiest states for first-time homebuyers Bankrate.com - Tue, Feb 28, 2017 9:00 PM AEDT

    For millennials striving to succeed at "adulting," buying a home is a common goal. But millennials now hitting prime years for that first home purchase may have to stick to smaller, interior ...