For questions that relate to the laws, practices, and products of the United States.

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1
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4answers
163 views

Why do grocery stores in the U.S. offer cash back so eagerly?

Most grocery stores and Walmarts I've been to ask you how much cash back you want as one of the steps you punch in after you swipe your credit card. This happens after you have swiped your card so ...
1
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2answers
34 views

Tax considerations for outsourcing freelance work to foreign country

I've seen this asked a few different ways (closest was here), but I am looking to find out from the business's perspective, how to report (if necessary) the amount paid to a foreign contractor. My ...
14
votes
11answers
4k views

Why is paying mortgage interest considered by some to be beneficial?

When discussing buying a home I often hear people say they like having a mortgage because they get the benefit of writing off the interest. Am I misunderstanding something? My simple thought is if ...
3
votes
2answers
592 views

Mandatory 401k contributions when a company's plan provider changes?

My company is changing 401K providers. I know I must rollover my funds from the original co. to the new 401K provider, but I did not want to contribute any additional monthly monies to the new plan. ...
2
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3answers
851 views

Can I negotiate a credit card settlement by stopping payments?

I have a considerable amount of CC debt spread over three CCs. As my home refinance is in the process, it looks like I will soon have the cash to pay them all off. However, I have been receiving ...
1
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1answer
25 views

US immigrant working for foreign company

I'm going to move to the US next year (legally) as a permanent resident and I would like to continue my current job (for an Italian company) as a software engineer. The company told me they can ...
3
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2answers
287 views

When shorting a stock, do you pay current market price or the best (lowest) available ask price?

A stock has a last sale price of 2.5 dollars on the NYSE. Say I am shorting 1000 shares of a stock, there's an ask price of 3 dollars for 500 shares. Theres an ask of 3.5 dollars for 250 shares, and ...
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0answers
24 views

Which Bank can help me cash a US treasury Check in India

ICICI bank refuses to entertain inspite of having a bank account, any other options. Any guidance is highly appreciated.
6
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5answers
289 views

Why is a US credit score based on credit utilization?

As a European citizen I am somewhat puzzled by how American credit scores work. The US is one of the few, possibly the only country where such a strong focus is put on the utilization history of ...
3
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1answer
126 views

Effects of past unemployment on mortgage refinance

I have gone through all the steps of a home refinance process, including an appraisal, and am waiting for a final decision. Just a few days ago, the loan officer processing my application asked me ...
0
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3answers
76 views

Allocating IRA money, clarification needed

I transferred my 401k to Vanguard IRA and allocated 70% of my money across: VIG (Dividend growth) VYM (High Dividend) VXUS (International) VTI (Total stock market) With market being ...
10
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4answers
1k views

Is it normal to have 28.5% of various income taxes deducted from my paycheck?

I just got out of college, still live with the parents (saving up money) been employed for a year in the industry, and got a not bad starting salary. First check I received was shocking, to see 28.5% ...
7
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3answers
2k views

What is the purpose of Social Security and Medicare deductions from my paycheck?

Sorry, this might be a basic question, but I'm having trouble understanding this, so would like to ask here. I've recently started a full-time position, and I notice that two things are being ...
4
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4answers
260 views

Should I get a bank account since I recently got my first job?

I'll be starting work this Friday (yay!) and haven't got the slightest clue about any of this. It'll be washing dishes at a restaurant, and I really don't know anything. Do I set up a bank account ...
1
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0answers
25 views

Can a Canadian student with US resident alien status receive the tax treaty benefit after 5 years? If so, how much?

I am a Canadian citizen who has studied in the U.S. with a J-1 visa since 5 years ago, which means that I have now become a resident alien. I am still studying (for an advanced degree) in the U.S. ...
0
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1answer
119 views

How to get money transferred from the United States to India?

My brother has a registered company in the USA and has a payment gateway. Now here in India I need to use his gateway for payment as I am into online technical services and have a registered company. ...
10
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3answers
30k views

If I leave my job, what happens to my flex spending account?

I am about to decide how much money to set aside for my 2013 Flexible Spending Account (FSA). (The max this year is $2500.) But I am wondering what happens if I switch employers during the year. Does ...
9
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3answers
2k views

Buying a more expensive house as a tax shelter (larger interest deduction)?

I've heard that some people buy a more expensive house as a tax shelter. In my simple mind I imaging the scenario: Pay 10,000 annual interest on the mortgage 50,000 annual income = 40,000 ...
3
votes
1answer
51 views

Foreign bequests and gifts

I am a U.S. resident and citizen. My British mother died earlier this year. In her will, she directly bequeathed me 10,000 pounds, and left the remainder to her sister. Said sister thought that was ...
4
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2answers
108 views

Variable universal life insurance vs traditional long-term investments

I have been considering different ways to generate some returns on my money, rather than just having it sit in a savings account at the bank. My understanding is that the obvious first step is to ...
1
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3answers
161 views

Should I avoid credit card use to improve our debt-to-income ratio?

We put all our expenses on a credit card and pay it off every month in order to get maximize our cash back. We never charge more than we have in the checking account, so we always pay it off. Should ...
0
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0answers
11 views

What is the cheapest way to get funds from the sale of stocks in a Morgan Stanley BenefitAccess account to India?

I hold ~ 200 MSFT shares and am planning to sell them... Last time I sold shares and opted for a wire transfer, I lost nearly 3% in fees and commissions (as compared to a naive conversion of No. Of ...
8
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3answers
168 views

Moving money between Roth IRA and employer's 401(k)

Back when I was self-employed, I started a Roth IRA and have regularly deposited in it since then. However, my current employer offers matching contributions to their 401(k) plan, and with the ...
1
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1answer
31 views

Applying additional student loan payments directly to principal while on a income-based repayment plan

My sister has a federal student loan with a total balance of about 60K and an interest rate of 6%. Her income isn't high so she's eligible for an income based repayment plan with a monthly payment of ...
0
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1answer
60 views

How to transfer money from the US to India without paying taxes?

During my tenure in US, I deposited money in Wells Fargo checking account. I had to move to India last year. Now I would like to close the Wells Fargo account and get money transferred to India. ...
2
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2answers
72 views

adjust tax allowances

I need to adjust my income tax allowances I'm classified as single and claim 0 allowances, this is the most debilitating outcome for near term cash flow and I've read I can claim 1 or 2, my dilemma ...
1
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1answer
81 views

Are Roth IRA withdrawals within the same year as contributions tax free?

A couple of months ago, in this calendar year, I contributed $1,500 to my Roth IRA. I didn't invest it, so it still is worth only $1,500. I now need $1000 back, and so started to fill out a ...
2
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2answers
129 views

Employer is making a student loan payment on my behalf. Does this need to be claimed as personal income?

As an incentive to employment my company is making a large lump sum payment towards my student loan debt, lets for this example say $5,000 (the real amount is different). They have inquired about my ...
5
votes
3answers
511 views

Settling house with husband during divorce. Which of these two options makes the most sense?

This is the scenario: Our house is worth about $250,000 (we think). We owe about $200,000, so we have $50,000 equity. We are divorcing amicably and both want a solution that is fair and makes sense. ...
3
votes
1answer
65 views

How can I transfer my money between US/Canada bank accounts with as little loss as possible?

I am currently living in Canada and have funds in a savings account with a Canadian bank. Say I decide to move back to the US, how could I move those funds to a US bank account with as little loss as ...
1
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0answers
38 views

401k strategy for NRI planning to return to india

Scenario is for L/H visa holder who is earning salary in USD. The person also has employee sponsored 401k plan. The visa expires in 5 years and person would like to return at that time to India ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

How to access a really old, untouched bank savings account?

I was just going through old things and found a Wachovia account opened for me by my aunt - specifically, I found the checkbook and transaction record. The transaction book is dated April xx, 1998 and ...
8
votes
1answer
227 views

Insurance for a house which is not homeowners insurance?

My wife and I moved last summer, and our former home is still on the market. We were recently informed by our homeowners insurance company that because the house is no longer owner occupied, they will ...
6
votes
1answer
471 views

PMI cancellation based on original mortgage amount

We bought a house in 2005, and since we did not put 20% down, we have been paying PMI. Since then, the value of our home (and neighborhood) has declined. Our principal balance is currently 77% of ...
1
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4answers
110 views

Will canceling one of my CapOne credit cards hurt my credit score?

I have 2 CapOne credit cards, they show up as 1 account with both their credit limits combined on my credit report. My question is; Could I cancel one of those cards and apply for a better rewards ...
2
votes
1answer
145 views

Which scenario is better for getting rid of mortgage insurance faster?

I'm closing on a house in a few days with an FHA loan that has a hefty mortgage insurance. As I understand it, once I reach 78% loan-to-value of the initial sales price or appraised value of the home ...
2
votes
1answer
33 views

Is there a standard or best practice way to handle money from an expiring UTMA account?

I have recently turned 21, and the UTMA account that held my college fund is being turned over to me. I have no serious experience with personal finance or investing, and I just don't know what to do ...
7
votes
2answers
399 views

I am under 18 years old, in the US, my parents have terrible credit, how can I take out a loan?

I am under 18, currently shopping for a car. Like many people, I don't have enough money sitting in my bank account to purchase a good car, around $6,000 to $10,000. However, credit checks have ...
1
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1answer
70 views

What does it mean to be a “high fee” or “low fee” 401k?

I keep hearing the phrases 'high fee', 'low fee' 401k. What fee range constitutes high or low fees?
7
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6answers
633 views

Paying over minimum monthly charge of credit cards

I have a $80 minimum on my credit bill. If I pay them $100, do the additional $20 go to the card's Principal or Interest? If it goes to Interest, do I have to explicitly state that those $20 go to ...
1
vote
2answers
61 views

For Non US resident is it better to invest in a start up as a individual or as a company?

What are the tax implications of investing as a company versus as an individual for foreigners (Non US resident)in the US? Which would be better for a foreigner (NON US Citizen) to invest as.
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Why have U.S. bank interest rates been so low for the past few years?

I have some savings accounts in different banks and they all give 1.00% interest or less, and in many cases it is something ridiculous like $0.05 Would anyone be able to explain why this is ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

Add > 5,500 (excess contribution) to Roth IRA for temporary investment?

I have an standard IRA through work and an additional Roth IRA. I split my contributions between the two accounts. I understand the max contributions to the accounts combined is 5,500 per year. A ...
1
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1answer
91 views

Early withdrawal from retirement appears to have been penalized at 35% (on top of regular income taxes), rather than 25%?

I had to withdraw from my Simple IRA retirement fund last year for emergency reasons. When I withdrew, the IRA company withheld 10% for federal taxes. When I did my taxes at the end of the year ...
1
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0answers
42 views

Where can one graph portfolio performance over time?

I'm used to my employer provided 401k website, which allows me to see a "personal rate of return" over a specified time period, plotted on a line chart. It also allows me to see individual stocks and ...
0
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1answer
18 views

SEC Form 144 and Form 4 difference

What is the difference between an SEC Form 144 (Proposed Sale) and an SEC Form 4? For example, this company has filed Form 144's, but not Form 4's. I understand that a Form 144 has more basic ...
5
votes
1answer
146 views

What does this 401K statement mean?

"Your employer will match up to 10% of your compensation that you elect as pre-tax contribution. When you contribute to your plan, your employer matches 50% of the first 10% of your pay." I don't get ...
2
votes
2answers
118 views

Verizon and I disagree about the duration of a contract. Do I have any recourse?

A little less than a year ago, I purchased an iPad with service from Verizon Wireless and getting what I was told was a one-year contract for $100 off of a device of just under $1000 of the price. ...
2
votes
1answer
151 views

What's the tax rate on Roth IRA contributions for a nonresident alien?

I am considering open a Roth IRA account and I was wondering how much I'll be taxed on my deposits. I am a nonresident alien for tax purposes, and I read online that I would be subject to a 30% rate. ...
1
vote
1answer
108 views

Buying property in India: paying loan/mortgage

I am on a H1B visa in USA and thinking about buying property in India. What is the best way to make payments from USA bank ac to pay loan/mortgage in India? Can I get tax relief for loan/mortgage ...