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Questions tagged [united-states]

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

4
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3answers
397 views

Homeowner's association funding a project in a condo: Bank wants an individual guarantor. What to do?

From time to time my HOA (homeowner's association) needs extra money for a project (eg painting fences, fixing roofs, plumbing repair, etc). They typically respond by raising the monthly HOA dues for ...
1
vote
1answer
89 views

Rules for FHA loan availability

I'm trying to find the laws on what makes a condo complex available for FHA loans. I hear it has something to do with the amount of money on reserve and the owner/occupancy ratio. Does anyone know ...
6
votes
1answer
382 views

Can I deduct equipment that I'm required to purchase by my employer?

If my employer requires that I own a laptop and other computer equipment, but does not provide them, am I able to deduct the expense of purchasing the equipment? I know that I definitely would deduct ...
3
votes
3answers
370 views

How do I use investments to lower my taxes [US]?

I'm not sure how this works. Do you just report on your taxes which investments you contributed to during that year, and then get a deduction? I want to pay less taxes, and put my income in some ...
4
votes
1answer
142 views

What do new Overdraft rules for U.S. banks mean for transactions, when they go into effect July 1, 2010?

The rules will affect ATM withdrawals and debit card transactions, and are meant to protect consumers with an opt-in option. What does this mean?
4
votes
1answer
315 views

Where can I find a list of common US income tax deductions?

Where can I find a list of common tax deductions in the US? I'd like to know so I can keep more receipts and pay less tax.
10
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3answers
2k views

How to determine new, lower interest payments after a lump sum mortgage payment, i.e. new amortization schedule?

Here's a financial math problem: I have a mortgage at about $78,0000 with 5.5% interest and 56 of 360 monthly payments were made. I'm currently paying about $360/month in interest charges. If I pay ...
9
votes
2answers
8k views

TurboTax is telling me to open an IRA now, and get a $5K deduction this year, is this a smart thing to do?

I'm 21 years old, and 2009's total itemized deduction for me is $1,908. I'm going with the standard deduction, but next year seems like it has a lot of potential to save if I open up this IRA that ...
14
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1answer
558 views

If I were to get audited, what would I need?

I've been an independent contractor for about 2 months now. I'm saving receipts for all my business-related expenses, and I use Mint.com to track all my personal finances -- Everything business ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

Travelled to New York State & bought something. Can I get sales tax refund back?

I drove to Buffalo, NY over the weekend with some friends, and I bought myself a shiny new Apple iPad. I had to pay New York State sales tax at the Apple Store, as well as declare my iPad purchase at ...
13
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1answer
2k views

Difference between Health Savings Account (HSA) & Flexible Spending Account (FSA)?

What is the practical difference between a Health Savings Account and a Flexible Spending Account? What are the pro's and con's of each, and are there situations where either is best?
7
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1answer
9k views

My daughter got married last year in late August, can I still claim her part year?

If my 21-yr-old daughter lived at home (and I provided more than half of her support) until her wedding in late August of last year, can't I still claim her as a dependent of some sort?
8
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2answers
484 views

Married during the tax year, how does that work

I got married this last year in December. I had done my taxes as if I was not married and had no dependents, which was correct in January. My wife currently does not have a job. Should this effect ...
1
vote
1answer
138 views

Are there any special rules for charging sales tax in US Territories such as Puerto Rico?

Are there any special rules for charging sales tax in US Territories such as Puerto Rico?
6
votes
2answers
814 views

What can I deduct while assisting in caring for elderly relatives that do not live with me?

I provide all transportation to medical appointments, do their shopping, drive them to church, do their foot care, provide some meals -weekly, assist with ecercising, house cleaning. I do not want ...
7
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1answer
223 views

Do Americans still need extra health care / medical insurance after reform to health care? [U.S.]

Does the passage of the recent bill in the US change the way Americans budget for health care? If so who benefits?
6
votes
5answers
1k views

Is it true that Income Tax was created to finance troops for World War I?

I remember hearing that income tax was specifically created to finance the war effort during World War I. Is this true? If so was it originally intended to be a temporary measure?
8
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the best option for an occasional driver in the USA?

I never had a car before, but I'm starting to feel the need of having one. Fortunately, I can bike to work, and would only use the car on weekends (and very occasionally on weekdays). Additionally, I'...
21
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2answers
8k views

Need advice recovering money lost due to debit card fraud! Bank wont help!

I was recently the victim of credit card fraud. My number and some of my info was compromised and subsequently used to run up about $500 worth of online charges within a week's time. This was on my ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

I just moved to the United States. What should I do to develop a good credit rating, fast?

I just moved to the US for working purposes, and found out that for a lot of stuff you buy, you need to have a good credit rating (or pay more, or make a security deposit, etc). I found out also that ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

An ecommerce retailer forgot to charge my credit card, & I received the package. Legally speaking, must I inform them they didn't charge me?

I recently made a large purchase from an online retailer's outlet store. The online store was having performance problems the day I ordered, but it is large trusted company so I placed the order ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

How do I get a US credit or debit card if I reside outside the US?

I am from Hungary and I would like to purchase sometimes from US web services like iTunes and so on. They require US cards and billing address. Is it possible to have one without traveling to the US? ...
18
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6answers
7k views

In what state should I register my web-based LLC?

DISCLAIMER: I understand that as a US corporation, you're required to pay taxes in whatever state you A) do business in, b) pay employees in, and c) have property in. I understand that registering in ...
12
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5answers
2k views

What should I do with the stock from my Employee Stock Purchase Plan?

I've got an employee stock purchase plan program. The details are a little tricksy, but I basically get to buy about 2500 shares of company stock at something like $2.33/share... and the stock has ...
18
votes
3answers
700 views

Is there any way to know how much new money the US is printing?

There is a lot of talk about the Fed printing money. Is there any way to know how much new money is being printed and when?
6
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1answer
135 views

What investment strategy would you deduce from the latest article from Charles Munger?

One of the most interesting article I read in the last months was from Charles Munger (vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway). Here is a link: http://www.slate.com/id/2245328/pagenum/all/ I would be ...
5
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3answers
761 views

Is there any site to compare the security of (online) banking services?

I work in the computer industry, and I know a few things about security, like the fact that those "security questions" that you're asked for are pretty much completely bogus and not useful as security....
7
votes
1answer
186 views

Is there any site you can find out about the 'bonus features' of credit cards?

I'm doing fairly well financially, and pay my credit cards off monthly, so to me they are less useful for financing and more useful as a matter of convenience. As such, I'd like to know more about the ...
2
votes
1answer
157 views

What are good strategies to maximize cross border shopping benefits? [Canada]

Depending the length of one's visit to the US from Canada there are different limits and different exemptions. This also assumes that the price discount is worth it. What strategies have people ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

What are the benefits and downsides to an LLC vs. Sole Proprietorship vs. Individiual?

As a followup to my previous question, what benefits are there for an LLC vs. a Sole Proprietorship? What are advantages and disadvantages to both and also vs. just being paid as a person?
8
votes
2answers
16k views

How do you calculate pretax deduction savings?

I am trying to determine how much money I will save by participating in the TransitChek program. The way the program works is I can set aside a certain amount of money from my pay check before taxes ...
3
votes
3answers
156 views

For what dates are the NYSE and U.S. stock exchanges typically closed?

I just noticed the NYSE is closed today for the President's Day (Washington's Birthday) holiday. Is there a comprehensive list of all dates the NYSE would be typically closed for? Would the dates be ...
4
votes
3answers
625 views

Is there a legal deadline for when your bank/brokerage has to send your tax forms to you?

It is mid February and I still haven't received my 1099-div forms from my stock broker. Should I be concerned yet? Is there any regulatory requirement for them to send tax forms out to account holders ...
5
votes
2answers
925 views

Where can I get a list of ticker symbols that have stock options?

I would like to examine the option chains of almost every stock that has options. Is there some sort of stock screener or application that can give me a list of the ticker symbols that have options?
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Bank of the Sierra: Are they legit? How can the checking interest APY be so high?

As of February 8th, 2009, Bank Of The Sierra offers a free checking account which earns a 4.09% APY. It looks like the catch is that you pretty much have to use them as your main bank. You need to ...
12
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2answers
1k views

Can you have a Roth IRA and a traditional IRA? What about two separate IRA accounts of the same type?

I'm interested in starting a new brokerage account somewhere. I would like to "test the waters" before transferring my entire IRA to them. Is there any law against having a completely separate IRA ...
14
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4answers
3k views

Offered a job: Should I go as consultant / independent contractor, or employee?

Two partners started a business, and it's grown pretty big (comparatively). Now they've asked me to be the CTO, and I've determined it's a good position for me to take. I'll be getting 90% of my ...
9
votes
3answers
452 views

Stability of a Broker: What if your broker goes bankrupt? Could you lose equity in your account?

What exactly happens if a broker runs out of funds? Could you actually lose equity in your account? If so, what should you be examining when looking at the financial report of your broker?
7
votes
1answer
227 views

When an in-the-money stock option expires does the broker always execute it or does its value become worthless if the owner doesn't execute it?

When an in-the-money stock option expires does the broker always execute it or does its value become worthless if the owner doesn't execute it?
6
votes
1answer
54 views

Fee structure when Opening Two Accounts with One Broker

I have a traditional IRA account that I want to move to a Interactive Brokers. I would also like to invest some non-IRA money with that same broker. However, there's a minimum balance and minimum ...
6
votes
2answers
186 views

How do I find a tax advisor or “tax man”?

Since I graduated college a few years ago, I've been giving a lot of thought to getting a "tax man" instead of doing taxes myself through TaxCut or TaxAct.com. I'm not so much interested in having ...
9
votes
2answers
482 views

Are defined benefit (DB) pension plans guaranteed in the U.S.? What happens if the sponsor company goes bankrupt?

Are defined benefit (DB) pension plans guaranteed in the U.S.? What happens to a DB pension plan and plan benefits if the sponsor company goes bankrupt? Where can somebody find more information on ...
11
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2answers
28k views

US Bank placing a hold on funds from my paycheck deposit: Why does that make sense?

I've just received my first paycheck in four months (yay!). In the meantime, my bank account went about $150 negative. That's one of the reasons I deposited my paycheck into that bank account - I ...
27
votes
5answers
2k views

Are credit card rewards taxable?

There have been several questions about reward point/loyalty programs offered by credit cards Best Travel Point Credit Cards Best Reward Benefit Credit Cards Easy Comparison of Reward Benefit Cards ...
29
votes
4answers
3k views

Started new job. Rollover previous employer 401k to new 401k, IRA or Roth IRA?

I recently started a new job and have a 401k from my previous employer that I don't know what to do with. Should I roll it into my new employer's 401k, a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA?
9
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3answers
1k views

Which bank (checking & savings) offers the best interest rates, lowest fees, and is FDIC insured?

We currently use ING for our banking and like a lot of its amenities, but their rates (as most banks, I'm sure) keep going down, down, down. The current savings rate is 1.25% APY and checking rate is ...
28
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4answers
6k views

When should I start an LLC for my side work?

I am doing quite a bit of sidework this year and wondering at what point would it be a good idea to "start a business" and bill through that.
10
votes
1answer
119 views

Looking for RSS feed of Certificate of Deposit rates [closed]

One of the things I like to do is have Certificates of Deposits (CD). I was able to get a 1% rate at US bank some time ago with a 1-month rollover. However, CD rates are constantly shifting, meaning ...
10
votes
2answers
484 views

What is Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) and how does AMT get calculated? [U.S.]

What is Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) in the U.S.? How does Alternative Minimum Tax get calculated? What conditions are likely to trigger an AMT assessment versus a regular tax assessment? Are ...
10
votes
4answers
637 views

When will Canada convert to the U.S. Dollar as an official currency?

(note I really don't want this to sound argumentative, I'm genuinely interested. The title is simply a follow up to this question and my answer. To the Canadian users of this site, would you agree ...