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Questions tagged [united-states]

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

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5
votes
1answer
2k views

First Time Home Buyer - How much down payment? Where to go for Mortgage?

I'm currently spending $15,000 a year in rent and gaining nothing in equity! This needs to change :). Looking to buy a place, I'm in the DC area so it'll be in the $500,000 price range. I have just ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it possible to use an FSA to pay for an individual health plan's premium?

I'm asking a follow-up to my other question... I'm currently enrolled in an FSA for my employer sponsored health plan. I'm considering leaving that health plan in favor of an individual (non-HSA) ...
1
vote
1answer
189 views

Can I skip Sales Tax Payable and just transfer directly to dedicated bank account?

I am trying to account for sales tax. I just totalled up a Quarter of sales tax and normally, I would create an entry like: Debit "Business Income Checking Account" (true checking account) Credit "...
5
votes
5answers
3k views

Moving back to India in a few years. Should I keep my savings account in the U.S. or in India?

My savings account in the U.S. says that it gives me an interest rate of 0.01% and it comes with a lot of restrictions (like limiting the number of transactions per month etc.), and checking account ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there a dollar amount that, when adding Massachusetts Sales Tax, precisely equals $200?

I am confused about calculating Massachusetts Sales Tax (6.25%). Is there such an amount, that when added to its sales tax, equals $200? The reason I ask is because my business has been charging $...
5
votes
2answers
570 views

In the US, will closing a bank account negatively affect your credit score?

In the US, will closing a bank account negatively affect your credit score? I've had it with my bank and I'm thinking of moving my money to a smaller Credit Union. Would this affect my credit score? ...
3
votes
1answer
150 views

Does COBRA eligibility depend on other health insurance options?

I left my job, and went on COBRA. I started a new job, but the health insurance offered at the new job is a worse value than the COBRA coverage. I'm still eligible for COBRA, right? They happily ...
2
votes
2answers
134 views

Accounts Receivable included in Gross Sales?

I am trying to determine my sales tax. In a given quarter, let's say I close a deal for $2000 and collect $500 as a deposit. Which number is considered in my "Gross Sales", the $2000 or the $500? ...
10
votes
3answers
345 views

Close to retirement & we may move within 7 years. Should we re-finance our mortgage, or not?

We want to refinance; currently at 6.75% on a 30-year fixed. We are unsure how long we will be in the house but assuming at this time we will want to move within 7 years. I am looking to retire in 3 ...
14
votes
6answers
5k views

How can I help others plan their finances, without being a “conventional” financial planner?

I've helped a few people in my family get their finances in order, just with very basic tips and with money-saving tips I've gleaned from personal experience. I think I've made a significant ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Lower rate with PMI or higher rate?

I'm currently in the process of looking for home to buy, and one of the options is one costing 460K, which I plan to pay with 15% down and the rest (391K) financed. Since it's less than 20% down, the ...
4
votes
2answers
121 views

Should I refinance my mortgage now if I'm planning on taking another one soon?

I'm considering refinancing my current mortgage, which would probably lower my payments by ~$100/month. However, I'm also planning on buying a second house in the next few months, which means I'll be ...
11
votes
5answers
9k views

Tax consequences of a foreign bank account for a US/Canadian citizen

My wife is a Canadian citizen, I am a US citizen. We live in the US, but make frequent trips to Toronto. The problem we face each time we cross the border into Canada is that we have to change our ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Job transfer with a house I can't sell. How should I handle it?

We have a house with a 180k 1st mortgage (Huntington) and 55k 2nd mortgage (PNC). Each is from a different company. The house just appraised at 190k. I'm being transferred by my employer from ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

If the former owner of my home is still using the address, can it harm me?

My wife bought a condo in foreclosure a couple of years ago. We both live here and most weeks I get a couple of pieces of mail for the previous owners; who apparently ran a business here. Most of the ...
7
votes
3answers
733 views

Is it possible to deduct health insurance premiums from taxes?

I currently have health insurance provided by my employer. My monthly premiums are deducted pre-tax from my salary. I'm considering canceling this health coverage in favor of an individual health ...
10
votes
3answers
5k views

Why do lenders do a hard pull when they can do a soft pull instead or are these different reports?

After I was done with my month long credit card applications to establish a credit history, I read and discussed more on how to build a good credit history. During my conversations, I spoke with a ...
2
votes
1answer
881 views

Paying off all your credit cards but one before statement generation date : helpful?

Some people advocate paying off all your credit cards but one before statement generation date, and maintain a utilization of no more than 9% on that card Here is my understanding and information I ...
5
votes
1answer
5k views

Can I convert my 529 college savings plan to a Coverdell ESA?

Can I convert my 529 college savings plan to a Coverdell ESA, or am I stuck with my 529 plan?
3
votes
1answer
198 views

Should you spread credit utilization across multiple cards to improve FICO score?

Just wondering whether I should apply for a credit limit increase, or a new card that I'll never use. I have one card with good rewards that I use regularly, always pay in full and only spend what I ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Best to roll over a 401(k) into a Roth IRA or traditional IRA?

I am rolling a 401(k) from a former employer to an IRA or Roth. I am trying to figure out the tax consequences of doing so. My understanding is, is that my contributions to the 401(k) were not taxed ...
5
votes
3answers
488 views

How are mortgage interest rates determined?

I know it's somewhat controlled by what the Fed sets interest rates at. I'm not clear on what exactly this interest rate is. Also I have heard that mortgage interest rates track Treasury Bonds. ...
10
votes
3answers
7k views

How do day-traders or frequent traders handle their taxes?

I have been making significantly more frequent trades from my brokerage account, and it just occurred to me that this would create a lot of work during tax time. Usually, one has to enter each stock ...
6
votes
5answers
7k views

Joint bank account - is this normal?

I've recently opened a joint bank account with my fiancee. And yet, everything seems to be in his name, with me tacked on as an afterthought. Is this the normal way of doing things? If I were to move ...
2
votes
2answers
468 views

How do I recharacterize Traditional IRA contribution to Roth that was converted to Roth?

What forms do I fill out for my broker to recharacterize my 2010 Traditional IRA contribution that was in my traditional IRA that I completely converted to a Roth IRA in 2010 right after the above ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

401(k) contribution limits & job change: How to prevent over-contributing at new employer?

My wife is changing jobs, and we are trying to figure out how to deal with her 401(k) contributions. She contributes the maximum allowed, and depends on her employer to stop deducting when the limit ...
2
votes
2answers
501 views

Health insurance lapsed due to employer fraud. How to get medications while in transition?

Recently my health insurance was cut off due to my parent's employer pulling some bookkeeping trick for the past few months where we were being given health insurance but it was off the books - ...
6
votes
1answer
299 views

IRS overpayment interest - Is it interest on what I pay in taxes?

I have seen that the IRS pays overpayment interest rates that seem to range from 3-8%. When I see these rates are they related to what I pay in taxes? I.e. if I vastly overpay my taxes does this mean ...
1
vote
3answers
657 views

Best strategy for paying off my multiple student loans?

I have a massive amount of student loans (master's degree overseas, basically traded the extra money for about 2-3 years of my life due to differing lengths of education). Now that I have a job and ...
2
votes
2answers
124 views

What are the benefits and costs to reducing your AGI?

I was investigating Income Based Repayment the other day, and eligibility depends on AGI. I've been making Roth contributions in the past, but hadn't considered that AGI might gatekeep government and ...
7
votes
3answers
37k views

Can my significant other deposit a check made out to me?

We share a bank account; if the check is made out to me personally, can I have my other half run it to the ATM while I'm at work? Also, is it legal to do so?
5
votes
3answers
214 views

IRA contributions in a bear (bad) market: Should I build up cash savings instead?

I have a retirement account (not a 401k with a match, just an individual retirement account) and over the last few years have gotten statement after statement of losses on the value of my retirement ...
9
votes
3answers
685 views

Am I “cheating the system” by opening up a tiny account with a credit union and then immediately applying for a huge loan?

I've always wondered why credit unions require you to open a membership account before they'll approve a loan. Whenever I think about it, it feels like going to a credit union just for a loan is ...
3
votes
1answer
218 views

Does the current Dodd Frank Act ban speculation in OTC swaps?

Does the current version of Dodd Frank ban speculative positions in non-exchange cleared (OTC) swaps? It does not refer to any specific type of swap. But my current understanding of the bill is that ...
10
votes
1answer
8k views

Is it possible to transfer stock I already own into my Roth IRA without having to sell the stock?

My cash is already in the stock. Can I just transfer the stock to my Roth IRA?
1
vote
2answers
539 views

Can I claim property tax & interest deduction if I pay the mortgage on my mother-in-law's house?

I currently pay mortgage (taxes, interest) on my mother-in-law's house. The house is under her name but we live in it. Can I use the interest and taxes as deductions?
5
votes
2answers
191 views

Can I convert my traditional IRA to a Roth IRA in 2011?

Going forward, I'm putting all my retirement savings that goes above my employer 401(k) match into a Roth IRA. I have a traditional IRA that I opened many years ago and has sat untouched for quite a ...
2
votes
1answer
806 views

What percentage is fair to expect my contractor will keep when I'm force to become a SUB-contractor?

I’m a full time employee SAP Consultant and thanks to this new recession my employer gave me 2 options: leave the company or become a SUB-Contractor, I don’t know anything related to SUB-Cons, so ...
3
votes
4answers
6k views

Best bank without incoming wire transfer fees, for receiving money regularly? [duplicate]

I'm going to be receiving monthly wire transfers, and I found out that my bank (US Bank) charges $20 for each one. Are there any good banks that don't charge for incoming wire transfers?
9
votes
3answers
7k views

How to get a down payment for your next home? Use current home as the down payment on the new one?

I bought my first home last year; it's my primary (and only) residence. I intend to pay off the mortgage in 5 or 10 years, then sell the house and buy a bigger one. The new one would cost 2 to 3 times ...
2
votes
2answers
256 views

What's behind the long secular bull market in U.S. Treasuries?

Long-term treasury yields have been going down fairly continuously since the mid 1980s. Right now, the 30-year yield is under 3%, meaning that it is likely to barely keep up with inflation if held to ...
5
votes
1answer
14k views

Is Chase alone in restricting how much I can wire transfer, or do other banks also limit like this?

My Chase account requires that the amount I wire (either international or domestic) should have been in my account for at least 10 days. Is this a requirement for all the banks or only for Chase? Why ...
3
votes
1answer
522 views

Better ask for secured credit card rightaway or risk asking for an unsecured credit card first, the secured credit card later if it does'nt work out?

I had applied to DCU for a share-secured credit card, over the phone, but today I came to know they lost my application! The application number they gave me does not turn up anything and when they ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Can mortgage insurance replace PMI?

I recently bought my first house, and admittedly have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to home financing. I did not put down 20% so I have to have PMI until I pay off the principal up to 20%. ...
2
votes
3answers
139 views

Tax Benefits for 529 Plan and Treasury Savings Bonds?

So here is my question (for tax year 2011): If I open and fund 529 College Savings Plan, do I get federal and state (Utah) tax deduction for my contributions? If I get a Treasury Savings Bond (Series ...
4
votes
2answers
928 views

I am moving to a new city. How do I plan and prepare - financially - for the move?

I am planning to move to either Maryland, near D.C., or Boston at the end of the school year for work. I have salary quotes for both jobs already, so I can plan around a specific income number and how ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

F-1 alien on OPT in the US transitioning into H1-B; do I have a road to credit?

I came to the United States on an F-1 Student Visa, and despite trying here and there, I haven't been approved for any credit in America. I have a fairly sizeable amount of credit under my name (and ...
3
votes
4answers
258 views

How does a non-uniform utilization across your credit cards affect you?

I have three secured cards with me, one of which gives me rewards for gas and another for online purchases. The third one is a Mastercard - I use that only where my VISA cards do not get accepted. ...
1
vote
0answers
193 views

Switching Jobs - What should I do with 401k? Roll to IRA? Transfer to new 401k? Leave it? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Started new job. Rollover previous employer 401k to new 401k, IRA or Roth IRA? I'm leaving my current employer next week and have about $10k in a 401k plan. What is best to do ...
6
votes
1answer
539 views

Wash sale rule + Mutual Funds/ETFs?

According to IRS rules, you can't sell a security, take a capital loss on your taxes, and then buy back the same or a "substantially identical" security within 30 days. However, "substantially ...