Monthly Archives: February 2013

Appeal for common sense in paid-prep ruling

Tax Prep BewareOpponents of regulations for commercial tax preparers like to argue that they’re sticking-up for the proverbial little guy – the individual taxpayer, not to mention the small businessman or -woman. Establishing rules for paid preparers only creates burdens for small businesses, they say. And they add that those burdens carry costs that are, in turn, passed-along to customers.

But these arguments actually turn the truth on its head. Protecting individual taxpayers from unscrupulous or incompetent tax preparers demands some fundamental, common-sense standards. It’s not too much to ask that commercial preparers obtain basic training, pass competency exams, and seek continuing education to stay current on ever-changing tax laws. Yet these are exactly the rules that a U.S. District Court judge overturned last month in a ruling the IRS formally appealed last week. Read the rest of this entry

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“College Scorecard” Helps Students Compare Higher-Ed Costs

College MoneyBuilding upon last year’s release of the “Financial Aid Shopping Sheet,” the U.S. Department of Education, working with the White House, has created a “College Scorecard” online tool. This is designed to help students and their families better understand and compare the costs of attendance at institutions of higher education. Read the rest of this entry

Opportunity to Join America Saves Week and Promote the Importance of Saving

america savesAmerica Saves Week, February 25 – March 2, 2013, is an annual opportunity for organizations to promote good savings behavior and a chance for individuals to assess their own saving status. Each February, thousands of Non-Profits and Government organizations reach out and develop new partnerships to encourage people to save automatically, encourage people to save at tax time, and make sure their employees have savings accounts and are saving and investing effectively with the retirement and savings plans they offer. Read the rest of this entry

Sequester: Sounds like ‘disaster’

axeFill Chicago’s Soldier Field stadium with people. Or perhaps fill New York’s Madison Square Garden to capacity, do it again, and then a third time.

Either way, you’ll get a total of about 60,000 people. That’s a very rough idea of the number of tax filers who could be affected by cutting more than 5 percent from the federal grant supporting Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), the kind of dangerous cut envisioned by the beginning of the “sequestration” process in Washington, D.C. Read the rest of this entry