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Cover the Basics to Ensure a Good Tax Return

Yes, it’s that time of year again! For some of you, tax season is a good thing and for others, it’s one you dread. Filing your 2012 tax return can leave a lot of unanswered questions, leaving you fearful of an audit. But whether you’re filing personal or for your business, there are a few basics to keep in mind:

–        Don’t Be Tardy: By filing and paying your taxes on time, you will avoid late fees and be at less chance of getting audited. Tardiness is a red flag to the government.

–        Too Much Return Could Be A Bad Thing: If you receive a big refund each year, you’re having too much money withheld from your paycheck. This is similar to giving the government an interest-free loan.

–        Determine Your Tax Bracket: Your tax bracket is the percent at which the highest portion of your income is taxed. By knowing this, you can save money, investing in things that ensure a high return.

–        Understand Tax Documents And Their Purpose:

  • W-2 Forms- reports how much money you made at your job and how much tax you paid for the year.
  • 1099-G- reports unemployment compensation or state tax refunds.
  • 1099-R- reports retirement-plan income.
  • 1099-MISC- reports income if you’re an independent contractor, collected rent, or received royalties.
  • Other 1099s, such as the 1099-B, 1099-DIV, and 1099-INT- report income from financial transactions.

With over 40 years of experience in the insurance and financial services business, we can teach you methods that may help minimize taxes now and in the future. Please contact me at dmcmurryiic@msn.com for more information or visit my website: http://www.integratedinsuranceconcepts.com/index.html.

By Doug McMurry, Owner of Integrated Insurance Concepts in Arizona

Maximize Your Social Security: Will Not Getting a Paycheck Reduce Social Security Benefits?

Whether you’re on the verge of retirement or starting young at your first job, questions about how to maximize your social security benefits may be on your mind.

There was a great question posted on AARP that highlights a few key factors of getting the most from your social security. A 50 year old is retired after 35 years of work and planning to begin social security retirement benefits at the age of 67, but wonders if not getting a paycheck for over 17 years will reduce his benefits.

Not working for those 17 years won’t hurt what he has already made, but it’s important to remember one key point: Higher earners generally get more in benefits than lower earners. This means that if 17 years of work could increase the average indexed monthly earnings, then he’ll be sitting better by the time he’s 67 years old and collecting social security.

As with any financial decision, the choice is personal. But it’s also your choice to figure out how much you could be missing out on. If you need help running this type of calculation, please feel free to contact me at dmcmurryiic@msn.com for more information.

Have another question about maximizing your social security? Please share by commenting below.

By Doug McMurry, Owner of Integrated Insurance Concepts in Arizona

How to Manage Your Healthcare in 2013

With the recent passing of the Health Reform Law, many people are wondering how their healthcare is going to change in 2013. There are two main changes for you to take note, but most of the big changes are being ironed out and will be in effect in 2014. The 2013 changes include,

  • There is now a cap set for flexible spending accounts at $2,500.
  • All health plans are required to use standard forms to explain costs so you can compare health plans easier and with no bias.

As I mentioned before, significant changes don’t take effect until 2014 and a lot of work is currently going on at the state and federal levels. Small businesses can then purchase their own health plans next year. In 2013, you’ll see the same trends as previous years, such as employees bearing the majority of their healthcare costs at an average of $1,100 per month.

Are you managing your healthcare and finances to ensure you receive the money that’s owed to you? If you doubt it and need an expert’s advice, please feel free to contact us at Integrated Insurance Concepts. We can make sure you stay financially free in 2013, from healthcare to taxes. Contact me at dmcmurryiic@msn.com for more information.

By Doug McMurry, Owner of Integrated Insurance Concepts in Arizona