Financial News

Tax & Financial News of The Week

Happy Friday! Although the weather is a little gloomy in San Diego, our mood is sunny and bright here at Common Form HQ! Why? Business is booming, the Super Bowl is this weekend, and besides, we need the rain. Plus, Monday (2/2/15) is the deadline for employers to mail your W-2. It may take a few days in transit, but soon most Americans will have their most important tax document in their hands and be able to file their taxes and get their refund.  

As usual, here's a quick run down of the financial and tax news that caught my eye this week. Feel free to shoot us any tax stories that interested you to contact@common-form.com.

 

IRS Releases Preliminary Data for Individual Returns from 2013 Tax Season. On Wednesday 1/28/15, IRS released preliminary data for individual returns filed during the 2013 Tax Season. Total returns filed were up 1.9% from 2012 to 147.7M total. 23.4M 1040EZ tax returns were filed in 2013, up 1.5% from 2012.

 

Techstars Closes $150 Million Fund for Early-Stage Investments. Techstars closed a $150 million early-stage fund, a much larger pool of money than it previously had, that will enable the firm to capitalize on the global network of startup founders and advisers it has built out in recent years.

 

Bench Bookkeeping Service Cooks Up $7 Million Series A. Staying in the Techstars family, Bench, the company that matches bookkeepers with businesses, closed a $7 million Series A round. The financing was led by Altos Ventures with participation from Contour Venture Partners.

 

Intuit Cries Uncle, Will Reverse TurboTax Deluxe Changes. Intuit cried Uncle. It announced on Thursday 1/29/15, that it will provide users of its TurboTax Deluxe desktop product free upgrades this year and will next year reverse changes it made that limited the usefulness of the 2014 version.

 

And finally, to send you into the Super Bowl with some light hearted news, checkout this infographic we made on the financial impact of the Super Bowl.

 

Enjoy the Big Game!

Bill

 

Tax & Financial News of The Week

Happy Friday! It's been a great week here at Common Form HQ. The weather in San Diego is beautiful, the birds are chirping, and W-2s are starting to be mailed out. It's a great time to be a tax software company! :-)  

Here's a quick summary of the tax and financial news that caught my eye this week.

 

IRS Began Processing Tax Returns on January 20. IRS e-file began processing tax returns on schedule on Tuesday January 20. 2015, marking what many consider the official opening of tax season. IRS also began processing paper returns. If you submitted your return with tax software before 1/20, it will submitted to IRS on a first in, first out basis.

 

Phishing Remains on the IRS “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams for 2015. The Internal Revenue Service today warned taxpayers to watch out for fake emails or websites looking to steal personal information. These phishing schemes continue to be on the annual IRS list of “Dirty Dozen” tax scams for the 2015 filing season.

 

Common Form Partners with Tax Act. On 1/21/15, We announced a partnership with TaxAct, enabling Common Form customers with complex finances an easy way to file their taxes online. We are very excited about this partnership and our newfound ability to service all individual tax filers, regardless of tax complexity.

 

Have a great weekend!

Bill

 

Tax & Financial News of The Week

Happy Friday! Things are very busy here at Common Form headquarters as we get ready for a busy tax season. W-2s will start being mailed out very soon and many employers make electronic copies available from the same website you view your paycheck stubs. IRS begins processing returns on Tuesday January 20, 2015. The next 13.5 weeks are going to be crazy. Hold on tight! Here's a quick run down of the tax and financial articles that caught my eye this week. Feedback is welcomed!

 

Common Form invited to 2015 SXSW Accelerator.  Quoting the article "More than five hundred companies submitted their web-based products to the seventh annual SXSW Accelerator presented by Oracle. Competition was tough and we're extremely grateful for all of the great submissions we received this year. Congratulations to the Interactive finalists who will be showcasing their products on Saturday, March 14 and Sunday, March 15 at the Hilton Downtown Austin."

 

IRS Free File Launched Today.  The Internal Revenue Service and the Free File Alliance today announced the launch of Free File, which makes brand-name tax software products and electronic filing available to some taxpayers for free

 

A Student’s Guide To Filing Taxes.  Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach, and I provide a guide to filing taxes for college students. It covers the deductions and credits that students maybe eligible for as well as college savings plans and student loans.

 

Have a great weekend!

Bill

 

Tax & Financial News of The Week

Happy New Year!  This is a week too late, but I decided to take last week off from writing this update.  Hopefully, you missed it!  Tax season is ramping up quickly, W-2s will be getting mailed out shortly and we're prepared for a busy year here at Common Form.  Since we're focusing on preparing taxes, I'll do a little less writing about them this week.  I'll just highlight three things that caught my attention recently:IRS announces launch date of e-File. On December 29, the Internal Revenue Service announced it anticipates opening the 2015 filing season as scheduled in January. The IRS will begin accepting tax returns electronically on January 20, 2015. You can file your taxes now with almost all tax software providers, including Common Form, and they will be stockpiled until IRS opens. 5 Takeaways from the December Jobs Report (WSJ).  The U.S. labor markets ended 2014 on a strong note as the top-line December numbers in job growth and unemployment rate beat expectations.  Underneath the surface, however, are signs that slack still exists in the labor markets. This Wall Street Journal article describes five key takeaways from the December jobs report, good and bad. Hidden TurboTax charges have users screaming (CBS News).  TurboTax users are fuming in online reviews that the popular software has added a series of charges to use certain tax forms. And on Tuesday a consumer advocate amplified the complaints by slamming the company for not being more upfront about the new charges.

Tax & Financial News of The Week

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and an early Happy New Year! I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season with family and friends and is getting some rest and relaxation in. I'm going to grab some R&R myself, so I will keep this week's edition brief. Without further ado, here's the weekly summary of financial stores and issues that matter to me.

 

A Christmas Day Look At Santa's Tax Bill. In this fun and light-hearted article, Kelly Phillips Erb (@taxgirl, writer for @Forbes) uses Santa to explain tax concepts like residency, charitable donations, and payroll taxes.

 

20 things you should do with your money before 2015. The new year is right around the corner, and right now, many people are thinking about their 2015 resolutions. You might even include a few money resolutions on your list. But you don’t have to wait until January 1 to get your personal finances on track; there are plenty of smart things to do with your money before the end of the year.

 

How Affordable Care Act Rules Affect Your Taxes. This is the first time taxpayers will have to report their health care status on their tax returns. The vast majority of taxpayers will simply have to check a box stating they were insured. But some uninsured people will be required to pay a penalty, while others will be exempt because of a hardship or some other reason.

 

Happy Holidays!

Bill

Tax & Financial News of The Week

Happy Friday! As a former boss used to say, "only two more days in the work week. Just kidding. Sort of."  It's been a crazy week in the news. Apparently North Korea now controls what movies we can watch. I'm glad I still have Team America on plastic (DVD), I think I'll throw it on this weekend. I'm sure I won't be the only one!  

There's a lot of financial news, too. Here's my weekly summary of financial stores and issues that matter to me.  Enjoy!

 

Forbes.com - 7 Tax Saving Steps to Take by End of Year. The Financial Finesse team shares seven great tips to do before the end of the year to maximize your refund in 2015.

 

Wall Street Journal - Picking Your Workplace Battles. We were flattered to be quoted in this great article by Sue Shellenbarger. Sue explores how to pick your battles and how to most effectively resolve workplace conflict when it inevitably happens.

 

Yahoo Finance - Congress Passes Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014. Also know as "the extenders," the Act extends a host of previously expired tax breaks for individuals and businesses through year-end, and also provides for the establishment of a new type of tax-advantaged savings program to help in meeting the financial needs of disabled individuals.

 

Forbes.com - 20 Really Stupid Things In The U.S. Tax Code. Robert Wood's candid and humorous take on some of the absurdities of the U.S. tax code.

 

MarketWatch - U.S. stock gains led by energy, materials.  The last couple of weeks have been very volatile for U.S.stock markets.  Last week was the worst for the DJIA since November 2011, but the markets rallied back this week.

 

Common Form Announces Scholarship for Finance or Accounting Students. Common Form is thrilled to announce that we’re offering a scholarship to one of the top finance or accounting students in the country! We’re excited to give back in this small way, and of course as a tax software company we have a vested interested in helping future finance professionals maximize their potential and join this extremely important industry.

 

Happy Holidays!

Bill

...

Tax & Financial News of The Week

Hello and welcome to the first of a series of weekly posts summarizing the most interesting tax and financial news of the week.  I'll focus on issues that matter to me and stories that pertain to taxes, personal finance, and the economy.  

Wall Street Journal - U.S. Wealth Is Near a Record, Yet Racial Gap Has Widened Since Recession.  Despite a strong economy driven by the stock market, the gap in median wealth between white households and black households has increased significantly since 2010.

 

CNN Money - Congress moves one step closer to allowing pension cuts.  Over a million retired and current truck drivers, construction workers and other union workers could see their pension benefits cut if the Senate passes a controversial proposal.

 

Bloomberg Graphic Report - America Is Shaking Off Its Addiction to Oil.  This great visual report shows our oil production, oil consumption, gas prices and more over time and highlights trends indicating we maybe finally breaking our addition to oil.

 

TechCrunch - Lending Club IPOs for $5.4 Billion.  Lending Club, a peer to peer lending platform, made it's initial public offering on Thursday December 11.  It is the largest IPO for a US tech company this year and shows how much upside there is for FinTech investors and entrepreneurs.

 

Forbes - IRS Announces 2015 Standard Mileage Rates.  On December 10, IRS announced the standard mileage rate for federal income taxes.  These rates determine how much you can deduct from your taxes for miles driven for different purposes.  They go into effect for Tax Year 2015 (filed in calendar year 2016).

 

Have a great weekend!

Bill