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5 Tips to Make the Most of Mortgage Loans in the US

A lower interest rate can truly be a blessing if you are thinking of opting for a loan with a longer lifespan. It’s important that you plan well so that you can get the best mortgage rates! Let us take a look at 5 effective steps you can take to make the most out of mortgage loans:

Compare lenders to figure out the best rates

You need to apply to different online mortgage lenders so that you can get a fair idea about the various rates and fees that they charge. You should definitely get at least three to four quotes so that you have a legitimate point of comparison. Looking for multiple credit inquiries or rate shopping won’t lower your credit score!

Make sure your credit score is high

You must ensure that your credit score does not dip because that will determine how low your rate will be. Feel free to pull your scores from portals like Wallethub. Do not have the misplaced fear that pulling your score will affect it in a negative way.

You need to remember that your credit card balance determines your credit utilization ratio which makes up for a large percentage of your total score. So you need to try and ensure that all balances are cleared off from time to time.

If you have collection accounts, you need to do your best to remove them. You can either take up the dispute with the Credit Bureau. If the Bureau is unable to verify the account, they will have the account removed. You can also go for a pay for delete agreement in which the collection agency will agree to remove your account in exchange of a fixed payment.

Be an authorized user

If you have a friend or a family member with a positive payment history in their credit card account, you can ask them to add you to their account. After you become an authorized user of their account, their account history will feature on your report making it look more credible. This will also make its way to your scoring algorithm and boost up your scores.

Negotiation is the key

Use the different mortgage quotes to strike a deal with the lender. Remember that their quote is not sacrosanct and more than often the loan officer will try to push up fees and rates in order to get higher commissions. Take a quote from a leader and quote the same to another leader and encourage them to be competitive. Repeat this cycle until you get the best mortgage rates that are available. You can even bargain when it comes to the closing costs and origination fees.

Get a Government Home Loan

Government backed mortgages are not insured by the government making them riskier. It is guaranteed that the lender will get their money back and these result in lower mortgage rates. FHA loans also have simple down payment requirements and the qualifying guidelines are far from strict. If you are a vet then you should go for a VA loan because it offers the lowest available mortgage amongst all loans.

If you live in a rural area you can opt for a USDA loan because it comes with zero down payment and complete financing. There are also grants and programs specifically for first time home buyers. Before opting for a mortgage loan, make sure that you have done your research because a low mortgage rate can help you save thousands of dollars.

Tax planning for small businesses in the US

Tax planning can help vastly reduce the taxes owed, especially for small businesses. It is often confused with tax-preparation, but they are two very different things. While tax-preparation is getting your taxes arranged for quarterly or annual filings, tax planning helps you strategize ahead of time what needs to be filed and what are the records to be kept. It entails the careful consideration of deductions and credits that can be incurred by the business through the year to reduce the tax burden.

A certified public accountant (CPA), or tax advisor, can help you make considerable savings through small business tax planning. One of the primary roadblocks for small businesses is that the owners often have to multitask- heading management, marketing product development, and accounting as well. As a result, they end up treating the managerial and accounting aspects as a chore and seldom afford it any time. Tax planning is treated as an accompaniment to tax preparation and relegated to a year-end exercise. This defeats the entire purpose of the activity and barely has any impact. This becomes all the more significant when the tax is cash-based and timing of cash receipts and vendor repayments are a significant factor. Apart from this, it is also important to have the business registered as a sales tax vendor and prepare the requisite forms in order to avoid possible tax liabilities.

Cost of goods sold, occupancy cost, taxes and wages, travel, insurance and marketing all fall into common categories for tax deductions. In fact, practically everything that supports the daily operations of your small business is tax-deductible. It is thus essential to maintain detailed records of all business-related expenses for audit purposes.

One must always remember, for business tax deductions, it is crucial to prove that the expenses were made for business purposes itself. As a result, original vendor invoices and other proofs of purchase such as receipts need to be kept in order- bank statements are not enough. It is essential to keep abreast of changes in tax laws and in the know of related policies. Being aware yourself, will also ensure you can exact the most out of your tax advisors.

Yes, strategic tax planning is crucial in reducing the amount of taxes owed, but it can`t happen overnight. It happens over a period of time, and perhaps even over a couple of financial years. Regular meetings with your advisors and CPA through the year is essential. As elaborated earlier, it is always a bit of an uphill battle, for which you need to arm yourself sufficiently with your financial statements, projected purchases in the future, possible changes in staffing and such. With all these in your arsenal and your CPA and tax advisors by your side, small business tax planning will help you substantially in reducing the amount of taxes you owe.

5 Personal Finance Savings Tips

A considerable part of every individual’s financial journey revolves around saving personal finance. Taking the time to manage your personal finance may seem a bit difficult, but it pays off in the long run. From paying your debts on time to helping you save for your retirement, a few simple steps taken at the right time can help you gain better control of your money.

Read on to know some excellent personal finance saving tips, including setting up a budget, tracking your expenses and turning saving into a habit for a secured, better future.

Build a budget
Find it difficult to realize where your money goes every month? Well, saving your hard-earned money for a rainy day calls for a budget. Start by calculating the amount of money that comes into your account every month and get an estimate of your monthly spending. Once you have figured this out, find all those expenses which you can reduce every month and then create a workable budget to plan your spending. Set a spending limit (make sure it’s realistic) and challenge yourself to stay within that limit.

Record your expenses
Keeping your budget on track requires recording all your expenses. You may think that making a mental note of your expenses is good enough. But, guess what? It isn’t, and never will be. To understand your spending patterns, you must keep track of all your expenses – even the cups of coffee, and snacks that you buy. By recording every penny that you have spent, you will be able to assess the progress you are making to reach your personal finance goals and can get rid of unnecessary expenses that act as an obstacle.

Automate your savings
Lack of discipline or self-control is one of the most common reasons why many people fail to manage their finances well. So, automate your savings, and you will no longer have to depend on yourself to transfer funds into your savings account. When you make your contributions automatic, you will not have any excuses for failing to save. This way, you will get accustomed to living on a little less money and save more in due course.

Start an emergency fund
To deal with financial surprises later, you must start and build an emergency fund now. Save that bonus or salary raise to use during emergencies. But never keep the emergency fund cash with the rest of your savings. Keep it separate and be prepared for unexpected expenses. Also, it is important to understand that an emergency fund isn’t for traveling or spending on the latest car. And, it most certainly, isn’t a reserve for your wedding. Dip into the emergency fund only during times of exigencies like if you have a medical emergency, you have incurred a huge loss in business, or you have lost your only job.

Don’t forget about retirement savings
When it comes to retirement savings, no amount of money will ever suffice your financial requirements at old age. So, begin right and begin early. Create a retirement plan and send a significant portion of your monthly income to your retirement savings. Remember that your retirement contributions can determine the financial security you will have during your post-work years. Therefore, keep saving and stay committed to your goal.

5 US Tax Regulations Immigrants need to be aware of

One of the toughest tasks you may face as an immigrant in the U.S. is filing your taxes. Many immigrants want to make the most of the refund season. But that’s only possible when you know what you need to do right while filing your taxes. To help you with the process, here are five U.S. tax regulations that you must know if you are an immigrant in the country:

Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN)

In case you do not have a Social Security Number, then the IRS can issue an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) which you can use on your tax returns instead of a Social Security Number. Created by the IRS in July 1996, the ITIN program helps foreign nationals and other individuals who otherwise don’t have an SSN or are not eligible for the same.

Such individuals can still pay their taxes without defaulting. All that’s needed is to file form W-7 to apply for an ITIN. This processing number can be issued to unauthorized immigrants as well so that they can pay their taxes with ease, irrespective of their immigration status.

Know the W-4

As a new resident of the country, you must learn about the importance of the Form W-4 and the impact it has on your taxes. At the beginning of your new job, it is mandatory for your employer to provide you a Form W-4 which you need to fill out. This form will help your employer to figure out the amount of the federal income tax withheld from your paychecks.

The information that you need to provide includes details about your marital status, allowances, and exemptions. It is important to note that if too much tax is withheld, then you will have to forego that money on your paychecks and will have to wait until tax time to get a refund.

Reporting all income and assets

Apart from the U.S., you may also have investments, properties and financial accounts in other countries. If so, then you must file for taxes on your worldwide income. This will include all the interest, returns on investments, rents, and government pensions, that you have received in a given financial year. Thus, it is necessary to report all the income that has been generated outside the U.S.

Apart from the income received from other countries you also need to report the details of the financial assets that you hold in those countries including bank accounts, brokerage accounts, insurance policies, etc. You can avoid getting penalized by the IRS by filling out these details accurately and without hiding any information.

Marriage and U.S. Taxes

If you have immigrated to the U.S. on a K-1 or K-3 visa by marrying a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, then you must file your taxes jointly in the next tax filing season. Don’t forget to prove that the marriage is bona fide while filling the Form I-485 to register for permanent resident status on the basis of your marriage.

Learn about Non-Resident Tax Treaties

The U.S. has income tax treaties with several foreign countries. If you are a non-resident alien, then obtaining information about these treaties is a must before you file your tax. This is because these treaties can reduce or remove U.S. tax on a number of personal services and other income like interest, dividends, capital gains, royalties, etc. Thus, make sure you review every single treaty to know which all incomes can be exempted from your U.S. tax or are taxed at a lower rate.

Financial Plans

Financial Planning for Newly Married Couples

Discussions around tax and finance are so boring such that most youngsters prefer to ignore or postpone them. If you do not make time to talk about money today, you might have to keep talking about debts tomorrow unless you are a billionaire by birth. Remember, even billionaires are spending adequate amount of time every year, planning their financials.

Speaking of financial planning, Perfect Tax and Finance offers well-rounded tax planning and financial advice for millennials, senior citizens and corporations.

In this article, we are discussing the importance of financial planning for financial planning at a younger age, especially for newly married couples given the changing financial scenario with unforeseen expenses and future planning, post-wedding. We also cover some basic money management tips to prevent financial tensions from ruining the fun of your married life.

  1. Talk openly about finances. Despite knowing each other quite a time before getting married, it is not always an obligation to discuss finances when you are in a relationship. Owing to this scenario, it is essential for couples to set aside a peaceful time to sit and discuss each others’ financial status, including any outstanding debts, and create a five-year financial plan with earnings and expenditure goals for the future.

  2. Execute the plan.  It is a common notion that the man of the house earns and the woman of the house spends. Well, that is not the case anymore. Women are equally financially independent as that of men, making it much more easy to keep finances under control. If there are 2 earning members of the family, it is essential to assign priorities, discuss savings - individual and joint savings, and make equal contributions towards the family expenses to prevent any misunderstandings in the future.

  3. Trust and Transparency. There is no reason why a couple might need to keep secrets from each other. The same applies to money matters as well. Keep your earnings and spending transparent and visible to both so that you both are on the same page. However, this should not prevent you from having a personal space i.e., pocket money to pamper oneself now and then.

  4. Start Planning Early. If you are a newly married couple, your bucket list might be as simple as a property, four wheeler, medical insurance, travel goals, career goals and some branded clothes. However, if you are already planning to expand the family, it is essential to tweak your plan a bit to ensure no last minute surprises. Planning early for parenting, kids’ education, retirement makes your life much easier and gives you enough time and money to achieve your travel goals.

  5. Never ignore tax planning. Tax Planning is the most essential part of your financial planning. It is necessary for the couple to sit down and plan their taxes, be consistent and regular with tax filing and prevent any IRS penalties. Remember that what you save from avoiding tax payments is nothing when compared to the penalties, attorney fee and legal charges that follow.

 

Having said that, our personal financing experts at Perfect Tax and Finance can help you plan your incomes, expenditures, savings and taxes in simple and easy steps. Get in touch with us today to make the most out of our personal financing services. Call us on +1 469 828 0829 to speak with our experts.

Tax Strategy

10 Tips to create effective tax strategies

February is not too late for New Year Resolutions. We at Perfect Tax and Finance believe that a perfect tax strategy begins a year ahead of time. Our experts have compiled a list of 10 tips to help small and medium businesses create an effective tax strategy.

Tip #1 Hire an Expert.

One thing where you need to spend money (forget about saving!) is when you hire a tax specialist. An expert can help minimize tax amounts and maximize refunds. It makes total sense to communicate with a tax professional to evaluate your current situation and determine tax strategy reforms well in advance.

Tip #2 Plan ahead.

You may procrastinate anything but not tax strategy planning. However, an effective tax strategy designing takes a significant amount of time and requires a good understanding of the tax laws, government policies and the current tax situation in your company; alongside a reasonable estimate of potential financial changes in the company.

Tip #3 Utilize Accounting Software.

While this tip seems to be a no-brainer for business owners, small and large, it still needs to be on the list as a constant reminder. Accounting software such as QuickBooks save time, effort and also make the entire process of recording information more productive.

Tip #4 Setup a Payroll Amount to the Directors.

This could be a powerful tax-saving tool. If you are a small business with 2-3 partners, then you can set up a payroll system for each partner based on their net income. You can also put your spouse or other family members on the payroll to include that on your expenses records.

Tip #5 Business Account for Business Transactions only.

You might have opened a business account for your company. It is essential to classify or segregate your transactions as personal and business transactions (& payments that comply with regulations) before you decide which debit card to use. Using business account for personal transactions and spending is not a great way to run a business.

Tip #6 Make Charitable Donations.

Charitable Donations in the US can be claimed for tax returns under certain conditions. You need to remember that donations made to only qualified charitable organizations are deductible. Churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques are considered de facto charitable organizations. Donations made to such organizations are deductible although they are not officially present on the IRS Exempt Organizations Select Checklist.

Tip #7 Ask for Receipts for both online and offline transactions.

Whether you made a digital transaction or paid via cash, a spending is a spending and needs to be in the records when it comes to filing taxes. Make sure you ask for receipts, no matter the amount, in order for the transaction to be substantiated by a bank record.

Tip #8 Volunteering Expenses are Deductible.

Yes, that’s true. The time spent on volunteering for a charitable organization is not deductible but you can out of pocket expenses (parking fees and tolls, travel expenses, uniforms, clothing, supplies, etc) relating to volunteering are deductible as long as they are not reimbursed to you or considered personal.

Tip# 9 Inventory Check.

Equipment upgrades, inventory purchase, office supplies stock up - these transactions are also counted as expenses. So, make a list of purchases you can make now to get the most out of your deductions and run it by your accountant for advice.

Tip #10 Contribute to a Retirement Plan.

Payments made to retirement funds are tax deductible and reduce your income for the year. Speak with your financial planner to determine the best plan for your business, set up a retirement fund and make regular contributions.

 

TAX Blogs

15 Best Blogs To Follow About Tax

If taxes drive you crazy more than anything else in the world, then know them better – for escaping them is not a solution. To get some help with the complex taxes, further your tax knowledge by checking out the following 15 tax blogs:

TaxAct Blog (blog.taxact.com)
Get rid of the complexities of taxes with some simple tips and solutions from tax experts. This blog will also help you manage your personal finances better in the long run.

Intuit TurboTax Blog (blog.turbotax.intuit.com)
TurboTax Blog from Intuit is a must-follow blog for those who always face difficulties while filing for taxes and getting the right tax refund. From tax news to useful tax tips, this blog provides it all.

Taxes For Expats (blog.taxesforexpats.com)
Taxes for Expats (TFX) is an excellent expat tax blog that helps expatriates and retirees get all the knowledge they need to manage their taxes in a hassle free way.

Community Tax – Tax Blog (communitytax.com/tax-blog)
Whether you have encountered some difficult situations with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and/or State Taxing Authorities, Community Tax Blog will provide you all the information required for tax resolution services across the nation.

TaxProf Blog (http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog)
Designed specifically for those who want to know Amercian tax law better, the TaxProf Blog is one of the best web resources you will find on taxes.

21st Century Taxation (21stcenturytaxation.blogspot.com)
As the name suggests, this blog provides information about tax reforms and tax systems in the 21st century, with posts that mainly focus on federal, California and multistate matters.

A Taxing Matter (http://ataxingmatter.blogs.com/tax)
A Taxing Matter is run by Professor Linda M. Beale who shares her opinions about the U.S. tax policy in an enlightening manner.

Tax Policy Center (http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxvox)
Tax Policy Center is a blog by the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, which provides in-depth guides on U.S. tax policy. The information provided on this blog is helpful for not just the public but also the policymakers.

Don’t Mess With Taxes (http://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com)
A blog by Kay Bell, a professional journalist and tax author, Don’t Mess With Taxes is a platform that delivers excellent tax viewpoints, tips, and resources to prepare for taxes.

THE WANDERING TAX PRO (http://wanderingtaxpro.blogspot.in)
This blog by Robert D Flach, a veteran tax professional, provides current information and advice on taxes. One can even get some insights on tax policy and professional tax practice by reading this blog regularly.

The Tax Policy Blog (https://taxfoundation.org/blog)
The official blog of the Tax Foundation, the Tax Policy Blog provides taxpayers with brilliant analysis and information about tax policy at not just the federal and state levels but also at local levels.

Taxable Talk (http://www.taxabletalk.com)
Taxable Talk is a blog from Russ Fox, E.A., of Clayton Financial and Tax of Las Vegas, Nevada. The blog provides relevant information on tax reforms, the IRS, tax preparation, payroll taxes and much more.

Start Making Sense (http://danshaviro.blogspot.in)
If you want to make sense of the taxes you are liable to pay, just read this blog for advice and knowledge on tax as well as budget policy.

Tax Problem Attorney Blog (https://www.taxproblemattorneyblog.com)
Manage your taxes better with the help of useful tips and information shared on the Tax Problem Attorney Blog by the Brager Tax Law Group.

MauledAgain (http://mauledagain.blogspot.in)
While Prof. James Edward Maule shares his opinions on a number of subjects through this blog, the information that he provides on tax law makes the blog one of leading resources for tax knowledge.

Tax preparation

All you need to know about Year End Audits

Year-end brings with it not just excitement and celebrations, but also the responsibility to complete financial audits. Maintaining proper accounting records is a key aspect of any company’s financial reporting. So here’s a quick guide to help you understand all that you wanted to know about year-end audits.

Preparing for a Year-end Audit

A year-end accounting audit is a procedure of examining a company’s financial situation in its entirety. It’s done to ensure that the company complies with the pertaining laws and accounting standards. Preparing for year-end audit in advance will make sure that the process goes smoothly. Basic auditing can help you ensure a trouble-free year-end audit that can prevent an audit from the IRS as well as keep you safe from legal issues arising from faulty or fraudulent accounting information.

Information collection and retrieval

Every business must collect financial information reliably and store it in a secure manner. From bank statements to invoices and canceled checks, everything must be organized and kept in separate files and folders for quick retrieval, as and when needed. Care should be taken to keep relevant and related documents at the same place. This process also helps in resolving any issues or answering any queries of the shareholders or the IRS, if the need arises. It is also helpful in judging the financial situation of the business and improving it.

Keep a check on the company’s internal accounting controls

Securing the confidential accounting information is one of the most important aspects of auditing. With adequate internal accounting controls, protection against theft and fraud is assured. Keep accounting personnel separate and, if possible, assign different accounting duties to different employees. Keep the safes locked all the times and accounting systems password protected with restricted access. Another important internal control is to install surveillance cameras and systems for understanding who accessed what information and when.

Compare records regularly

A beneficial accounting practice is to compare internal records with external records to ensure their credibility. By doing so, you can assure that your company’s accounting records are accurate and this could ease the year-end audit tremendously. Any errors can be rectified in time and your company’s reputation could be saved.

Create an audit report

Once you have maintained proper records, an audit report must be prepared to summarize the financial position of the company, to assess the accounting system, and to highlight business departments that are performing well. This document will help a great deal for future use and can become handy in case the IRS audits your business.

Auditing your company’s financial statements should be a regular activity as it helps in ascertaining the profitability of the business and is one of the key requirements of lenders, investors and creditors. And when it comes to a year-end audit, it should never be looked at as an ordeal. There is no denying that a year-end audit involves a lot of hard work, but it is highly beneficial to understand your company’s past accounting procedures, improve them and plan ahead for better financial health. Just prepare for the audit all year round by following best practices and welcome the new year without any worries.

Is your company taxation strategy not effective. Well, we're here to help. Call us on +1 469 828 0829 to speak with our experts.

Tax services

Tips to add more Dollars to your Company Balance Sheets

Running a business is all about ensuring your profits grow along with the sales chart, validating the success of your business. But to ensure that your sales chart go up constantly is certainly not an easy task. With competing brands offering similar products at about the same prices, you need to implement better sales techniques to keep on adding more dollars to your company balance sheets. Explained below are some of the ways that you can implement to attain better sales and increase your business profit.

Offer Discounts One of the most important aspects of a product, according to customers, is its price. If a new customer has to choose between two similar products, they always pick the one which costs less.
Here are some discounts you can offer to attract new customers and to retain the existing ones:

Seasonal Discounts Consider decreasing the prices of certain products as seasonal discounts. Just like clothing brands clear their summer collections with high discounts before the winter stocks arrive, or when electronics and home furnishing stores offer great deals and discounts during the holiday season.

Combo Discounts Bundle up products that are used together and sell them at prices lower than what their combined separate prices would be. A good example here would be “value packs”, usually offered by FMCG brands.  

New Launch Discounts When launching a new product, a business can sell it for a lower price than similar products from competing brands. This attracts people and when they become loyal customers you can sell the product for the same price as the other brands without having a severely bad effect on your company’s sales.

Add Extra Services and Products Nothing attracts a customer like the word: “Free”. You can offer any additional service or product with your existing products to get more attention from the customers than your competition.

Free Products In a deal where you offer a free product with your existing product, ensure that the profit of the combined deal covers the free product’s price to add more dollars to your business accounts.

Free Service and Repairs Another interesting way to attract more customers is to offer free repair and service on your products. When you increase the customers’ trust in your products, they choose you for their next requirements as well. This also makes sure that your old buyers feel included and refer you to their friends and family.

Take Risks To make sure that your business keeps moving forward, you have to keep moving forward too. Come out of your comfort zone and take risks. You must experiment and take new steps that make you more apparent in the crowd of sellers. Some of the ways you can try this include:

  • Cross-company Collaboration You can collaborate with other companies and brands to sell products that will yield a mutual profit.

  • Keep Regulating Prices Increasing and decreasing your prices at regular times may up your profits significantly. While decreased prices attract more customers, a small increase in price, if done right, yields more profits without compromising on the sales.

  • Increase Market Area Increasing your sales area, especially to places untouched by your competitors, is a great risk. But if you are able to capture the blue ocean markets, you can enjoy uninterrupted leadership in that market for a long time.

These are just some of the ways through which you can add more dollars to your balance sheets. Find a strategy that suits your line of business the best and beat competition like a pro in this ever-changing and fiercely competitive market.

Is your company taxation strategy not effective. Well, we're here to help. Call us on +1 469 828 0829 to speak with our experts.

Tax services

Budget planning for the upcoming holiday season

The holiday season is almost here. Fun times are ahead with family and friends, along with a break from the hustle of work and the monotonous routine life, plus a lot of expenditure! Holidays call for buying gifts for your family and close friends, and of course, giving yourself a taste of that special treatment.

But, wait, are you dreading the empty wallet already? Don’t lose sleep over how you will manage the additional expenses. This article shares with you some smart tips to effectively plan your budget for the holidays and can tell you how to avoid spending too much.

Decide how much you can spend
Thanksgiving is around the corner, and by now you must have got a clear idea about how much can you afford to shell out for the holidays. Consider all probable expenses this year, your savings patterns and any cash requirements in the beginning of the next year before you fix on a budget. Keep it realistic. Too high and you will regret later, and too low budget will mean you don’t get any good gifts and end up spending more money in frustration.

After you have finalized a number, further split it to allocate a specific amount to different things. It is a smart idea to have a small fund reserve to be used just in case you overrun the decided budget. But, ensure that you don’t end up spending recklessly, thinking you have a special backup fund to splurge on.

Avoid spending too much on self-indulgence
It is indeed very difficult to control yourself from buying new clothes, shoes, or that brand new handbag, especially when the shops are offering attractive Thanksgiving or Christmas discount offers. You can somewhat neutralize the holiday expenses by restricting how much you spend on self-indulgence.

So, before you buy anything, ask yourself if you really need it. And this goes for all your lavish plans like weekend movie plans, massages, spa and hitting the bar every night. A photo with Santa Claus in the mall is an exception. But don’t send it to all your friends as a holiday postcard!

Make a Gift-List and stick to it
This might sound so trivial right now, but it will definitely be a life saver as Christmas comes closer. Since you still have a couple of weeks, decide in advance the people you want to buy gifts for and what would you like to get them. While some people make this list and allocate the budget accordingly, it should ideally be the other way round.

When you already set the maximum amount you can spend for each of your loved ones, you can easily decide upon the gifts you can afford to buy for them. Do not stress too much on buying expensive gifts for your family and friends. The idea is to share love and joy, not to win the “Most Expensive Gift Competition”.

Buy your gifts well in advance
Now that you have a gift list ready, you can start hunting for the perfect gifts well in advance. Many stores offer a pre-holiday discount during this time. Buying gifts online in bulk is also a great way to keep your expenses within the budget.

If you are keen on giving personalized gifts, you can look for affordable options online. The benefit of starting early is that you have enough time to find the best deal. Also, you won’t end up buying any random expensive gift in the end, just a day before Christmas.

Planning to set a monthly budget but not sure where to begin? Call us on +1 469 828 0829 to speak with our experts.

Tax services

5 Tax Saving Mistakes you should not make

You might think that your investments will help you save some good amount of money at the time of tax filing, but the truth is – knowingly or unknowingly, you might be committing some serious tax saving mistakes. Here are five such mistakes that you shouldn’t make at all.

Investing everything in stocks that will hold up your money for long
There is no denying that the stock market is a great place to invest your money – but only if you don’t need that money in a few months. It is essential to understand that investing in stocks that will keep your money parked for a long period is not a sensible decision.

You should always have some ready cash with you to meet exigencies if at all they arise. A portion of your savings should go into investment options that can be easily liquidated when needed. You can put some cash in your savings account or a certificate of deposit (CD).

Saving less money for retirement
While we all love to have a good paycheck from our jobs, not assigning a significant amount of your salary towards your retirement contributions is a big mistake indeed. You might think that you will save money gradually, but what’s important is to save money now – when you could. So, increase your retirement contributions to have a good amount of money with you when you retire and also to save more money on tax.

Investing all funds in one place
Another common mistake that people make, either due to lack of time or lack of knowledge is to invest all their funds in one investment vehicle. Remember that the ideal investment portfolio is the one that has diversified investments. While it is not a sure shot way to protect you against losses, doing so will help you minimize the risk.

As the adage goes – don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Thus, if you or your tax advisor is putting all your money in one form of investment, then stop it at the earliest. You might end up losing everything.

Investing in haste
You want to save more on tax, and a particular investment option is said to be making huge returns. You don’t want to lose the game and end up putting a substantial amount of money hurriedly into it. Well, you know what? That’s one of the worst ways to save your taxes as you might end up losing more than what you could imagine. Just because an investment option works for you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be good for everyone. Know your tax-saving needs and then find the most suitable options that help you meet them.

Investing in something that you don’t understand
Putting your money in stocks or investment options that are difficult for you to understand is a grave mistake. Just because their advisors assure them of great returns, many people often park their cash in complex investment vehicles that are difficult to understand and high on risk. What’s the result?

They end up making huge losses. Therefore, whenever you want to invest your money in some investment vehicles, always think them through and go ahead only when you fully understand their terms and modus operandi.  

Wondering how to avoid these mistakes? Simple. Call us on +1 469 828 0829 to speak with our experts.

 

Finacial

10 Tips for First Time Home Buyers

Planning to buy your first home? Congratulations! You are up for an exciting, yet equally challenging task. Buying a new home is a huge investment. And those who are buying a home for the first time, need to particularly careful about a few things. To help you make the most of your first home buying experience, here are some simple tips to follow:

Tip #1 – Fix your budget
You probably already know this one. But, do you really know that a lot of first time home buyers tend to exceed their budget, only to face financial difficulties later on? You definitely don’t want to be one of them. So, determine your affordability and stick to a fixed budget during house-hunting.

Tip #2 – Understand what you want
Before heading towards the home market, understand what is it that you really, really want. Whether you want to have a studio apartment, or a family home, narrowing down your search will help you speed up the home buying process.

Tip #3 – Consider your financing options
Do you have enough money to buy your dream home? Or, would you need a home mortgage? Assess your financial strengths and weaknesses, and consider the different financing options that are available for you. Choose the one that lessens your financial burden in the long run, rather than increasing it.

Tip #4 – Work on your credit score
If you need a mortgage to buy your new home, then you must start improving your credit score at least a couple of years in advance. A strong credit score will considerably increase your chances of obtaining the right mortgage deal without any hassles.  

Tip #5 – Look into the future
Remember that buying a home is a big decision. And so, you need to be careful while choosing the right one. See if you can continue living in your chosen home in the future. Is the place easily resalable? Can you live there with a family? Answer these questions before finalizing a home.

Tip #6 – Choose your neighborhood wisely
While looking for a friendly, beautiful place to live in, choose a neighborhood with low crime rate. After all, you don’t want to compromise on your or your family’s security! So, pick the right neighborhood out of the available options.

Tip #7 – Find a reliable realtor
A realtor can give you easy access to several homes in your preferred area. Plus, with the experience that a real estate agent carries, finding that perfect home of your dreams will be much easier for you.

Tip #8 – Explore a number of options
Do not set your heart on the first beautiful home you looked at. Always explore a number of options. You never know what you might miss out if you make a hasty home-buying decision.

Tip #9 – Get a professional home inspection
Once you have found the right home, don’t forget to get a professional home inspection done. It will help you find about the problems with the place, if any, and you will save yourself from surprises later on.

Tip #10 – Be careful while sealing the deal
Finding the right home doesn’t mean that your work is over. Be extremely cautious while working out a deal with the seller. Complete all the paperwork with absolute focus, so that you don’t miss out any important point that’s worthy of your attention.

We know how much it means to purchase a home, and not dig a hole in your pocket. Well, get in touch here today at  +1 469 828 0829 to speak with our home buying experts.

Immigrants in the USA

5 Financial Tips for Immigrants in the USA

Moving to the USA is a big achievement for many, but to make a living in this land of opportunity is no easy feat either. In order to create a strong financial foothold in the USA, there are a few things that immigrants must keep in mind. This article lists five financial tips that you must know in case you have just relocated to the USA.


Tip #1: Read and learn
Loads of information is available these days when you wish to learn the ropes of achieving financial security in the USA. From web articles to books and even courses on financial skills, there is a lot that you can take help from to improve your knowledge about financial management when you have just started to live in the USA. You can even browse some special websites that provide relevant financial information to the newcomers in the country. Whether you wish to buy a home or want to know about selecting a retirement plan, a good website can offer all this information and much more.


Tip #2: Never ignore the importance of savings
There is no denying that every individual needs to have their focus on saving their hard-earned money, but this becomes all the more important when you relocate to a foreign land, especially the USA where the cost of living is significantly higher than most of the other countries. As much as you can, avoid taking debts as you never know what the future may bring. Living with some good amount of funds in reserve is a wise decision for every US immigrant.


Tip #3: Be careful while transferring funds overseas
When hiring international money transfer services, make sure that you rely on a reputable provider. This will provide you the peace of mind you deserve by transferring your money safely and securely.  Also, be aware of the exchange rate. It makes sense to check with a number of money transfer service providers to get the best exchange rate. Moreover, when you fix your expense budget every month, don’t forget to include the costs of money transfer.

Tip #4: Pay your taxes on time
You should never ever delay your tax filing process. Obtain your Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) and know about the IRS forms that you need to fill. Visit the official website of the Internal Revenue Service and you will find all the information you need to file your annual federal tax returns. Besides this, you also need to know about the deductions that you are entitled to. This will help you save several dollars when you pay taxes as a US immigrant.  

Tip #5: Find a reliable finance professional
The United States tax code could be really complex for new immigrants. So, find a reliable and experienced finance professional for proper financial consultation. Such a professional will be able to guide you about various aspects that will have an impact on your financial condition in the USA. From filing taxes to finding the right investment options for you, a good finance professional can help you with it all.


While the above tips are important to be financially secure in the USA, you need to have a good understanding about different frauds to get the much-needed protection against them, especially against those frauds that involve moving services. Thus, be well-informed to be financially safe in this country of dreams.

Our specialized taxation strategies for immigrants can help you save thousands of dollars without having to pay unnecessary amount in taxes. Call us on +1 469 828 0829 to speak with our experts.

Important Taxation Tips for Expats in the USA

Expat tax filing is a complex process. Millions of people live in the USA as expats. If you are one of those and dread the mere thought of filing taxes, then don’t worry, you are not alone. There are many who believe that tax filing should be simpler, but the world of taxes is complicated and it doesn’t work the way we want. So, how can you reduce the stress of taxes?

To get you started, Perfect Tax and Finance has collated seven brilliant taxation tips that you must know as you prepare for tax filing this season.

Register with the IRS – First things first, you need to obtain an SSN (a social security number) for yourself, your spouse and for all your dependent family members, and get registered with the IRS. If you couldn’t get an SSN, then applying for a TIN (taxpayer identification number) is important. In case you are an employer with at least one employee, or in case you pay the excise tax, then you will also need an EIN (employer identification number).

Keep your paperwork organized – All your financial documents must be well organized if you wish to file your taxes without any difficulty. From your bank statements to credit card statements, mortgage interest statements and investment related documents – everything should be kept in a folder and must be arranged date wise for easy retrieval. You might be surprised to know this but there are many people who take documentation quite seriously and keep their tax-related paperwork in a single place for years.

Understand the law of the land – This may be a no-brainer, but there are many who fail to adhere to the taxation rules for expats as stated by the US government. By just sparing a few minutes and reading the taxation procedure in the USA, you can save yourself from big troubles afterward.

Know your deductions – Who doesn’t want to save a few thousand dollars from their hard-earned money? Well, we all want to do that. So, when it comes to taxation, don’t forget to keep a check on the deductions that are available to you. You can save a lot of money with genuine tax deductions from your income.

Don’t forget the state and local tax – When it comes to paying taxes in the US, don’t forget that your tax may be due on more than just federal government level. You have to keep in mind the tax for the individual state that you live in, and at times, you may even have to pay local tax. Figure out the amounts for all these taxes to get a clear picture of your tax filing situation.

Always keep a track of the important dates – In addition to keeping a track of the important financial documents, you must also keep a track of the tax filing deadlines. This will help you avoid penalties and paying higher interest on your delayed tax payments.

Don’t skip the filing process – No matter how hard you may try to remember the important tax filing dates, there are chances that you may forget them. As a matter of fact, every year, there are many people who forget to file their US tax return, but it is never too late to pay what is due. Simply being late doesn’t give you the privilege to ignore the taxes completely. It is always better to be a late taxpayer rather than being a defaulter on purpose. So, as soon as you realize that you are behind your tax filing procedure, work and file your taxes. You will be glad you did that.

Confused about planning your taxation strategy in a foreign country? Well, we're here to help. Call us on +1 469 828 0829 to speak with our experts.

If this is something that you'd be interested in, please get in touch with our taxation experts. Drop in an inquiry here and we'll give you a call within 24 hours. 

Financial planning

Financial Planning Tips For The New Parents To Be

Whether you are a newlywed couple or parents-to-be, financial planning at a very early age has been mandatory, thanks to the current lifestyle. In addition to creating a personal financial plan, building and preserving a family wealth fund to utilize for emergencies and family goals requires a high-level of commitment.

At Perfect Tax and Finance, we provide personal financial planning advice - coupled with one-on-one guidance to develop a comprehensive that suits your personal and family needs. We’ve compiled a few tips for new parents-to-be to create a suitable financial plan that helps manage risk and emergencies, promote long-term savings and ensures the growth and longevity of your wealth.

Tip #1 Create a Distributed Savings Plan

It is a common human tendency to break down the savings plan whenever there is a need. As much as your personal savings should be helpful at times of emergency, it is also essential to set a limit as to how much of your escrow savings can you use up at such times.

If you are using a major part of your savings to procure luxuries, then you are on the wrong path. To overcome this tendency, make it a habit to distribute your savings towards different categories - child’s education, vacation plan, home purchase, four-wheeler purchase and others. When you do this, you know which specific part of your savings can be redeemed when needed.

Tip #2 Save first and Spend the rest

Parenting begins the moment you become pregnant so it is essential to start saving for the child’s future from the beginning with a well-defined plan in mind. Pregnancy and Childbirth, in addition to a lot of happiness, bring in a bunch of additional expenses such as medical charges, lifestyle expenses and much more. To be prepared for these expenses is the first step to saving for your little one.

Tip #3 Create an Emergency Fund

It is highly recommended that you set up a contingency fund keeping in mind the potential financial risks in case of any unavoidable death or disability in the family. Plans such as Health, Home, Life or Term Insurance and other long-term insurance payments that support your family during emergencies can be a great asset during times of crisis.

Tip #4 Choose your Priorities

As much as you wish to create an amazing life for your child, it is also essential to set your limits and choose your priorities. The biggest investment you can make for your child’s future is their education, hence it is essential to make it your first priority for savings. Create a child’s education fund and start investing since Day 1.

If you are unsure where to begin, Perfect Tax and Finance helps accurately estimate the amount of money you'll need, analyze your assets, review estimated shortfalls and consider general alternatives and strategies to help address these potential shortfalls; in order to develop an optimal savings plan given your financial situation and risk tolerance.

Planning to set a monthly budget but not sure where to begin? Call us on +1 469 828 0829 to speak with our experts.

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