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Refinanced Your Home – Claim a Tax Deduction For Points

The mortgage refinance market has cooled off dramatically with recent rate increases. Many people, however, refinanced during 2005 and can claim tax deductions.

Refinanced Your Home – Claim a Tax Deduction For Points

Mortgage rates have been shockingly low over the last few years. This is hardly news to anyone that owns a home. The nominal rates, however, did result in a major boom for the mortgage industry. As rates jostled up and down, millions refinanced to save just the fraction more on their home loans. Heck, many people refinanced multiple times! Alas, this rapid refinance craze has come to an end with the rise in mortgage interest rates.

If you refinanced this past year to get lower rates, I have some good news. Not only did you get lower rates, but you probably built up some additional tax deductions you can use to cut your tax bill.

To obtain a mortgage, whether new or a refinance, homeowners often have to pay points. These nasty little charges represent a percentage of the loan and are typically an upfront charge. Fortunately, points are deductible. Generally, you will claim a deduction for points as part of the mortgage interest deduction that makes our real estate industry so attractive. The type of loan, however, impacts how the points are deducted.

If you obtained a new home loan for a residence, you can deduct the full amount of the points. To do so, however, you must itemize on your tax return. Since you should be deducting the interest paid on the mortgage as well, this is a no brainer.

If you refinanced an existing home loan for a residence, however, things are a bit different. Yes, you can deduct the points paid on the refinance. Unfortunately, you have to deduct them over the life of the loan. In practical terms, you cannot deduct the full $3,000 you paid in points when you refinanced in August of last year. Instead, you can deduct a percentage of the $3,000. The percentage is the value of the points divided by the number of months of the loan. There are two ways around this tax handicap.

If you refinanced twice in 2005, and some of you did, you can deduct the full amount of the points on the first refinance. Why? You can do this because the life of the first refinance was less than a year, which all occurred in 2005.

In certain cases, points may also be immediately deductible if you used a refinance for home improvements. It is a bit technical and beyond the scope of this article. If you actually used a refinance to improve the home, and you can prove it with receipts, speak with a tax professional to write off all your points immediately.

Richard A. Chapo is with BusinessTaxRecovery.com – providing information on . Visit us to read more and our new page.

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A HMRC Tax Return Can Be Done Online

More people are choosing to file an HMRC tax return online. While some continue doing it by completing paperwork by hand and mailing it in, using the net to submit information has become more popular for many reasons.

One advantage to this method is ease of use. Individuals or businesses can use it. The software that is used to file is fairly straightforward and easy to use. It walks users through each step. While it is possible to buy third party software to use for taxes, the HMRC website itself contains a way for people to use it. There are several advantages to using this site. One is that is it free and no software purchase is required. Another is that it has many tools on the site to help users determine how to use it.

Another option is to hire a company that specializes in tax preparation. These companies can help businesses or individuals file their returns for a fee. This is ideal for the person that dislikes doing this type of task himself or herself or is short on time. Because these companies do this type of work all the time, they are current on any changes to tax law. They also know the answers to questions that may arise. These companies are also able to help anyone who may be owed a refund from over payment from previous years.

Those who file online will need to have some information about wages and other things for the period of time they are going to work on. They will be asked about a time period that runs from April 6 of one year to April 5th of the next year. Much of the first parts of the form will ask questions about if the form is being used for a business or an individual. The form will walk the user through each step and ask them if they received any income from things like pensions, interest or dividends. The form will ask various questions such as if the person filing will use a married couples allowance and other things that factor into the information.

There may be other circumstances that alter how much tax is paid in or received as a refund. People who work overseas have different requirements. Those who rent out a room of their home or have other rental property may have to fill out additional questions. There are many different circumstances to an HMRC tax return.

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Financial Infidelity What Is It

Although many are not familiar with the term financial infidelity, it has increasingly become a problem in many households across America. So what exactly is financial infidelity? Financial Infidelity occurs when one person in a committed relationship spends or hides money without disclosing it to their partner.

Like sexual infidelity, financial infidelity can destroy one’s marriage. Money problems are known to be one of the leading contributors to divorce. Financial infidelity happens to be at the top of the list of money problems that lead to divorce. Shockingly, Jennifer Brand, a family law specialist in Philadelphia, stated -I see more cases of divorce caused by financial infidelity than I do from sexual infidelity.-

So how many people out there are actually lying to their spouses about money? The numbers are surprisingly high. In a recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive, the following results were revealed:

Approximately 1 out of 3 people admit to lying to their partners about finances
One in Four people state that their partners have withheld financial information
Three out of Four people surveyed stated that they fight at least occasionally about money
One in Four adults believe that financial infidelity is worse than sexual infidelity
96% of the group surveyed reported that it is both partners’ responsibility to be completely honest about financial issues.

The results indicate that financial infidelity is a serious problem. As one can imagine, any form of dishonesty in a relationship can lead to serious trust issues. Those trust issues can ultimately break down the emotional connection needed to make a relationship last. The reality is that the effects of financial infidelity on a relationship are no different and oftentimes worse than sexual infidelity. If you are having a problem with being completely honest around your finances with your partner or are having problems getting over financial infidelity in your relationship, you should consider working with a financial therapist.

Nikiya Spence is a licensed psychotherapist, certified money coach, and speaker. Nikiya specializes in helping individuals and couples transform their relationship with money. Visit her website at www.solutionsoflife.com or call 770-638-7145 for a free 30-minute no obligation consultation.

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Understanding Bank Identity Theft

Whether you have a hundred dollars in the bank or a thousand dollars in the bank, there is nothing worse then an identity scam that drains your bank account of its funds. Bank identity theft is nothing new in crime but the trend seems to be growing at an alarming rate. Sadly, not too many people know how to protect themselves from bank identity theft and that could be why so many people are being taken advantage of.

Maybe if more people were to understand how to protect themselves, less people would be missing money out of their bank accounts. Something so simple such as allowing your computer to remember your online banking password is enough for bank identity theft to take place. It is never a good idea to let your computer remember or store any of your passwords because your computer always has a chance of being hacked into. .

If that happens, the first thing they are going to try to do is bank identity theft since that is the fastest way to your money. If you have trouble remembering your passwords simply write them down and store them in a safe place.

Other Things to Remember

A lot of people are able to get away with bank identity theft by taking a little amount of money at a time over a long period of time. If you are one of those people who have a hard time trying to remember to balance your checkbook, you may not find it odd that you are missing ten dollars here or twenty dollars there. By being proactive and logging all of your banking activities, you will have a much better chance at noticing a problem taking place.

Then, if you notice something odd, you can contact your bank and they can put a freeze on your account so it cannot be broken into any longer. Never leave your checkbook or debit card lying around because that gives people the chance to write down or copy your banking numbers. With the wonderful world of the Internet, a thief does not need to actual card or check to purchase things online.

All they need are the numbers for bank identity theft to work in their favor. Before you know it you will be completely out of money and they will all sorts of new things thanks to your lack of bank identity theft knowledge. So be careful and be proactive so that you never have to face such a situation in your life.

If you love this article, you will also love another article written by this article’s author on and .

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Types of Travel Insurance

Travel insurance policies provide at least six types of coverage, intended for different types of travelers and trips:

Comprehensive medical travel insurance is for people who don’t have any other medical insurance, even at home. Since most people who can afford it have health care coverage in their home country, often through their employer, comprehensive travel medical insurance is mainly of interest to long-term travelers who’ve left their jobs and lost their insurance coverage at home, or to those living and working outside their country of citizenship or permanent residence.

Emergency medical travel insurance is for people who have medical coverage at home, but whose health plan at home doesn’t cover them while they are travelling. Emergency medical travel insurance only covers emergency services abroad; once you get home, you’re back under your regular home coverage for any necessary follow-up treatment or continuing care. Check with your current insurer before you waste money on an emergency travel medical plan that duplicates your existing coverage.

Medical evacuation travel insurance covers the cost of an air ambulance, attending physician and nurse, etc. if you are so badly injured, or become so ill, that you can’t come home or get to a suitable medical facility on a scheduled commercial passenger flight. Even very badly injured travelers usually can come home on regular flights after no more than a couple of weeks of emergency treatment and stabilization abroad. Some of the activities most likely to lead to a need for medical evacuation, such as scuba diving and extreme sports, are often excluded from medical evacuation coverage.

Trip cancellation and interruption travel insurance covers the cancellation or refund penalties and the cost of getting home if you have to cancel your trip, or cut it short, for specified reasons. The covered reasons vary, but typically include injury or illness to you, a travelling companion, or a member of your immediate family. War and terrorism may or may not be included, or may be covered only at additional charge.

Supplier default insurance covers any money you lose because of the bankruptcy of an airline, cruise line, tour operator, or other provider of travel services. Some travel insurance companies no longer offer it at all, while others pick and choose which travel suppliers they will insure.

No matter which type of travel insurance you go for, make sure you read the fine print!

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It is very essential to have a travel insurance policy. Author Pranav Sharma is an experienced insurance professional and widely read expert on general insurance based in Mumbai. Pranav helps readers opt for best .

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The Benefits Of Paid Search Marketing

When a company is ready to start marketing via the Internet, Paid Search Marketing (Pay Per Click or PPC) is the fastest and easiest way to to get page one visibility on the major search engines and attract qualified prospects to their site. It can be launched in a few hours, and it can produce dramatic results rapidly. It is a great way for a company to start using Internet Marketing techniques to grow their business and increase their top line. There are a number of benefits to PPC campaigns, including:

Precision: PPC enables you to be very precise in putting a targeted offer in front of a specific segment of the market. By identifying specific key words, creating unique offers, and writing tailored ads, you have a tremendous amount of control over who sees your ad, what offer they see, and where they land on your website.

Targeting: Another aspect of precision is the ability to target your market geographically, demographically, and by time of day and day of the week. When combined with keyword specificity, unique offers and well written ads, you can focus very tightly on the target market you are trying to reach. This ensures that the majority of people viewing your ads are qualified prospects.

Speed and Simplicity: This can be looked at two ways. First, while doing PPC right can be somewhat complex and time consuming, planning and executing a campaign can be accomplished in hours. Also, this refers to how quickly and easily a prospect can move through the buying process, a matter of a few minutes, when clicking through to a well designed landing page and taking the desired action.

Financial Control: PPC provides the advertiser with complete control over how much money is being spent. A daily budget can be allocated, then changed depending on results of the campaign, and to take advantage of changing business conditions as they occur.

Length and Scope of Campaign: A PPC campaign can run for any length of time and can be very narrowly or broadly targeted. This enables the advertiser to use a campaign to accomplish different things, from delivering targeted offers to a narrow market segment for a short period of time, to more broad based branding and awareness.

Monitor and Measure: With the excellent analytics tools available today, PPC campaigns provide complete transparency and make it easy to monitor the progress of a campaign as well as the results to date and ROI.

So, when you are ready to start marketing via the Internet, a great place to start is with paid search marketing. You can start up a campaign in a matter of hours, deliver a tailored offer to a precisely targeted market segment bringing them to your website, you can have complete visibility into the results of the campaign, control your budget, and you can start or stop at any time. What are you waiting for?

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The Benefits of Cheap Auto Insurance

Cheap insurance Toronto is not tough to discover. From cases where people, who had vested interests instead of consumer welfare in mind, have been misled by insurance brokers, which is a stemming misconception. If it is known which parameters control auto insurance rates in Toronto or in Canada generally, not only better policies are found to cover for any and every vehicle owned or driven, but also there are affordable home insurance or commercial insurance policies in Toronto. Car owners in Ontario and Toronto are amongst the highest rates and premiums payers in the business of auto insurance, which is not at all surprising. It must be ensured that all the rates from all of the prime insurance brokers in the country/city are readily available. With the help of most online going firms, this has become easier with their quotes and premium rates comparison of on the web. It is advisable to get counseling in the city from the best insurance brokers. This however doesn’t mean traveling hours to the insurance firms’ centers to the other end of the city. Instead, one can simply login to the websites of similar firms to get live counseling from the same brokers met personally at the centers! It is ideal to get anti-theft or burglary alerts systems installed in the car. This means that instead of being reluctant to get car-decking with the software apps and state-of-the-art systems to prevent theft, it may actually be helpful in the long run in saving money through better coverage riders and lesser premium rates!

Due to the economic downfall of all the major global economies, has become inevitability. Nevertheless, prime concern of every individual is saving money especially on account of sky rocketing commodity prices and being on the look for discounts, whenever possible. Everybody wish to remain safe while on the road and claim to be safe drivers. Had this been probable, governments would never have gone ahead to buy vehicle covers for their people. According to the prescribed act, bringing a vehicle on road without minimum policy coverage is a criminal offense with severe penalties for the crime.

High risk driver insurance is also known as . People categorized by the insurance companies as high risk are always surprised upon augmentation of their insurance premium. To avoid being surprised with the auto insurance coverage rates applied for, it is better to attempt to learn more about drivers’ categorization by companies and their effects on the premium amount imposed on each classification type. While labeling a ‘high risk’ driver individual, several factors are considered by insurance companies. Either the rating of this risk is based on the data derived from the loss experience categorized on this basis.

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Berkeley CA Homes for Sale Market Comparison Report (December 2009 vs. December 2008)

We analyze several housing market indicators in order to present an in-depth breakdown of Berkeley Ca Homes for Sale Market comparing December 2008 to December 2009.

Summary of Key Points

Berkeley Ca Homes for Sale market suffered a decrease in home prices however that acted as an incentive for buyers leading to a significant increase in home sales

Median Sales Price (-8.23%), Median Days on Market (-26.86%), and Number of Units Sold (30.77%)

Big Picture: Out of 20 cities analyzed in the East Bay, Berkeley was one of 12 cities that saw a decrease in median home prices and Berkeley buyers used that to their advantage snapping up 30.77% more homes in Dec 09

Berkeley Ca Homes for Sale

The city of Berkeley experienced an 8.23% drop in median sales price from last year going down from $751,333 (Dec. 08) to $689,505 (Dec. 09). In the city of Berkeleys case, the decrease in median sales price spurred a dramatic reduction in median days on market and a comparable increase in number of units sold. Median days on market for a house in the city of Berkeley for December 08 was 43 days compared to 31 days in December 09 and number of units sold have increased from 39 units in Dec 08 to 51 units in Dec 09. It is apparent that the $60,000 drop in home prices caused a ripple in the Berkeley housing market. The drop in prices was enough to cut median days on market by 26.86% and alternatively drove up sales 30.77% by attracting home buyers with lower prices. A similar trend as Berkeley can be seen when analyzing home data for neighboring cities Walnut Creek and Castro Valley. Walnut Creek ca homes for sale saw their median prices slashed by almost 20% but like Berkeley, that in turn caused a drop in median days on market (23.08%) and an increase in number of units sold (5.26%). Same for Castro Valley ca homes for sale drop in median home prices (8.01%) however a decrease in median days on market (46.08%) coupled with an increase in the number of units sold (26.32%).

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Great Investment Tips For The Current Recession

With many headwinds threatening to send the US back into a recession, many smart investors are focusing their portfolios on only the income generating stocks and commodities (especially precious metals) that still have room to run.

Many astute economists now admit that the hangover from the financial crisis is still playing out and while many people are panicking and losing money there are many areas of growth out there at the moment. Investors just need to look past all the doom and gloom that is out there and being written in the papers and economic journals.

The 7 best ways to protect yourself from the coming economic troubles include:

1) Focus your efforts on High quality businesses and stocks that have A-Type balance sheets and strong yields.

2) Stocks that only provide reliable dividends and have a proven track record in a weak economic environment.

3) Choosing stocks and bonds that show low debt to equities ratios and high liquid asset ratios currently. This is really companies with good balance sheets and no heavy debts lingering from the financial crisis.

4) Choosing the hard assets such as oil and gas royalties, and similar real estate investments with a long term focus on various income streams.

5) Choosing sectors and companies that have high variable costs, and low risk entries such as utilities, consumers staples and especially health care services.

6) Choosing areas such as high growth potential in the Alternative / Clean energy sectors. Or also sectors that are not heavily reliant on bullish equities markets and volatile market swings.

7) Subscribe to the free trends alert with all the latest and greatest tips for investing in a poor economy at with regular updates from some of the best investing minds and forecasters in the world.

The best thing about a weak economic environment is that good opportunities stick out like a sore thumb. You just have to be on the lookout for them. Do not think that there are limited opportunities out there at the moment. There is an era of very aggressive growth coming when the US recovers from this credit crisis hangover. The best time to ride the coat tails of this booming period is before it happens. That time is right now, when everything is cheap and flat lining.

The best bet is to never put all your eggs in one basket. There are always opportunities out there, and no one ever made lots of money but not diversifying. Investment diversification will be your friend in the next few years at the US and economic situation start to get better.

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Dealing With The Insurance Adjuster After Water Damage

A water damage event his hit your home, and one of the first things you should do is to check your insurance policy or call your insurance agent and determine if your damage is covered. Even though you may be faced with plenty of damage and the beginning of mold, all homeowners policies dont automatically cover all types of water damage.

Once you understand what your policy covers, then you can quickly begin to remediate the damage to your property and begin to get the information to file a claim assuming you know what will be covered, according to the web site insure.com.

First and foremost, as some residents of New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast learned during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, a flood is not covered by homeowners insurance. Floods are only covered by flood insurance thats issued by the National Flood Insurance Program and cant be bought through nearly any insurance company.

Heres the kicker, though. Flood insurance policies have a ceiling not shared by homeowners insurance, and a separate level for contents that many people dont bother to adjust to their situations. So many homeowners in New Orleans wanted their homeowners insurance to handle the situation, because it provided more coverage.
Water damage from a leaking room is covered by most homeowners insurance, though the damage to the roof is not. Thats because of the generally accepted principle that anything related to maintenance falls to the homeowners. Roofs need to be properly maintained so the roof damage is not allowed.

Likewise, water from an appliance overflowing or pipes freezing and bursting, are both covered. Again, insurance companies general cover water damage if it was a sudden, catastrophic event, and not, as insure.com explains, a gradual wear and tear over time that proper maintenance could have avoided.

And two final areas of water damage: Seepages from the ground into the basement and sewer backup. Neither of these are covered by homeowners insurance. Seepage clearly is a gradual event that can be diagnosed and corrected before any significant damage results. Sewer backup is something that many insurance policies around the country specifically exclude.

So, now you know whether your own water event is covered by homeowners, flood insurance or has to be repaired out of pocket. And you are ready to take the next step – which is to document the damage and get an adjuster to your house as soon as possible to begin the process of submitting an insurance claim.