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Archive for April, 2015

Foreclosure Equals Loss of Ownership

April 30th, 2015

When a foreclosure occurs, the mortgagor (the person who borrowed the money for the house) loses their interest in the property.  The mortgagee (the lending institution or bank) takes the property back and sells it to the highest bidder.  The highest bidder gets title to the property at the close of the foreclosure sale and the bidder can be the bank or anyone else.  In Missouri, a foreclosure sale can occur without the courts or a Judge getting involved.  In Kansas, a foreclosure cannot occur until a Judge has signed off and approved the sale.  If you are facing a foreclosure and want to know your options, feel free to contact our law office at 816-524-4949 or visit our website at www.Hoorfarlaw.com.

Being a Terminated Parent

April 29th, 2015

Before the courts take away your parental rights, the courts should give notice of your offending actions and give you sufficient time to fix or amend your ways.  However, if you fail to take corrective measures, a court may terminate your parental rights and take your child or children away from you.  If you are dealing with a court trying to take your child or children away, feel free to contact our law office at 816-524-4949 or visit our website at www.Hoorfarlaw.com.

 

Tips about Tipping the IRS

April 28th, 2015

Here are a few tips about paying your taxes:

  1. Never send cash. The IRS accepts checks and electronic payments, including debit or credit cards.
  2. You can pay the IRS through direct withdrawal of your bank account using the IRS Direct Pay method.
  3. If you have someone assist you with your tax return, be sure to ask them how you can pay your tax bill.
  4. If you pay the IRS by debit or credit card, the IRS will hit you with a processing fee.
  5. If you pay the IRS processing fee, you can deduct it on next year’s tax return.
  6. Make your check, money order, or cashier’s check payable to U.S. Treasury.
  7. Be sure to include your social security number on your check, money order, or cashier’s check so the IRS applies your payment to your tax bill.
  8. If you are mailing your payment to the IRS, be sure to include Form 1040-V.

Fixing your Tax Mistakes

April 23rd, 2015

tax tip

If you made a mistake on your tax return, you may want to amend your tax return to fix the problem.  Here are a few tips about amending your tax return:

  1. Use Form 1040-X to amend your federal tax return.
  2. Do not amend your tax return if you simply made a math error. The IRS automatically corrects your math mistakes. As an added benefit, they will not make you show your math work.
  3. Do not amend your return if you made a mistake on your healthcare tax premium form. The IRS will most likely catch your mistake and send you a letter regarding your healthcare.
  4. If your amendment will result in a refund to you, you must amend the return within three (3) years of its due date. Otherwise, it is too late and you can kiss that refund goodbye.
  5. You must send in a separate Form 1040-X for each year that you amend.
  6. You can track your amended return by using the IRS’ service Where’s My Amended Return.

Tax Procrastinator

April 21st, 2015

tax tip

Tax day (April 15) has come and gone.  If you didn’t file or forgot to file your income tax return, you may be hit with a few penalties.  The failure to file penalty is assessed when a taxpayer does not file a return or request an extension by April 15.  The penalty is usually 5% of the unpaid taxes for each month the tax return is late.  The failure to pay penalty i s assessed when a taxpayer does not pay their tax bill in full by April 15.  The failure to pay penalty is usually .5% of the unpaid taxes for each month the payment is late.  However, under certain circumstances, you may be able to avoid the penalties.  The lesson here is send the IRS some money, before April 15, even if you have not filed yet so that you can avoid or decrease one of these penalties.  Also, if you know you cannot file by April 15, file an extension request.  If you have not filed all of your tax returns, feel free to contact our law office at 816-524-4949 or visit our website at www.Hoorfarlaw.com.

Retiring your Retirement

April 17th, 2015

retirement

Here are a few facts (according to Money.com) about retirement accounts.  How do you stack up?

  1. The average retirement account balance for men is $121,000. The average for women is $78,000.
  2. The average contribution to a 401(k) account is $9,600.
  3. 67% of Americans say that they plan on saving more for retirement in the new year.
  4. The average savings rate for an employee is 8.1% of their income.
  5. The cities with the highest 401(k) savings rates are San Francisco, San Jose, Raleigh, Houston, and Hartford.

If you are feeling more in debt than you think you should, feel free to contact our office at 816-524-4949 or www.Hoorfarlaw.com.

No Money, Better File

April 14th, 2015

tax tip

Did you prepare or are getting ready to prepare your income taxes?  If so, and you owe more than you can afford to pay, don’t make the mistake of not filing your income tax return.  Even if you cannot pay or fully pay the taxes you owe, you still want to follow these tips:

  1. File the return. By filing the return, you avoid the failure to file penalty.
  2. Pay as much as you can. The more you pay, the less interest and penalties that you may have to pay later on.
  3. Don’t ignore the tax bill. Don’t forget to pay the taxes or contact our office for assistance. Just because you hide your head in the sand doesn’t mean the IRS won’t find you.

If you are having tax trouble, feel free to contact our office at 816-524-4949 or www.Hoorfarlaw.com.

Major League Bankruptcies

April 10th, 2015

major league bankruptcy

Bankruptcy can happen to anyone.  It is nothing to be ashamed of.  Bankruptcy can be a tool to assist those in need.  However, if you are thinking of filing bankruptcy and wondering who has been in your same situation, take a look at these major league teams that have filed bankruptcy in the past:

NHL Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy twice.  The first time was in 1975 because they owed $500,000 to the IRS and were $6.5 million in debt.  The second time was in 1991 when the team owed more than $90 million to creditors and had asked its players to defer their salaries to help pay the bills.

NHL Cleveland Barons

The Barons filed for bankruptcy in 1978 due to a struggling fan base.

NHL Los Angeles Kings

The Kings filed for bankruptcy in 1995 when their owner defaulted on a $90 million loan.

NHL Ottawa Senators

The Senators filed for bankruptcy in 2003 when they owed their creditors more than $200 million Canadian dollars to creditors.  One of their creditors happened to be the NHL.

MLB Seattle Pilots

The Pilots filed for bankruptcy in 1970 after having been in existence for one season.

MLB Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles filed for bankruptcy in 1993 when their owner made a series of bad investments.  At the time, the owner invested in a consumer electronics company.

MLB Chicago Cubs

The Cubs filed for bankruptcy in 2009 when its parent company, the Tribune, filed for bankruptcy in 2008.

MLB Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers filed for bankruptcy in 2011 when their owner went through a very bad divorce.  After the filing of the bankruptcy, the team was taken over by the MLB.

Tips about Donations

April 9th, 2015

When giving a gift to charity or your church, no matter how big your donation may be, be sure to take into account these tips:

  1. Donate to a qualified charity. If they do not have their tax exemption from the IRS, you cannot deduct your donation.
  2. You can deduct your donations, whether in cash or property, by itemizing on your tax return.
  3. Get nothing back. If you receive something in return for your donation, then the value that you received cannot be deducted.
  4. Keep good records. In order to deduct a donation, you must keep records to prove that the donation was actually made.
  5. More paperwork. If you donate $250 or more in cash or property, you must receive a written statement from the charity.

If you are having tax trouble, feel free to contact our office at 816-524-4949 or www.Hoorfarlaw.com.

Explaining Estimated Tax Payments

April 8th, 2015

Any taxpayer that owes $1,000.00 or more on their most recent tax return must pay estimated taxes.  Estimated tax payments are tax pre-payments that must be made throughout the year, before the return is filed, to make the IRS feel better about collecting their taxes from you.  In order to determine how much estimated taxes you need to pay, be sure to use Form 1040-ES.

A taxpayer usually must pay estimated taxes when they have a life change, such as a marital status change, birth of a child, or a change in employment.  To pay your estimated taxes, you can mail your payment, pay online, or pay over the telephone.

If you are unsure about your tax situation or are in need of tax assistance, feel free to contact our office at 816-524-4949 or www.Hoorfarlaw.com.