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By Andrea Woroch

Money is a top concern for most Americans these days and, with so much uncertainty still ahead, it's important to create financial security for yourself and your family as we enter into this new year.

Improving your finances may seem like a daunting process, but getting started is half the battle. Here are five money moves you can tackle now to get the momentum going.

1. Plug budget leaks.

Considering that 35% of Americans have less savings now than before the coronavirus took hold of our country, according to a recent survey from Bankrate.com, finding areas in your budget to rebuild savings should be a priority for the new year. Rebuilding an emergency fund may seem impossible now, but you may be surprised ho...

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MoneyTips

It may not make economic sense for you to replace appliances on a house you intend to sell, but for a higher-end home, it may make the difference. If you do replace appliances, stay generic but aesthetically pleasing. The homeowners are likely to replace it anyway, but they still need the initial positive impression to buy the home in the first place.It may not make economic sense for you to replace appliances on a house you intend to sell, but for a higher-end home, it may make the difference. If you do replace appliances, stay generic but aesthetically pleasing. The homeowners are likely to replace it anyway, but they still need the initial positive impression to buy the home in the first place.


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    This is the first in a series of financial commentaries by our Editorial Roundtable. Check back to read alternative points of view expressed in this column.

James Cash Penney, who founded JC Penney in 1902, observed years later that, “Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.” This holds as true for the broader US economy as it does for individual companies. For it is the combination of market forces, government policies and macroeconomic trends that shapes our long-term economic outlook and near-term prospects for growth.

As we peer beyond the horizon to boldly — or foolishly— predict economic developments in 2014, let’s stay mindful of this synergistic process. For only by assessing the interplay of multiple factors can we hope to divine the future.

Here, then, are the key forces and trends MoneyTips predicts will combine to make 2014 a very positive year for the US eco...

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MoneyTips

Did you have a happy New Year? We certainly hope so. Now it's time to get back to regular routines and take care of January chores, including gathering your tax information.

The 2021 Tax Season Begins on January

The IRS has announced that the 2021 tax season has begin in January. The beginning of tax season means that the IRS will accept individual electronic returns and start processing traditional paper returns.

Soon, you and more than 150 million of your fellow Americans will be sifting through tax information and preparing returns — or have them prepared for you. In 2018, tax preparers filed nearly 79.5 million electronic returns. In 2020, the industry employed 258,802 tax practitioners in 128,770 businesses and created $11 billion in revenue. Expect tax preparers to be even busier in 2021 due to the tax laws in effect. <...

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MoneyTips

Tax preparers such as Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) and Enrolled Agents are incredibly busy during tax season. Their time is precious, even more so in recent years with many of the changes introduced by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act currently in effect. That makes it even more important for you to prepare for your allotted tax preparation time.

Your tax professional needs the following four categories of information to prepare your taxes properly. Make sure to bring all the necessary forms and receipts and organize them so that they may be found quickly.

  • Identification and Basic Information – For any new relationships, you will need to supply identification for you, your spouse, and all dependents claimed. Social Security cards are preferred, but other government-issued ID is usually acceptable. Check with your preparer before you visit.

    Other basic information includes your address, your previous year's tax form, and any info...

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