The dog ate my return —really not a good excuse

Filed under: Banking & Finance |

Taxpayers are creative when it comes to explaining why they haven’t filed their income tax returns.

According to a survey commissioned by H&R Block, more than half said they are too busy, too scared or too good at coming up with another excuse.

One in five respondents was compiling paperwork, while nearly 10 percent said they were waiting for key documents to arrive before finishing.

Nearly 11 percent said they were either too busy, afraid that they owed the Internal Revenue Service money or had procrastinated too long.

More than 1,000 taxpayers, ages 22 to 64, shared their thoughts for the survey.

Key Bank zeros in on female market with business guide

Key Bank is doing its part to secure its share of the women-owned business market by helping to publish a guide about gaining and using capital.

“Financing Business Growth: Proven Strategies for Women Business Owners from Women Business Owners” includes stories about successful female entrepreneurs, and ideas and resources about options for financing growth.

According to the Center for Women’s Business Research, four in 10 female business owners want to expand their businesses and 83 percent want to increase their firm’s profitability.

Only 3 percent of all privately-held women-owned businesses generate $1 million or more in annual revenues, compared to 6 percent of businesses owned by men.

The attributes of business owners who reach $1 million or more in revenue include: planning for growth, setting goals, selling to other businesses, upgrading of skills and bringing in partners.

More information about the guide is available at

NASDAQ tops IPO listings

The NASDAQ Stock Market Inc. had its strongest first quarter performance for IPO listings since 2000.

NASDAQ captured more new listings, 42, than any other U.S. exchange.

Six of the 10 largest U.S. IPOs measured by proceeds, were listed on NASDAQ during the first quarter.

Notable IPOs included National CineMedia and Clearwire Corp.

Americans not well-positioned for retirement

According to the 17th annual Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS), Americans recognize the U.S. retirement system is undergoing major changes but are not adapting in ways that would likely leave them well-positioned for a comfortable retirement.

Highlights of the survey include:

Pension plans changes by employers have left nearly half of workers less confident about the benefits they will receive from a traditional pension plan, but those experiencing a decline in retirement benefits often fail to react constructively. Among workers who have experienced reductions to the benefits, nearly two in five indicate that they have done nothing in response to the reductions.

Many workers are counting on employer-provided benefits during retirement that are increasingly unavailable. Forty-one percent of workers indicate they or their spouse currently have a defined benefit pension plan, while 62 percent say they are expecting to receive income from such a plan in retirement.

Almost half of workers saving for retirement report total savings and investments (not including the value of their primary residence or any defined benefit plans) of less than $25,000. The majority of workers who have not put money aside for retirement have little in savings at all: seven in 10 of these workers say their assets total less than $10,000.

BoA gives $6M to Habitat for Humanity

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation is donating $6 million to Habitat for Humanity International.

The money will be used for general operating support as well as financing home construction and renovation for families around the world, Habitat representatives said.

The Habitat grant is one of several significant charitable donations the bank has announced this year.

The gift is part of Bank of America’s 10-year plan to give $1.5 billion to nonprofit organizations that seek to improve quality of life. The bank is expected to give away more than $200 million in 2007, ranking it among the most generous corporate donors.

Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1976 and is an international home-building movement with more than 2,300 affiliated organizations. It builds nearly 25,000 homes per year.

Banking insurance revenue down in 2006

Total insurance revenue for the nation’s bank holding companies dropped 1.3 percent to $43.5 billion in 2006 from $44.1 billion in 2005, according to the American Bankers Association.

Citigroup, Wells Fargo & Co., Countrywide Financial and Branch Bank and Trust led all bank holding companies for insurance fee income last year.

The findings are based on data reported to the Federal Reserve Board. The analysis measures the banking industry’s insurance business and provides benchmarks that gauge performance.

The industry’s insurance underwriting declined 5.2 percent, but insurance brokerage fee income continued to grow, increasing 10.6 percent in 2006.

Among the top 50 holding companies, the mean ratio of insurance revenue to non-interest income was 14.8 percent in 2006.

Lorna Gutierrez covers banking and finance for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.