The Internal Revenue Service recently announced that more than one million business taxpayers have electronically filed tax returns so far this year. Corporate e-filed returns have increased by nearly 50 percent compared to this period last year.
To date, the IRS has processed more than 200,000 business returns, about 50,000 of which were returns for corporations. More than 410,000 corporate taxpayers have e-filed returns.
Non-corporate business filers are also using e-file. More than 185,000 businesses have electronically filed partnership returns.
In addition, the IRS received 847 million electronically filed information returns (W-2s, W-4s, 1099s, 1098s, etc.) last year, more than 80 percent of the total 1.2 billion information returns.
The Independent Community Bankers of America is applauding the Department of Defense for its balanced proposed rule regarding loans to service members and their dependents.
The proposal, required by the John Warner Defense Authorization Act for 2007, includes an interest rate cap of 36 percent along with other restrictions on certain loans to service members.
Mom and Dad, April 24 is National Teach Your Children to Save Day. The American Bankers Associations encourages parents and guardians to help their children set up a savings account and explain how compounding interested earned on an account will make the money grow.
Parents are encouraged to take the child to the bank or credit union and show him or her how things work at a bank. Maybe the manager will even let the child see the vault. Teach your children how to budget their allowance and encourage them to put a portion of their allowance into savings accounts. Don’t just take your child shopping with you, but discuss how much things cost. Teaching children money management and saving skills will not only help set your children off on the right foot, but also potentially make life easier for the parent in the long run.
In addition to dusting and vacuuming, April can be a good time to spruce up your financial records, according to CNN Money financial analysts.
Often the hardest part of filing paperwork is deciding what documents you should hang on to and for how long. Here are a few words of advice from the analysts.
Tax returns and proof of filing should be kept forever, just in case there happens to be a not-so-friendly visit from the IRS. Documents that support the tax returns should be kept for six years — same with stock, bond and mutual fund statements. Medical bills should be kept for six years if they’re deducted from your tax return, otherwise they can be tossed after a year. Pay stubs should be kept until W-2s arrive, and 401(K) and IRA statements should be kept until the year-end summary arrives.
Bank statements and utility bills can be discarded at the end of the year, unless they’re needed for tax purposes, in which case they should be held onto for six years.
Receipts for big-ticket items should be kept until the warranty expires, and receipts for tax-deductible expenses should be kept for six years.
No need to hang on to credit-card statements for more than one month, unless they’re needed for tax purposes.
During the last half of 2006, more than 400 bankers contacted the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Office of the Ombudsman with requests for assistance. The ombudsman staff met with almost 800 financial industry representatives. Below are two common issues discussed:
Bank Secrecy Act/ Anti-Money Laundering issues have been of concern for banks for the past several years and the past six months is no exception. Bankers said the terms of the Bank Secrecy Act are burdensome and have high costs associated with it to train and implement the rules. Bankers also feel they are unfairly being placed in a law enforcement role because of terms in the Bank Secrecy Act.
Bank rating services on the FDIC Web site were of concern to some de novo, or new, institutions because the listing services on the Web site implies an endorsement by the FDIC, which negatively affects the de novo institutions. Ombudsman staff has since changed the disclaimer notice and added comment that state de novo institutions have unique characteristics, such as rapid growth, poor earnings and high capital levels that rating formulas may not fully take into account.
Given the dramatic rise in check fraud, including official and cashier’s checks in recent years, the national Bank Fraud Working Group, under the sponsorship of the Department of Justice, re-established the Check Fraud Working Group in February 2006. The FDIC is a co-chair of the group along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Sarah Colwell covers Banking and Finance for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.