Category Archives: Personal Finance

Your Taxpayer Bill of Rights

Your Taxpayer Bill of Rights by Howard LipsetEvery taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights. The “Taxpayer Bill of Rights” takes the many existing rights in the tax code and groups them into ten categories. You should be aware of these rights when you interact with the IRS.   

Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer, highlights a list of your rights and the agency’s obligations to protect them. Here is a summary of the first four of ten Taxpayer Bill of Rights: Continue reading

FAILURE IS FEEDBACK Part 5

FAILURE IS FEEDBACK Part 5 By Howard LipsetFailure is a stepping stone towards success.  But the information that you gather only has power when it is applied to real life situations. Failure is Feedback when you can learn different lessons from the failure, and that puts you on your way to success.

It is easy to feel like a failure when something does not work out.  Continue reading

Failure is Feedback: Part 2

Failure is Feedback: Part 2 by Howard LipsetFailure is a stepping stone towards success. But the information you gather only has power when it is applied to real life situations. Failure is feedback when you can learn different lessons from the failure, which puts you on your way to success.  Continue reading

Failure is Feedback

Failure is Feedback by Howard LipsetFailure is a stepping stone towards success. But the information that you gather only has power when it is applied to real life situations. Failure is feedback when you can learn different lessons from the failure, and that puts you on your way to success.

It is easy to feel like a failure when something does not work out.

It is a first instinct to feel disappointed when your project or start-up fails.

At that moment, you could care less about feedback from failure. Continue reading

IRS Updates Phone Scam Warnings

IRS Updates Phone Scam Warnings by Howard Lipset, CPAThe IRS is again warning the public about phone scams that continue to claim victims all across the country. In these scams, thieves make unsolicited phone calls to their intended victims. Callers fraudulently claim to be from the IRS and demand immediate payment of taxes by a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. The callers are often hostile and abusive.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) has received 90,000 complaints about these scams. TIGTA estimates that thieves have stolen an estimated $5 million from about 1,100 victims. To avoid becoming a victim of these scams, you should know:

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Does Credit Repair Make Sense?

 Does Credit Repair Make Sense? by Howard Lipset, CPAby Leslie H. Tayne, Esq.

Founder and managing director of Tayne Law Group, P.C., one of the few New York State financial law firms dedicated to debt resolution and bankruptcy alternatives.  

An award winning financial attorney, Leslie is a regularly sought out guest speaker and media expert who offers valuable insight, advice and strategies relating to various areas of debt.  www.taynelaw.com.

As defined by the Federal Credit Repair Organizations Act, credit repair companies/organizations help consumers remove negative information from their credit report. Credit repair organizations usually achieve this by sending dispute letters to credit reporting agencies to challenge the credibility of negative information reported on someone’s credit report by one of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Transunion and Equifax).  If you have legitimate errors on your credit report, those errors can affect your credit and you might benefit from a credit report company correcting them.

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Social Security is a Matter of Timing

By Harriet Hoffman, Make the Right Choice

Social Security is a Matter of Timing - Howard Lipset, CPADeciding when to begin receiving Social Security benefits can be a major life decision. It can impact your long-term financial security, your retirement prospects and your federal tax burden, or it can provide an immediate and welcome lifeline.

On the surface, when to take your benefits looks like a no-brainer. You can begin collecting any time between age 62 and 70.  Full Social Security age is 66. So if you want or need those monthly payments, many people would advise you to grab the money as soon as possible. If you don’t need the money the common wisdom says wait until you are full Social Security age (for baby boomers that age is 66) and then you will collect for more years than if you wait until the maximum age of 70. If you don’t have other assets, wait until 70 to get more guaranteed-annuity income. This over-simplified guide leaves out the myriad of factors that need to be considered if you are to make the most of the benefit that you have earned and that for many will play a significant role in your future financial security.

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I Do Not Like Debit Cards

I Do Not Like Debit Cards By Howard LipsetThe primary reason is that they lead to additional bank charges.

In my opinion, the only people who should use a debit card are those that have excessive amounts of cash in their checking accounts or those who will never write a check on the account that is being debited.

And here is why. Obviously, excessive cash will handle a myriad of charges without fear of overdrafts. Most people who use the debit card do not have a mechanism for adjusting their checkbook balance for each charge. Continue reading

The 800 Frustration

The 800 Frustration By Howard LipsetHow many times have you called an 800 number, only to spend more time on the phone than it was worth; and you still did not solve the problem.

Well, for most of these situations, I now ignore the 800 number and move directly to a person with sufficient responsibility to fix the issue in a manner satisfactory to me.

First, I find out the name and address of the CEO. If this is a public corporation, google their name and “10K”. Headquarters address will be on Page 1. Check the index for Corporate Officers. If not a public company, you will have to work a little harder. But the information is out there.

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A New Kind of Internet Scam

A New Kind of Internet Scam by Howard LipsetIf you are reading this blog, then you may have seen the problem.

In response to a prior blog, someone posted a like. Raved about what I had written. Called me by first name as if we were partners. Gave a telephone number and offered assistance in areas that I could not. But, then specifically told everyone to use me for advice.

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