Friday, March 13, 2015

I Cannot Pay My Taxes, HELP!

English: Debit Card فارسی: کارت عابر بانک العر...
English: Debit Card (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
About 27% of taxpayers annually need to pay the IRS when they file their tax returns. If you are one of these individuals, you need to figure out how you are going to pay. When you have the amount needed, you can use a debit card, mail a check with your return, or have the funds withdrawn from a savings account.

If you cannot pay the amount, then you can use a credit card or setup a payment plan with the IRS. Pay as much as you can by the tax deadline and wait for the IRS to tell you how much a month additional you should pay. An Online Payment Payment Agreement will give you up to 120 days to pay off the balance. Find this form on the IRS website,

IRS Form 9465 gives you more than 120 days to pay the IRS for the taxes you owe. This is considered an installment agreement and is available with the major tax preparation software packages including TurboTax. There is a small fee to setup the installment agreement but if this is your only choice, it is the way to go.

Consider all the costs involved when deciding how to pay your taxes when you file your 2014 tax return. If the APR on a credit card is high, then going directly to the IRS could be your best plan of action. Just make sure that you have everything setup prior to the filing deadline or you could face additional fees and penalties, making your debt burden even bigger.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Obamacare, Taxes, And TurboTax: What's The Connection?

English: This is a diagram depicting the perce...
English: This is a diagram depicting the percentage in US who have no health insurance by age. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A recent survey shows that nearly 50% of Americans don't know the tax reporting requirement for health insurance. All taxpayers will need to report their current health insurance status on their 2014 tax returns. Since tax-filing season is about to begin, Intuit ran the TurboTax Health Survey with Harris Poll. Most Americans know very little about the connection between taxes and health insurance.

Still A Lack of Knowledge Surrounding Obamacare

As dictated by the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, Americans need to prove that they own qualifying health insurance. They need to prove this on their 2014 taxes in order to avoid a tax penalty. Over 62% of uninsured Americans know they're required to pay a penalty if they lack health insurance. However, 87% of those same individuals don't realize that the penalty to avoid this penalty has already passed.

TurboTax Set To Help Taxpayers With These Issues and Others

Health coverage purchased in the current open enrollment period through February 15 won't apply to this year's return. They'll apply to 2015's returns filed in 2016. Even though open enrollment is currently underway, Americans still don't know the connection between healthcare and taxes. TurboTax will warn Americans about such deadlines and show them how to fix these issues in the future. Of course, those with coverage before the deadline won't face any penalties.

Other Information From The Survey

Nearly 90% of Americans have health insurance, but residents of the South have lower coverage rates than other regions. Also, almost 50% of Americans aren't aware of premium tax credits that exist to make health insurance cheaper for low-income families. Nearly 75% of Americans with coverage from an exchange plan to renew their coverage for the following year. TurboTax currently offers a free resource for taxpayers concerning Obamacare at, which users should visit immediately.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Casino Bankruptcies In Atlantic City And Their Repurcusions

English: The Showboat Casino in Atlantic City
English: The Showboat Casino in Atlantic City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Labor Day weekend was the last business weekend for the Revel casino. Being a major taxpayer, together with the other three casinos exiting the market, a dip in tax collected by $10 billion is expected. The casino that had an initial capital of $2.4 billion has sunk into bankruptcy twice besides having a short life span.

The casino is not new to trouble as it walked into its first major loss before construction completion when Morgan Stanley left. This was in 2010 and it ended up opening two years late. The loss that amounted to $1.2 billion was a rough start. The competition from casinos in the neighbouring towns saw the management change strategies. The emphasis was on entertainment especially for the younger generation as opposed to gaming. The revenue in Atlantic City collected from gaming activities almost halved between 2006 and now.

With persistence losses even during peak periods, the casino has had to change strategies often. The first in line was the building plan that was adjusted to create more public space and one instead of the two hotels planned for. The closure on Monday was signified by few revellers, few independent restaurants open and fewer than usual dishes on the menu. Present were state troopers to avert any possible act of vandalism. This is after the Atlantic club closure was marred by such acts. The casino bankruptcies in Atlantic City will adversely affect the economy.

With a record four casino bankruptcies in a year, the Atlantic City, the loss of employment opportunities is evident. The Showboat casino went down before the Revel while the Trump is set to close down on 16th September. The employees had mixed feelings. Some opted to work till the end while others were sceptical and took off for early vacations.

The cancellation of the bankruptcy proceeding of Revel AC Inc shortly after the closure of Revel was an unexpected twist of events. Claims of deals made with landlords, creditors and other stakeholders are credited for the twist. With decline in competition and the strategic location of Revel on the Oceanfront, David Berliner of BDO Consulting, New York anticipates a great deal. Though the property will lay low for a while before being sold, it is expected to raise an amount much lower than the capital used.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Why Amazon Paid An Astronomical Sum For Twitch

A typical retail display (in Geneva, Switzerla...
A typical retail display (in Geneva, Switzerland) with a large selection of games for several major consoles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Twitch was purchased by Amazon for more than $1.1 billion, a price that includes $970 million in cash.  So what did all of this money buy?

Amazon got two things:  They're going to get a video audience that is deeply engaged and a media company that is currently generating cash in an unconventional fashion.

In terms of viewers, Amazon understands that there is a massive and growing audience for live-streaming video games.  In 2013, Twitch viewers watched video for approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes on a daily basis.

Amazon currently spends more than a billion dollars annually on video content, but Twitch gets all of its content for free.  It is clearly interesting that Twitch is already making a nice profit.  Our estimates suggest that Twitch is presently earning above $72 million on its run rate.

While the current revenue for this company has not been disclosed by Twitch or even how the revenue is broken down, a close source has said that active subscribers number around 600,000 and that this would bring in about $36 million annually.  When factoring in advertising revenue, however, which is the largest part of Twitch revenue overall, the total would come to at least $72 million.

So what's the driving force behind this amazing growth?  Subscriptions are not what drive Twitch viewing, but a lot of Twitch viewers show their support by getting subscriptions.  They offer support for Speedrunner, MANvsGAME, Cosmo Wright and other popular broadcasters as a show of appreciation.

After all, these broadcasters often produce many days of viewing content every month.

This is quite different from the videos that are supplied by Amazon.  There is some video provided by Amazon's Prime Instant Video, but this comes bundled with a subscription for Amazon Prime which runs about $100 annually.  Video can be sold or rented at premium prices.

Twitch was initially poised for purchase by YouTube.  Now, however, with the purchase of Twitch, Amazon has a platform that is a lot like YouTube.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Easing The Burden of Taxes By Checking Your Refund Status

Internal Revenue Service
Internal Revenue Service (Photo credit: LendingMemo)
Right now millions of people are scrambling to focus on doing their taxes, whether it’s small business that needs to do quarterly reporting, or it’s those that are late on their initial return, there is a variety of issues that can be pursuant during this stressful time. If you or someone you know is struggling to figure all of this out, it’s time to take a simple step back and understand that this is not a complicated endeavor. However, it may seem complex at first glance. In order to ease the burden, you’ll want to look at not only how to get your taxes done swiftly, but also figure out how to go about checking you refund status whenever you need to.

The Preparation

No matter what type of tax return you need to file, you’ll find that there are several solutions that you can chase in this matter. You could go ahead and fill out the paperwork yourself, with the aid of a local library, which has to keep these forms on file and information on how to fill them out. You could even get free local aid in this manner.

Another method is to purchase software that can do the calculations, and filing for you. These range in price and some are even free online with several benefits that come alongside with it. No matter what software choice you choose, make sure that it’s approved for federal and state fillings. Once you have that, you will be able to go along and answer questions to fill out your forms automatically.

A third solution is to hire a CPA to do your taxes, whether it’s annually or quarterly. This can cost a pretty penny for some, but there are solutions that abound in every marketplace, that may even be cost effective. You’ll have to look around a bit in this regards.

Your Refund Status
No matter what option you choose in preparation, you could always go about checking you refund status, by going to the official IRS website. That’s right, you could check on your filing and more if you sign in to the official IRS page and get up to the minute information. In some instances, if you file online, you will be able to get text updates, or even email updates on the refund status that you have overall.

If you in fact have a refund pending, you will be able to get a solid answer from the IRS if you just look into it. Of course, if you don’t file, if you don’t prepare your taxes at all, then checking your refund status becomes frivolous. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Is SureTrader Good For Online Investments?

Is Suretrader Good?

Thanks to the Internet, stock trading has never been easier for the average person. Unfortunately, may Internet investors mistakenly think they are getting into an easy scheme for getting rich quick. Lack of investor experience results in millions of lost dollars every year. This investor need for professional advice in web-based trading has lead to the creation of brokerage sites like Sure Trader.

SureTrader, part of Swiss American Securities, Ltd, was founded in 2008 by businessman Guy Gentile. Its location in the Bahamas is one reason people choose SureTrader: It is regulated by the Bahamas Securities and Exchange Commission and not the US Securities and Exchange Commission. This means that investors are not bound by the Pacific Day Trader rule, or PDT, which limits investors with less than $25,000 on account to three days of trading per rolling period. In other words, SureTrader investing does not require as much cash for starting each trading day, answering the question for many people, Is SureTrader good? with a resounding, 'Yes!'

SureTrader has competitive pricing, but the web-site is somewhat outdated and can be hard to navigate. They do provide live customer support which is easy to use by just clicking on a link in the corner of the screen.
Signing up for SureTrader involves scanning in a couple of IDs as well as a current utility bill. After that, it takes a day or two for the account to be activated.

SureTrader has three different investment platforms and users can manage their account wherever they can get an Internet connection.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Rise In Company Profits Shows Itself

Netflix has integrated its streaming player in...
Netflix has integrated its streaming player in many consumer electronics devices including the XBox 360 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Netflix has experienced a rise in the price of their stock due to their increased prices, which have resulted in higher profits. Internet video subscription prices have always been reasonable, yet Netflix has announced it is currently getting ready to jack up its prices for Internet streaming subscriptions by perhaps as much as $2 per month. This is said to be an assistant in covering the cost of additional programming that is going to be added to the current service.

According to the company, the increase will take place in July, with the increase in price being added at that time. The company has stated that United States based subscribers will keep paying $8 per month for a generous, yet undisclosed, period of time.

While these companies have all experienced profit growth and improvement, it has come from a place that was entirely opposite. With the market and economy in such a fickle place, companies are grabbing the profits and learning from them while they can. Time alone will show us the results.

Netflix is a San Francisco based company that made the public aware of the increase in cost on April 22. It has been reported that those with vested interest in Netflix are in approval of the price hike, and the result was a 6% surge in the company's stock. During the first quarter of 2014, Netflix earned $53 million, which paid out $.86 per share of stock. Last year the numbers were $2.7 million, or $.05 per share. To put it delicately, revenue for Netflix has risen 24%: $1.3 billion.

If we take Haliburton into consideration in comparison, we find they reported profit in the first quarter year, however, they had reported loss the exact same quarter last year. Now Haliburton sells their services to companies whose primary focus is natural gas and oil drilling. This would also include hydraulic fracturing. Haliburton sustained damage by the low prices that have undermined their gas drilling services. This company, based in Houston, reported a net income of $622 million dollars @ $.73 per share. Their revenue rose 5% to $7.35 million. Without an added charge, adjusted profit for the company was $.67 one year ago.

Another company is Hasbro. It has found its way home to making profits in this year's first quarter. The sales of toys for girls have been the biggest boost for the toy manufacturer. Having earned $32 million at $.24 per share ending March 30. Years earlier, they were suffering a loss than $6.5 million.

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