8 Year-End Tax Moves to Make Now

As we enter the home stretch of 2014, it’s time to consider some tax moves. Here are a few you might want to consider: Give to charity. For those who itemize, making a charitable contribution could lower your taxes. Rather than just giving cash, consider giving your most highly appreciated securities. You usually will get a deduction equal to the full value of the securities and will not have to pay a capital gains tax. Max out your 401(k). Those over …

Free Financial Advice? What’s Not to Like?

Need financial advice on estate planning, retirement savings or something else? You can get it for free. From Sept. 27 through Nov. 8, hundreds of financial planners will be available to meet one-on-one with people in 25 cities in an annual event called Financial Planning Days. The initiative, in its fifth year, is sponsored by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, the Financial Planning Association, the Foundation for Financial Planning and the U.S. Conference of Mayors. >> 8 Hidden College Expenses Financial …

Social Security Takes Center Stage in Alaska Senate Campaign

Social Security has become a hot issue in the Alaska Senate race, one of the battleground contests that will determine which political party controls the Senate. “Both of Alaska’s candidates for U.S. Senate know that the country’s Social Security system needs reform … but differ sharply on how they’d solve the problem,” Alaska Dispatch, on online news site, said in a Sept. 22 story. >> Sign up for the AARP Advocacy Newsletter Democratic Sen. Mark Begich has introduced legislation that would …

It’s Tax Day! Don’t Forget to File

If you’re rushing to get your taxes done before today’s midnight deadline, take some comfort that you’re not alone. The Internal Revenue Service expects to receive about 35 million returns in the last week or so before the filing deadline. At this point, the time for most moves to lessen your tax bite is long over, although even on this deadline day you may have one more opportunity. It’s still possible to make a 2013 contribution to a deductible individual retirement …

Social Security Halts Tax-Refund Grab to Recover Old Debts

Update: The Social Security Administration says it will immediately stop collecting old debts by grabbing taxpayers’ refunds. In a statement, Carolyn W. Colvin, the acting commissioner of the agency, says: “I have directed an immediate halt to further referrals under the Treasury Offset Program to recover debts owed to the agency that are 10 years old and older pending a thorough review of our responsibility and discretion under the current law to refer debt to the Treasury Department. “If any Social Security …

Same-Sex Couples Still Waiting for Equal Financial Treatment

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled the law that prevented same-sex spouses from enjoying federal benefits was unconstitutional nearly a year ago, yet the financial repercussions for these couples are still being worked through. Federal agencies have been updating their regulations to comply, and some have moved faster than others. And even among agencies that have acted, how they handle same-sex marriage differs. The IRS, for instance, says same-sex spouses now must file federal returns as joint filers or as married …