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Volume 5, Issue 2 • February 2011

FINANCIAL NEWS

Attend a Free Financial Fitness Workshop
As a benefit to all Virginians, the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA) presents two FREE Financial Fitness Workshops. During your spring cleaning in April, spend some time cleaning up your finances and securing your money in these tough financial times.

To reserve your spot, please RSVP using the links below or contact the VSCPA Education Team at (800) 341-8189 or cpe@vscpa.com.

Exercise Your Financial Future
Virtual workshop: This workshop will take place via Internet and conference call. You will receive dial-in/login instructions in your confirmation e-mail a few days before the workshop.
Date: Tuesday, April 19
Time: 12 – 1 p.m.
Location: Online
Discussion leader: Phil Umansky, CPA, Ph.D., Virginia Union University
RSVP online now!

Get your finances into shape! Designed for all members of the general public, this workshop explores such topics as budgeting, saving, insurance strategies, retirement planning, money management, financial planning and more. Find out what you need to be doing today to secure your finances tomorrow.


Money-Wise Women
Date: Tuesday, April 26
Time: 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Location: Richmond CPA Center, 4309 Cox Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060
Discussion leader: Sue Messier, CPA, Goodman & Company
Lunch: Enjoy a complimentary lunch.
RSVP online now!

Get an understanding of the financial issues unique to women, including money and relationships, insurance strategies, retirement and estate planning, planning for your child's education, financial issues in divorce, concerns for widowhood and financial planning. Don't miss this chance to get valuable information and ask questions.

New Tax Legislation Creates, Renews Many Breaks
The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, signed into law by President Obama on December 17, 2010, is packed with new provisions. Following is a rundown of what you can expect from this legislation. This new law affects individuals, estate taxes and businesses. Read more at www.FinancialFitness.org.

Retiree Satisfaction Doesn’t Depend on Wealth
Three-quarters of millionaire retirees were highly satisfied in their retirement, but satisfaction didn't change much more as net worth rose beyond that, and half of those with less than $250,000 in net worth were highly satisfied in retirement, according to a new survey. The survey by Consumer Reports National Research Center polled 24,270 online subscribers age 55 and up about their finances and satisfaction with their lives. Read more at www.FinancialFitness.org.

New Hours for Virginia Department of Taxation
The Virginia Department of Taxation’s customer service department has new telephone service hours for customers calling with general and account-specific questions. The department is now open from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Outside of those hours, the department website’s live chat service is available from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. The live chat will also be available from 8:30 a.m. – 12 noon on Saturdays and will remain open on Saturdays through mid-May. For more information, visit the TAX website at www.tax.virginia.gov.


CONSUMER ARTICLES

Tax Implications of Starting Your Own Business
Moving forward with an exciting new business opportunity needs to be carefully balanced with tax considerations say CPA tax experts. As a sole proprietor or a single-member limited liability company, you may need to generate up to 20 percent more in revenue over your current salary to ensure you can cover the appropriate taxes. Considering these tax implications will be taking a step closer to making your dreams a reality.

Ways to Use Social Security Tax Savings
You may have noticed a few extra dollars in your paycheck lately. The Tax Relief Act passed in 2010 reduced employee social security withholding from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent in 2011. This means more money in your pocket. What will you do with your extra money in 2011? CPAs offer the following tips on how you can use your extra money wisely.

What You Need to Know About Estate Taxes
If you are handling the disposition of an estate, you are probably already aware that there was an unexpected reprieve from taxes on the estates of those who died in 2010. But if you’re involved in future estate planning for a loved one or yourself, it’s important to know that high estate tax rates have come back in force this year and beyond. Here's a rundown on some of the complexities of estate tax issues.

Homebuyer Tax Credit Still Available for Some
While the real estate market was hit hard during the recent financial crisis, home ownership is still considered a good investment by many, as well as a key component of the American dream. As you file your 2010 tax return, CPAs note that this may be your last chance to take advantage of a valuable tax credit if you purchased a home early last year. This article answers five common questions about the credit.

More Articles >


FINANCIAL LITERACY RESOURCES

Enroll in Financial Fitness University
The VSCPA offers a free workplace education and training program called Financial Fitness University. This program provides knowledgeable CPA instructors to address personal financial issues with your organization. Additional materials include paycheck inserts, articles for employee newsletters or intranets, flyers for bulletin boards and table tents for break rooms. Please feel free to copy and distribute these materials as many times as you like — there are no copyright restrictions. To access these materials and request a free speaker, simply visit www.FinancialFitness.org/University.

VSCPA Tax Resource Center
The VSCPA Tax Resource Center is designed to provide consumers and businesses with premier tax and personal financial planning resources, information and services. It contains a wealth of tax resources, including tax and financial planning articles and frequently asked tax questions. Also, the VSCPA provides a free online publication to help you learn about the different services CPAs provide, how to choose a CPA to meet your needs, what CPAs charge and more. Access these resources online at www.FinancialFitness.org.


FINANCIAL TIPS

Stay Healthy, Save Money
Cough! Sniffle. Achoo! The next few months mark the peak of cold and flu season. While there are plenty of reasons to stay healthy, maintaining good health can also mean big savings. For example, the health care costs for flu patients with a secondary infection can be over $6,000. On the other hand, the average flu vaccine costs less than $20. Here are a few tips to help you stay healthy this year.

Lifelong Financial Literacy
This month, many people are still working hard to implement their New Year's resolutions, and finances are a popular focus. But do you have the knowledge to turn your goals into reality? You may already be budgeting and have your bills all in check, but being financial literate is much broader than that. Try out a few of these tips and whip yourself into financial shape.
Source: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

Social Media  Social Media  Social Media  Social Media  Social Media

News Tweets From @FinancialFit
94% of Americans Wish They Were Smarter About Money #CPA http://bit.ly/dWlDax (via @WebCPAtweets) Feb 3rd via web

RT @ShawnteR Tax changes for 2010 — do you know them? #VSCPA member Phil Umansky, #CPA provides some advice for tax-filers to @CBS6 http://bit.ly/flAhLm Feb 2nd via web

Tax Day doesn’t have to cast a shadow on your spring. Visit your local #CPA & be prepared. #CPA360Tax #VSCPA http://www.FinancialFitness.org Feb 2nd via web

It might be worthwhile for you to itemize deductions. See a #CPA to do it correctly. #CPA360Tax #VSCPA http://www.FinancialFitness.org Feb 1st via web

Your local #CPA can help you manage your assets and maximize your cash flow #CPA360Tax #VSCPA http://www.FinancialFitness.org Feb 1st via web

More tweets at www.twitter.com/FinancialFit!