Remar's Report

Check Out These Tax Tips Before Filing Your Federal Income Tax Return

income_tax_forms.jpgMarch 2010

Tax time has rolled around again. Wouldn’t you like to save all you can? Some of the many changes to the federal tax code in 2009 might help you save on your taxes. Various tax deductions and tax credits are new, extended, or expanded. This month’s report takes a brief look at some of those tax deductions and credits.

Tax Deductions/Credits Available if You File Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ

No matter which 1040 form you file, make sure you consider these deductions and credits.

 

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HOW ABOUT SOME MONEY BACK?

second_chance_loan.jpgFebruary 2010

As tight money times continue in 2010, how does getting some money back sound? Maybe a thousand dollars or two?

If you’re driving a vehicle financed at any place other than PMCU, money back may be closer than you think. If you financed a new or used vehicle some other place, a lot of money back may be in your future.

Thousands of times in the past several years, PMCU has refinanced members’ car loans from other financial institutions and has saved members an average of $1790 in interest payments.

 

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What Will New Credit Card Regulations Mean for You?

credit_cards.jpgJanuary 2010

In May 2009, the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, often called the Credit Card Act 2009 was signed into law. The first of the new credit card rules designed to protect consumers went into effect in late August 2009. The remaining regulations take effect in February 2010. The goal of this legislation is to provide new protections for consumers by providing for better disclosures about credit card terms and limiting some practices. Your credit union has always offered a very good card with clear and fair terms, but that has not been true of all issuers. Currently, for instance, many large credit card issuers are busy making changes to protect their profits before the new rules take effect. What do the new regulations and card issuers’ actions mean for you and your use of credit and credit cards? This report gives you a preview.

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Improving Your Home's Energy Efficiency Can Save Money

installing-weatherstripping.jpgNovember 2009

Even though the economy is showing signs of improvement, most consumers are still looking for ways to save money. Making improvements to save energy around your home may cost some money now but produce savings now and in the long-term. This month we’ll look at various ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home, ranging from simple, low-cost strategies to more extensive improvements. Some improvements may qualify for tax credits and help you save even more.

Where Is Your Home Losing or Using Energy?

Where is air likely leaking out of (or into) your home? Is there adequate insulation in your attic or crawl space? Can you feel drafts around your doors or windows or see cracks of daylight? How old or efficient is your furnace or air-conditioning system? Making a home energy audit to answer these questions and more is the first step in planning the most effective improvements for your home. You can do a simple energy audit yourself using the energy audit instructions from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Some utility companies also offer home energy audits for free or at low cost.

 

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Tips to Enhance Your Plans to Save More

savings_jar.jpgOctober 2009

Overall in 2009, we Americans are saving more money. That’s one positive thing, at least, that the current recession has prompted us to do. According to the latest figures from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the savings rate is over 4% (as a percentage of disposable income). A few years ago our relative savings rate was essentially zero. So this is a great trend—a positive for personal finances that I hope everyone will continue to do even after the economy recovers.

Getting in the habit of saving regularly, however, is not easy for most people. There are so many temptations to spend. It’s a little like resolving to eat in more healthful ways—you do great for a couple of days until a co-worker brings in delicious sweet treats for the break room. Nevertheless, you are determined to start saving and build up at least the recommended emergency fund equivalent to six months’ living expenses. A worthy goal.

 

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