When all it takes to file for a bogus tax return from the IRS is an Internet connection and a stolen identity, the barriers to such a crime are low. And those low barriers are a big reason why bogus tax returns totaled more than $4 billion in 2012 – and why the Justice Department and IRS are getting serious about combating it.
Combined with this week’s news about the Heartbleed bug potentially impacting personal information on many of the web’s most popular sites, it’s a big reason to consistently and vigilantly monitor any and all online account activity and credit ratings.
Heard about the Heartbleed bug this week, but not exactly what it is or how it may affect you? It’s a critical security gap that opens up many of the web’s most popular and widely used sites (gmail, Amazon, Yahoo!, etc) and their users to hackers and viruses.
The best thing for you to do is change your password on any and all potentially impacted sites where you have login information and/or an account. The list at this link provides a handy rundown of many of the most well known sites on the web and if users for each of them should change their passwords.
A big change in rules announced last week could impact how you manage your retirement savings, especially if you have more than one IRA.
The ruling from the IRS states that the one-rollover-per-year rule that applies to the 50-plus million Americans with an IRA now applies to all IRAs under a taxpayer’s name – not to each IRA individually.
The ruling from an IRS tax court surprised many industry observers and experts and runs counter to years of advise from the IRS itself.
To learn more about the ruling and how it may impact your IRA, read the article at this link or give us a call.
U.S. GDP growth for the fourth quarter was revised upward to a 2.6 percent annual rate, a slight increase from the 2.4 percent previously forecasted. A notable increase in health care spending seems to be the biggest driver in the slight upward revision, with most other key categories – sales of U.S.-produced goods and services, business investment, structure spending/investment – were little changed.
Nonetheless, it’s another sign of the economy’s resiliency, if not outright strength, in the face of a very harsh winter and mixed sentiment.
“Go where your audience is,” the old marketing and sales saying goes. And that’s just what President Obama did this week as part of his push to get as many young people as possible to enroll for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act before the open-enrollment deadline at the end of this month.
So the president took his message to where that specific audience is – online, and specifically to a guest spot on “Between Two Ferns,” a web-only talk show spoof starring actor and comedian Zach Galifianakis. Obama’s appearance put the president’s sense of humor on full display and, it seems, had its intended effect – traffic to HealthCare.gov spiked nearly 40 percent in the days following the episode.
The bull market rages on, continuing to confound skeptics in the process. As she does each month, Schwab chief strategist Liz Ann Sonders shares her insights on the positive drivers propelling our economy, as well as drag factors like reduced federal spending and unusually harsh winter weather. She also looks at if ongoing woes in emerging markets will have a long-lasting impact. Watch her March Monthly Snapshot here.
Watch her March Monthly Snapshot here.
Senior paraplanner Jessica Roach welcomed a healthy, beautiful baby boy into the world last week – we are so happy for her and her growing family. Congrats!
If it seems like tax scams that use email and phone calls that appear to come from the IRS are common these days, it’s because they are, unfortunately. Such scams often use the IRS name and logo or fake websites that can look real.
All of which is another reason to pass along this important reminder – the IRS will never initiate contact with you through email, social media or text to ask for your personal or financial information. If someone does and claims to be from the IRS, it’s a scam.
The IRS provides a lot of helpful information and tips on identifying and reporting tax scams at its website.
It’s not all work all the time here at Galecki Financial Management. We make sure to take time out for the things important us – especially when it comes to family. Below is a picture of our founder and proud grandpa Greg Galecki with his beautiful granddaughter, Cora.
This summer, the Galecki team was pleased to participate in the Fort Wayne Sport Club’s second annual Kickball Tournament benefitting Turnstone Center for Children and Adults with Disabilities.
Turnstone has been meeting the needs of children and adults with disabilities for over 68 years, offering a wide range of therapies, including for speech, physical occupational and aquatic. It also offers adult and child day care services, and a health and wellness center.
It was a ton of fun being a part of this event supporting a great local organization that helps so many in our community. This was our first team effort at kickball and we have a long way to go from a performance perspective. We lost all three games easily – in fact, it would not surprise us if a “Mercy Rule” is implemented for next year.
On the other hand, we could have taken the award for Best Dressed Team – we sported very colorful socks, as you can see.
Most importantly, we all enjoyed the day tremendously. (We just hope the game highlights are not posted on YouTube.)