Smart Money Moves for April

April is known for many things, all involving money. There is the infamous April 15th deadline for filing federal and state income taxes. Important this year, there is also the homebuyers tax credits. April is also financial literacy month. So with all of this in mind, I decided to use this month’s column to remind you of a few smart moves that can save you some money this year.

Homebuyers Tax Credit Set to Expire

April 30, 2010, is the deadline to take advantage of the homebuyers’ tax credits. There are two. The first one gives new home buyers, classified as someone who has not owned a home in the three years prior to the home purchase date of the new home, a tax credit up to $8,000 if they purchase a new home. The second one is for existing homebuyers who want to move up. This second category of individuals can get a tax credit up to $6,500 if they purchase another home. Though it is not uncommon to put a contract on a house and go to closing or settlement within 30 days, there is still time if you can’t make it happen that quickly. If you have a binding sales contract signed by April 30, 2010, you can still get the credit so long as everything is final by June 30, 2010. For more information visit the federal housing tax credit website. If you are in the market for a new home, with the state of the housing industry, now is a good time to purchase a home. There is a lot of inventory in many price ranges.

Tax Filing Deadline

Typically, this time of year, only those who owe money are still waiting to file their taxes. If you just happen to be one of them, I just want to remind you that you still have time to purchase an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). By purchasing an IRA, you will reduce the amount of taxes you owe for the 2009 tax year. Check your local bank or an investment service such as Fidelity Investments for IRA products.

Also if you have some time on your hands and wouldn’t mind getting a second opinion, you still have time to recalculate the amount you owe for the 2009 tax year. Take a look at my February column to learn about other tax filing products. You could find a tax credit or shortcut in another software that you weren’t aware of that could reduce your tax liability. It is worth a shot.

New Banking Changes

Finally, we are only months away from the implementation of new banking rules on overdraft protection. Beginning in July, which is right around the corner, banks will no longer be allowed to automatically sign you up for overdraft protection. This could significantly affect you if you rely on overdraft protection. Visit the Federal Reserve’s website for more information about these changes. If you bank with a for profit bank, be on the lookout for mailings regarding this change. This is also a perfect opportunity for you to switch to a credit union. So spend the next couple of months weighing your options before the change takes effect.

More Family Finance:

http://extension.usu.edu/utah/htm/family-finance

http://extension.oregonstate.edu/fch/healthy-families/family-finances

http://www.usa.gov/Citizen/Topics/Money/Personal-Finance.shtml

Michelle Sharrow

Michelle Sharrow

Michelle P. Sharrow, MBA author and editor of Family Finance, is based in Waldorf, Maryland, she holds a Masters Degree with a concentration in Finance. Michelle provides a monthly column on ways to help families maintain their finances and stick to a budget titled, Budgeting and Savings for Families.
Michelle Sharrow
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