April 4, 2014
TWO QUESTIONS left over from a recent chat got me thinking again about people's fixation with the home-mortgage deduction. Understandably, around tax time, people wonder if they're getting all the deductions and credits they are entitled to take. One of the most-coveted tax breaks is on mortgage interest. So revered is this deduction that some folks who have the money to pay off their mortgages struggle over whether it makes sense to be debt-free. Here's an example: Q: I have enough money in savings to pay off my mortgage in full and still have a cushion for emergencies.
March 22, 2014 |
Nearly six months after the disastrous launch of Healthcare.gov, with the website running smoothly and more than five million people signed up as open enrollment heads to a close, a new glitch has come to light: Incorrect poverty-level guidelines are automatically telling what could be tens of thousands of eligible people they do not qualify for subsidized insurance. The error in the federal marketplace primarily affects households with incomes just above the poverty line in states like Pennsylvania that have not expanded Medicaid.
February 27, 2014 |
DELANCO The New Jersey Economic Development Authority has offered Dietz & Watson Co. $30.8 million in tax credits to rebuild a meat storage plant in Delanco destroyed by fire last year. Officials of the Philadelphia-based cold-cuts company did not return requests for comment Tuesday, or indicate if they were considering offers from other states for assistance to rebuild. The blaze started on the roof of the firm's main distribution plant early Sept. 1, and took 11 area fire companies two days to bring under control.
December 9, 2013 |
December is time to look over your personal finances with an eye to how tax rules in the current and new year will affect your pocketbook. For example, keep an eye on health care. Investopedia describes some tax advantages and disadvantages of the Affordable Care Act. It's a mixed bag next year, according to a post by Jean Folger. "Many people will be eligible for a new kind of tax credit, and if you are required to have health insurance and you don't have coverage, you will have to pay a penalty fee on your 2014 tax return," writes Folger.
December 6, 2013 |
HARRISBURG Philadelphia developer Nolen Properties has plowed millions of dollars into restoring two historic but long-neglected properties in Mount Airy. Today the firm is almost done converting one, the historic Nugent Home, built for retired Baptist ministers, into affordable housing for senior citizens - a project budgeted at $17 million. The company had hoped to take advantage of a new state historic preservation tax credit to get a small measure of financial relief, maybe as much as $500,000.
November 25, 2013 |
Boardwalk Empire , the hit HBO series about Prohibition-era Atlantic City, was filmed not at the Jersey Shore, but on a boardwalk built in Brooklyn. Silver Linings Playbook , the Oscar-winning feature film adapted from a book set in South Jersey, was shot over the river in Philadelphia. Though Silver Linings director David O. Russell and actor Bradley Cooper - a Philadelphia native - had wanted to film in Philadelphia, "certainly things set in Jersey would tend not to go there right now," said the film's coproducer, Mark Kamine.
November 15, 2013 |
Dozens of temporary tax provisions are scheduled to expire at the end of 2013 - for individuals, businesses, the charitable sector, energy, community assistance, and disaster relief - and the IRS has already announced that the tax-filing season in 2014 will be delayed by one to two weeks. Among individual provisions scheduled to expire Dec. 31 are deductions for teachers' out-of-pocket expenses, state and local general sales taxes, qualified tuition, and mortgage insurance premiums. On the business side, under current law, the R&D (research and development)
October 3, 2013 |
Aetna Inc.'s rates for Southeastern Pennsylvania on the new federal health-insurance exchange - which stumbled into life Tuesday, tripped up by a too-high volume of potential customers in the early going - are higher across the board than those offered by Independence Blue Cross. Experts cautioned that consumers must assess the details when comparing health-insurance plans and that the size of the hospital and physician network, the level of co-pays for a doctor's visit, and other factors can have a significant impact on monthly premiums.
October 2, 2013 |
Tax law has changed as a result of the Affordable Care Act - Obamacare - and you may either receive a tax refund or pay a penalty as a result. As of Oct. 1, uninsured individuals can start shopping for health insurance through online marketplaces, also called exchanges. If you have employer-sponsored insurance, an individual plan, and Medicaid or Medicare, you do not need to purchase anything. If you don't have insurance and instead purchase through a state marketplace, you may qualify for a tax credit.
September 26, 2013 |
Federal officials on Tuesday shared the most detailed information yet on rates consumers can expect to see when the Affordable Care Act's health insurance exchanges go live next week. The average monthly premium for the lowest-cost "bronze" individual plans will be $229 in Pennsylvania (among the lowest in the nation) and $333 in New Jersey (among the highest), according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Tax credits that are expected to apply to most purchasers would substantially lower rates in both states.