Are tax preparers being regularly audited?

I was helping a friend filling the tax forms the other day, and he offered to pay for my time helping him. I know that it is illegal to be paid for tax preparation without a California license and IRS certification, so I declined, but it made me thinking. I looked around for the requirements […] Read more
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Does length of credit history or percent of credit used count for more?

When I was back in college my mom added me as an authorized user to her credit cards. I have now graduated and been paying my own student loans (on time) for the past year. In checking my credit scores, I realized that she is using a large portion of her available balance on these […] Read more
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Strategies for putting away money for a child's future (college, etc.)?

So my wife and I will be having our first child at the end of the year, and I’m trying to devise a strategy for things like putting money away for the little person now, while I have the time and sleep in me to think about such things. What are some good strategies to […] Read more
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Saving for niece's education: Roth vs 529 vs something else?

I am considering starting an account to help fund my girlfriend’s niece’s education. I am looking at contributing a small amount each month. I would also like to maintain control of the money and be able to withdraw it (for my own use) in case of emergency, or in case she doesn’t need the money […] Read more
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Is it a good idea to buy a house with a low ARM monthly payment, then rent it out?

I’m looking around for houses in my college town to rent to others, and I’ve found a decent 4-bedroom house with an interest-only 5 year ARM monthly payment (of $1700). Assuming I have enough to cover the down payment, would it be a smart decision financially to go for it? The renting rates for a […] Read more
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Do I pay taxes on a gift of mutual funds?

My parents, saving for college many (20+?) years ago, purchased some Evergreen mutual funds for each of their children. I believe the accounts were established in the children’s names. Thanks to some scholarships and working for the school, I graduated with about $3500 left in that account. Fast forward to 2013–the account has Read more
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Should I remodel or buy a bigger house?

My husband and I have two children under 2 years old and have outgrown our current 1400 square foot home. My husband and I both work from home, and we have a day nanny who comes and helps with the kids. All five of us our falling over each other all day. We would like […] Read more
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Spending arrangements for a dependent student studying abroad

I live in the U.S., and my daughter will be starting college in England in the fall. She is financially dependent on us, has no credit history, and will not have a job while she’s in college. We’ll be paying directly for her major expenses, but she’ll need to spend money on minor stuff, and […] Read more
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Will be getting a car loan with my folks as the primary account holder. Can the car be titled to me?

I am currently saving, and waiting until I have about $10,000 to put down on a car, and then I will be make a fairly large purchase on a car (around $28,000 Subaru WRX). I am 23 years old now, but even through college I had a decent job. I racked up some debt, as […] Read more
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How bad is it to have a lot of credit available but not used?

I had a very financially astute reason for getting my first credit card: it was freshman orientation day at college, and one of the banks was giving away free t-shirts to new credit card customers. When I signed into the card’s website to pay my first bill, I noticed a “request credit limit increase” button. […] Read more
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