Monday, January 15, 2018

2018 Employer Withhholding May Turn and Bite You

The New IRS withholding calculator will not be available until February, the old W4's will continue to be used despite no longer reflecting the new tax law and 2018 employer withholding may result in under withholding  resulting in higher taxes owed at year end and possible tax penalties, particularly if there is more than one income in the family, you work at more than one job during the year, and/or you have multiple jobs at the same time.

You will need to proactively monitor and review your withholding, including using the new

Friday, January 5, 2018

2018 Tax Facts and Dates

 Morningstar has published a very succinct listing of 2018 tax facts, as a result of the new tax law, and important tax dates in the link above. The Pursuit of Financial Happiness(TM) has always been about information.  Some people, when reading our articles, do not read or dismiss the embedded links which provide not only pro but

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Watch for Eonia Year End Spikes

In the last two days of November, the Eonia, which is the one day Euribor rate, spiked 6.1% and 6%, which is very unusual.  Bloomberg gave, as an explanation, that the National Bank of Greece had excess liquidity of 450 million euro which it loaned in the last two days of November to peers in its country, but would that cause two days of 6% spikes?  Was something else going on with eurozone bank liquidity?

The two regional Italian banks Carige and Creval have been struggling for additional funding, along with four other small Italian banks, to meet the ECB balance sheet liquidity rules and lower allowable NPLs (non-performing loans).  But any month end liquidity needs would have been relatively small.  However, new ECB bad loan rules will become effective January 1, 2018 despite significant opposition, particularly from Italy.  This will put additional pressure on Italian banks, because, while eurozone banks as a whole have 5% NPLs, Italian banks have 15% of that 5%.  The final compromise is to enforce the new NPL rules on a bank by bank basis, whatever that means.

Meanwhile, on 18 November Monte dei Praschi di Sienna, had to put $671 million (569.4 million euro) in reserve, before its new reorganization board meets for the first time in December, which

Friday, December 29, 2017

Job Losses Under New Tax Law Already Beginning

Under the new U. S.  tax law, corporate interest deductions are capped at 30 % of adjusted taxable income (ATI).  I have already seen a privately owned company (owned by a private equity firm) announcing major layoffs effective at year end and internally communicate the new tax law  will result in paying higher taxes. 

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Full Text of Final GOP Tax Bill

 It is the intent of the GOP Congressional leadership to vote on this bill as soon as possible to preempt any informed debate or public review or discussion.  The vote will purposefully be prior to any CBO fiscal analysis, despite an at least $1.4 trillion deficit impact, or any Joint Conference on Taxation analysis as normally required.  The Tax Bill is a huge economic blunder which will cut spending on infrastructure, education, make health insurance more expensive, do nothing to boost wages, and put a bullseye on Medicare and Social Security.

Here is a link to a post by a tax attorney/law professor providing a links to the full 1097 page bill and  a 570 page explanation.

The economic "benefits" are based on historically inaccurate assumptions of trickle down economics and false arguments to justify huge benefits to the very wealthy as opposed to little or no benefits (in some case even more taxes paid in future years)  for the the middle class or poor.  This bill will economically cripple the Affordable Care Act and increase American citizens without health care by 10-13 million.  It is direct attack on higher education and public education.

When the patently erroneously revenue assumptions prove systemically lacking, you may expect these GOP Congressional leaders to propose massive cuts in Social Security and Medicare to make up for their purposefully misrepresentation of the tax bill's revenue.

It pays to be a big money political donor.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

See How GOP Tax Plan Will Impact Your Taxes

Here is an interactive page where you can click on your state and then click your tax bracket and see if you benefit or actually pay more in future years.  You may be surprised what happens in 2019 and how different it will be by 2027.  People in lower tax brackets are going to see how they will pay for the benefits thrown at the the highest tax brackets.

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Thursday, November 2, 2017

Daily Research Links for Week #388 (August 14 - 21, 2017)

Here is the link (which is a private page) to The Pursuit of Financial Happiness(TM) Daily Research Links for Week #388.  I am now working on Week #399.  The Week #388 is a Pdf which is ten pages long with active links for you to follow.  You may want to bookmark the above Daily Research link and visit as you have time.  These links are available on a current Daily basis by e-mail (just those days links) to subscribers to The Pursuit of Financial Happiness(TM) Daily Research Links.  To request a subscription, contact me at mjscpa@sbcglobal.net.

These links contain differing viewpoints which are worth reading and, therefore, do not connote my approval or disapproval.  They are articles, audio, video, Pdf documents, studies, etc. on macroeconomic and financial issues of value in understanding what is going on in various countries, the world, and the markets.

You might also want to check out the home page of my professional website www.mjscpaplan.com.

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Monday, October 16, 2017

Daily Research Links for Week #387 (August 7-13, 2017)

The Pursuit of Financial Happiness(TM) Daily Research Links for Week #387 are 12 pages long and can be found here.  I am presently working on Week #397.  The Daily Research Links contain a variety of viewpoints worth reading and digesting; it should not be assumed I agree or support any particular viewpoint, particularly when I am presently a variety of viewpoints on an issue or subject.

These Research Links are in the original language, may contain audio, video, long studies, etc on macroeconomic and financial issues   These help me understand what is going on in the world, in different countries, market sectors, companies, and economies.

These Daily Research Links can be sent by e-mail world-wide on a current daily basis if one wishes to subscribe by contacting me at mjscpa@sbcglobal.net.

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Monday, October 2, 2017

Daily Research Links for Week #386 (July 31 - August 6, 2017)

 Here is the link to The Pursuit of Financial Happiness(TM) Daily Research links sent daily to subscribers world wide for Week #385.  It is 13 pages long.  I am now working on Week #395.

As I have indicated, the links do not reflect my agreement but only that they are worth considering.  The links may be audio, video, pdf documents, long studies,as well as news and other articles, and are always in the original language (not translated). 

This is research I do on a daily basis as a fiduciary fee only registered investment advisor.  No matter where you live in this world, if you wish to subscribe to The Pursuit of Financial Happiness(TM) Daily Research Links you may contact me at mjscpa@sbcglobal.net.

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Friday, September 29, 2017

Data Breach: Lock or Freeze Credit

If you have had your credit information stolen or exposed to a data breach, such as Equifax, you need to monitor your credit and bank accounts.

The data breach at Equifax apparently compromised personal information in one of its credit monitoring programs (where consumers can "safely" have their credit monitored for unauthorized use) which included birth dates and social security numbers.  While they are now offering a free (and new) lifetime credit lock program where you control who has access to your credit information, I would be reluctant to trust them again.  Their initial response to the data breach was tardy and the initial data breach customer service website they set up looked like a phishing website.

If you have recently received notification that a debit or credit card is being replaced as the result of a data breach, you would be wise to assume it is probably Equifax related.

Immediately monitor your credit card and/or bank accounts twice daily.  You can use Credit Karma to monitor Transunion and Equifax and Credit Sesame to monitor Experian; both are free.  I would avoid any credit monitoring service which charges a fee.

For the most part, a credit lock program are designed to be continuing fee services and are marketed by credit reporting services, while a credit freeze involves an initial fee and a fee for each temporary lifting (should be $10 --- if you are over 65 years old, an active duty military, or a victim of identity theft it should be free).  The Illinois Attorney General provides information, including form letters for each credit reporting service, on what the fees should be for different individuals and I would expect other state attorney generals to also provide this information.  You should also be able to get non-state specific information from the Consumer's Union.

On the whole, you would probably be better off with doing a security (credit) freeze then getting netted by what is normally a more expensive credit lock marketed program.  Do the credit (security) freeze.

Update 10/3/17:

It may cost victims of Equifax data breach $4.1 billion to freeze credit.

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