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In the News: CPAs Providing Financial Guidance for 2014

New-year-resolution

In a recent post I detailed a number of articles highlighting tax tips provided by AICPA staff and members that individuals can use to save themselves money when they file their 2013 returns.

As the calendar flips to 2014 (the year of the polar vortex), AICPA members and staff have been providing guidance on how to ‘recover’ from holiday spending, save more in 2014, and outlining tax changes that may impact consumers.

Paying Off Debt from 2013

Clare Levison, CPA, of the AICPA’s Financial Literacy Commission, spoke to U.S. News and World Report to provide tips that consumers can use to cure a post-holiday financial ‘hangover’ caused by over spending.

“I would encourage people not to accumulate additional debt,” said Levison, “Even though winter stuff might be on clearance, which seems crazy with the temperatures we've been having, try to resist going after the bargains.”

Levison also advises those expecting to receive a large tax refund this year to use it to pay down debt. She suggests that any left over money after paying off those holiday charges should go directly into savings.

New Year, New Savings

For those looking to save more money in the new year, the Associated Press tapped two members of the AICPA’s Financial Literacy Commission to provide wise money resolutions for 2014.

Jerry Love, CPA, advises people to think small. Instead of resolving to save $1,200 over the year, focus on saving $100 a month instead. Once you see that you're able to meet that goal after a few months, you're more likely to stay on track for the rest of the year, says Love.

Lisa Featherngill, CPA/PFS, advises people to pay themselves first by making savings automatic, because manually moving money to a savings account makes it more likely to be forgotten. “You should invest in yourself before having a chance to spend the money,” says Featherngill.

For more tips on managing finances, visit the AICPA’s 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy website.

Tax Changes

Laura Saunders writes in the Wall Street Journal that many experts feel while a comprehensive overhaul of the U.S. tax system is unlikely in 2014, there may be some changes this year.

Melissa Labant, Director of Taxation at the AICPA, highlights possible changes to the ability of states to tax the income of nonresident employees, such as salespeople who work in state temporarily.

The House passed one version of the bill in 2012 to limit state’s ability to tax the income of nonresident employees who work in a state for 30 days or less a year. The bill has been reintroduced in the House and the Senate, with bipartisan support.

Labant says the AICPA strongly supports the bill, and hopes it will be enacted this year, which would reduce unnecessary tax-prep burdens for Americans.

, Media Relations Manager, American Institute of CPAs.

New Year resolution image via Shutterstock

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