Save money on your vacation

Are you planning to take a family vacation this summer? If so, it could become a pricey proposition. For those Americans with summer vacation plans, 41 percent expect to pay an average of $3,000 for transportation, lodging, meals, activities, entertainment and pet care, according to a new telephone survey conducted for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The Minnesota Society of CPAs offers some tips on how you can set a budget for and hold down the cost of a family trip while still having an enjoyable break.


Keeping a lid on wedding costs

Can you have a memorable wedding day without breaking the bank? Absolutely. Even though the average wedding costs nearly $30,000, according to, many happy couples have joyous celebrations for far less money. If you’re planning your own nuptials, the Minnesota Society of CPAs offers this advice on how to be frugal and still have a festive occasion.


Five ways to save on moving costs

About 36 million people, or 11.7 percent of Americans, moved between 2012 and 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. If you’re in the process of moving, you’re probably juggling a lot of tasks, including worrying about the potentially high costs. The Minnesota Society of CPAs offers these five tips for saving when relocating.


Set up a secure retirement

Approximately 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 every day until around 2030. If you’re part of that group, or if you’re planning ahead for a comfortable retirement, the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants offers this advice for securing your financial future.


The virtual workplace: What’s ‘the office’ these days?

As technology continues to challenge the traditional paradigm of employees and “the office,” many businesses and individuals find calculating taxes for work done outside company office space to be confusing. According to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, there are now an estimated 3.2 million full-time employees who telecommute for at least half the workweek, up 79 percent since 2005.


Minnesota’s residency laws throw ‘snowbirds’ for a loop

What do going to church or participating in sailing races have in common? They can affect your ‘snowbird’ tax status. (submitted photo)

Determining residency for tax purposes often proves challenging for Minnesota’s population of “snowbirds” -- retired individuals who head south each winter.
Last year, Gov. Mark Dayton made a well-publicized attempt to enact a “snowbird tax,” expanding the number of people required to pay Minnesota income taxes.


New gift tax sparks questions for taxpayers

As part of a campaign to educate taxpayers on confusing, challenging and emerging tax issues, the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants offers important reminders related to Minnesota’s new state gift tax.
The new tax, effective July 1, 2013, and included in 2013 tax filings, collects 10 percent of a taxpayer’s cumulative lifetime gifting exceeding $1 million. Minnesota is only the second state in the country to enact a state gift tax.


Just married? Expecting a baby?

Social Security can help smooth the paperwork
The Social Security program treats all workers - men and women - exactly the same in terms of the benefits they can receive.
But women may want to familiarize themselves with what the program means to them in their particular circumstances. Understanding the benefits may mean the difference between living more comfortably vs. just getting by in retirement.


Tackling taxes if you’re self-employed

Tax time is tough, there’s no question about it, but it’s even more challenging when you’re self-employed and trying to deal with the sometimes confusing rules and recordkeeping that can go hand in hand with running your own show. The Minnesota Society of CPAs (MNCPA) answers some of the most frequent questions about taxes and self-employment and offers tips that can help you lower your tax bill.


What you should know about taxes and Social Security benefits

Will your tax bill this year include taxes on your Social Security benefits? About 55 million people receive monthly Social Security payments and some of them pay taxes on up to 85 percent of those benefits, depending on their financial situation. Will you have to ante up to Uncle Sam when you begin to collect Social Security? If you’re not certain - or if you’re currently being taxed on your benefits - the Minnesota Society of CPAs (MNCPA) offers advice on ways to minimize your outlay.


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