Broker Check

August 26, 2005

Energy Saving Home Improvement Credits

                 are a part of the Energy Policy Tax Incentives Act of 2005 which is part of the Energy Act passed by Congress.  The benefits to homeowners will be a credit for 10% of the cost of skylights, doors, insulated windows, insulation; up to $300 tax credit for the cost of energy efficient electric heat pump water heater, electric heat pump, geothermal heat pump, central air-conditioner, and natural gas, propane or oil water heater meeting specific energy efficient standards; up to a $150 credit for a natural gas, propane or oil furnace or hot water boiler; up to a $50 credit for an advanced main circulating fan.
          The overall lifetime tax credit for all of the above is $500 with only $200 for energy saving windows and is only available for equipment placed in service in 2006 or 2007.  Federal Taxes Weekly Alert 8/4/05 Vol. 51 No. 31

Buy an Appliance in 2006 or 2007

          and you might get a $50-$200 credit passed through to you that the Energy Act gives to manufacturers for each super efficient refrigerator, dishwasher and clothes washer.  Kiplinger Tax Letter 7/29/05 Vol. 80 No. 15

New York State Tax Law Changes

          On April 12, 2005 Governor Pataki signed a new tax law which on the whole, should benefit New York.  It changes the formula corporations use to allocate business income between New York and other states.  The formula will allegedly encourage businesses to relocate to New York because they will not be penalized by having property, equipment or employees in New York.  The sales tax rate for New York City is reduced to 8.375% from 8.625% as of June 1, 2005.
           LLC and LLP filing fees have been increased as of 2005 to $100 per month, from $50 per month with a minimum fee of $500, up from $325.  The $500 minimum will not apply to single member LLCs , they are disregarded entities for federal income tax purposes.  New York Enterprise Report, July/August 2005, p. 20

H & R Block Settles Lawsuit

          H & R Block Group, Inc. has proposed a $360 million settlement to be divided between $110 million in cash payments and $250 million in tax preparation coupons to cover the approximately 28 million clients who were allegedly defrauded between January 1, 1987 and April 29, 2005 by H & R Block not revealing the exorbitantly high interest rates charged on its refund anticipation loans (up to 360%).  Affected consumers would be entitled to up to $24 in tax preparation discounts, one $6 coupon per refund loan purchased, good toward retail or online tax preparation services or the purchase of any H & R Block sponsored software. Investment News 5/23/05 p.17

Debunking Generation X Myths

          There is a perception that Generation Xers, those people born between 1964 and 1975, have a low level of work commitment.  In a study prepared for the Journal of Accountancy, 85% of respondents said they care about the fate of their employers and 83% were willing to put in more effort than normally expected.  47% would be happy to spend the rest of their career with their current employer; 67% said they were attracted to their current employer by the potential for job security.         
          Another myth is that Gen-Xers demand flashy amenities, yet the respondents did not bear that out.  Only 22% called a gym membership important while 14% placed a high value on convenience services.
          Generation Xers place value on career development and advancement. 95% wanted support from their supervisors and 92% wanted feedback on performance.
          Gen-Xers place importance on personal life as well and 78% said flexible work policies were important to their job advancement and satisfaction.  While 67% wanted to work a compressed work week, only 6% did. 36% wanted to work part time, while only 4% did.  59% wanted to work from home while only 17% had the opportunity.
          Topping the reasons for alternative work schedules were child care responsibilities cited by 79% of the women and 68% of men, followed by the ability to attend school, cited by 37% of women and 47% of men and personal health (41% of women and 44% of men).  Journal of Accountancy August 2005 p.38

          If you have any questions about the foregoing or any other financial matters, please call me.

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