Thursday, December 29, 2016

Six Steps to Getting Organized for the 2017 Tax Season

Tax day is a mere four months away; it’s never too early to start preparing. The season of the most spending (the holidays) is only just behind us. This is the time when every penny counts. We’ve come up with six steps to getting organized for the 2017 tax season.

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  1. The first step to getting organized for tax season is the gather your W-2’s from last year’s employers. Making sure you have all of them is important. Remember to change your address if you have moved to prevent your W-2 from being sent to a new address.

  1. This next step is equally important as the first. ALWAYS keep your receipts. If there is the chance for a reduction, you’ll need those receipts to prove it. Students save your receipts for your books, parking, etc. because you can end up saving a lot if you hang onto them until April.

  1. If completing your taxes seems overwhelming, you should probably consider hiring or consulting with an accountant. Accountants will take the stress off of your shoulders and know the ins and outs of all the possible refunds you are entitled to. The money you spend to hire an accountant could be doubled by all the new deductions you may have missed.

  1. If you’ve recently experienced a significant life change, you could be eligible for more or different tax deductions from last year. For instance, if you’ve recently gotten married, had children, or went back to school, you could receive more returns in 2017.

  1. Do you donate to your local thrift store or do you make contributions to charity? These donations could also help you get more returns in the future. Be sure to document the items you’ve donated in their fair market value and the dates and locations in which you’ve donated. Once you donate, the employees of the organizations will often give you a receipt with the number of bags you donated for your documentation.

  1. Lastly, it’s important to save a hard and electronic copy of your documents. It’s easy to get more returns, but impossible without the correct documentation. We suggest scanning your documents and saving them on your computer during the year to make filing much easier.

Tis’ the season of giving - and your donations could save you money in the Spring. Have a safe and happy holidays from everyone at Mid Minnesota Federal Credit Union!


Monday, December 19, 2016

Credit Unions and Small Businesses Make for a Great Partnership

Are you looking to find business successes in the new year? Credit unions like Mid-Minnesota are excellent at helping small businesses and entrepreneurs establish their financial footing.

A major advantage of choosing credit unions over banks is that credit unions focus on prioritizing the needs of small businesses, not on maximizing profits.
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Credit unions typically offer a faster loan approval process. Credit unions are interested in helping you grow. Rather than facing a committee that only provides the loan approval process once or twice a month, credit unions can help streamline the loan approval process, ensuring that you have access to the funds you need much sooner. This can be a major asset if you are looking to start your small business in the new year.
Another advantage of having the support of a credit union on your side is the accessibility to smaller loans. Many banks tend to offer only large loans to businesses, but for small businesses and startups, it is often much more feasible to see smaller loans. Additionally, credit unions typically offer lower interest rates on business loans.
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The majority of credit unions provide free checking to small businesses. In fact, according to Bankrate, 72% of credit unions offer free checking. In comparison, only 38% of banks do, and such banks will charge you if you are unable to maintain a strict balance. With the stresses and
unpredictable nature of owning a business, attempting to maintain such a balance would surely be disruptive and demanding.
Credit unions are also invested in helping you grow your business. Many credit unions offer financial education opportunities and resources that can help you find financial stability and success, which are integral from the beginning of a business. Learn how to establish, expand, and market your growing business to keep it competitive and well-functioning in the new year.

For more assistance on applying for a business loan, visit Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union’s Business page today.