Can I Still File Past State Tax Returns?

If you get behind on federal income taxes the IRS lets you know. When you have past state tax returns to file? Not so much. States have a way of getting behind on taxes, which creates massive deficits, which makes it harder for them to do stuff like repair your highways. It can also mean that they have a bunch of refunds to hand out, but not the know-how or manpower to contact the people owed.

That’s right: if you have past state tax returns to do, you might be missing out on getting your own money back. And if you owe money, you may not have any idea until they start repossessing your house. What’s a taxpayer to do? Here are some steps to take:

  • Make sure you have past state tax returns to file. Even if your state sent you a letter, they could still have it very wrong. It’s always a good idea to verify when someone sends you a letter demanding money. Make sure it’s actually you who owes the money and make sure the letter actually came from your state IRS first.
  • Find out what your state laws are. The rules for filing past state tax returns vary from state to state, so make sure you know yours! It could be that there is a statute of limitations past 5 years. It could be that you aren’t eligible for a refund after a year. The fines and interest involved also
  • Request any relevant W-2 forms from your employer. If you do owe past state tax returns, you need the information to complete them. If you haven’t held on to your old W-2’s, you’ll need to request a copy from your employer or former employer before starting to fill out the old returns.
  • Contact a tax preparer, if necessary. E-filing and online taxes has made it much easier for the average person to do regular tax returns these days. However, past state tax returns are a whole ‘nothing can of worms, varying because of state law, how much you owe (or how much if owed you), how past due the returns are, and so on. It can be a lot for a person to handle on their own, especially when it comes to negotiating payment. Using a tax preparer–even just an online service that specializes in past tax returnscan be a lot of help when filing those past state tax returns. If you get fed up, consider bringing in reinforcements.
  • Breathe. Having to deal with past state tax returns can be a big, long challenge. However, it’s one that is totally worth it for your financial future. It can improve your credit score, help get you out of debt, and even give you some money. So while you’re filing those returns, don’t forget to relax. You’re doing the right thing and it will be over soon.

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3 Reasons Why Owning a Commercial Property May Make You More Money in Real Estate Investment

If you ever have been a landlord for residential property, I am sure that you get complaints from tenants about leaking roofs in the middle of the night. But what keeps most people back from investing in commercial real estate is the fear of the unknown since not many of us are born commercial landlords. However we can learn from Donald Trump who spent his energy developing large office complexes and that’s where he made his money. This article will highlight three reasons why commercial property real estate investment is better than private real estate investment.

Reason #1: Rental Yields may be better for commercial properties
For commercial property like shop space, the rental yield that you can command depends directly on the human traffic in the area. Thus if you invested money in such a property investment, the monthly cash flow would be more than an equivalent costing residential property investment in the same area.

In addition, most business owners when they come to view your property have already identified your street as a good one for their business in terms of human traffic and usually want to start renting from you, thus you have the upper hand in negotiations. Contrast this to most residential tenants who have a huge variety of properties to choose in your vicinity and if they do not like your property or your rental they can just as easily go to another property.

Reason #2: Improvements on the property
Business tenants generally treat properties different from residential tenants. A business owner who is renting property would generally fix small defects in the property so that he can carry on business and would not bother the landlord about such small problems. But additionally, most small business owners would generally carry out small improvements in the property that could boost the property value of your commercial property.

An example of this could be the installation of a PABX System and wiring up the whole office for a local area network. This could save your new tenant a lot of time and could be used to give additional value to the terms of the rental that you are providing.

Another example I heard recently involves office partitions. Law firms and accountants generally have the same set up in their offices and when law firms move, they generally would have to spend money renovating so if you have existing partitions in your commercial property, you might be able to get a whole professional firm over to rent your property. Note in contrast, in most residential property, tenants tend to love to puncture holes in walls without permission, repaint certain rooms and at the end of the lease and as a result most landlords have to do lots of repairs just to return the property into its original condition.

Reason#3: Rental Collection

Typically there are some tenants that are not very prompt with their rental payments and therefore the ability to choose tenants who would pay would save you lots of money and make you even more in the longer term. Imagine having to loose a few months of rental payment and spend money on lawyers to evict the defaulting tenant from your property.

If you have a commercial property, you can choose a tenant that has lots of goodwill established in your premises. This would mean that the tenant has a lot vested in your property and would therefore pay his rent on time to stay out of rental disputes. Contrast this with a residential property where the tenant can run away without paying your monthly rental and has nothing very much to loose. Collecting rental from residential tenants seems to be more difficult as well for some strange reason.

In conclusion, this article has highlighted three reasons why commercial property real estate investment may be better than private real estate investment. That said, making money with real estate is like value investing in stocks, the profit is made in the buying. The time spent looking for a good property will reap its rewards later in the form of good rental yield and capital appreciation over time. Take massive action today and look for the real estate investment property that you think meets your real estate investment needs.

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Nasdaq Stock Market – The Biggest American Market

On February 8, 1971, the NASDAQ (National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations) stock market was established. It is entirely owned and operated by the company The Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc. Today, it is the largest electronically-based online trading market for equities in America.

As the first electronic trading stock market NASDAQ has been functioning since the year 1971. Millions of investors throughout the world are using this exchange for trading. NASDAQ is the leader in attracting foreign listing and is the fastest growing stock market in America with more listed companies than any other market in U.S. Also it trades more shares than others. NASDAQ Composite is the main index in this exchange and is in use since the inception of the market. Its NASDAQ 100 index is tracked by exchange-traded funds for benchmarking. This is introduced on 1985 along with NASDAQ 100 Financial Index.

Since March 1 2007 5,100 large, small, and growing companies are now household names and trade using this electronic market. The system known as the American Financial Market share trade with two out of every seven corporations. Type A NYSE securities makeup for approximately 14-15% of the traded shares. Tape C, on the other hand, accounts for about 45-98% of volume traded by these companies.

The Stock Market named NASDAQ uses a sliding fee method based on the quantity of trading the market parts enact on the NASDAQ systems. The higher the volume done on this system, the lower the removal fee for liquidity and the more favourable the additional liquidity rebates.

In an online trading market system, there is huge competition between ‘Market Makers’ for the best buying and selling prices. Companies also consider these market makers as lucrative market since they are always ready to immediately invest capital to their registered stocks. Market makers also help immediate and continuous trading in a company’s stock. Buyers and sellers want to trade as frequent as possible and investors want to hold securities as much as possible, since they realize those stocks are readily saleable.

Quotes are available in 3 levels. Level I has the higher bd and lower offer – the inside quotes. Level II has all public quotes of market maker with info about market makers who wish to buy or sell stock plus recently occurred orders. Level III is for the market makers and permits them to execute orders and enter their quotes. Through continuous shaping of the new investing world, NASDAQ challenges the definition itself of a stock market and what a stock market can be.

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Loan Modification Fact and Fiction – Who Qualifies and What Can Be Modified

  • Do you owe more than your house is worth?
  • Has your rate adjusted so high you cannot make your monthly payments?
  • Have you received calls or mail offering loan modification services?

This article explains who qualifies for a loan modification. It describes what can be negotiated with lender and gives advice on how to decide whether to seek a loan modification alone or hire an expert.

Should you hire someone to help you with loan modification?

The answer is maybe, maybe not. Before you retain a firm to negotiate on your behalf, understand that you can negotiate by yourself. There is no “magic” that lawyers, mortgage brokers or anyone else can bring to a loan modification negotiation. Homeowners can avail themselves of the free information available from HUD and the California Department of Real Estate and attempt to negotiate a loan modification by themselves. A lawyer or broker can communicate on your behalf and attempt to negotiate a modification of the terms of the loan, so can you. Recently, California enacted Senate Bill 94 which prohibits upfront fees for residential loan modification services. As a result most loan modification providers have stopped offering services.

Should a homeowner use a lawyer or a company that ‘specializes’ in loan modification?

Homeowners behind on their mortgage payments are often contacted by individuals or companies that will offer to help work out a loan modification. But California law now forbids anyone accepting upfront fees. Any person or company who seeks upfront fees is breaking the law now that SB 94 has been filed. The loan modification industry was fraught with deceptive practices. Numerous companies in California attempted to take advantage of desperate homeowners by offering to help them save their homes. Many over promise and under deliver. Brokers cannot provide legal advice and may not have anymore knowledge about real estate law than a homeowner can obtain from HUD and the California Department of Real Estate.

What can a lawyer do that a homeowner cannot do for himself?

The lawyer can review the loan for statutory defects that might be used as bargaining chips with the lender, but the most important thing a lawyer can do is act as an unemotional advocate and attempt to persuade the lender that the loan modification is the best interests of both parties. In other words the lender will make more money by agreeing to loan modification than foreclosing on the property. Most lawyers prepare a report highlighting the homeowner’s financial situation and describing why a loan modification makes sense for both the homeowner and the lender.

What can be negotiated with the lender?

Reinstatement: Your lender may agree to let you pay the total amount you are behind, in a lump sum payment and by a specific date. This is often combined with forbearance when you can show that funds from a bonus, tax refund, or other source will become available at a specific time in the future.

Forbearance: Your lender may offer a temporary reduction or suspension of your mortgage payments while you get back on your feet. Forbearance is often combined with a reinstatement or a repayment plan to pay off the missed or reduced mortgage payments.

Repayment Plan: This is an agreement that gives you a fixed amount of time to repay the amount you are behind by combining a portion of what is past due with your regular monthly payment. At the end of the repayment period you have gradually paid back the amount of your mortgage that was delinquent.

Loan term changes: This is a written agreement between you and your mortgage company that permanently changes one or more of the original terms of your note to make the payments more affordable. This is the goal of most homeowners in trouble on the home loans. A loan modification agreement changes the terms of your loan– a lower interest rate, an extension of the loan life, conversion of an adjustable rate loan to a fixed rate loan maybe effected.

What are the problems with loan modification?

Many people will not qualify. Good candidates are homeowners who have a demonstrable reason they fell behind, like a change in their income or loan amount, and can prove that they have sufficient income to make the payments if the loan terms are changed. The mortgage business is a business. A loan holder will not consider modifying a loan unless the homeowner can afford to make the new payments. If homeowner is current, paying on time, he or she is unlikely to obtain a modification. Loan servicing companies are less likely to negotiate than banks because they often lack the power to modify the loans.

If you are considering loan modification, check out all the free information available. Think hard about trying to do it yourself. If you decide to obtain help a qualified attorney can explain the law, review your situation and guide you toward the most appropriate choices.

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