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1
Answers to Common DIY Income Tax Questions
2
IRS Warns of Phishing Scam
3
5 Tips to Enjoy Financial News With a Grain of Salt
4
Giving Money to Adult Children May Derail Retirement Planning
5
Retirement Accounts: keeping the advice sane and safe

Answers to Common DIY Income Tax Questions

Do-It-Yourself or DIY Income tax filing software is very common, pervasive and easy-to-use these days. Many folks are taking advantage of this option for filing their taxes each year – but it’s not infallible. There is only so much that can be automated with the software. Certain things you’ll need to know for yourself. If you don’t know these things ahead of time you’ll need to know how to fix them later.

Over the course of many years of questions from DIY income tax preparers, we’ve noticed a few patterns of common questions. Below are listed some of the most …

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IRS Warns of Phishing Scam

This tax season the IRS has been tracking a scam that targets certain employers. It’s a particularly nasty one, hitting where the email targets clerical employees, impersonating someone higher in the organization, asking for W-2 information. With this information the scammer can steal identities.

The scam started out targeting corporations, but now it has evolved to start hitting schools, restaurants, and other organizations. It’s possible that some of these organizations’ less formal management structure may introduce gaps in the process which might provide exploitation opportunities for the scammers.

The complete text of the IRS’s most recent notice about this scam …

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5 Tips to Enjoy Financial News With a Grain of Salt

At Halpern Financial, we often provide quotes to journalists who are writing about personal finance and investing topics. Not only do we enjoy sharing a fee-only fiduciary perspective with the world, but connecting with journalists allows us to keep a finger on the pulse of what our clients and friends will be reading and talking about in the near future. It’s fascinating to get this backstage look—but over and over again, we have noticed a wide gap between what is entertaining to read and what you should actually do as an investor.

Sometimes the results are unintentionally funny. In a …

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Giving Money to Adult Children May Derail Retirement Planning

In “Reopening the Bank of Mom and Dad, to Help Adult Children,” The New York Times offers cautionary tales and advice for parents who help adult children that don’t earn enough or have some kind of financial emergency. Even Baby Boomers who have done retirement planning may not have seen the needs of their adult children on the horizon. The desire to help adult children can derail the financial planning they have put in place. Many parents say they would not want to be a financial burden on their children but that is what can happen when parents …

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Retirement Accounts: keeping the advice sane and safe

When my daughter and I were at the Women’s March, I saw a number of signs saying I can’t believe I’m still protesting this sh*t (and they didn’t have an asterisk). I feel that way too, and I also feel that way concerning the fiduciary rule for retirement accounts. In fact, I can’t believe we’ve EVER needed to discuss this. The fiduciary rule was set to go into effect on April 10th of this year, but the so-called current administration has issued an executive order on February 3 delaying the order until—who knows?

What’s fiduciary?

The fiduciary rule is …

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