Archive for Finance

Charitable Giving: Tips for Donating Your Boat

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There are numerous avenues for charitable giving that go beyond monetary donations. Donating a boat or car is one such means that may help a charity net significant gain since they get to keep the profits from the sale. On the face of it, it seems like a simple process—donate your boat, help a charity and get a sweet tax deduction. But, if you want to do it right, and make sure the boat ends up in worthy hands, you need to do a bit of homework first. Here are some tips that will help you in the process.

Finding a Worthy Charity

Unfortunately, not all charities are worth their salt—high administrative costs and shady practices means much of the money they receive is going right into someone ‘s pockets and not to the people in need. You can get some valuable background on charities through sites such as the Better Business Bureau or Charity Navigator.

Check Recipient Status

If you want to write off your donation to lower your tax burden, you must be sure the organization receiving the boat has a 501(c)(3) designation from the IRS. Most religious organizations quality, but double check to be sure. If you did not find your charity through a site such as Charity Navigator or other platform where this status would be clear, you can check the IRS’s Publication 78 for a list of qualifying non-profit organizations.

Considerations for Using a Middleman

If you really do not have the time to research charities and facilitate the donation, there are several organizations that can help. It is important to do your homework on them, however. First, find out how much of the sale goes towards them and how much the charity gets. How they allocate the money to the charity is also important as that may affect whether you are able to deduct the donation. These organizations typically provide a list of approved boat donation charities, so you can get an idea of where the money is going.

Boat Donation and Taxes

The IRS permits you to deduct the sale of the boat from your taxes, but there are very specific rules, all of which cannot be covered here. If your boat is worth less than 5,000 dollars, you can use a standard pricing guide to determine worth, such as NADA. If your boat is worth more than this, however, you are required to get an appraisal. You are only permitted to deduct what the boat sold for, not its fair market value if the charity sells it.Once the charity has sold the boat, it is important to gather all documentation related to the donation and the sale. If the charity plans on keeping the boat, you can deduct fair market value. If you have any questions about writing off a boat donation on your taxes, it is important that you find a qualified person to answer them. You do not want to make any mistakes or submit a return that raises any suspicions.

About the Author: Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who blogs about various topics related to charitable giving. If you are looking to donate a boat, she recommends visiting www.boatangel.org for more information.

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June 17, 2013 |  by  |  Finance  |  Comments Off

The Road Toward Carving A New Banking Landscape

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The Road Toward Carving A New Banking Landscape

With deeper regulation in the pipeline and an increasing need to protect customer data, banking institutions have been planning major upgrades to their core systems. Much, if not all, of core functionality is hidden from customers. Instead, it operates in the background to ensure the security of personal information while also helping banks manage risk and customer relationships. The problem is that credit markets remain tight and these projects can cost millions of dollars.

How are financial institutions dealing with this challenge? In this article, we’ll explain the problem as seen through the lens of a bank. We’ll also explore some of the factors involved with a major conversion.

The Challenge In A Sluggish Economy

Few people outside the banking industry know what a core system is or the role it plays. It contains customer deposit and loan data, and ensures a seamless transfer of that information to the various networks used by a financial institution. Those networks that depend upon the transfer of that data are routinely upgraded. The technology on which they’re built constantly becomes more advanced.

The core system functions as a bank’s heart. If it is not upgraded at the same pace of the networks that rely upon it, the technology that drives those networks may not be able to communicate effectively. That is why many banks are considering major upgrades. The alternative is to patch holes in the architecture as they occur, an endless pursuit that can quickly become a money pit.

The challenge for the banking industry is that the credit markets that would make a complete core conversion financially possible have tightened. As noted above, such conversion projects can be extremely costly. Without access to the credit markets, upgrades of this level are all but out of reach.

Meanwhile, existing systems have begun to buckle under the weight of growing technological gaps. What’s more, the industry itself will be on the receiving end of additional regulatory legislation over the next few years. There is a substantial need for an architecture that can provide more stringent risk management in a new regulatory environment.

To meet this significant challenge, many banks are considering a tapered approach. Rather than a system-wide core upgrade, they would instead focus upon components with the highest priority. For example, risk management remains a clear and ever-present priority for the banking industry. Also, many financial firms are considering an upgrade to systems that are more customer-centric.

As the recession threatens to deepen and the credit markets remain tight, banks must carefully manage their limited resources when making core system upgrades. The conversions are necessary; they support improved data integration between disparate architectures, offer better customer security, and provide better tools for risk management. The challenge for banks is making the needed improvements even as funding sources remain sparse.

September 16, 2010 |  by  |  Finance  |  Comments Off

How The FDIC Guarantees Your Money

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How The FDIC Guarantees Your Money

Think back to the last time you visited your local bank branch. As you entered the building, you may have noticed a small decal on the door that said “FDIC.” That stands for Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, an institution that most people know very little about.

Most of us have grown up to believe that financial institutions don’t fail. However, as the past 12 months have illustrated, they can and do fail occasionally. The question is, what happens to your money in the event of a banking failure? The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insures it.

Below, we’ll explain how the coverage works, what it applies to, and how you can ensure that all of your assets are covered.

Understanding Where The Coverage Applies

It’s important to note that FDIC coverage does not apply to every type of product offered by your bank. Nor is it without limits. Your savings and checking accounts are covered as are your certificates of deposit and money market accounts. However, your money market funds are not covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Nor are your annuities, stocks, or mutual funds. If you have items in a safe deposit box, those items are also not covered.

Before 2008, the insurance covered each depositor’s assets up to $100,000. However, that limit was temporarily raised to $250,000 in 2008 in order to allay concerns stemming from the mortgage industry. The limit is scheduled to return to $100,000 on January 1, 2010.

What Happens When A Bank Fails?

The most secure place to keep your money is in a bank that is FDIC-insured. Having said that, banking institutions can fail for a number of reasons, including excess exposure to high-risk investments. When this happens, the FDIC steps in. They will either find another financial institution to buy the accounts or they will manage the accounts themselves.

In the past, whenever a banking institution has failed, the transition of depositors’ assets has been seamless. In fact, many customers would never know about the event if they didn’t hear about it on television or read about it in the newspaper.

How To Maximize Your Coverage

Suppose you have $600,000 in assets at your bank. Keep in mind that the FDIC will only cover up to $250,000 at each institution. To eliminate your risk of loss, you should split your money between three different banks. Cumulatively, that would provide you with more than enough coverage ($750,000).

If you are one of multiple owners of a jointly held account, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation will cover up to $250,000 for each owner. For example, if you share a joint checking account with a spouse and it contains $400,000, there is no need to split the assets between two banks. The entire $400,000 would be covered.

The purpose of the FDIC is twofold. First, it guarantees that depositors will not lose their money in the event of a banking failure. Second, it injects valuable confidence into the banking industry. As long as your assets are with an FDIC-insured institution, they are out of harm’s way.

July 19, 2010 |  by  |  Finance  |  Comments Off

Best Of Gold Articles

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Best Of Gold Articles

All that Glitters, besides Diamonds, one of the most valuable commodities is Gold. But what do we really know about the shinny metal? Here are some of the gold articles for tips, information and how to make the most of your gold investments

Odd Uses For Gold
Gold needs no introduction – it is one of the most sought-after, precious metals on the planet and widely used in jewelry and adornments as well as in industry; you can even drink the stuff at your local bar in over-priced shots such as Goldschlagger, but there are some uses for gold you may not suspect and, may even be more than a little surprised at. Here, then, is our list for some of the oddest uses for gold.

Nazi Gold
We know that the Nazis are some of the most evil villains in history, but did you know that they were greedy too? During the atrocities the Nazis performed, they siphoned off assets of their victims, stockpiling it into depositories to fund their terrible regime. A lot of assets were in the form of gold, which the Nazis would trade for currency in non-Nazi banks.

More Information About Precious Metals
There are different types of precious metals that are used to make fine jewelry. Jewelry is made out of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. Most people have a preference in what type of metal they prefer whether it be gold or white in color.

Selling Your Gold Online
Gold is a very precious and valuable metal and is widely sought after. The price of gold is at an all time high. If you have old unused or broken gold jewelry that is just taking up space in your drawer or jewelry box you can turn it into cash. There are many highly reputable online sites that will pay you for your jewelry and then turn around and recycle it. It is a simple process and a very easy way to make some quick easy cash for gold.

Recycling Gold Into Cash
How many times have you looked inside your jewelry box and saw all the mismatched earrings, broken necklaces, or out of date pieces? They sit there inside your box taking up space and collecting dust. Most people are not aware of the different options available to them to get rid of their unwanted jewelry.

April 7, 2010 |  by  |  Best Of, Finance  |  Comments Off