Consumer confidence falls again |

Consumer confidence falls again

American consumers and their confidence that the economy will recover fell by more than expected to approximately 93.5 as reported by the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index. This was the lowest score reported since November.

Starting a Plan to Save Money

To develop a comprehensive investment plan, you must evaluate both short- and long-term financial goals and then formulate strategies that will help you meet those goals. The concept is straightforward. Implementation, however, requires a more disciplined approach. Based on your goals, you must follow several steps, many of which must be repeated periodically. However, there is no better time to get started than now. If you have already started, now may be the time to review the steps you have been following. A great start is to begin saving money.

Moving Costs

Although this area can be quite complex, here are the general rules: You may deduct the expenses for one trip (for you and your family) to your new home and for moving your furniture and household goods. If you meet the following two tests, you will be able to deduct moving expenses whether or not you can itemize deductions:

n Distance test: The distance from your old residence to your new job location must be at least 50 miles more than the distance from your old residence to your old job location.

n Minimum period of employment test: As an employee, you must work full-time in the new general area for at least 39 weeks in the first 12 months after arrival there. If you are self-employed, you must work full-time in the new general area for at least 39 weeks in the first 12 months and at least 78 weeks in the first 24 months after arrival there. This minimum-period-of-employment requirement is waived if, after you get a job in which you could have reasonably satisfied this test, you are laid off or fired for reasons other than willful misconduct. The minimum period also is waived if you die or are disabled.

The cost of moving household goods and personal effects includes packing, crating, transporting, storing and insuring (for any consecutive, 30-day period after the move) and shipping the car and household pets. Expenses of travel include lodging, but not meals during the transition from the old residence to the new. If you use your car for travel, you can deduct either the cost of gas and oil or a standard mileage rate (10 cents per mile) plus parking fees and tolls. General vehicle maintenance, repairs, insurance or depreciation aren’t deductible. If your employer reimburses you for your expenses, or if your employer pays them directly, you won’t have to include the reimbursements or payments in income if you properly account to your employer and you could have deducted the expenses had you paid them.

To support your deduction, it’s important to keep records of distances from the old and new residences to old and new job, dates of travel and arrival to the new area, employment periods and records and receipts for your moving expenses.

If only it was easy. Folks, have a great day!

This tip brought to you by Breckenridge Capital Consulting Group, LLC, which specializes in taxes, financial planning and investment vehicles for Summit County residents. The opinion of the author is his and not that of the Summit Daily News or its staff. This column is written by Brad A. Woods, CPA who may be reached at 668-8139.

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