Guest Author - Kate Woods
What you donít know about your money can hurt you. This includes changes in wages, tax rates, exemptions and deductions. This also includes not knowing how to handle your money and/or your paperwork related to your money. Sometimes these facts and figures and processes can seem so overwhelming that we just try to ignore them. Thatís not a very wise thing to do. Being paid an incorrect wage rate by an employer who has possibly overlooked a mandatory minimum wage increase or using incorrect tax rates or amounts can cost you precious income dollars that you are entitled to receive or tax dollars that you are not required to pay. Letís look at each of these important changes and processes.
Letís look at some new 2008 money facts:
New Minimum Wage - According to the Labor and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor the federal minimum wage was increased on July 24th to $6.55 from $5.85 per hour. The minimum wage for covered non-exempt workers has been increased to $6.55 per hour and is scheduled to be increased again on July 24, 2009 to $7.25 per hour. The overtime rate remains at one and one-half times the regular rate of pay after 40 hours of work in a work week and is required not optional. It is important to note that some states have their own minimum wage laws and in those states the employees are entitled to the higher minimum wage. There is no limit on the number of hours of work an employee may work in a week if they are 16 years or older. There are special Youth Employment provisions for employees under 16 years old.
2008 Exemptions and Deductions Ė The personal exemption for each qualifying dependent increases for 2008 from $3,400 to $3,500; the exemption is subject to a 2% phase out for each $2,500 ($1,200 for married filing separately) that your income exceeds the 2008 phase out income amounts of $159,950 (single) $119,975 (Married Filing Separately) $239,950 (Married Filing Jointly) $199,950 (Head of Household). Standard Deductions for 2008 are now $5,450 (Single) $5,450 (Married Filing Separately) $10,900 (Married Filing Joint) $8,000 (Head of Household). For over 65 and/or blind the addition to the Standard Deduction amount is $1,350 (Single/Head of Household) and $1,050 (Married/Surviving Spouse). Itemized Deductions are reduced by 3% of every dollar of Adjusted Gross Income over $159,950 ($79,975 if married filing separately up to a maximum phaseout of 80% of itemized deductions, excluding your medical expenses, investment interest, casualty losses and gambling losses.
One of my favorite money and finance gurus is Suze Orman. Now if you are a Woman and you read the above information and felt overwhelmed and confused by all of it and wish you were not confused a great place to start learning abut how to handle money and information about your money is with the book Women & Money by Suze Orman. She speaks about how many women have a dysfunctional relationship regarding money and how they need to correct that fact. In the book is also a great special offer to entice women to start saving by opening a Save Yourself Savings Account at Ameritrade, depositing $50 per month for 12 months and then $100 is deposited into your account as a reward for following through on this great new savings habit. If youíre interested in Suzeís books and products click on the Amazon link below.
I hope you're enjoying Just the Basics on the Taxing Subject of Taxes!
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