Tag: COVID-19

2020 Tax Code Changes: What You Need to Know

Most of us have either filed or are wrapping up our 2019 tax filing by this point.  A common question we receive is what will happen to taxes after the election?  Government spending has increased (especially in response to COVID-19 packages) and an increase in revenues will be needed.  Of course, finding consensus on where to increase taxes will not be likely.  At Atlanta Financial Associates, we pay much attention to proposed changes and right now that is all they are, possibilities.  Often, leaders float ideas to see what gains traction.  A couple of the proposals being ‘floated’ right now include…

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The Stock Market and the Economy Are Not the Same: A Guide to Understanding the Difference

When we think of financial health, a few things might come to mind. We may think of our own financial situation, our investments, the Dow Jones Industrial Average performance, the stock market as a whole, the economy, the country’s employment status and so on. While some aspects may be interrelated on some level, they do not necessarily move in tandem, nor do they always indicate the health of one another. 

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Coronavirus & Student Loans: What You Need to Know

As of the end of 2019, student loan debt reached $1.48 trillion in the US, with approximately 45 million borrowers across the country.  Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans have experienced unprecedented financial instability.  This means that for 45 million Americans, paying down student loan debt may be harder than ever before.

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Narrow Market

Those following the stock market may realize that the S&P 500 hit a new all-time high on 9/2, building on the August 18th high which wiped out all its losses from the coronavirus sell-off, and surpassing the previous high of February 19th. However, a CNBC analysis shows that many stocks have yet to climb back to their prior levels. For example, between the prior market high on February 19th and August 18th, when the market first surpassed the previous high, 38% of stocks in the index made gains while the remaining 62% were still negative.

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IRS Releases 2020 “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams

Each year the IRS releases a Top 12 or “Dirty Dozen” tax frauds and scams they are seeing in an effort to warn taxpayers of things to be on the lookout for.  I read this each year and the list includes several of the usual suspects but also has some new additions.  You can read the entire IRS list here (IRS Dirty Dozen 2020), but I wanted to highlight a couple of items that I believe are most relevant to our readers…

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Mortgage Refinancing: How the Market Downturn Has Provided an Interesting Opportunity

As of July 30, the national average rate for a 30-year mortgage has fallen to 2.99%, with an average of 0.8 points paid, while 15-year fixed rates have fallen even further with an average of 2.51% and .7 points paid, according to data from Freddie Mac.1 Mortgage rates have plunged to the lowest levels in decades, and continue to remain near historic lows, driving purchase demand over 20 percent above a year ago. Real estate is one of the bright spots in the economy, with strong demand and modest slowdown in home prices heading into the late summer. Home sales should remain strong the next few months into the fall.

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