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What is Form 1040-X?

IRS Link to Form — Found Here Form 1040-X is the amendment form used to change previously submitted information from the 1040, 1040-A, or 1040-EZ tax filing form. The taxpayer has 3 years to file the 1040-X to make changes. The 1040-A and EZ are simpler versions of the 1040 which can be used by individuals who have relatively simple filings to do, and have modest household income. The 1040-X requires a line-by-line amendment request and explanation of why the changes are being requested. You will also need to attach supporting documents that provide more information about the changes being requested. Continue reading...

What is Chapter 13?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is one of the most often used. It is similar to a Chapter 7, but it does not have income limits. It involves liquidating the assets of the debtor and making payment arrangements over a longer period of time than Chapter 7. Chapter 13 allows a debtor to propose a schedule for repaying debts that seems reasonable to the bankruptcy judge. It is for individuals who can prove steady income. Often Chapter 7 is filed by people who are impoverished, while Chapter 13 is the middle-to-upper class equivalent. Continue reading...

What is Chapter 12?

Chapter 12 is a category of bankruptcy filing that can be made by a family farmer. It is otherwise similar in structure to Chapter 13 bankruptcy, where the debtor can prove an income and a trustee serves as intermediary between the debtor and the creditors. A family farmer will still be permitted to operate the farm once he has filed Chapter 12 bankruptcy. Like a Chapter 13 filing, the debtor will be allowed to propose a debt repayment schedule that he or she believes would be successful over the following 3-5 years. Some assets would be liquidated to pay off debts, but most of it would be paid according to the repayment schedule, under the care of a trustee who would serve as the proxy for the debtor in the remainder of the dealings with the creditors. Continue reading...

What is Chapter 15?

Chapter 15 bankruptcy is a newer type of bankruptcy filing that has only been around since 2005. It allows foreign companies access to the US bankruptcy court system in certain circumstances. This is part of the US’s compliance with international trade laws. Part of the aim of bankruptcy law is to preserve employment and protect investment. In an increasingly globalized economy it is understandable that the US could offer hearings to corporations which straddle national borders but are not based in the US. Continue reading...

What is Chapter 7?

Chapter 7 is a type of bankruptcy filing that allows an individual to liquidate enough assets to repay their debts and to then be free and clear of debt obligations. This can help get a credit rating back on track sooner than another type of filing such as Chapter 13. Chapter 7 is for people with incomes below their state’s median income. By liquidating enough assets to pay off creditors, a debtor can use Chapter 7 to take care of all debts at once, or to have some of the debts forgiven if the debtor does not have adequate assets for liquidation. Continue reading...

What is a Consolidated Tax Return?

A consolidated tax return is a single filing that covers several subsidiary companies and their parent company. One of the advantages of doing so is that the capital gains of one can be offset by the capital losses of another. It can also allow a profit sharing plan for the parent corporation to use profits from the subsidiaries. Corporations with subsidiaries can file a consolidated tax return that covers all of the affiliated companies. Continue reading...

What is Bankruptcy Court?

Bankruptcy court is a special judicial proceeding which determines how a debtor can settle accounts and move on. Bankruptcy courts are always federal, and not state, courts. They were established in the Constitution and given structure by the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978. They give debtors a means of moving beyond debts that cannot be fully repaid. There are several kinds of bankruptcy filings (found here — ‘chapter 7-15’, some for individuals, some for businesses, some involving foreign entities or persons operating in the US. Some are for absolution and the dissolution of a business entity, and other filings are requests for partial debt forgiveness and reorganization of the entity. Continue reading...

What is Form 1099-MISC?

IRS Link to Form — Found Here The 1099-MISC form is filed by the payer, which is the business (whether for-profit or not-for-profit) making the distributions or payments to an individual who is operating in a non-employee capacity as independent contractor. This form is also used to report rental income, royalties, and Indian gaming profits. Independent contractors are often used by businesses for various kinds of labor. These arrangements might be temporary or long-standing, but the business and worker have agreed that the contractor is not an employee, and does not have employee benefits. Continue reading...

What is Chapter 9?

Chapter 9 is a form of bankruptcy filing that is reserved for municipalities which have defaulted on their debt obligations. This could include a school district or other entities which have a municipal affiliation and the ability to generate revenue from local taxes. They cannot be made to liquidate anything. In fact, it forces the lender to accept a refinancing of the debt obligation. Because municipalities fall under state jurisdiction, the federal government, which governs bankruptcy court, does not have the ability to force liquidation of a municipal entity’s assets. Instead, this provision of bankruptcy law governs refinancing arrangements to facilitate the repayment of debts owed. Continue reading...

What is IRS Notice 433 – Interest and Penalty Information?

IRS Link to Notice — Found Here Notice 433 describes penalties and the applicable interest rates for various years of non-payment when corporate taxes are not paid in a timely manner. This does not apply to individuals unless they are incorporated, and is not to be confused with Forms 433-A, -B, -D, or -F which are for individual purposes and concern applications for a Compromise Notice 746 updates the interest rates for more recent years. Continue reading...

What is Homeowners Insurance?

Homeowners insurance covers a variety of risks to a homeowner, including damage to the property and the belongings within it, as well as liability coverage in the event that someone else is injured on the property. It does not include coverage for flood or earthquake damage, so people living in areas where that might be a problem will need to find a separate policy for those coverages. Homeowners insurance is highly advisable for any homeowner, and most mortgage lenders will require it. Continue reading...

What is Chapter 11?

Chapter 11 is a type of bankruptcy filing a company can make to give itself time to reorganize and hopefully continue business. There are different types of bankruptcy filings a person or business can make, depending on how overwhelming their debt load is. Chapter 11 is a kind of bankruptcy filing that allows the corporate leadership to stay in control of a company while trading freezes on their stock and the company and its debts are reorganized. This is called “debtor in possession.” Continue reading...

What is Chapter 10?

Chapter 10 is a bankruptcy filing available to smaller corporations where they agree to have their management replaced to oversee a restructuring, and they also agree to have their debts repaid within three years. If a company does not have more than $2.5 million in debt, they may be able to file Chapter 10 bankruptcy. The company and its attorney will put together a plan for reorganization and explain how the plan will ensure that the company meet its obligations in the future. Continue reading...

What is a Federally Covered Advisor?

The Investment Advisers Supervision Coordination Act of 1996 sought to delegate the responsibility of monitoring investment advisors between the states and the federal government. It amended the Investment Advisors Act of 1940, which required all advisors to register with the SEC. The Dodd-Frank Act further amended the IAA, such that only advisors with assets under management exceeding $100 million had to register with the SEC. The IASC was part of the NSMIA legislation passed in 1996. Up until that point, all advisors were regulated and monitored by the SEC. Continue reading...

What are the Contribution Deadlines for My Keogh Plan?

Generally the deadline for contributions is the tax filing deadline, with extensions. In order to deduct your contributions to a Keogh Plan from your taxable income, the Keogh Plan has to be set up by the last day of that year (December 31). The deadline to make contributions to your Keogh Plan is the same as the due date for Federal Income Taxes for your business. This includes extensions, so you may be able to make contributions until October of the following year. Continue reading...

What is the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA)?

The Federal Unemployment Tax Act was passed in 1939, and it set up trust funds for the purpose of providing unemployment insurance. Businesses, not individuals, are taxed to provide funds for the program. There are 53 state funds (including D.C., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands), 4 federal accounts, and 2 associated with railroad retirement. The Federal Unemployment Tax helps states fund their own unemployment programs. Continue reading...

What are the Contribution Deadlines for My SEP IRA?

Generally SEPs can be set up and funded by the tax filing deadline. If an employer chooses to make an annual contribution into a SEP IRA on behalf of all of his employees, it must be made by the same due date as his Federal Income Taxes. In most cases, this is April15th, but if an extension has been filed, the SEP does not have to be set up until October 15th. Because SEPs do not require continuous annual contributions, and because contributions can be added after January 1, they are very flexible and attractive to small businesses. Employees are even able to make traditional IRA contributions as part of a SEP arrangement. Continue reading...

What is Publication 17 for Individual Federal Income Taxes?

IRS Link to Publication — Found Here The Publication 17 is a very large and detailed guide to help individuals correctly file their federal income tax returns. Form 1040, 1040-A, and 1040-EZ are the return forms used by individuals for federal income tax, but most people won’t know which one to use without either consulting a tax professional or reading this handy 290-some-odd page document. There are many ins-and-outs when it comes to filing federal income tax returns, and Publication 17 is robust enough to clear up many of the questions that might be asked by non-professional filers and CPAs alike. Issues such as filing status, charitable contributions, and a list of instructions for deductions individuals can take, are all listed, among other things. Continue reading...

What is the FCC?

The Federal Communications Commission is a bipartisan regulatory body that oversees interstate communications media, grants licenses to entities which plan to use the bands available, and to some extent regulates the content of these communications in the public interest. Communications media, including radio, satellite, cable, telephone, and others, are overseen and regulated by the FCC. They help to standardize measures and regulate the commercial activity of the entities which seek to use these media, including licensing and content regulation. Continue reading...

What Are the Contribution Deadlines for My SIMPLE IRA?

Contributions for employees must be made within 30 days after a pay-period, while employers may match any time before their tax filing deadline. Salary reduction contributions to a SIMPLE IRA must be made no later than 30 days after receiving the paycheck in the calendar year that reflects their deferral. Employer contributions can be made each pay period, but they must be made by the same due date as their tax-filing deadline. This can be the extended deadline. Continue reading...