How to Make Smarter Decisions About Money 01.25.19

Stocks recouped their earlier week losses to end flat despite weak economic numbers from China and a warning from Intel that demand was slowing. A deal from President Trump to temporarily end the U.S. government shutdown helped boost stocks on Friday.

To date, 22% of the companies in the S&P 500 have reported actual results for the fourth quarter of 2018. Of those companies already reporting, 71% reported earnings per share above estimates, helping to alleviate fears that we have entered a sharp economic slowdown.

The yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury bond rose to 2.75%.


Withheld too little tax in 2018? The IRS might give you a pass on penalties.

If you failed to withhold sufficient taxes from your pay in 2018, the IRS might grant you some forgiveness.

The tax agency said on Wednesday it would waive the penalty for taxpayers who paid at least 85 percent of their tax liability for 2018.

Normally, in order to avoid a penalty for underpayment, you have to pay at least 90 percent of what you owe for the tax year in question or 100 percent of the tax liability from the prior year (110 percent if your adjusted gross income on that year’s return exceeded $150,000).

The IRS has been reminding taxpayers to review their W-4 throughout 2018, asking them to ensure that they are withholding sufficient taxes from their pay.

That’s because the Treasury Department and the IRS updated their withholding tables to reflect the changes from the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The overhaul of the tax code slashed individual income tax rates, doubled the standard deduction and eliminated personal exemptions.

“We realize there were many changes that affected people last year, and this penalty waiver will help taxpayers who inadvertently didn’t have enough tax withheld,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. (CNBC)

IRS Withholding Calculator

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