Proposed 2013 Tax Changes in Congress

agatheringofexpertsSome major tax changes have been proposed in 2013, and they may affect taxpayers across the country. For individuals who want to make sure that their financial futures are secure, it is important to stay aware of these changes so that proper measures are taken.

The most significant proposed change relates to top dividend tax rates. It has been suggested that top dividend tax rates increase from 15 percent to 44 percent, a significant increase. This proposed increase is because of the impending expiration of Bush tax cuts.

On capital gains, the current top tax rate is 15 percent. Those who fall within the 10-15 percent income bracket are not required to pay. The income cap may rise to 20 percent.

If Congress does not vote to extend certain tax cuts, dividends could possibly return to being taxed as income. Individuals who are in a higher income bracket will bear the brunt of the impact, with tax increases on dividend income that could total up to 39.6 percent.

It is also possible that investors may experience a significant increase with other investment incomes. The proposed increase bumps up the tax rate from 35 percent up to 44 percent. Other investment income includes a wide range of assets—among them trade income, dividends, interests and property net gains.

If an individual inherits a property from a relative who has passed away, that property is still subject to an estate tax. The new owner can be exempt from the estate tax if the value of the home is less than $5 million. Under the proposed tax laws, the exemption amount would drop to $1 million.

One more proposed adjustment in 2013 is a Medicare contribution tax, which is currently at 3.8 percent. This tax will be issued on a specified amount of unearned income. This change would mostly affect individuals who hold investment income in excess of a certain amount.

Seeking out a trusted financial adviser is an essential step before filing taxes. A financial adviser is able to work with clients and their tax professionals to review any tax cuts and exemptions that apply to their estates.

 

Experienced Caver Wesley Upchurch Offers Tips for Newbies to Caving

Wesley Upchurch

Wesley Upchurch

Caving is as much about exploration as it is physical activity, explains Wesley Upchurch. Many up-and-coming potholers, however, fail to prepare for the dangers associated with entering Mother Earth.

The Supplies

According to Wesley Upchurch, there are three absolute pieces of equipment that are vital to any cave exploration: light, headgear, comfortable shoes. Most sporting gear and hardware stores sell elastic-banded headlamps and hardhats. These do not have to be expensive but Wesley Upchurch emphasizes that they should be durable to provide adequate protection and guidance underground. Ideally, cavers should wear boots with good traction and ankle support.

Many cavers choose to carry a small backpack, bottled water, and snacks. Wesley Upchurch also suggests well-fitting leather gloves and knee and elbow pads. On extended journeys, Wesley Upchurch notes that extra batteries, a first aid kit, and matches are essential. For cavers who are in it for the beauty, a camera that performs well in low light situations is a no-brainer. A change of clothes should be packed and waiting after the trip, notes Wesley Upchurch.

Safety

Caving is dangerous, warns Wesley Upchurch. A cave is an immovable part of Earth and should be respected. Wesley Upchurch suggests caving in groups of four to six people. This keeps things moving at a reasonable pace and also allows for plenty of bodies to go for help in case of an emergency.

Many caves have narrow passageways that are difficult to pass. According to Wesley Upchurch, it is not uncommon to get stuck in a tight crawlspace. He suggests maintaining control over breathing while someone else goes for help. It’s a good idea to let the smallest person in the group enter an unfamiliar passage first; the next-to-smallest should go last in case a larger member gets stuck.

Wesley Upchurch advises beginners and experienced explorers alike to ensure that other people are aware of their plans. Make sure these individuals are aware of the expected return time and the number to the local fire department or cave rescue team. Do not expect cell phones or other wireless devices to work. These should be left outside of the cave to avoid them getting lost, says Wesley Upchurch.

Warnings

While caving is an absolutely enjoyable activity it does come with a long line of possible safety threats. Cavers should pay attention to every step, even in caves they have visited before, notes Wesley Upchurch. Loose rocks and slippery terrain may not be the same each visit. Caves are usually muddy and can pose fall risks. Wounds should be avoided if possible and covered immediately as caves may contain fungi and bacteria.

Wesley Upchurch also notes that animals such as bats, insects, and snakes all thrive on dark and damp spaces.

North America is full of some of the most beautiful caves in the world. Wesley Upchurch notes that commercial caves should be explored prior to embarking on a wild cave adventure to get a feel for the natural terrain.

Based in Columbia, Missouri, Wesley Upchurch is a businessman with a flair for the extreme. He enjoys adrenaline sports and having a good time. He cites caving is one of his favorite pastimes along with riding extreme roller coasters.

Financial Q&A: Asset Management Growth

Q: Why is asset management important?

A: Asset management growth continues to be an essential goal for any business or company. An industry will experience strong results and an improvement on previous years when asset management growth is achieved. It also shows that a company has selected the correct approach, one that promotes compatibility across all departments.

The times of manual work are over. Asset management continues to gain importance as industry moves through the new millennium. The successful administration of assets will include numerous complex and diverse databases, and businesses must rely on timely and accurate information.

Q: What constitutes effective asset management?

A: Asset management is one of the most important strategies used in any industry. The corporate world today leans heavily on data maintenance and technological systems. To ensure that a business is running smoothly, both software and hardware assets should be managed properly. A thorough evaluation of financial statements, the marketing and sales plan, guest satisfaction data and the budget will likely be required. Asset management firms can give strategic advice on tax planning and acquisition services, as well as offering alternatives for the future.

Q: How does asset management affect a company?

A: Overall, asset management makes way for the proper organization of facilities, transportation, production and digital assets. Maintenance, procurement, budgeting and depreciation calculation of fixed assets should be evaluated, too. The value on these fixed assets must be maximized, with a goal toward minimizing all projected costs. A number of organizational modules are now available that assist different industries with managing aspects of day-to-day operations such as assets, materials, human resources and software.

Operational management systems provide necessary tools for improvement on these assets, decreasing the cost of ownership while developing their return. Additionally, the systems offer assistance with tasks such as license compliance and encourage heightened security for internal operations. This factor is especially important for companies with several branches in different locations. Now, management has a better, more efficient way to track both intangible and physical assets.

 

Pretty Pedicures to Pair with JustFab.com’s Hottest Spring Shoes

JustFab.com

JustFab.com

The onset of warm weather not only gives us an excuse to wear sandals and open toe JustFab.com shoes, but it also gives us a great reason to go get a pedicure. While the pampering is a treat, the best part is selecting a polish color to coordinate with our favorite JustFab.com shoes. From neons to pastels, we’ve selected some of our top shades for pairing with our must-have JustFab.com spring styles.

Topanga is a colorful, printed JustFab.com wedge. Made of supple materials with a zip-up back, JustFab.com captures the global traveler trend to a t with this ikat inspired look.  Available in turquoise or orange, the turquoise would pair well with a pedicure in one of the shoe’s cool accent colors: deep plum or shimmering peach. The orange JustFab.com style would be complemented by a pedicure in dazzling sea blue.

JustFab.com’s Copacabana is a sleek, classic heeled sandal. With a trendy neutral ankle strap and pastel hues of coral or mint, JustFab.com has reinterpreted a traditional look for spring. The mint shade would look smashing with a bubble gum pink or mauve pedicure, and the coral JustFab.com color would be a perfect match for fuchsia or hot pink toes.

Istanbul is an exotic, global JustFab.com shoe. Inspired by the city, this rich yet casual beaded sandal features a velvety textured fabric, a crisscross design and double ankle straps. Available in purple and black, both colorways feature metallic beading in periwinkle, pink and gold. Either shade of this JustFab.com shoe would go well with a butter yellow or shiny gunmetal colored pedicure.

JustFab.com’s Cancun is a resort wedge that will leave you feeling like you’re on vacation south of the border. Featuring a stylish t-strap with stacked buckles at the ankle, this JustFab.com beauty is available in black or cognac, and both include a summery tropical geometric weave on the wedge. This JustFab.com summer shoe would look fabulous with a pedicure in pastel pink, neutral nude, or a light olive.

Berne is a sporty peep-toe sandal from JustFab.com.  This shaped JustFab.com platform with a tall stiletto heel boasts a modern cutout design and bold neon highlights. Pair this edgy JustFab.com style with a neon pink pedicure to pick up the accent color of the shoe.

JustFab.com is the web’s top subscription-based fashion site, offering members the opportunity to have fashionable styles of shoes, handbags, denim and other accessories handpicked for them by in-the-know style experts.