Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.

Mary Tomkins is a freelance writer located in Spartanburg, SC, with emphasis on economic news and research on the financial industry.

Last Chance Amnesty for Tax Evaders with Offshore Accounts

Taxpayers using offshore accounts to hide money from Uncle Sam have been given a second chance to come clean and avoid criminal prosecution. The Internal Revenue Service’s 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (OVDI), which began last week, will be in effect until August 31 this year. The amnesty program is intended to bring tax revenue back to the U.S. and help people get current with their taxes before they get in trouble with the law. “As...
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Sub-Prime Credit Cards

Sub-prime credit cards can offer consumers with a poor credit history a fresh start - a chance to improve their credit score while enjoying the advantages of using a credit card. Sub-prime cards work the same way as a regular credit card. The cardholder will get be able to make airline and hotel reservations online or over the phone, pay-at-the-pump at gas stations, and get “swipe, sign, and go” convenience anywhere credit cards are accepted. But...
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Recovering From a Poor Credit Score

Recovering From a Poor Credit Score
Whether your poor credit score is caused by living beyond your means through overspending, or an unfortunate circumstance that made debt repayment difficult, your credit score can be repaired. But bad credit scores weren’t earned overnight. Your credit score may have gradually fallen over a period of months or years until it dropped to a point where obtaining new credit or qualifying for fair credit terms became difficult. Just as damaging your credit score was a...
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Job Market on a Long Slow Recovery

New unemployment claims rose sharply last preceding week, reversing the drop from the previous week and surprising economic experts.For the week ending January 22, new jobless claims increased by 51,000 to 454,000 according to a report released by the Labor Department. The four-week moving average, which smooths out weekly volatility, increased by 15,750 to 428,750. The insured unemployment rate also crept up as a result - increasing to 3.2% from the previous week’s unrevised rate of...
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Simplify and Save - Clothing

It’s not only fun to get new clothes, but wearing a flattering new outfit can do wonders for your attitude. But to keep up with the ever-changing fashion trends can wreck havoc on your credit card balance. Here’s a few tips on how to keep your wardrobe fresh without going into debt over it:Develop your own personal style.You may be a t-shirt and jeans kind of gal or guy, but it doesn’t mean you don’t have...
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Auto Shopping - Buying From a Private Seller

When in the market for a vehicle, it’s smart to consider buying from a private seller.The main benefit to purchasing from an individual is that you are more likely to get your auto for a good, or even great price compared to the price of a similar vehicle at a dealership. Many times, a private seller wants to sell their vehicle simply because they want to buy another one - either an upgrade or a downgrade,...
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Consumer Confidence Up in January

As Americans start the new year feeling better about the job situation, consumer confidence increased in January to its highest level in eight months. The Consumer Confidence Index reading of 60.6 is up from 53.3 in December, the Conference Board reported today. The Present Situation Index - which gauges how consumers feel about the current state of the economy - improved to 31.0 from 24.9 in December. The Expectations Index - which shows how consumers feel...
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IRS Releases Smartphone App

Want an easy way to check on the status of your refund this tax season? There’s an app for that. The Internal Revenue Service today announced the release of IRS2Go, the first smartphone application that lets taxpayers quickly get the status of their refund and other helpful tax information on both the iPhone and Android operating systems."This new smart phone app reflects our commitment to modernizing the agency and engaging taxpayers where they want when they...
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Home Sales in December Jump 12.3%

Sales of existing homes jumped in December for the fifth month of sales increases within the past six months, a positive sign that the housing market continues to improve. Sales of existing homes, including single-family, townhomes, condos, and co-ops, increased by a healthy 12.3% in December according to a report released today by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). At December’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.28 million home sales, it was 2.9% lower than the...
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Choosing Your Next Vehicle

Buying your next vehicle can be an exciting thing, but it can also be confusing thing if you don’t go in with at least some idea of what you’re looking for. A realistic attitude will help make car shopping go more smoothly. It can be frustrating to start with your heart set on a certain make and model if it isn’t what you really need. Ask yourself these questions to help narrow down your choices: What...
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