Wednesday, October 23, 2013

2014 tax season to be delayed

If you were hoping to get a head start on filing your taxes this year, you will have to wait a little longer than usual to turn them in.

Due to a backlog caused by the government shutdown, the IRS has announced that tax returns will start being accepted by late January or early February, a couple of weeks late. The deadline to submit tax returns will remain April 15, 2014.

The official start date to report tax returns will be determined in December, according to IRS officials.

Read more about the delay here:;-IRS-Sees-Heavy-Demand-As-Operations-Resume

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Are government-backed loan programs a good fit for you?

With the U.S. government back up and running again, it’s a good time to consider some of the government-sponsored mortgage programs available to borrowers that may benefit your particular situation.

A Federal Housing Administration (FHA) purchase loan requires only a 3.5% down payment of the purchase price for a new home, lower than what is typically required for a conventional loan.  Lower interest rates are also offered to borrowers choosing an FHA loan, and lower credit scores can be accepted for loan approval.

If you have an FHA loan now, an FHA Streamline refinance can be used to lower your interest rate without the need to requalify with documented income or assets.  The FHA Streamline refinance does not require a new appraisal and is possible even if you’ve lost equity in your home and may owe more than your home is worth. 

The FHA program works with a government agency backing your mortgage in case of default, providing more assurance to the lender that your mortgage will be a safe bet.  In exchange for getting a lower rate and minimum down payment, an upfront mortgage insurance premium (UFMIP) is financed into your loan amount, and a monthly mortgage insurance premium (MIP) is added to your monthly payment.

To get more information about FHA loans, visit the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s website here:

As always, if you have questions or want to know if this loan option makes sense for you, please contact one of our loan advisors toll-free at 1-877-939-0339.

Monday, October 7, 2013

From the IRS: Ten Tax Tips for Individuals Selling Their Home

If you’re selling your main home this year, the IRS has some helpful tips for you. Even if you make a profit from the sale of your home, you may not have to report it as income.

Here are 10 tips from the IRS to keep in mind when selling your home. All information is directly from

1. If you sell your home at a gain, you may be able to exclude part or all of the profit from your income. This rule generally applies if you’ve owned and used the property as your main home for at least two out of the five years before the date of sale.

2. You normally can exclude up to $250,000 of the gain from your income ($500,000 on a joint return). This excluded gain is also not subject to the new Net Investment Income Tax, which is effective in 2013.

3. If you can exclude all of the gain, you probably don’t need to report the sale of your home on your tax return.

4. If you can’t exclude all of the gain, or you choose not to exclude it, you’ll need to report the sale of your home on your tax return. You’ll also have to report the sale if you received a Form 1099-S, Proceeds From Real Estate Transactions.

5. Use IRS e-file to prepare and file your 2013 tax return next year. E-file software will do most of the work for you. If you prepare a paper return, use the worksheets in Publication 523, Selling Your Home, to figure the gain (or loss) on the sale. The booklet also will help you determine how much of the gain you can exclude.

6. Generally, you can exclude a gain from the sale of only one main home per two-year period.

7. If you have more than one home, you can exclude a gain only from the sale of your main home. You must pay tax on the gain from selling any other home. If you have two homes and live in both of them, your main home is usually the one you live in most of the time.

8. Special rules may apply when you sell a home for which you received the first-time homebuyer credit. See Publication 523 for details.

9. You cannot deduct a loss from the sale of your main home.

10. When you sell your home and move, be sure to update your address with the IRS and the U.S. Postal Service. File Form 8822, Change of Address, to notify the IRS.

For more information on this topic, see Publication 523. It’s available at or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

Additional IRS Resources:
• Publication 523, Selling Your Home
• Questions and Answers on the Net Investment Income Tax
• Form 8822, Change of Address 
• U.S. Postal Service

IRS YouTube Videos:
• Selling Your Home – English | Spanish | ASL

IRS Podcasts:
• Selling Your Home – English | Spanish