Renewable Energy Drive sets ambitious goal

State Sen. Chuck Wiger District 43

“The environment is where we all meet, where all have a mutual interest. It is the one thing all of us share,”

 — Lady Bird Johnson


Blowin’ snow: Sorry, that doesn’t qualify as a deductible moving expense

MNCPA issues annual list of outrageous tax deductions 


What you should know about timeshares

Now that the holidays are upon us, many people dream of taking a tropical vacation or spending time near a popular attraction. If you’re shopping for a getaway, you may have considered a timeshare, an arrangement that generally gives you the right to stay at a certain property for a specified amount of time each year. There are more than 1,500 timeshare resorts in the United States, according to the American Resort Development Association, and the average sales price for a unit is more than $20,000. If you’re thinking of spending your free time at one of them, the Minnesota Society of CPAs offers this advice.


Low or no-cost gift ideas

They say it’s the thought that counts when it comes to gift giving, but quite often it’s the cash that counts, too. According to the National Retail Federation, the average consumer spent $730 on gifts, food and decorations for the winter holidays in 2013. With costs expected to rise this year, savvy holiday shoppers are finding smart ways to save while still making the holidays memorable.


Avoiding not-so-jolly holiday scams

It’s the beginning of the holiday season, a time when family and friends come together to celebrate. The bad news is that this is also when thieves of all kinds are trying a variety of scams. To help you keep the sparkle in your holidays, the Minnesota Society of CPAs offers this advice on scams to avoid so you can keep the season merry.


What do you mean, my kid has a credit card?

Your child begins to receive offers for pre-approved credit cards. It sounds annoying, but nothing to be worried about, right?
In fact, it could be one of the warning signs that your family is the victim of child identity theft. Nearly 3 percent of U.S. households with children under 18—or one in 40 households—has been hit by child identity theft, according to the Identity Theft Assistance Center.


Health care reform and your small business

What has the Affordable Care Act meant to your business so far? When it was first passed, many small business owners were concerned about new complexities and potential added costs and disruptions to their business operations. Now that important provisions of the law have been in force for a while, the Minnesota Society of CPAs offers a review of some of the highlights and some timely advice.


Fire, flood, storms — could your business survive?

Could your business bounce back if a disaster occurred? A minimum of 25 percent of small to midsize businesses that close temporarily due to a natural or other disaster ultimately never open their doors again, according to the Institute for Business and Home Safety. It is possible to weather any type of business interruption, however, only if you’re properly prepared. The Minnesota Society of CPAs (MNCPA) offers these tips to ensure you’re ready for anything.


Don’t make these common IRA mistakes!

About 40 percent of U.S. households — nearly 50 million — own individual retirement accounts, which provide tax-advantaged options for saving for your retirement years. The Minnesota Society of CPAs offers the following tips on how to avoid some common mistakes people make when managing IRAs.


Financial fitness advice for freshmen

As you get ready to go away to college for the first time, it is a good time to expand your knowledge of day-to-day money management, including smart budgeting and debt management steps. The Minnesota Society of CPAs offers these tips to students who want to get through college with the right financial footing.


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