2023 Tax Bracket Adjustments – More Money in Your Pocket?

Everyone can surely use a little more take-home pay and based on some new changes that affect 2023 tax brackets, some may get just that.

On October 18, 2022, the IRS released new tax brackets for all seven income tax tiers, increasing the top income level for each tier and thus lowering tax brackets for many individuals as they head into income tax preparation time.

This adjustment, which goes into effect on January 1, 2023, has been made in light of the current inflation rate which is the highest it has been in nearly 40 years.

Tax bracket thresholds were increased by 7%. 

Doesn't Apply Until 2023

While these changes do not apply to employee tax returns filed in 2023 which are based on 2022 income, those earners who will drop down a bracket will get some tax help and at least begin seeing a slight increase in take-home pay at the start of the year.

The only drawback is that top-bracket earners may see an increase in their social security payroll taxes, as the maximum social security earning level was increased by 9%. 

Review Changes For Retirement Savings

With this added income making it into their pockets, workers who receive more pay starting in January 2023 should review their paycheck withholding amounts and 401(k) plans.

For some, the tax help change offers the perfect opportunity to contribute more to retirement savings or to invest more into a health savings account.

With inflation rates as they are, many can simply enjoy the benefit of some added funds in their pockets every month as well.

Standard Deduction Increased

In addition to these 2023 tax bracket adjustments, the IRS has also increased the standard tax deduction by $900 for individuals, $1800 for married couples, and $1400 for heads of households.

It is said to be the largest increase in the standard deduction prior to income tax preparation time since 1985 when the tax system was first adjusted according to inflation rates. 

What Is The Bottom Line With These Changes?

What does it all mean for the average taxpayer as income tax preparation time rolls around again?

With regard to tax returns filed in 2023, those should be filed according to 2022 income brackets and the current standard deduction as the increased standard deduction starts with 2023 income.

Yet that first paycheck in 2023 should end up adjusted to the new 2023 tax brackets, bringing a little more cash home for many individuals. 

In Summary

Since every person’s tax withholding might be different, the IRS recommends that earners review withholding with their tax help expert to determine how much additional income they are likely to see and how it might affect their retirement and health savings.

Those with more questions about their 2023 tax return and other tax preparation concerns should reach out to a local tax help specialist!

Hiring Movers? Avoid These Common Mistakes!

Finding a reputable moving service to handle a residential move can be challenging.

Moving company services are expensive, so it is understandable that people want to spend as little as possible on their movers; however, there is much more to finding a trustable moving service than just their price.

Use these tips to find hardworking, professional movers who can be trusted to relocate personal belongings without the issues that can come when hiring the wrong ones!

  • Don’t Choose Based On Who Gives the Lowest Estimate - Moving company services are one instance where lower prices can sometimes mean poor service from movers who are not professionals. Avoid those seeking only to undercut other movers just to get a job by reviewing these other points below first, then judging whether the company seems reliable. 
  • Research with the BBB – Look forr moving services with many complaints and a bad reputation on the Better Business Bureau website. See what other customers are saying there, as well as on the company’s online business directory listings like Yelp! and Google My Business. 
  • Discuss Moving Large, Heavy, or Fragile Items - When getting estimates, be sure to mention items that could be difficult to move, as moving companies services must plan ahead on how to move them and additional fees might also be involved. Know ahead of time that a mover is capable of moving difficult or fragile items and what the options are if they can’t or if something gets broken. 
  • Ask About Extra Charges - Speaking of extra charges, be sure to get a written moving estimate, then confirm how they charge for mover help, fuel, mileage, packing, and all other expenses that are rolled into their services. Ask them to identify any added or hidden charges that may show up on the bill and how weight or time overages are charged so there are no surprises at the end. 
  • Fully Understanding How Breakage is Covered - Discuss moving insurance with the company and how theirs works. Confirm what is covered and for how much and if necessary, take out additional moving insurance. Many companies insure based on weight and that can leave customers with great losses if small but expensive items end up damaged.

The main problems that customers have with moving services usually revolve around assumptions made and them not asking movers enough questions.

Avoid these mistakes when hiring a moving service and learn which ones are the most suited for the job, regardless of their prices.

Once professionalism, capability, and good business practices are established, price considerations can come afterward.

Do I Need a Diagnosis For A VA Chronic Pain Disability Claim?

Chronic pain is a symptom that many veterans with service-connected disabilities suffer because of their condition.

Some veterans without a specific diagnosis or VA rating also suffer from chronic pain due to their military service.

This type of pain, which lingers long after the initial injury, can be debilitating and negatively affect a veteran’s quality of life.

Fortunately, those suffering from chronic pain can file a VA chronic pain disability claim and get needed benefits and potentially have their disability rating adjusted accordingly. 

Do Chronic Pain Claims First Need a Diagnosis?

Do veterans filing these claims need a pain diagnosis first?

Until recently, veterans were unable to submit a VA chronic pain disability claim unless there was a specific diagnosis for the origination of their pain and it was determined to be related to a service-connected disability.

Approval of these claims is typically dependent on three things: 

  1. It is due to a medically diagnosed condition, 
  2. It is connected to an in-service injury or illness, and 
  3. The diagnosed pain condition can be medically linked to an in-service occurrence

While this is possible in some cases, there are also many instances in which the chronic pain suffered by a veteran is not secondary to any other service-connected disability or not identified by a specific pain diagnosis. 

How Did The 2018 VA Rule Change Affect These Claims?

Fortunately, VA chronic pain disability claims experts can now help veterans file claims for their chronic pain based on a rule change in 2018, which overturned the first stipulation in the three requirements to do so.

Now, VA chronic pain disability claims may be filed by a veteran experiencing chronic pain as long as their pain is connected to an in-service injury or illness and the pain can be medically linked to an in-service occurrence.

Even if a specific diagnosis is lacking, the VA can award benefits and adjust ratings so long as the veteran’s chronic pain causes some kind of functional impairment or loss. 

There Is No Specific Rating System for Chronic Pain

It is important to note that the VA does not have a specific rating system for chronic pain, which can complicate the claim process.

Rating chronic pain requires the assessment of the degree of impairment or loss of function caused by the pain.

For this reason, VA chronic disability claims help representatives recommend that veterans seeking benefits for their chronic pain discuss their condition with a VA claims expert first.

A compassionate VA chronic pain disabilities claims expert can help a veteran collect the evidence required, then correctly file their claim to increase the chance that it will be approved.

Business Owners – What Type of Accountant Do You Need?

Accounting services are essential services that can help business owners run their companies more efficiently.

Yet before hiring just any accounting firm, it is important to know the different types of accountants and which one to look for.

This summary of the five types of accountants should help companies in need of accounting services find the right ones that will help them reach business success.

  1. Certified Public Accountants - CPAs are expert business accountants who handle things like an organization’s payroll, financial records, taxes, and other financial matters, as well as providing financial planning advice to the business owner. They are the accountants who most business owners turn to for the bulk of their accounting needs. 
  2. Management Accountants - CMAs start out as CPAs but continue their education in managerial accounting so they can provide financial consulting services to their business clients. CMAs are useful when companies must make important managerial and financial decisions that will affect the future of the business. They may also provide credit and financial analysis as well as other financial services to help companies make wise financial-based business decisions.
  3. Accounting Auditors - Auditors perform accounting services to ensure the accuracy of financial records. These specialists are usually brought in periodically to help non-profits, for-profits, and other businesses verify their accounting records and correct any errors that might be discovered. 
  4. Forensic Accountants - When a company must review financial records to confirm adherence with certain laws or standards or even to detect fraud, accounting law firms that specialize in forensic auditing are called in. Forensic accountants are highly skilled accountants who also have a mind for investigation, uncovering mistakes, and detecting unusual patterns that could indicate wrongdoing or errors. 
  5. Government Accountants - Whether employed by a state, a city, a county, or even on a federal level, government accountants deal with assisting government agencies with their recordkeeping, their financial planning, and their allocation of funds.

Every company, no matter what industry or sector it does business in, needs qualified accountants to help in keeping its finances straight.

While general accounting services from CPAs are at the top of most business needs, some may require the occasional services of other accounting firms as well.

With accurate accounting services provided by these different financial experts as needed, any business can maintain accurate records and have a clearer understanding of their income and expenses, staying compliant where necessary, and how to become more profitable in general!

Addressing the Issue of Security Scanning of Mail Entering Prisons

One of the most overlooked areas in terms of security screening for contraband entering correctional facilities is the mail room, where letters and packages to prisoners arrive.

As the use of more advanced full body security scanning systems has significantly reduced the ability to get contraband into these facilities on a person, these items continue to get through to inmates in personal correspondence.

This is especially the case at facilities that do not have methods in place to properly scan incoming mail to catch these items before they are delivered to those inmates.

Instead, it has left many facilities in positions where they must either prohibit the delivery of mail to inmates or infringe on the privacy of inmates receiving mail by opening it first. 

The Problems With Not Delivering Inmates Mail

The problem with these methods of security screening is that they are both unethical and unnecessary.

It is well known that it is beneficial to the well-being of inmates to receive letters and other correspondence from family and friends while incarcerated, so stopping that can be detrimental.

Opening private mail is a direct breach of each inmate’s privacy.

Neither of these is a  good solution; however, allowing mail to enter that has not undergone some type of screening is not either.

On top of these issues, there is also the problem of the lack of personnel that many facilities deal with, making the slow task of mail screening using conventional methods too time-consuming, as necessary as it is.

The Usefulness of Security Scanning Systems

Fortunately, as continued advancement with full body security scanning for law enforcement is being made, some of this same technology is being used to develop smaller security scanning systems that can be used in mail rooms to scan incoming envelopes and packages prior to delivery to inmates.

Desktop high-definition scanners are the perfect solution for many facilities in need of more secure mail screening practices.

Designed to work in the same way as many full body scanning systems, these smaller, lower-cost machines are instrumental in improving safety in correctional facilities by catching more of the contraband benign sent through the mail. 

3-D Scanning Technology for Contraband Detection

Using fast, convenient, and affordable 3-D scanning, facilities can continue to deliver privacy-protected mail to inmates while still catching any attempts to deliver drugs, electronics, weapons, and other contraband.

It is a workable solution that all facilities investing in advanced full body security scanning for law enforcement should include in their security screening process to protect staff, inmates, and others from the many threats that contraband in the hands of inmates create.

The Top 7 Reasons to Outsource Business Payroll!

Doing employee payroll is a necessary part of running a business and one that many business owners wish they could do without.

It can be complicated and without a thorough knowledge of payroll and tax laws, mistakes are possible.

Outsourcing to an online payroll service is a great option, even for small businesses.

Using a payroll system, business owners can focus on their companies, leaving the payroll number crunching to the accountants.

Why Consider Outsourcing Employee Payroll Systems?

What are the top reasons why it pays to outsource employee payroll to an only payroll service?

  1. Significant Time Savings - Payroll is a business task that never goes away. It must be done regularly, on time, and can take countless hours depending on the number of employees and the complexity of the payroll system being used. Outsourcing takes the entire task out of the hands of the business itself, requiring only the submission of some initial data to keep the payroll checks in the mail.
  2. Reduces Payroll Mistakes - Working with experienced online payroll services that focus only on this job reduces the chance that common mistakes will be made.
  3. Data Security - Outsourcing to reputable payroll system services takes the liability of data security for constantly changing financial information out of the hands of the business.
  4. Payroll and Tax Expertise - Experienced employee payroll services stay on top of all the tax and payroll law changes and know how to apply them. There is no need for business owners doing in-house payroll to track these changes and attempt to interpret them, risking financial mistakes.
  5. Tax Accuracy and Compliance - In addition to removing the complexity of having to stay up to date with payroll rules, outsourcing to a payroll system also alleviates business owners of tax accuracy concerns and the potential for auditing due to mistakes. Payroll services will remove income and other taxes from payroll and make tax deposits as required.
  6. Easy Benefits Tracking - Another task that can be delegated to an employee payroll service is hours and benefits tracking.
  7. On-Demand Payroll Reporting - Online payroll services also make payroll reporting for company purposes easy, with many services including customer portals with this option.

There are never enough hours in the day when running a business.

Rather than allowing the monotonous task of employee payroll to take up a significant portion of that time, business owners can make the cost-effective decision to use an online payroll service instead.

Outsourcing to an online payroll system means fewer mistakes, easier government compliance, and the means to use that time making money, not trying to figure out how to get employees paid on time.

5 Tips for Preparing Pets for Moving Day!

the heavy work.

It can be even more challenging when there are family pets involved, as all the movement and the strange people working in the house can be exceptionally stressful to them.

To accomplish moves with pets without the drama, these are 5 ideas suggested by home moving services to keep pets safe throughout the process so they can enjoy their new home once the move is complete.

  1. Make A Plan Ahead of Time - Regardless of which of the following tips are used, always start off with a plan of what to do with pets so there is no confusion once home moving services arrive. Avoid excitement, accidental bites, and other problems by having a plan for containing pets and limiting their exposure to the noise and activity that could cause them a great deal of stress.
  2. Contain Small Pets To Pet Carriers - One way to keep pets out of the way when movers are packing or unpacking the house and moving boxes in and out is to contain them in a pet carrier or animal crate. Purchase a large enough one ahead of time if one is not already available and put the pet in before the movers arrive with a blanket and some water plus a litter box for cats.
  3. Remove Pets While Movers Are There - Depending on the animal and how skittish it is, a better option while moving might be to remove it from the house by putting it in a safely enclosed yard or pen or bringing it to the home of a family member, friend, or neighbor who can keep an eye on it while home moving services work.
  4. Board Pets For A few Days - Another option when removing the pet from the home is most ideal is to simply board the animal(s) out for a day or two while all the moving activity of packing/unpacking and loading/unloading are happening.
  5. Restrict Pets To One Room - If all else fails and there are no other options, clear out one small room first or empty a bathroom, then contain pets exclusively in that room during the move.

Keeping pets under control and out of the way during moves is critical to the safety of the pets, the movers, and everyone else present.

Make a plan for moving day as to how family pets should be handled before the movers actually get there so there are no unfortunate accidents or heartbreaking pet escapes and the move goes well!

What Does Full Service Moving Include?

Of all the things that people dislike the most, moving has to be right up at the top of most people’s list.

Thankfully, there are full service moving companies that can make that difficult time a lot easier to deal with.

Before contracting a move with full service movers, it is important that customers understand the extent of those services so they know what to expect.

What To Expect From Full Service Moving Companies

Though not every full service moving service is exactly the same in the services they provide, customers paying for a full service move can generally expect the movers to take care of all of these things for them:

  • Packing Materials and Supplies - All boxes, paper, padding, tape, and moving blankets are included in a full-service move, saving customers potentially hundreds of dollars on those materials.
  • Disassemble Furniture and Pack All Belongings - Movers will take apart any items that must be disassembled for transport, then carefully wrap and pack all personal belongings throughout the entire home.
  • Load and Unload The Truck - Full service moving service includes all loading and unloading of the truck so there is no need for anyone other than the movers to lift a thing.
  • Transport All Belongings - All belongings loaded into the truck will be transported to the pre-determined location for unpacking.
  • Unpack Belongings and Reassemble Furniture - After arrival and unloading of the truck, full service movers will then unpack belongings and reassemble the items that were disassembled for the move.
  • Dispose of All Packing Materials - After unpacking, all packing materials and boxes will be gathered and removed from the new home, leaving no need to dispose of anything once they are gone. Customers can get right to setting up their new homes without the mess of boxes, paper, and padding everywhere.

Now You're Ready For A Full Service Moving Service!

Scheduling a move with full service moving companies will cost more than DIY moving or even pack-your-own services, but it can be a great option for many.

Whether a customer cannot pack their things on their own, does not have the time to do it, or simply does not want to deal with the headaches, full service movers are the best option to get it all done without the hassle.

And where shipment insurance is concerned, most full service moving services offer better insurance coverage when they do the packing themselves.

In terms of time, effort, and even protection of personal property, contracting experienced full service movers can make moving house less of an ordeal!

How to Choose A Residential Moving Company

I wanted to relocate to my new house. I called a moving company and thought everything would be smooth; however, it turned out to be one of my worst experiences.

The movers did not come at the right time. Packing was hurriedly done and worst of all, after they moved things to the van, they demanded more money.

Oh gosh! it was so horrible; however, no one needs to go through such an experience if you choose a professional moving company.

But how do you choose a professional moving company and why it's important?

Why Choose A Moving Company?

A moving company makes relocation hassle-free. As per US census, 40 million people relocate every year either within the state, within the country or out of the country.

It protects goods and thereby memories from damaging while relocating since most of these companies offer insurance while in transit.

You will have peace of mind and be free from all the tension associated with relocating to a fresh place and it also saves your precious time.

You can enjoy moving to a new place.

Know How To Choose A Moving Company?

While choosing a moving company, make sure they are registered and have enough experience in the business. Moreover, make sure they are big players with branches in the new area you are moving.

It helps since the people will be familiar about the place and save a lot of time trying to guide them to find the address.

Apart from it, you need to keep certain things while choosing a moving company to avoid unpleasant experiences.

  • Use your own experience as well as your friends experience about the moving companies. Based on those experiences choose the moving company.
  • Compare providers and get quotes in advance. Check their reputation by getting into online forums.
  • Be aware of the extra cost. Provide a detailed information about the goods you need to carry. Measure the weight well before they secure the move.
  • Check whether they provide insurance to your products.
  • Know the terms in the bill of the moving company. Whether it is weight or volume based, cost based on distance, time and urgency it needs to be moved, etc.
  • Choose the type of van you need before hand as the weather will play an important role.

Why Not Buy New Things Instead Of Moving All The Old Things?

I see many people asking why all these hassles instead just sell the old things and get new ones at the new place.

It makes your travel light; however, it is not just about things but also about memories.

Unless the goods are really damaged and you really wanted a replacement, then this could be the time.

Otherwise, it is always better to carry your old ones and costs of moving is not high to justify discarding old one and buying a new one.

In essence, it is important to know how the professional moving company helps you relocate in a hassle-free way.

A bit of research and due diligence go a long way in a peaceful movement to a new place.

What Should You Do?

Relocating with a moving company doesn’t have to be a daunting and time-consuming experience.

Plan well and follow these guidelines in hiring a professional moving company.

By doing so and knowing that your possessions are in good hands, your relocation can be a memorable one in a positive way.

Don’t Let Holiday Stress Get You Down – Get A Massage!

The holidays are here and with all the challenges we are facing these days in our personal and professional lives, stress can run high for some people.

A tension relieving relaxation massage can help!

Overlooking Yourself at Christmas?

Between all the planning of holiday meals, all that shopping for the perfect gifts, and all the preparation that goes into special meals and get-togethers with family and friends, there is one person who tends to get left out of all of that - you!

Instead of forgetting about taking care of yourself while running ragged to care for everyone else, there is no better time than during the holidays to treat yourself to a little healing massage therapy.

A few minutes of treatment under the hands of an experienced massage therapist can do wonders for you, helping you keep up during this busy time of year.

All Sorts of Massage Types to Fit Your Needs

There are different types of massage you can try for promoting relaxation, too.

If tension, low-grade anxiety, or even stress headaches are an issue, a general body massage can loosen your muscles, relieve knots, and get your blood flowing better with more oxygen to relieve much of that.

The addition of hot stones to your massage, which act to soothe and loosen tight muscles and ease soft tissue aches, are another possibility.

A massage that includes aromatherapy using fragrant essential oils is another perfect solution to relieve stress and promote calmness and relaxation in the body and the mind.

Consider A Regular Massage Routine

If you have never tried a massage before, you may be surprised at just how effective massage therapy can be.

Regular visits to see a massage therapist are a great way to get through busy, stressful times when we find ourselves exhausted from trying to get everything on our tasks lists done in the day.

Fortunately, you can benefit from this holistic, pleasing therapy in as little as an hour in between errands or on a lunch break.

Treat Yourself – and Those You Love to a Great Massage!

As much as we may love the holiday season, there is no arguing the fact that these weeks can be downright exhausting to us, physically and mentally.

This season, treat yourself to a much needed massage while attempting to get all your holiday preparations done so you can remain relaxed, refreshed, and in control.

While you’re at it, pick up a few gift cards for your loved ones who will also appreciate the gift of massage therapy and that’s one less gift idea you’ll have to worry about!