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Gerard Depardieu escapes French income taxes

Many are whining in this country over an increase in the top income tax rate to 39.6%, and of course we hear the ridiculous notion that the United State is becoming Europe. Now consider that the French government is try to raise the top income tax rate there to 75%!!

Now that’s a tax that will affect behavior, and we see Gerard Depardieu getting Russian citizenship to escape. Sadly, he’s become an apologist for Putin and a propaganda tool against the reform movement.

So keep this in mind when completing your tax return this year. It’s really not that bad.

Factors to consider when refinancing

With mortgage interest rates being so low, more and more people are refinancing for obvious reasons.

When considering whether to refinance your mortgage there are many factors to consider, with obvious ones being the interest rate and the type of mortgage.

But there are many more factors to consider, including these from a helpful list compiled on Yahoo! Homes:

How long will I be in my home? The general rule is that unless you are planning to stay in your home at least another five years, then refinancing may not make sense. This is because a refi usually carries closing costs and the costs could outweigh the benefits. You usually “break even” at the five-year mark, which means you have paid for the costs to refinance.

Is there a prepayment penalty on my current mortgage? Since many mortgages carry a penalty if you pay off your existing mortgage, find out if you will be charged a “prepayment penalty.” The amount varies, but it can add up to several months’ worth of interest payments. Ask your lender.

What are the costs of the new mortgage? Lenders almost always charge fees for taking out a new loan. These can add up to an average of $5,000 to $10,000, depending on the size of the loan. Charges include application fees, appraisal, origination and insurance fees, plus title search, insurance and legal costs. Unless your new rate is at least a half a percentage point lower than your current rate, the fees may eat up your potential savings.

Will my tax savings be reduced? If you claim mortgage interest on your tax return, refinancing to a lower rate will mean that you’ll have less mortgage interest to deduct. That means you might have to check with your tax advisor to see if your overall savings will be increased if you refinance.

Check out the entire list so you can properly evaluate whether to move forward.

Tax day today!

Have you filed your taxes yet? We know it’s painful, but hopefully you haven’t waited until the last minute.

It’s been a decent rise on Wall Street the past couple of years, so hopefully you have some nice capital gains to add to your reported income.

For those of you who remain unemployed, the job market seems to be turning around a bit. Hopefully things will improve for everyone.

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