Let’s Talk Money
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Let’s Talk Money
I’m back. Let’s talk live. Join me today at noon ET. I’ll be available to answer your financial questions.
If you can’t join me live, you can send your questions in early.
Can I deduct that?
Every day until D-Day, April 15, members of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants have agreed to answer tax questions from USA Today readers. (I should have thought of that. Got to remember for next year.)
Anyway, we are all in this together, so I’m happy to point you to USA Today. You can submit your questions to email@example.com.
Here’s a reader question answered by Clare Levison, a CPA in Blacksburg, Va.
“Our son is a freshman attending an out- of-state university. We are paying tuition, travel expenses, car expenses including insurance, books, dorm and meal fees and travel expenses for trips back and forth during holidays and other visits home. Tuition amounted to $25,000 for the fall 2012 semester, and with the additional expenses we easily spent $30,000 per semester for the 2012/2013 year. Can we claim the costs besides tuition as deductions on our taxes for 2012?”
Great question. It’s one that will interest me next year, since my daughter starts college in the fall.
Click here for Levison’s answer.
Family Financial Fights
“Celebrity Apprentice” star Omarosa Manigult may have a legal fight over the will of her late fiance Michael Clarke Duncan.
TMZ is reporting that Judy Duncan, Duncan’s sister, has hired a lawyer to investigate the circumstances surrounding the change to her brother’s will. The sister believes Manigult “unduly influenced Duncan to rewrite his will months before he died,” TMZ reported.
But it’s not like she’s getting nothing. Duncan apparently left his sister $100,000.
Has a loved one’s will divided your family? If so, tell me about the situation. Maybe I can help or at least send a cautionary tell to others. Send your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please include your full name, city and state. Be sure to put “Family Financial Fights” in the subject line. I only need your personal information if I have additional questions. Because of the sensitivity of the situation, your personal details won’t be disclosed.
CVS employees who are enrolled in the company’s new health insurance plan are required to undergo several tests, including having their blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol checked. The new policy also requires employees to have doctors measure their body mass and weight. If the wellness screening isn’t completed by May 1, workers will be required to pay a monthly $50 fee.
Last week’s Color of Money Question: “Would you share your medical history, including your weight, to save money?”
“Not only would I be willing to share health information, I would appreciate a discount in my premium for exceeding healthy lifestyle standards for age, sex, etc,” said CV Smith of Silver Spring, Md. “Similarly, I would support an increase in premiums and an additional fee for those who fail to disclose unhealthy information and/or choose to ignore health care conditions that can be managed or improved.”
Maryellen Kahn of Columbus thinks the mandatory health screening is a great idea. “People must take responsibility for their own health. Using an increase in premium to help them make that choice is a good idea. It improves health care costs for all of us. Of course, disease and accidents can happen no matter what, but why should I pay the same premium as someone who does not at least try to take responsibility for their own health.”
“Policies such as this do not mandate that anyone take any action, but provide an incentive for people to take personal responsibility to improve their health,” said Tad Kolke of Chicago.
You are welcome to e-mail comments and questions to email@example.com. Please include your name and hometown; your comments may be used in a future column or newsletter unless otherwise requested.
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Tia Lewis contributed to this report.