Michelle Singletary: Check your paycheck — you might be getting too much money

WASHINGTON — With the new tax law comes a home assignment.

Remember that small form you filled when you got your current job? It’s IRS Form W-4. This is the form that your employer uses to withhold federal income tax from your pay.

As a wage earner, you are required to pay federal income tax by having it withheld from your paycheck throughout the year. This is your “withholding,” which you calculate based on the number of allowances you claim on your W-4. If your tax situation changes — you have a child, get married or purchase a home — you should fill out a new form, because it could impact your tax situation. The goal is to have your withholding match your actual tax liability.

Well, with a new tax law in the land, you might need to do some calculations to see if your withholdings are correct. I know. You’re preoccupied with gathering the documents for your 2017 tax return. But this is exactly the right time to also focus on your 2018 return. To get the withholding right, you’ll need information from your current pay stub and your 2017 tax return.

In an ideal world, you don’t want to owe the federal government taxes, but neither should you aim to get a large refund. To hit the sweet spot — no taxes owed and maybe a small refund — you need to focus on your W-4. Otherwise, with the new tax changes hitting this year, you may find your employer is withholding too much money or not enough. In the latter case, do you really want to find out when you file your 2018 return next year that you’ve got a big tax bill?

“We suggest that people look at their withholdings every year, but most don’t,” said IRS spokesman Eric Smith. …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Moneywise News

Dave Ramsey says: Dave Ramsey: Your retirement, your money

Dear Dave: I’ve been following your plan, and I’m ready to start investing. Do employer contributions count toward the 15 percent you recommend putting into retirement?

— Brenda

Dear Brenda: Investing 15 percent of your income in retirement accounts is Baby Step 4 of my plan. That means you’ve already paid off all your debt, except for your home, and you’ve increased your $1,000 beginner’s emergency fund to a fully funded emergency fund of three to six months of expenses. Way to go!

I want you to control your destiny, so employer contributions do not count toward the 15 percent I recommend setting aside for retirement. The first thing you should put money into is a matching retirement account. If you’ve got access to a 401(k) — and your employer offers a match — you should do that up to the match before anything else.

It’s nice if your company will match up to a certain point, but chances are that will still mean you’ve got some work to do. To make up the remainder, you could look at a Roth IRA. Then if the Roth, plus what you invested previously to get the match doesn’t equal 15 percent, you could see about a 403(b) or go back to your 401(k) to complete the 15 percent.

You’re doing great, Brenda. Keep up the good work!

— Dave

Dear Dave: My mother wants everything, except for her home, left to my brother and I when she dies. She would like her long-time boyfriend to have her house. We don’t have a problem with this, but it has not been written into her will. Her mind is still sound, so does she need to officially update the will?

— Dawn

Dear Dawn: Yes, the will needs to be changed to reflect her wishes where the house is concerned. Since she’s still …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News

Workforce Services names new leader over programs for deaf, hard of hearing

SALT LAKE CITY — The Department of Workforce Services’ Office of Rehabilitation has selected Dan V. Mathis to oversee programs serving Utah’s community of deaf, hard of hearing and deaf-blind individuals, as well as their families.

Prior to this new role, Mathis served as an American Sign Language specialist for the Jean Massieu School of the Deaf, as part of the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind. While there, he taught ASL and deaf studies, and he coordinated support programs for students.

In addition, Mathis has more than 20 years’ experience of educational-based work in ASL, deaf studies and interpreter training at Sorenson Communications, Davis Applied Technology College and the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center.

Mathis is fluent in both English and ASL, and has served as a past member of the Utah Interpreter Program Certification Board and Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind, and the Blind Advisory Council. He earned bachelor’s degrees in ASL and deaf studies, and a master’s degree in sign language education from Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C.

Mathis will be based at the Sanderson Community Center in Taylorsville and will assume his duties March 5.

…read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News

Artists sought to create ‘Whimsy Walls’ for new airport

SALT LAKE CITY — The city’s Arts Council and the Department of Airports are looking for artists interested in creating large-scale art walls for the $3 billion Salt Lake City International Airport project.

The art — or “Whimsy Walls” — are vinyl wall wraps that will be created from original artwork and placed throughout the airport’s 24 restrooms. The art is intended to create immersive and engaging experiences for travelers when the new airport opens in 2020.

Though all subject matter will be considered, artists are encouraged to submit work that reflects the culture, community, landscape and spirit of Salt Lake City. The artwork must be appropriate for a diversity of viewers and may not contain advertising, negative, promotional, religious, sexual or violent imagery.

Two-dimensional art styles — including abstract, collage, conceptual, figurative, graphic, landscape, print, photography and representational — will be accepted.

All artwork submitted must be original and one-of-a-kind. The artist’s commission is $7,000 per piece. Salt Lake City will acquire all intellectual property rights associated with the artwork. The deadline for entries is March 20.

For more information, or to submit a proposal, log on to callforentry.org or saltlakepublicart.org.

…read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News