It is tax season once again and there are a number of scams you need to be aware of. Click on the link below to learn more about tax scams and the IRS.
5 TIPS TO AVOID A FINANCIAL FROSTBITE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
Consumers spent more than $700 billion on holiday shopping in 2018. With this year’s holiday shopping season launching in full force, The Gerber State Bank is highlighting five tips to help consumers keep their holiday spending under control.
There are so many people to shop for during the holidays, and big sales can make it easy to overextend your finances in the hustle and bustle of the season, It’s essential to map out a holiday spending plan to avoid a financial frostbite in the New Year.
Below are five habits Americans should consider to help relieve the financial stress of the holidays:
- Create a budget and stick to it. Set a dollar amount based on what you can afford this holiday season. Avoid shopping sprees and impulse purchases. Be sure to include a cushion for additional expenses beyond gifts, like decorations, wrapping paper, greeting cards and postage. Keep in mind the end of the year is a time when large annual or semi-annual costs like car insurance, life insurance and property taxes arise.
- Make a “nice” list. Jot down a list of everyone you plan to give gifts to this year and denote how much you can spend on each person. Consider making homemade presents, like photos for grandparents or cookies for your kids’ teachers. This list is also good place to factor in the total amount you plan to donate to charities and how much each charity will receive.
- Shop early (and shop around). Avoid putting a major strain on your wallet and your sanity by taking advantage of other big holiday sales that happen earlier in the year. This also gives you more time to compare prices and identify the best deals. As a bonus, you also get to avoid holiday shopping crowds.
- Save your receipts and monitor your account. Keep track of your expenses and add them up weekly to be sure you’re sticking to your budget. You can also use online and mobile banking features to easily monitor your accounts and pay your bills. Be sure to keep receipts or acknowledgement letters for any charitable donations you have made if you want to receive tax deductions in the spring.
- Plan ahead for next year. Review how much you spent in this past year and start a dedicated fund for next year’s holiday season. Setting money aside throughout the year will make budgeting for gifts and other holiday expenses easier.
The Bank is a proud sponsor of the Sangamon Valley CEO program for the 2019 Fall Session.
Entrepreneurship education seeks to prepare people, especially youth, to be responsible, enterprising individuals who become entrepreneurs or entrepreneurial thinkers and contribute to economic development and sustainable communities. The CEO program is much more than a textbook course. Rather, students are immersed in real life learning experiences with the opportunity to take risks, manage the results, and learn from the outcomes.
Click the link below to meet the students in the program.
Illinois State Representative Dan Caulkins visits the bank
Tuesday November 5th Representative Dan Caulkins visited the bank to present a check to the Sangamon Valley CEO program. The CEO program provides entrepreneurship education to prepare people, especially youth, to be responsible, enterprising individuals who become entrepreneurs or entrepreneurial thinkers and contribute to economic development and sustainable communities. Lisa Sheppard is the Facilitator for this innovative program.
To learn more about the program click on the link below:
New Illinois Sales Tax Rule on Vehicle Purchases – Effective January 1, 2020
Illinois currently does not charge sales tax on vehicle trade-in value. Beginning January 1, 2020 sales tax will be charged on trade-in values above $10,000. Below is an example of what this tax change will cost. The example uses an average sales tax rate of 8.74% and uses a trade-in value of $20,000 with a new car price of $35,000.
Before 1-1-2020 After 1-1-2020
New Car Price $35,000 $35,000
Trade-in Tax Credit $20,000 $10,000
Taxable Amount $15,000 $25,000
Sales Tax $ 1,311 $ 2,185
Tax increase $ 874
About The Gerber State Bank
For well over a century, The Gerber State Bank and its employees have been committed to providing exceptional financial services to its customers and loyal support to its communities. Founded in 1887, The Gerber State Bank is one of the oldest independently owned and operated community banks in Macon County with offices in Argenta and Oreana. For more information, please call 217-795-2331.