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News from the Reference Desk

Standard Mileage Rates

WASHINGTON: 12/3/10 — The Internal Revenue Service issued the 2011 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.
Beginning on Jan. 1, 2011, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 51 cents per mile for business miles driven
  • 19 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs as determined by the same study. Independent contractor Runzheimer International conducted the study.

A taxpayer may not use the business standard mileage rate for a vehicle after using any depreciation method under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) or after claiming a Section 179 deduction for that vehicle. In addition, the business standard mileage rate cannot be used for any vehicle used for hire or for more than four vehicles used simultaneously.

Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.

Revenue Procedure 2010-51 contains additional details regarding the standard mileage rates.

By MPPL on December 6, 2010 Categories: Auto, Business, Finance

BrokerCheck

FINRA offers an online tool to help investors check the background of brokers and brokerage firms called BrokerCheck. You can obtain information about a broker's employment history, licensing status, criminal events, regulatory actions, investor complaints, and pending investigations.  You may also access this information by contacting FINRA at 800-289-9999.

FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is the largest non-governmental regulator for all securities firms doing business with the U.S. public.

By MPPL on November 30, 2010 Categories: Finance

Northern Cook County Community Resource and Job Fair tomorrow 10/20/10

Tomorrow is the Northern Cook County Community Resource and Job Fair at the Forest View Educational Center from 11a-3p.  Meet with local employers and learn about assistance with: Healthcare, Employment, Food, Housing, Credit, Financial Planning, Utilities, Domestic Violence, and Other Supportive Community Services.

By MPPL on October 19, 2010 Categories: Employment, Finance, Health, Housing, Jobs, Rent

Credit Reports

You are entitled to request one free credit file disclosure, commonly called a credit report, once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.  While prices may vary when requesting a credit score from these or other companies, the score is an additional cost and is not included in the free credit report unless ordered.

  

 

Equifax

P.O. Box 740241

Atlanta, GA 30374

800-685-1111

Request a fraud alert online, or call 1-888-766-0008

 

TransUnion

2 Baldwin Place

P.O. Box 1000

Chester, PA 19022

800-888-4213

Request a fraud alert online: fvad@transunion.com or 800-680-7289

 

 

Experian

955 American Lane

Schaumburg, IL 60173

888-397-3742

To add a fraud alert or 888-397-3742

 

Sun-Times columnist, Terry Savage, recommends Consumer Credit Counseling Services (800-388-2227) for helpful advice to review your credit history or debt issues.

By MPPL on August 24, 2010 Categories: Credit Cards, Finance

Getting Through Tough Financial Times

Another of our MoneySmart Week programs, Getting Through Tough Financial Times, had some useful information we wanted to share with you from the University of Illinois Extension.  

Setting Spending Priorities

Managing Your Debt

Talking with Creditors

The Check Your Credit Report fact sheet

By MPPL on April 27, 2010 Categories: Credit Cards, Employment, Finance

Job Dislocation: Making Smart Financial Choices after a Job Loss

FINRA’s Investor Alert, “Job Dislocation: Making Smart Financial Choices after a Job Loss,” offers guidance and tips for the public on maintaining financial stability during a period of unemployment.

Topics covered in this publication include:

1) immediately taking the right financial steps in the event of unemployment

2) protecting against investment fraud during a period of job dislocation

3) understanding health insurance options, and

4) asking the right questions about employer benefit plans.

Downloadable Alerts are available at www.finra.org/JobLossAlert in both English and Spanish, as well as posted to the Jobs/Career Board at the Library.

FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. FINRA is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through comprehensive regulation.

By MPPL on April 30, 2009 Categories: Employment, Finance, Jobs