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Looking to take your financial knowledge to the next level? Whether you are looking to save taxes or improve your business, Ask Ralph will bring you new information each week designed to make the complex simple and give you real-world advice.

Apr 25, 2019

The American tax system operates on a "pay as you go" basis, meaning, the IRS wants taxes paid as you earn your income, not after. For employees, this means payroll withholding. For retirees, this means opting for withholding on Social Security and retirement distributions. For the self-employed or operator outside of...


Apr 23, 2019

When filing a joint federal tax return, the law holds you and your spouse jointly responsible for the entire tax liability. What this means is that the IRS may collect the tax due from the both of you or either one of you, and is true regardless of future divorce or separation. In some instances, you can file for what...


Apr 18, 2019

Ever wonder how you and your household compares with spending to the average American? We all know what the biggest expenses, i.e. housing, groceries, utilities and health insurance. But variations in these core expenses and a wide range of others varying based on your location, age and other demographic groups. On...


Apr 13, 2019

As Tax Day inches closer and closer, it can be tempting to rush through your tax returns while preparing, but we urge you, that could be a bad idea. Rushing tends to result in mistakes, over justifications, lapses and a wide array of errors that can slow the processing of your tax return, resulting in delayed tax...


Apr 11, 2019

Are your personal finances a highly-organized, well-oiled machine? Or is there a lot of room for improvement? The answer to that question is more important than you might think, especially during tax time. Most people anxiously await a big check from Uncle Sam in April, but it turns out a giant tax refund might not be...