FAQ

How much does it cost to start a 501(c)3 in NYC?
According to the Department of State, Division of Corporations, State Records, and UCC for New York, you must pay the statutory filing fee of $75 (as of July 2017) along with a small fee to check name availability.Filling out your non-profit forms accurately is very, very important. Ultimately, what you put in your documents may affect whether you are (or will remain) tax-exempt. Now, with that being said, your state documents aren’t the only documents you must complete. You must also fill out an Application for Recognition of Exemption with the IRS. Some non-profits are eligible to fill out a streamlined version, but you should talk with an attorney or tax professional to determine which one you should complete.You may also be required to obtain certain permits or licenses in New York (at either the city or the state level). This depends on what your non-profit will do or sell in order to raise money. Without the right permits or licenses, your non-profit could be shut down.You also need to write bylaws and appoint directors to the non-profit. Directors are important and should be chosen with care. They make important business and financial decisions for your non-profit. They will also officially adopt the bylaws at the first board meeting. The bylaws explain how the non-profit will be ran.Because non-profits must remain in compliance with state and federal law, it’s a good idea to first speak with an attorney and maybe even consider allowing the attorney to fill out the documents. It’s really worth the price since the tax-exempt status of the non-profit can be affected by a mistake. If you’d like to speak with an experienced attorney, check out LawTrades. Our legal marketplace has helped connect many entrepreneurs with experienced, non-profit attorneys to get them up and running. Hope you give us a try!
How do I fill out my FAFSA?
The FAFSA isn't as scary as it seems, but it's helpful to have the documents you'll need handy before you fill it out. It's available starting January 1 of the year you'll attend school, and it's best to complete it as early as possible so you get the most aid you'll qualify for. Be especially mindful of school and state deadlines that are earlier than the federal deadline of June 2017. Check out NerdWallet's 5 Hacks to Save Time on Your 2016 FAFSA. These are the basic steps: Gather the documents you'll need to complete the form by following this checklist.Log in to the FAFSA with your Federal Student Aid ID. You'll need an FSA ID to sign and submit the form electronically, and your parent will need one too if you're a dependent student. Create one here. Follow the prompts to fill out the FAFSA. This guide will help you fill it out according to your family situation. You'll be able to save time by importing income information from the IRS starting Feb. 7, 2016. Many families don't file their 2015 income taxes until closer to the deadline of April 18. But it's a good idea to fill out your FAFSA earlier than that. Use your parents' 2014 tax information to estimate their income, then go back in and update your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool once they've filed their taxes. More info here: Filling Out the FAFSA. 
How do I file 2017 taxes without 2016 adjusted gross income?
It just really depends on how quickly you want your refund back.You could file your 2017 taxes the old fashioned way by filling out the tax forms—either manually or using one of the software programs, print out the forms, and then mail them to the correct regional IRS office with the required supporting documentation. Back in the good old days when everyone had to do it this way, it took between six to eight weeks for the IRS to process the return and mail you the refund.If you don’t want to do that, you can request a transcript of prior year taxes. Here are the steps to get your transcript: How to Register for Get Transcript Online Using New Authentication Process. If you have enough information to authenticate yourself, you should be able to view the information online immediately. If not, they will mail you the transcript within five to ten days.If you filed your taxes using a tax preparation company like HR Block, you should be able to go back to the company that prepared your returns, and they should be able to provide you a copy of your 2016 return. There may be a fee involved and make sure to take adequate documentation to prove that you are the person on the return.Best of luck.
How can we fight against the NRA regarding gun control?
Are you sure that the NRA is the problem?Oh, I know that the media and the talking heads are all making them out to be some 500 lb gorilla and the reason psychos shoot up school yards, but have you ever bothered to look into the matter beyond the headlines?I’ll give you an example. In 2017, the push was for a “Universal Background Check”. The idea was to be sure that people buying guns were not criminals. Believe it or not, the NRA wholly supports this and in fact was involved with creating the current NICS (National Instant Check System) that is used.But the bill that was proposed was not what you heard in the media. First, it would not plug any “Gunshow Loophole” because there is no such thing. The only sales at a gun show that the bill covered was private sales. Of course, private sales can occur anywhere, not just gun shows.But the bill didn’t make the NICS easier for private sales. They just required all private sales to be conducted through a licensed dealer. Had this actually passed, a gun show would be an ideal location for such sales as there would be access to many dealer. In effect, you would greatly increase the number of private sales at a gun show by this law.So, what is involved with a sale through a dealer? Well, the dealer would have to do the following:1) Record the transfer in their bound book. This is a book where all the transactions of a firearm is recorded via that dealer. The book is auditable by the BATF and many dealers have faced fines for poorly kept records, so many dealers go to great pains to keep their book neat and accurate.2) Fill out the federal form 4473. This is required by all dealer sales of both new and used guns. It asks for the buyer’s name, address, the make and model of the gun, serial number, and then asks a bunch of questions. The dealer can get fined if the person fills out the form wrong. For example, answering a question with “Y” or “N” instead of “Yes” or “No” is a BATF violation. So the dealer has to carefully examine the form for errors and have the person fill out another if errors are found.3) The dealer then calls into the NICS. NICS can come back with a “Proceed”, “Denied” or “Delay”. A delay can take up to 3 days. Typically this is a name that appears similar to a Prohibited Person and requires some research. If this happens, the transfer is on hold. The dealer has no idea when the result of the research is likely to finish. If you are at a gun show, the show could be over before the approval is made.4) All this paperwork, verification, etc takes time. Time is money. So dealers charge for this service. It is typical for a dealer to charge $25-$40 per gun, but sometimes multiple guns get a discount because the dealer can process up to 4 on a single form, but when more than one gun is transferred, the dealer has to fill out Form 3310 which is supposed to help with gun trafficking.All of this is well and good if you are buying a gun from someone you don’t know and many people will require sales be conducted at a dealer for the piece of mind such protections provide. But friends and family typically do not bother with the hassle and expense.One thing you need to realize is that to get a gun dealer license is not an easy process. Since the federal government cracked down on so called “kitchen table” dealers back in the 1980’s, you now must show a commercially zoned storefront with posted business hours to qualify. Many communities don’t want gun shops, and use zoning laws to make them difficult or unattractive. For example the city of Boston does not have any dealers. In fact, the nearest dealer is 3 towns away. Many rural areas don’t have the traffic to keep a dealer in business and you’ll find they are typically only open in the evening or on a Saturday as they work another full time job. Keep this in mind as we get into the next issue.But the bill didn’t stop at sales. It stated that ALL transfers had to be done in this manner. No exceptions. So, two friends out on a hunt would need to go through the whole process listed above just to swap guns for the afternoon. Oh, and they would have to do it all again to give the gun back. It is very common on a range to try out other people’s guns - such a thing would also require the full transfer and back process. Demo guns at a national event by manufacturers? Same thing.Basically any time a gun were to swap hands, the law would apply. There are private shooting clubs where guns are treated like library books and members take whatever they want. Families regularly swap guns. Heck, some shooting courses provide guns for students to use. All of these events would have been impacted by these new transfer requirements.The NRA balked at this. Essentially the rule would curtail many of the traditions and practices that are very common and virtually never result in any kind of criminal activity. In essence it would criminalize things that simply are not crimes.Not only would it create criminals where no criminal intent existed, but the cost to manage the volume of temporary transfers, the staffing needed to take the calls and do the checks would have cost millions each year. All money that would not go toward actually dealing with criminals.When the issue was brought up, many members of Congress agreed the requirements were too restrictive and the whole bill failed to pass. The supporters of the bill did not even attempt to listen to the complaints and work out a manageable fix.Did you hear any of that in the media?But what about catching criminals?Well, the bill didn’t change anything in regards to enforcing the rules to make sure the people who should not own guns were properly entered into NICS. In fact, other than maybe getting fired, there is NO PENALTY for failing to report a person. We have laws that will jail a teacher or coach that fail to report bullies. We have laws that put priests in prison who fail to report potential inappropriate behaviors in other clergy. But we do not have any laws that punish law enforcement agents that fail to do their job and make sure that dangerous people are reported to the background system. And this bill made no effort to change that.NICS is not open to anyone but federally licensed gun dealers. The left are so worried that the system might be used to check people for things other than guns that they refuse to create a means to allow people to verify someone they are selling a gun to. It would be easy to create an app that takes a photo of the buyer and seller’s ID (or just their faces and type in some data) and then return a simple “Proceed” or “Deny” with no other details. You’d have plenty of information to audit for illegal use. And if someone didn’t have an ID, they could then use a dealer. Heck, you can’t file taxes on-line without submitting some kind of ID, so this isn’t anything unique.And yet, the bill did nothing to address the issue of accessing the NICS for easier private sales.Here is the thing. We have 20,000 gun laws in this country. On the federal side, a prohibited person touching a gun could see them in prison for a minimum of 5 years. And yet, we still see cities with high violent crime rates that have virtually no federal cases. Why isn’t law enforcement using those stiff federal laws to get the violent people off the streets? Such a program called “Project Exile” worked wonders in Richmond, VA to reduce violent crime dramatically.OK, back to the “Universal Background Check” bill.I spent a lot of words above explaining what the bill would have required of people and why the situation would have been a nightmare. You never saw any of this in the news and the media pretty much ignored the issue.When the bill was defeated, it was never reported that a “terrible bill that would have cost millions and made criminals out of the innocent was defeated”, instead, all you ever heard was“The NRA used its influence to defeat the Universal Background Check bill that would have closed the gunshow loophole”Almost everything about that statement is false.So, be careful what you want to “Fight Against”. I suspect that most of what you think about the NRA is highly biased due to the way the organization is treated in the media. When you look at the actual facts, many times their concerns are quite valid. And, they have a lot of rank and file law enforcement on their side which helps them represent real world situations. I’ve found their positions in many cases very well presented. Most of the arguments you get on TV news are highly edited and taken out of context to promote an agenda, not facilitate a debate.Make sure you know what you are fighting for. You might be surprised.
How do you fill out the bank interest income in ITR?
I get the IT statements (Form 16A) from the bank(s) holding my fixed deposits in the end of June. These statements give the interest income accrued or paid, and the tax deducted at source (usually only at 10%). I counter-check these figures against the Scheduke 26AS on the income-tax site e-Filing Home Page, Income Tax Department, Government of India (takes you to TRACES, the site that gives you details of tax remitted to your income-tax account by the banks, other payers, yourself). I then pay the additional balance tax due on interests at my slab (20%, 30% as the case may be), if necessary… this all goes into my ITR statement online.One other hint is that I do an advance tax calculation right from 2nd quarter on a “guesstimate” of interest receivable on FDs, at the applicable rate of interest on the original principal invested, on each FD (using a spreadsheet), and keep paying advance tax proportionately through the year, so that I do not have too much of a problem in June/July after getting the final figures from the banks. I also add interest at 1% per month on the balance of tax due from 1 April to the date of filing the return.All this entitles me to a bronze certificate of appreciation from the IT authorities :)
What are the pros and cons of Indian budget 2017?
Here are some PROS of the budget:If your income is less than Rs. 5 lakhs, you need to fill just a one-page tax form.If your annual income is between Rs. 50 lakhs and Rs. 1 crore, you will need to pay a surcharge of 10%.Self-employed? You can get higher deductions for your contributions to the National Pension Scheme (NPS). The deduction can be raised to 20% from 10% earlier.The base used for computing indexation benefits in the case of Long Term Capital Gains (LTCG) has been changed. This will now be 1st April, 2001 and not 1st April, 1981. What’s more? Now, you need to hold your land or building for just two years to enjoy LTCG. Earlier, this was three years. Wait! Read on for some more good news. You can now reinvest your capital gains in notified, redeemable bonds other than those issued by NHAI and REC to get a capital gains exemption.Love the NPS? Your partial withdrawal from NPS will now be tax-exempt up to 25% of your contributions.Living in a rented house and paying more than Rs. 50,000 a month? You have the right to deduct 5% Tax Deducted at Source (TDS).If you love booking rail tickets online, here’s some good news. There will be no service tax on rail tickets booked online through the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) website.Running a business with a turnover of less than Rs. 50 crores? Your tax rate has now been cut to 25% for the Financial Year (FY) 2015-16.Start-ups can avail a tax holiday for 3 years out of 7 years. Earlier, this was 3 out of 5 years.An Aadhaar enabled payment system will be launched soon. You just need your Aadhaar number and biometrics to make and receive payments. How cool is that? 14 banks have already been roped in for the Aadhaar payment service. More are expected to come on board soon.Have you tried out the Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) app? Then, do it now. The Government is all set to introduce a referral bonus and cashback for BHIM users.Now, any political party in India cannot receive a cash donation of more than Rs. 2,000 from any source.Here are some CONS:Love using cash? Uh-oh! Cash transactions of over Rs. 3 lakhs will be banned from 1st April, 2017.If your income is less than Rs. 3.5 lakhs, the tax rebate has been halved from Rs. 5,000 to Rs.2,500 now.Contemplating buying a home? You may not like this. The tax deduction that you were claiming for a Home Loan under Section 24, has been reduced to Rs. 2 lakhs for rented homes. Earlier, it was unlimited. This means that whether you purchased the property for self-occupation or for letting out, you can claim only Rs. 2 lakhs as tax deduction on the interest paid. And it doesn’t matter whether it is your first or second home.Delaying filing your taxes? Don’t! You may have to shell out Rs. 10,000 if you file your returns late.Heavy smoker? Be ready to pay more for your cigarettes as excise duty on them has gone up. Ditto for pan masala, gutkha, and bidis.Additional Read: An Overview Of The Union Budget 2017Union Budget 2017: What You Need To KnowWhat The 2017 Budget Means For Individual TaxpayersHere’s a video showcasing the budget highlights:If you have any other personal finance queries, feel free to reach out - Adhil Shetty
How do you fill out tax forms?
I strongly recommend purchasing a tax program, Turbo tax, H&R block etc.These programs will ask you questions and they will fill out the forms for you.You just print it out and mail it in. (with a check, if you owe anything)I used to use an accountant but these programs found more deductions.