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NAR Offers Relief on Business Tools During Crisis

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 27, 2020 - 1:00am

The Right Tools, Right Now program has been reactivated to help members navigate this uncertain business climate.

Categories: Real Estate

Top Markets Where Owners Are Most Eager to Lower Mortgage Payments

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 27, 2020 - 1:00am

A new report names the top markets that have the highest level of refinancing activity.

Categories: Real Estate

Scammers Are Trying to Dupe Homeowners Who Need Help

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 27, 2020 - 1:00am

Warn your clients not to fall prey to fraudsters whom are using spoofing tactics to trick them.

Categories: Real Estate

Is Stark Design on the Way Out?

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 27, 2020 - 1:00am

Furnishings offering comfort and usability may become priorities for homeowners as they spend more time indoors.

Categories: Real Estate

Short-Term Rentals in This Posh Area Are Absolutely Booming

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 27, 2020 - 1:00am

“I got a call Monday from someone willing to spend $250,000, and he was in a house by Thursday,” says one broker.

Categories: Real Estate

President Trump Signs $2.2T Stimulus Package

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 27, 2020 - 1:00am

The law, which includes many benefits for REALTORS® and consumers, should provide a boost to the economy as mortgage rates remain low.

Categories: Real Estate

NAR Offers Big Savings on Business Tools During Crisis

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 27, 2020 - 1:00am

The Right Tools, Right Now program has been reactivated to help members navigate this uncertain business climate.

Categories: Real Estate

What the $2T Stimulus Package Means for You

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 26, 2020 - 1:00am

NAR fought for provisions in the bill that extend financial relief to independent contractors and commission-based workers.

Categories: Real Estate

NAR's COVID-19 Response Hotline Available for REALTORS®

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 26, 2020 - 1:00am

The association is rolling out a hotline number to help members with questions or concerns.

Categories: Real Estate

HUD to Award $40M in Grants Combating Housing Discrimination

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 26, 2020 - 1:00am

NAR applauds the department’s efforts to help nonprofit organizations defend against fair housing violations.

Categories: Real Estate

Homeowners Facing Hardship Get Mortgage Payment Leeway

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 26, 2020 - 1:00am

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac unveiled a mortgage payment deferral program for up to two months for struggling homeowners, whether it’s COVID-19 related or not.

Categories: Real Estate

New Report Analyzes 550 Real Estate Tech Tools

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 26, 2020 - 1:00am

“Sifting through available technology vendors without any context or idea of value is challenging,” says a spokesperson with the consulting firm T3 Sixty. Here's some tech guidance.

Categories: Real Estate

3 Tips to Sharpen Your Image on a Video Call

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 26, 2020 - 1:00am

As more of the nation transitions to working from home, prepare to make more appearances over video.

Categories: Real Estate

February New-Home Sales Ease From January's Peak

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 25, 2020 - 1:00am

The new-home sector saw sales decline last month, but sales volumes still remained near an annual cycle high.

Categories: Real Estate

Could Empty Malls Come to Rescue for Coronavirus Victims?

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 25, 2020 - 1:00am

“Vacant retail malls provide the physical infrastructure needed to win this battle against the coronavirus outbreak and future epidemics and pandemics,” writes an NAR researcher.

Categories: Real Estate

Renters Are Showing Resilience Against the Times

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 25, 2020 - 1:00am

“Whether it’s because of optimism, forced circumstances or other personal reasons, finding a home takes priority even in the most troubling of times,” a new rental survey finds.

Categories: Real Estate

Congress Reaches Deal on $2 Trillion Stimulus Package

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 25, 2020 - 1:00am

The largest stimulus in U.S. history is finally inching closer to approval. Learn what this means for real estate businesses.

Categories: Real Estate

Coronavirus and Other Threats This Tax Season

Daily Real Estate News - March 24, 2020 - 4:40pm

(TNS)—Tax filers now want to keep COVID-19 in mind, as well as other potential threats. The Internal Revenue Service has its own special page dedicated to tax-related coronavirus updates. [The deadline for filing is now July 15, not April 15.]

For those with health savings accounts, the IRS said high-deductible plans can pay for 2019 novel coronavirus testing and treatment, and individuals with such plans would still be able to contribute to a health savings account, even if the plan picks up COVID-related costs.

The high deductible plans would not lose their status merely because they cover the cost of testing or treatment of COVID-19 before plan deductibles have been met.

The IRS also noted that any vaccination costs continue to count as preventive care and can be paid for by a high-deductible plan.

How will you pay your taxes?
Many people pay their taxes by writing a check, pulling out a credit card or even applying online for some payment plans offered through the IRS.

It’s wise to do some research about any new kind of third-party payment service. The Better Business Bureau has received some complaints about Doxo, what’s known as a bill payment aggregation site. Users tap into a centralized platform to pay all of their bills owed to a variety of public utilities, such as water departments, as well as companies.

“Not good value for the cost,” according to one complaint listed earlier this year on the BBB site.

“The fees are high and the website is cumbersome,” said another consumer on the BBB site.

Other consumers said the payments were too slow and it took too many days to get bills paid.

The doxoPLUS program charges $4.99 a month to enable bill payments from your bank account with no delivery fees, up to a total of $3,000 of payments per month.

Roger Parks, a spokesman for the Seattle-based Doxo, said many consumers are happy with the service but in some cases, people don’t pay enough attention to making sure that a payment date will work in their situation. He noted that information is given online for the payment process for specific bills as they are being paid and customers need to check boxes to make sure those dates will work.

He said about 3.5 million people have paid at least one bill using Doxo. The service can be used when a biller cannot handle mobile payments or credit cards. Consumers can pay their bills with 60,000 entities through their bank accounts without paying any extra delivery fees.

Are you dealing with a ghost tax preparer?
Ever imagine you could get “ghosted” by a tax preparer, much like someone who never responds to texts, phone calls or emails after a bad date?

Consumer watchdogs, including the BBB, are warning that unscrupulous characters can set up shop in a short-term rental location and may promise large refunds. It’s possible the big refund depends on illegal short cuts when filling out that return.

“In 2006, the IRS made efforts to increase oversight of tax preparers to combat unscrupulous activity in the industry and began to require all tax preparers to have a PTIN, or a Preparer Tax Identification Number,” according to a BBB warning, “but this system only works if tax preparers sign the returns they file. Some tax preparers that don’t want to follow the process simply don’t sign the returns!”

Instead, it’s made to look like the taxpayer actually prepared his or her own return—and, yes, if something goes wrong, the tax preparer is long gone.

One warning sign: The ghost preparer may want to print the paper return for the client and tell them to sign and mail it to the IRS. For electronically filed returns, they will prepare it but won’t digitally sign it as the paid preparer.

Sarah Kull, the special agent in charge for IRS Criminal Investigations Detroit Field Office, suggests you ask if the tax preparer’s office is open all year and how you’d get ahold of someone if there’s a problem down the line.

©2020 Detroit Free Press
Visit Detroit Free Press at www.freep.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

The post Coronavirus and Other Threats This Tax Season appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

NAR Urges Swift Passage of Remote Notarization Bill

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 24, 2020 - 1:00am

Congress is considering legislation to make it easier to complete transactions electronically in the current environment.

Categories: Real Estate

Hackers Are Trying to Spread Another Type of Virus

NAR Daily News Magazine - March 24, 2020 - 1:00am

Real estate practitioners should take precautions as cybercriminals prey on those working from home.

Categories: Real Estate
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