Equifax

Finance Blog

Stay financially savvy with the Equifax Advisor.

Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter

 

Thank you for signing up for the FREE Equifax monthly newsletter

In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.

Understand your credit. Help protect your identity.

Equifax Complete™ Premier Plan

  • Know What May Influence Your Credit Score and Be Alerted of Changes
    Credit score monitoring with custom alerts
    Important Disclosure: The Equifax credit score and 3-Bureau credit scores are based on an Equifax credit score model and are not the same scores used by 3rd parties to assess your creditworthiness.¹
  • Help Protect Your Identity
    Automatic fraud alerts encourages lenders to take extra steps to verify your identity²
  • Lock Your Credit
    The ability to lock and unlock your Equifax Credit Report³
Save 75% your first 30 days with the purchase of Equifax Complete™ Premier

$4.95 for the first 30 days, then $19.95 per month thereafter. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.4

¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.

²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.

³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.

4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.

Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.

Unromantic Money and Tax Talk before Marriage

Written by Eva Rosenberg on May 12, 2010 in Tax  |   2 comments

Eileen was a single mom and successful businesswoman. Last July, she married an adorable and charming man. He didn’t work but was helpful around the house and with her daughter. So the Mr. Mom thing was fine with her. Life was good. Eileen started to…

Tax discussion for engaged couples
Eileen was a single mom and successful businesswoman. Last July, she married an adorable and charming man. He didn’t work but was helpful around the house and with her daughter. So the Mr. Mom thing was fine with her. Life was good. Eileen started to think about buying a home.

Oops. Suddenly, Eileen learned Mr. Mom owed his ex-spouse a ton of unpaid child support—and he hadn’t filed a tax return or paid taxes in years. If Eileen filed a joint tax return to get the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit, the IRS would grab the credit to cover his child support obligation—and his unpaid taxes.

Eileen’s situation isn’t unique. Many men (it’s mostly men, in my experience) have asked me to help them catch up with back tax returns because their fiancées would not set a wedding date until they were caught up. Those fiancées were brilliant. And lucky.

It’s only because they had the decidedly unromantic, somewhat awkward money and tax talk that the problem was revealed. Most people don’t have the money and tax talk until it’s too late. Don’t let that happen to you.

You should walk into a marriage with your eyes open, knowing about your partner’s financial problems—and being willing to work on them. It’s a betrayal when you learn, a year or two later, about the unpaid back taxes, the unpaid child support, the student loan defaults, or other loan defaults.

If you and your new spouse have already opened up joint credit accounts, his or her bad credit behavior could affect your credit history.

How can you avoid this situation?

Have the money and tax talk. You’ll need to ask point-blank about your intended’s income—and any parental obligations:

  • How much do you earn?
  • How much do you have in savings?
  • Do you have any qualified retirement plans that you own or are vested in?
  • Do you have health insurance? Can your health insurance policy cover me, or can mine cover you?
  • Do you have life insurance? Who is the beneficiary? Why?
  • How much do you have in debt?
  • Have you ever filed bankruptcy?
  • Do you have any unpaid student loans?
  • Have you filed all of your tax returns?
  • Do you owe any unpaid taxes to the IRS or state revenue agency?
  • Do you owe back property taxes?
  • Do you have children?
  • Do you have unpaid child support?
  • If you are paying child support or alimony, how much of your income is devoted to that?
  • Do you have a healthy relationship with your ex-spouse and your children? (If not, will this nastiness infringe on our lives together?)

Sure, there needs to be trust between future spouses. But why rely solely on trust? Two simple tools will reveal all.

Tax Obligations? Find Out Here

You can find out about any tax obligations by signing, with your fiancé, an IRS Form 4506-T to request a transcript of your tax history. Check every box. Use two pages. Fill in each year for the last ten years. In box 5, enter your fiancé(e)’s address. The good news is that it’s free.

Credit History Questions? Find Out Here

Sit down at the computer with your fiancé. Both of you should pull up your Equifax 3-in-1 credit report so the other person can see it in full. Or use your free annual credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com for this purpose. While you’re at it, both of you should pull a copy of your credit score. The Equifax credit score will cost you around $8 at AnnualCreditReport.com.

If the idea of discussing money and past financial arrangements seems overwhelming, it should be a red flag. If your relationship can’t survive this process, how is it going to survive past your wedding day?

What’s the strangest thing your fiancé (or fiancée) told you about his or her past financial life? When you had the money and tax talk, did anything you found out surprise you?

Eva Rosenberg, EA is the publisher of TaxMama.com, where your tax questions are answered. Eva is the author of several books and ebooks, including Small Business Taxes Made Easy. Eva teaches a tax pro course at IRSExams.com.


Read More.

2 comments

  1. Bob says:

    Hi Eva I have a question
    I filed my and my wife's joint tax form on time. I claimed 5,000 each for traditional IRA contributions. Then I found out that her contribution didn't make it on time for 2009. It was put in for 2010. Worried that I would lose money I researched her contributions for the past 4 years and realized that she over contributed 5000 in her sep IRA in 2007. When I factor the overpaying in 2007 in turbotax and take out the 2009 contribution it works out to a 20 dollar difference.
    should I amend my 2009 tax to accurately reflect what year I contributed what?
    Will that increase my chances of an audit?
    Should I figure it evens itself out anyway and not bother amending since I could explain this if I do get audited

  2. Eva Rosenberg, EA says:

    Hi Bob,

    Ouch. Did you know that there are penalties for over-contributing to retirement plans? If she is the "employer", the excise tax can be as much as 10% for over-contributing. http://www.irs.gov/retirement/article/0,,id=111419,00.html#24

    I urge you to sit down with a tax professional to sort out each year's contributions and make corrections. Even though the difference may seem like $20 to you – to IRS the timing differences and over contributions can cause the entire plan to invalid – and all the contributions to be not only non-deductible, but subject to the penalties.

    Two things I never mess around with when it comes to IRS are payroll tax contributions and retirement plan contributions.

    Please, in the future, do not file your tax return until you have definite confirmation that a contribution has been made on time and applied to the correct year.

    There's no reason to make contributions at the very last minute.

    Best wishes,

    Eva,
    Your TaxMama


Leave a Comment


Name :


Commenting guidelines

We welcome your interest and participation on this forum, but be aware that comments will be published at Equifax's sole discretion. Please don't use this blog to submit questions or concerns about your Equifax credit report or raise customer service issues. Instead, you should contact Equifax directly for all such matters and any attempts to do so in this forum will be promptly re-directed.

Some other factors to consider when commenting:
  1. Registration and privacy. While no registration is required to visit our forum, participants wishing to post a message must register by creating an account. All personal information provided by forum members incident to registration is governed by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
  2. All comments are anonymous. We'll delete your name, e-mail address, and any other identifying information, including details about your investments.
  3. We can't post or respond to every comment - As much as we'd like to, we can't post every comment, nor can we guarantee that we will respond to each individual message. All questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or similar customer service issues should be handled by contacting Equifax directly.
  4. Don't offer specific legal, tax or financial advice. All of the materials on this Site are for information, education, and noncommercial purposes only and this forum is not intended as a means of expressing views or ideas regarding any specific legal, tax, or investment advice. While offering general rules of thumb is both permitted and encouraged, recommending specific ideas or strategies regarding investments, taxes, and related matters is prohibited.
  5. Credit Repair. This blog is not intended as a venue for the discussion or exchange of ideas regarding credit repair or other strategies intended to assist visitors and community members improve or otherwise modify their credit histories, ratings or scores.
  6. Stay on topic. Your comment should be concise and pertain to the specific post in question.
  7. Be respectful of the community. The use of profanity, offensive language, spam, and personal attacks will not be tolerated and egregious or repeat offenders will be banned from future participation. We encourage disagreement and healthy debate, but please refrain from personal attacks on our WordPresss and contributors.
  8. Finally: Participation in this forum may be terminated by Equifax immediately and without notice for failure to comply with any guidelines or Terms of Use. As such, you should familiarize yourself with all pertinent requirements prior to submitting any response through the blog or otherwise. All opinions expressed in this forum are solely those of the individual submitting the comment, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.


Tax Archive