The happenings "inside" the Wisconsin State Treasury and across the street at the State Capitol

Archive for April, 2013

FAQ Unclaimed Property: What is Negative Reporting ?


Wisconsin’s Office of the State Treasurer requires FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS, UTILITY COMPANIES, and LIFE INSURANCE COMPANIES to file completed notarized Holder Verification Reports even if no unclaimed property is reported (negative reports.)

For more information on Holder Reporting, click here.

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FAQ Edvest: Is there a Limit to what I can Contribute?


EdVest Logo

It’s easy to open an account with Edvest.

The minimum contribution required to open an account is $25 per investment option. The minimum amount for subsequent contributions is also $25 per investment option. For payroll deductions, the minimum contribution is $15 per investment option per pay period.

 

No Income Limitations
There are no income limitations.

High Maximum Account Contribution Level of $330,000
You can contribute as much as $330,000 per beneficiary as long as the total balance of all accounts for that beneficiary does not exceed $330,000. Accounts that have reached the maximum balance limit may continue to accrue earnings.


Money Matters: Tips for Frugal Parenting


 In today’s culture, it is easy to believe that the more we spend on our children, the more we show our love. But, believe it or not, out of 6000 parents recently surveyed, 60 percent feel their kids are “a little” or “a lot” spoiled.  Our friends at practicalmoneyskills.com can help pull you from that category!

 

family financial meeting

Here are some tips to help parents cut back spending, while still showing the love:

  • Take advantage of free activities in your community: Go to a park with a great play structure; regularly visit your library; attend your local “Free Movies or Concerts in the Park;” take a stroll through your local farmers’ market; take advantage of street festivals; go on a hike or bike ride.
  • Dress kids in second-hand clothing or do a clothing swap: Kids grow fast so consider visiting your local consignment shops or trading clothes with other families. Saving a few dollars here can leave you with more money to spend on important safety products such as car seats and cribs.
  • Don’t overspend on toys and trinkets: Kids often get bored or easily forget about toys they own. Buy toys at a garage sale or wait to make purchases only at birthdays and holidays.
  • Cut your child’s hair: It’s scary the first time, but you can easily learn how to cut your child’s hair when they are young. They will probably request a salon cut as they get older.
  • Get creative: A “Family Night In” can range from a living room picnic in front of the television to camping in the backyard. Make “Movie Night” special with homemade seasoned popcorn or a meal to match the movie’s theme. Throw a Family Dance or Game Night and invite a handful of other families to join in some potluck fun.
  • Bring your own food and snacks: Never leave home without a bag of goodies and drinks for your kids. Pack some fruit, cookies, crackers and water. Not only will this save you money, but it’s a good way to keep them eating healthy.
  • Set an example: Comparison shop with your kids; save loose change in a fish bowl; show restrain when making purchases; live within your means.
  • Just say “no:” As painful as this may feel, get into the habit of saying “no” when your child asks for something. Initially, it will be a war of wills. But, after some time, your child will learn that they cannot get everything they ask for.
  • Talk to your kids about money: Make talking about money an easy, everyday conversation. Kids tend to tune out heavy-handed, serious lectures. Instead, consider raising their money “awareness” by: pointing out prices on a menu; comparing prices at a supermarket; educating them about the “costs of living” such as paying for a house, car, and utilities; negotiating an allowance; writing a family budget; or planning a vacation together.

FAQ Unclaimed Property: Who Must File Unclaimed Property Reports?


Wisconsin law requires business (Holders) to review their financial records every year to determine if they hold funds, securities, or unclaimed and tangible safe deposit box property.

The following entities are required to report unclaimed property and turn it over to the Wisconsin Office of the State Treasurer:

-Banking and financial organizations, trust companies, savings and loan associations, credit unions, and investment companies.

-Business associations, such as corporations, stock companies, trusts, partnerships, limited liability companies, insurance companies, utilities, or non-profit organizations.

-Any person in possession of property belonging to another person or entity.

-Other legal entities, including state, county, and city government agencies, political suddivisions, public corporations, or public authorities.

For more information on Holder Reporting, click here.


FAQ Edvest: Tax Advantages to College Savings


EdVest Logo

Make the Edvest College Savings Plan a part of your college savings strategy and give your money the opportunity to grow tax‑free.

Investing in education is a smart move. And, the tax advantages built into the Edvest College Savings Plan can make it an important part of your overall college funding strategy.

 Contributions and Any Earnings Used to Pay for Qualified Higher Education Expenses are Federal and Wisconsin Income Tax-free.
The earnings portion of any distributions used to pay for qualified higher education expenses will be free from federal and Wisconsin income tax.

Wisconsin Tax Benefits Reduce Your Income Tax Liability
In addition to the potential for federal and state income tax-free earnings growth, if you are a Wisconsin taxpayer, your contributions to Edvest reduce Wisconsin taxable income up to a maximum of $3,000 per beneficiary per year. For more details, including treatment of rollovers, non-qualified withdrawals and recapture provisions, read the Disclosure Booklet and check with your tax advisor.

Federal Estate and Gift Tax Benefits
Contributions to Edvest may reduce the taxable value of your estate. For example, contributions to the Plan, together with all other gifts from the account owner to the beneficiary, may qualify for an annual federal gift tax exclusion of $14,000 per donor ($28,000 for married contributors), per beneficiary. If an account owner’s contribution to an Edvest account for a beneficiary in a single year exceeds $14,000 ($28,000 for married contributors), the account owner may elect to treat up to $70,000 of the contributions, or $140,000 for joint filers, as having been made over a period of up to five years for federal gift tax exclusion. Consult your tax advisor.


Wisconsin Saves Fun Tip: Cancel Unused Memberships


The Wisconsin Office of the State Treasurer proudly teams up with WWBIC (Wisconsin’s Women Business Initiative Corporation) for “Wisconsin Saves.”  Each Wednesday, we will share with you a savings tip courtesy of WWBIC.

WWBIC

Cancel Unused Memberships. Don’t you just want to hit yourself sometimes with your memberships!?How many of us have signed up for a gym membership with the greatest of intentions and then after a strong two weeks of exercising we don’t darken the door of the gym for the next three months! Depending on the cancellation fee, sometimes it’s worth taking the hit to save on a monthly basis. Also, take a look at other unused subscriptions like magazines and movie rentals.


Wisconsin Saves Tip: April is Financial Literacy Month


The Wisconsin Office of the State Treasurer proudly teams up with WWBIC (Wisconsin’s Women Business Initiative Corporation) for “Wisconsin Saves.”  Each week, we will share with you a savings tip courtesy of WWBIC.

WWBIC

 April is time to celebrate Financial Literacy Month! But what is financial literacy? Earning, saving, spending, investing, budgeting, collecting, and giving are all part of handling money. This month we will celebrate Money Smart Week (April 20-27th) and the Milwaukee Money Conference at the BEAM Charter School (April 27th). WWBIC of course will be highlighting numerous budgeting classes during Money Smart Week in all markets.