The nation’s banking industry is in particularly good health these days, according to an independent ratings firm. Bauer Financial, known for its star rating system that assesses banks based on performance, says financial institutions enjoyed one of their best years in 2005. According to the star rating system, nearly 80 percent of the American banks earned Bauer Financial’s recommended rating of either five stars or four stars in 2005.
Taxpayers used the Internal Revenue Service Web site at record levels on April 17 – and during the days leading up to it. During the week prior to the income tax filing deadline, there were 3,385,936 visits to IRS.gov. That number trumps last year’s 3,337,300.
The Internal Revenue Service has released the winter 2005-2006 issue of the Statistics of Income Bulletin. The SOI Bulletin includes information about on data from individual income tax returns for 2004. In 2004, adjusted gross income rose for the second year in a row, increasing by 8.9 percent to $6.8 trillion.
All bankers know they are stars in their own right. But folks visiting downtown’s First Community Bank on April 7 may have done a double take when they saw their favorite bank employees dressed as movie stars. It was part of First Community Bank’s “Not Your Typical Day,” theme to celebrate the banks motto of “Not Your Typical Bank.”
Colorado stocks appear to be performing twice as well as those from across the nation. The Standard & Poor’s 500 was up 3.6 percent and the Dow Jones was up 4.1 percent through the beginning of the week. However, companies based in the state saw gains of 8 percent, according to the Bloomberg Rocky Mountain News Index, which tracks the stocks of 114 companies based in Colorado.
The Internal Revenue Service has announced that the number of taxpayers who e-file their taxes from home computers is up almost 17 percent from last year. So far this season, 70 percent of all returns have been e-filed, compared to 68 percent for the same period last year.
Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association are teaming up to persuade Fort Carson’s Hispanic soldiers and their family members to consider a career in mortgage banking. The Freddie Mac and MBA coalition, called Welcome Home, provides free bilingual training to increase the number of Spanish-speaking mortgage bankers and serve an expected surge in Latino home buyers.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Board of Directors has approved increasing the deposit insurance coverage on certain retirement accounts at a bank or savings institution from $100,000 to $250,000. The increase, the result of a new law boosting federal deposit insurance coverage for the first time in more than 25 years, will become effective on April 1. The basic insurance coverage for other deposit accounts will remain at $100,000.
Homeowners’ insurers have settled nearly 70 percent of claims resulting from Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana and Mississippi, according to the Insurance Information Institute. The institute estimates that as of Jan. 24 more than 732,000 homeowners’ claims have been settled for a total of $11.4 billion.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has scheduled public hearings next month to discuss Wal-Mart’s application for federal deposit insurance. Wal-Mart is proposing to create the Wal-Mart Bank, an industrial loan company that would be headquartered in Salt Lake City. ILCs are state banks that are supervised and insured by the FDIC.
If you are one of the many business owners who will need to file an extension this year, you’ll be glad to know the Internal Revenue Service has tried to make the process a little easier. In a move the IRS says is intended to simplify the extension process, officials have designed a single-standard extension request form, eliminating the need for business owners to have to choose from four different forms.
Internal Revenue Service officials announced this week that they have updated their 2001 tax gap estimates to $345 billion, and they say the complex tax code may be to blame for the disparity. The tax gap is the difference between what taxpayers should have paid and what they actually paid. The updated estimate of $345 billion falls at the high end of the $312 billion to $353 billion annual tax gap range.