Weekly business rail, with tax tips, a look at 10 items consumers are buying despite the economic downturn and more.
Tip of the Week
How do you find the right tax preparer for your needs? Here are some things you should consider from The National Association of Tax Professionals:
- The complexity of your tax return.
- Your occupation or industry. Does the preparer have specialized training in dealing with your tax situation?
- Is future financial advice important to you?
- Do you want someone who will also help you out after tax season if the IRS questions something or audits your return? Is this an included service or will it be an additional charge? Is the preparer available year-round?
- What is the fee structure, and does it make sense to you? How does the preparer charge? Flat rate? Per form? If so, how many forms are anticipated? By the hour? How many hours do they estimate? Beware of preparers who advertise large refunds or those who base their fee on the percentage of the refund.
- Do you feel that you can trust the person you select? Trust is crucial.
According to a study by Forbes.com, despite the economy, there are a handful of things that consumers refuse to give up. Here are 10 things people are still willing to pay for:
- Smart phones
- Videogames and consoles
- Gym memberships
- Personal care items (toothpaste, perfume, etc.)
- Toy building sets
- Car maintenance
- Dress casual shoes
- Restaurants (mainly fast food)
- Movie tickets
Survey: Americans still trust TV, newspapers
With so much information out there, how do you determine what's news and what's just noise? Where do you turn for credible information? Americans, it seems, turn to television and daily newspapers for their news, and they consider both media to be the most credible sources of information, according to a recent survey of more than 1,000 adults. Respondents said they get nearly 35 percent of their news from TV and 23.5 percent from daily newspapers.
What's more, they're turning to these media because they view them as highly credible, the survey indicates. Asked to score each medium's credibility on a scale of one to 10, consumers gave television a 6.6 and daily newspapers a 6.3, according to the survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation's CARAVAN Services on behalf of ARAnet.
Number to Know
2: Number of years Google tried to sell ads in newspapers, a practice it’s now giving up. The online giant began selling print ads at the end of 2006 but recently decided it wasn’t worth it because of the economy. About 800 newspapers are affected by Google’s move.
Quote of Note
"I don't think being No. 1 in vehicle sales means much at all to the American consumer. I think what matters most to the consumer is strong brands and strong products.”
GM’s Mike DiGiovanni as quoted by The Associated Press on the fact that Toyota recently took over the No. 1 world automaker spot, bumping GM to No. 2.
GateHouse News Service