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Getting financially educated

Do you have clients who could use some assistance with day-to-day decisions on how to best manage their finances? Maybe you have certain clients who call you during the hectic filing season, asking for information they could easily find on their own. If you’ve ever wished for a shorthand answer to their questions, we have an alternative you can offer them.

We are announcing a new "Financial Literacy" Website for individual taxpayers. It offers an array of financial tools and resources, including information about financial planning, retirement, saving, investing, even taxes! There are links for kids, parents, and teachers, with information on money management, financial facts, resources, and how to acquire practical money skills. When taxpayers come to you with questions after first visiting this Website, they will have a base of knowledge to start from – a timesaver for both you and them.

The financial planning section offers education material to taxpayers on debt reduction, learning how to save, investing, saving for college, and credit counseling. There are links to retirement planning that include an online calculator, and information on eligibility issues, how to apply for benefits, and answers to frequently asked questions.

Direct your clients to our tax service center, where they can find basic information about state income tax, payroll, sales tax, federal taxes, tax withholding, and estimated tax. When they do contact you, they should be able to build on this foundation to better understand the more complex issues.

As an educational Website, we would be remiss if we didn’t include a section for "Kids, Parents, and Teachers" with basics on saving and investing. Students can get started on the right financial planning path by visiting "Money camp - why didn’t anyone teach me how to save and invest when I was young?" Teachers can point students toward "Practical Money Skills at School," and the IRS’ "Tax information for students."

Rounding out the resources available on this Website are links to government help, with official information on grants, loans, financial aid, and other benefits from the U.S. government.

To help your clients become more "financially literate," refer them to our Website (select the "Individuals" tab, and click on "Financial Literacy" in the left column). Check this site often for added resources.