McCurdy Group - Insurance and Financial Consultants

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Do a Dry Run – or an Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

Most of us will remember the fire drills we had in elementary school and even in high school. We got to miss class, go outside, and fool around. In fact, if you were born in the late 40s, early 50s, you might even have had air raid drills in case we got bombed by the Russians, although I don’t think hiding under your desk would have done much good, but that's another story.

So why do we do fire drills? Why do we do dry runs? We do them because we need to know in advance what to do, how to act, what measures to take to protect ourselves. Practicing, that is having a walk-through of a situation, means things will go smoother if something does happen. We will be less panicked because we know what to do.

That's why acting troupes have dress rehearsals before the opening night. They do it to work out the bugs; that's why people test things, to work out the bugs. So let me ask you, have you done a dry run with your children on how to escape from your home in case of fire or a burglar situation. Do you all know where to meet?

What if there is a power outage; does everybody know where the candles and flashlights are kept? Or how to keep warm? How about something like changing a tire? Do your children know how to change the tire on the car? Or check the oil?

What about taking a few minutes to learn where the tools are, learning to use a jack, or realizing…oops no jack, no lug wrench,...what, no spare! Here is where that ounce of prevention comes in. Prepare some type of a emergency procedure. Is there a flashlight or flare in the car? Most kids have cell phones today so they can call someone. But what if they can't get hold of someone or what if they're hours away? Even if you have a motor club membership you could wait for hours.

So do a dry run. Show them where the jack is, and how to use it. Show how to take the tire off and put a spare tire on. Have a home fire drill. Decide together where you'll store the flashlights and candles. You’ll be glad you did.


Flash light


Jack & lug wrench, oh yeah, the spare


Gas (keep the car full)


Some sand

Maybe a piece of wood to put under the jack

Or a bottle of scotch …

Emergency money –I always keep $20 in the car

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sewer backup coverage

We would like to remind all home and business owners that unforeseen circumstances and/or extreme weather conditions may cause wastewater (sewerage) back-up into your homes or businesses. In most cases, the town where the home or business is located is not liable for damages or losses suffered as a result of such conditions.

We encourage each of our customers (homeowners, tenants, and businesses) to explore the possibility of purchasing additional homeowner’s or property damage insurance to protect against this type of loss or damage.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Good Tips to Help Prevent Homeowners Losses

Here's a good video from the Insurance Information Institute on how to maintain your home with an eye to preventing homeowner's losses:

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Traveler's Discounts on Massachusetts Auto Policies

Effective Nov, 2010, Travelers now offers new and improved discounts for drivers who are:
  • Good Students
  • College student at school at least 100 miles from home
This is a potential savings of up to 18%.

There is also a 5% discount for new customers who submit a application at least 5 days prior to their renewal date.

Annual Low Mileage Discount: The discount used to be given for cars driven under 7,500 miles annually. Travelers has changed this to under 10,000 miles a year.

Check with your Independent Insurance Agency to be sure that you get all the discounts you're entitled to.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Thinking about Dog Bite Claims and Rental Property

If you own property and rent out apartments, be sure that you require that each tenant sign a rental agreement and require proof that they have an HO4 (tenant's insurance policy). When you consider that there were more than 4.7 million dog bites annually, and that the average cost of a dog-bite claim claim in 2009 was $24,840, it's critical that your tenants have adequate insurance. It's likely that the tenant would be the first party the injured person would put a claim against.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Massachusetts Tops in Healthcare Plans

Four Massachusetts health plans ranked in the top 10 nationwide according to the National Committee for Quality Assurance. The Committee rates plans based on performance, member satisfaction and accreditation. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care took first place; Tufts Associated Health Plan came in second. Fallon Community Health Plan and Health New England were also ranked in the top 10.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dangerous Cell Phone Use

Recently, the subject of texting while driving has gotten a lot of press. But, did you know how dangerous it can be just to use a cell phone while driving? According to a study by the University of Utah, distraction from cell phone use while driving, whether the phone is hand-held or hands-free, extends a driver's reaction time as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08%.

As of October, 2010, here are guidelines by state for using cell phones while driving:

Handheld Cell Phones:
8 states (Calif., Conn., Del., Md., N.J., N.Y., Ore. and Wash.), D.C. and the Virgin Islands prohibit all drivers from using handheld cell phones while driving. Except for Maryland, all laws are primary enforcement - an officer may cite a driver for using a handheld phone without any other traffic offense taking place.

All Cell Phone Use: No state bans all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for all drivers, but many prohibit all cell phone use by Novice Driver.

Go to for more information.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Yard Sales

Home owners and apartment owners sometimes have yard sales. This is an opportunity for them to clean out their basements, attics, and garages of unwanted or unused things - aka stuff. This sometimes reminds me of that old adage “One man's junk is another man's treasure.

Yes, it is an opportunity to clean out your basement, turn some of that stuff in the garage into cash, and feel like you've accomplished something. But here are some things you need to know about yard sales.

If you're having more than an annual yard sale to get rid of your own clutter, it could be a problem. If you have frequent yard sales, instead of being considered a yard sale, it could be considered a business; for example, if you're bringing in other people's items to sell, then that may be considered a business, not a personal and therefore, the homeowner's policy or tenant's policy would not respond and pay a claim if someone were injured.

Here are some other things to consider:

If you're doing a fund raiser yard sale for a charity, check with the people you're raising the money for and see if they have insurance that would cover you. Your renter's insurance or homeowner’s may cover you, but you should check with your insurance agent.

In addition to checking on insurance coverages, you should keep safety in mind.

  • Repair loose railings and cracked concrete, sidewalks, etc, which can cause injuries.
  • Place sale items so that there is enough room to move around without tripping.
  • Avoid placing items too close to stairs and ledges where people can fall. Don't sell items you know are unsafe or hazardous.
Have a great tag sale, make a couple of dollars and clean out your basement, but don't lose the house because you made a bad decision.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Dog Bite Liability Coverage

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs each year, resulting in about 800,000 injuries that require medical attention. A single lawsuit - even if won by the dog owner who has been sued - can end up costing hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and lost wages. The greater the dog owner's assets, the more potential there is for risk. The personal liability coverage available through your standard homeowner's policy may not be enough, although The McCurdy Group recommends a limit of $500,000. The best protection is a personal excess liability policy, also called an umbrella policy; an umbrella's limits range between $1 million and $5 million.

Dog bite claims account for more than one-third of all homeowners liability claims, costing $412 million in 2009. Payouts have increased 30% in the past six years

Monday, August 16, 2010

Be on the Lookout for Mosquitoes


Mosquitoes can spread germs that can make you very sick and may even cause death. Protect yourself and your loved ones by avoiding mosquito bites:

  • Use bug spray when outdoors
  • Wear long sleeves and other clothing to help reduce mosquito bites
  • Stay indoors when mosquitoes are most active (sunset to sunrise)
  • Install or repair door and window screens to keep mosquitoes out of your home
  • Remove standing water from around your home (in bird baths, tires, bottles or cans) so mosquitoes can't breed there

Information about West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is available by calling the Massachusetts Department of Public Health information line at 1-866-MASS-WNV (1-866-627-7968), the Epidemiology Program at 617-983-6800 or 2-1-1. Learn more about the 2-1-1 program in your area.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

ATVs Can Be Dangerous

A recent National Safe Kids Campaign report stated that over 30,000 children, age 14 and under, were treated in emergency rooms for ATV-related injuries (fractured bones, head and facial injuries) and 44 children in this age group died as a result of ATV related injuries (head and neck injury). Children ages 10-14 accounted for more than 75% of the deaths. As a comparison, ATV related injuries are 12 times more likely to result in death than bicycle-related injuries. Nearly 90% of ATV-related injuries suffered by children under age 16 were caused by adult-sized ATVs (ATVs that are 90cc or larger). Additionally, reports show that males account for 60% of the ATV-related death among children ages 14 and under. Youths account for more than 33% of the ATV fatalities, but made up only 14% of the riders. Injury and fatality numbers are expected to grow as ATV sales continue to climb. Clearly, the ATV can be a dangerous vehicle.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Home Insurance Quote Tips

Home Insurance Quote Tips

Below you can find a few ways to lower your home insurance, provided by the website, These can effectively lower your insurance premium.

Raise the deductible amount: This is the amount of money you have to pay out before your homeowners insurance kicks in. In other words, if your deductible is $500 and the damage to your house is only $400 then you essentially have to pay the $400. If the damage is $500 or more, your insurance coverage will begin paying out. The higher your deductible, the lower your insurance premium will be. Just make sure you can afford to pay the deductible amount if and when the time comes.

Install Alarm and Burglar Systems: If you have a burglar alarm installed it can help reduce your premium. Same goes for sprinkler systems.

Stay with One Insurer: In most cases if you spend time bouncing from one insurer to another, your premium will be higher. So if you can help stay with one insurer, they will, in the end, give you credit in the form of lowering your premium. If not, ask about long term customer discounts.

Obtain Your Credit Rating: Always knowing your credit score can help you with just about anything: Car loans, insurance premiums, etc. The higher your credit score the better your rate is going to be.

Combine Auto and Home Insurance: If you can ask your agent about combining your auto and homeowners insurance, you can save on your premium.

Stop Smoking: In 2006, there were over 400,000 house fires. About 5% of these fires were the result of smoking cigarettes.

Talking to an agent when obtaining homeowners insurance quotes is always suggested. We recommend a review of your coverages be handled by a home insurance professional.

Friday, July 16, 2010

McCurdy Teen Driver Program Begins in August!

The Dennis A. McCurdy Insurance Agency is implementing an exciting new program to inform new drivers about all the new responsibilities that come with a new license.

The new driver can come in to the office for an informative half hour meeting with Meghan (a licensed insurance agent) and Lisa (our safety consultant) to discuss:

  • Driver Safety - discussion of distracted driving, defensive driving, texting and cell phone use, etc.
  • Policy Coverages - what each portion of the policy means, recommended limits
  • Premium Payments - the importance of paying their bills on time, consequences of non-payments, SDIP points
  • Accident Awareness - What to do if they are involved in an accident
Parents are welcome to attend but this is not necessary. Call 508-347-9343 to book an appointment.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Keeping Your Cool...

Many businesses, including construction and landscaping, rely on the summer months for the bulk of their income. Here are a few tips to keep you and your employees cool and productive:

  • Prehydrate - 16 oz of non-caffienated, non-alcoholic fluids prior to beginning work
  • Continued Hydration - 8 oz every 20 minutes; flavored water is recommended because people will drink a larger volume of that compared to plain water
  • Remove hats - hats trap in body heat; remove them in hot shade and wear visors in the direct sun
  • Clothes - loose, thin, white synthetic t-shirts. Cotton absorbs moisture whereas synthetic materials release it from the skin where it is evaporated.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Do a Home Inventory

It's a good idea to have a inventory of all the contents of your home in case of theft, fire or other damage. Here's a free service from the Insurance Information Institute that makes it easy to document your belongings.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Homeowners and the New MA Oil Law Requirement

Effective July 1, 2010, Chapter 453 of the Acts of 2008 affects homeowners in 2 ways:
  • Homeowners must make sure that their oil tank - above or underground - conforms to the new code requirement. There is no grandfathering.
  • If the homeowner's oil system does conform, the insurance company must make coverage for loss due to an oil spill available to him or her.

The law states that: An owner of residential property utilizing a heating oil tank for consumptive use on the premises with 1 or more fuel supply lines or return lines in direct contact with conrete, earth or other floor surfaces shall:

  1. enclose any fuel supply line with a continuous non-metallic sleeve,
  2. cause an oil safety valve to be installed at the tank end of any fuel supply line in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions or
  3. employ any other approved release prevention method.

There are exemptions and other details about this law that you should know. Contact your insurance agent for more information.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

RMV announces Low Number Plate Lottery

The Registry of Motor of Vehicles has announced the 2010 Low Number Plate Lottery. This year there are 179 plates available for the low plate lottery including the following types:
Number only — three digits (e.g. 268)
Number only — four digits (e.g. 2062)
Two Numbers and One Letter (e.g. 19K)
One Letter and Two Numbers (e.g. B29)

To be eligible, applicants MUST mail the entry form to the Registry of Motor Vehicles • Attn: Lottery Plates • P.O. Box 55889 • Boston, MA • 02205 -5889. The submission must be postmarked no later than August 9, 2010.

Lottery Rules and Eligibility Requirements
Only one (1) entry per applicant will be accepted, regardless of the number of active registrations he/she may have.

An applicant must be a Massachusetts resident. An applicant must have a currently registered and insured passenger vehicle.

Companies/Corporations may not apply.

RMV employees, including contract employees, and their immediate family members are not eligible. (Black’s Law Dictionary defines “immediate family member” as the term generally referring to one’s parents, spouse, children, and brothers & sisters.)

Entry forms must be legible and printed in ink. The form must not have any missing information. Incomplete or illegible forms will be rejected. It may be helpful to have your registration in front of you when completing this entry form. Your accuracy will reduce the risk of your entry form being rejected. *Fields marked with an (*) are optional.

Requests for specific plate numbers will not be honored. Eligible applicants will be considered for all plates listed. Plates will be awarded in the order in which they are listed on the “2010 Plate List.”

An applicant’s registration and license cannot be in a non-renewal, suspended, or revoked status at the time of entry, the time of the drawing, or the time of the plate swap. As such, an applicant must not have any outstanding excise taxes, parking tickets, child support, warrants, or unpaid Fastlane violations.

Entry forms must be mailed and postmarked no later than August 9, 2010. Hand-delivered entry forms will not be accepted.

By law, lottery winners must be announced by September 15, 2010. Please visit our website ( later in the summer for the official drawing date.
Lottery results will be available on the RMV website:
All winners will be notified by the RMV in writing with instructions on how to transfer their current registration to their new lottery plate. Winners will have until December 31, 2010 to swap his/her plate by phone or at the Special Plate Section at RMV Headquarters. Unclaimed plates will be forfeited after December 31st. Plates will be registered to the winning applicant onlyAll plates remain the property of the RMV even after registration.

Lottery winners will be announced at a live drawing on August 28, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. at The Larz Anderson Auto Museum located at 15 Newton Street in Brookline. Lottery results will also be posted on the RMV website.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Add One Hour To The Day.

Add one hour to the day. Set the alarm one hour earlier.

“Early to bed, early to rise…” is not just a nursery rhyme truism. Because there are never enough hours in the day, it is a real bonus to find an extra one. It is sitting there for the taking each and every day. The discipline to take advantage of that hour (or two) is not an easy one to master.

When Joan Lunden did ABC Good Morning America for 14 years, her driver would pick her up each morning at 4:30 a.m. ( and he had to leave at 3:30 in order to drive to Westchester to get her). He observed that he seldom dropped her off before 6:00 p.m. at night. And all that just for a morning show!

There is, of course, no free lunch. The price you pay for an extra hour or two each morning comes due each evening when you must plan your activities accordingly. The candle cannot be burned at both ends.

Once you get control of extra a.m. hours, use them wisely—not for busy work. One successful sales professional called all of her key contacts for the day and left a voice mail message saying that she had some important information for them and she would outline what it was, with a promise to call them back later in the day. The pre-opening message would be the first thing her clients would hear when they came to work. Not a bad way to start all of your accounts’ days.
From my buddy Jack Falvey at: off big time

Monday, June 7, 2010

Is Your Boat Safe?

Boating Season has arrived and here are some steps to take to reduce fatalities, injuries, property damage and liability costs:
  • Be sure your boat is adequately insured
  • All recreational boats are required to carry one approved Personal Flotation Device for each person aboard
  • All vessels must be equipped with US Coast Guard (USCG) approved visual distress signals
  • USCG approved fire extinguishers are required and should be hand portable, either B-I or B-II classification, and have a specific marine type mounting bracket. It must be marked "Marine Type USCG."
  • Take a boating safety course.
  • Get a free Vessel Safety Check (VSC) - a free annual check available to all boaters to ensure that their recreational vessels meet Federal and State equipment requirements. The USCG Auxiliary and US Power Squadrons vessel examiners participate in the VSC Program.
  • Additional safety equipment to consider: Marine radio, dewatering device and backup, anchor and line for area, and first aid and person-in-water kits.

Keep Your Driver's License With You

Did you know that if you are stopped in the state of Massachusetts and don't have your driver's license with you (even though you have a valid license), you can be fined $50? That a steep price to pay!!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A New Item for Your To-do List

It seems that in this busy hustle-and-bustle world we live in, we tend to be so focused on ourselves, our families and our to do lists that we forget about what’s important: basic common courtesy.

When is the last time you held the door for someone? Said hello to the employee at the grocery store who is checking out your groceries or preparing your deli meat? How about asking the bank teller how his or her day is going? Or letting someone pull out in front of you while you are stuck in bumper to bumper traffic…what is one more car in front of you really going to matter?

These things seem so small and maybe they don’t matter to you. But I bet that the person standing behind the counter all day will appreciate it. I bet if you try it just once and see their face after you’ve asked “how is your day going?”, you’ll be so surprised and feel so good…that you’ll add it to your daily to-do list.

Friday, April 30, 2010

New Solutions to Distracted Driving

We hear about it. We read about it. We preach to our teen drivers about it. Did you know that your risk of a crash is 23.2 times as high if you are texting while driving? Despite all of this, when our cell phone rings while we are going 50 MPH on Route 20, we answer it.

In our defense, the advances in technology have led us to believe that we, along with our friends, family and work associates, must be readily available at all times. Also, the simple act of operating a vehicle seems to have become so mundane in our evolved society that multitasking is the only way for us to feel accomplished when we have reached our destination.

So how can we break our addiction? More technology, of course! The following is a list of websites offering cell phone software which disables your device while your car is in motion:,, and

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What Happens to my Insurance Rates When I Buy a New Car?

Will my rates go up? The short answer is: it depends. Auto insurance rates are based on many factors including the type, age and cost of auto you drive. One thing you can count on is that cars that have been financed require more insurance. The lender will require that you carry comprehensive and collision coverage - which can mean higher premiums.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Massachusetts Consumer Guide to Home Improvement

Every year, consumers spend millions of dollars on home improvements. Far too often, unsuspecting homeowners are cheated by home improvement contractors. In 1992, the Home Improvement Law was created to protect consumers and regulate the practices of home improvement contractors.

Remodeling and improving your come can be a huge undertaking. Fortunately, by understanding your rights under the law and taking a few precautions, you can help avoid potential problems. Be sure to plan carefully before investing thousands of dollars into home improvements.

  • Interview at least 3 contractors and request a written, detailed estimate.
  • Confirm references for each contractor. Check the contractor's complaint history with the Attorney General's Office or Better Business Bureau.
  • Always ask for a detailed written contract, even for small projects. It will protect you and help ensure that you and the contractor understand the scope of the job and the price. State law requires that home improvement contracts over $1,000 be in writing.
  • Be sure the contractor obtains the building permit.
  • By law, the contractor cannot collect more than one-third of the cost of the contract in advance.

For more details about the protections afforded to you through the 1992 Home Improvement Contractor Law, go to improvement.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wedding Insurance

You can now purchase insurance in the event that something goes wrong with your wedding in spite of all your careful planning. There are many things that can go wrong - things that are beyond your control - like your reception venue going out of business, your bridal shop closing, wedding rings getting lost or sudden serious illness.

A wedding is an investment; the average cost is now up to $27,000. For as little as $200, you can purchase wedding insurance that help make things right when things go wrong.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Do You Need Special Insurance When You Rent a Hall?

Do you need special liability coverage if you rent a hall, room, the town common, etc. for an event such as a wedding, anniversary or birthday party? The answer is NO as long as you have a Homeowners Policy. The standard Homeowners Policy provides liability coverage for various "insured locations", one of which is "part of the premises occasionally rented to the "insured for personal use." It would also be a good idea to have an Umbrella Policy which would give you an extra $1,000,000 in coverage.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Make Your Computer Safe from Identity Thieves

Here are some tips to reduce the chances of compromising your computer:
  • Update your computer to include the latest virus protection software and use a firewall
  • Avoid downloading files from strangers or clicking on unknown hyperlinks
  • Use a secure browser
  • Don't store financial information on your laptop
  • Avoid the use of an automatic log-in feature
  • Delete personal information before you dispose of a computer
  • Read website privacy policies
  • Avoid phishing, which is a scam that uses spam or pop-up messages to deceive you into disclosing your personal information.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Rental Car Contract Cautions

Have you felt pressured when renting a car to purchase the Collision Damage Waiver? Most rental car contracts include provisions that will invalidate the Collision Damage Waiver (for which you pay a hefty fee) for any of the following reasons:
  • if you leave the keys in the car
  • if you drive on dirt roads
  • if you let anyone other than drivers listed on the contract drive the vehicle (Note: this includes valets!)
  • if you drive under the influence of intoxicants

Remember that Collision Damage Waivers are not insurance and therefore are not regulated by insurance departments. You are at the mercy of the rental car companies so be sure to read the contract carefully.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Energy Credits Available on Your Tax Return

This year we have had several taxpayers taking advantage of the Energy Credit on their tax returns. There are several items that can qualify – furnaces, pellet stoves, insulation, windows and doors. When purchases are made, the company you buy them through provides the documentation that states they qualify for the energy credit. In the example of windows, they must be of a certain type to be energy efficient.

A couple items that do not qualify are appliances and siding. Appliances, although they are energy star rated, are not part of the energy credit. They may have rebates from their manufacturers though. In the case of siding – vinyl siding and even insulated vinyl siding do not qualify. Siding provides structural support for the house and therefore is not part of the credit program.

The good news is even higher income earners qualify for the 30% credit this year. The credit is not unlimited, there is a cap on the maximum credit per taxpayer still.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

How do I take a home inventory and why?

Would you be able to remember all the possessions you’ve accumulated over the years if they were destroyed by a fire? Having an up-to-date home inventory will help you get your insurance claim settled faster, verify losses for your income tax return and help you purchase the correct amount of insurance.Start by making a list of your possessions, describing each item and noting where you bought it and its make and model. Clip to your list any sales receipts, purchase contracts, and appraisals you have. For clothing, count the items you own by category -- pants, coats, shoes, for example –- making notes about those that are especially valuable. For major appliance and electronic equipment, record their serial numbers usually found on the back or bottom.

Don't be put off! If you are just setting up a household, starting an inventory list can be relatively simple. If you’ve been living in the same house for many years, however, the task of creating a list can be daunting. Still, it’s better to have an incomplete inventory than nothing at all. Start with recent purchases and then try to remember what you can about older possessions.
Big ticket items - Valuable items like jewelry, art work and collectibles may have increased in value since you received them. Check with your agent to make sure that you have adequate insurance for these items. They may need to be insured separately.

Take a picture - Besides the list, you can take pictures of rooms and important individual items. On the back of the photos, note what is shown and where you bought it or the make. Don’t forget things that are in closets or drawers.

Videotape it - Walk through your house or apartment videotaping and describing the contents. Or do the same thing using a tape recorder.

Storing the list, photos and tapes - Regardless of how you do it (written list, photos, videotape or audio tape), keep your inventory along with receipts in your safe deposit box or at a friend's or relative's home. That way you’ll be sure to have something to give your insurance representative if your home is damaged. When you make a significant purchase, add the information to your inventory while the details are fresh in your mind.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Wait patiently for all your tax documents

Before calling for an appointment with your tax advisor or sitting down to work on your own taxes, make sure you have all the documents that you need. At this time, January 25, 2010, some people have all their tax documents, some are still waiting and some people think they have everything. Patience is important. Companies (those you work for, banks, healthcare companies, investment companies, etc) have until January 31st to have documents POSTMARKED. This year January 31st is a Sunday, therefore they have until February 1st. This means that paperwork will still be coming in mailboxes the first week of February. It is important to be sure you have all information when preparing your return.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Major Differences between Federal and Massachusetts Income Taxes

There are a several differences to be aware of this year when preparing your 2009 taxes. The following are three examples of items that may not be taxable on your Federal 1040 tax return but ARE taxable on your Massachusetts tax return:
· The first $2,400 of unemployment benefits in 2009 (Federal you pay on $2,401 to total received, State of MA you pay on ALL benefits received)
· Relief of indebtness or cancellantion of debt
· Teacher deductions

The State of MA is choosing to make all of these items fully taxable and are not matching the Federal rules.