Weekly business rail, with tips on a new career path, BBB advice on choosing a tax preparer and more.
Tip of the Week
That drive to find something new, secure and rewarding is drawing many to the health care industry, where career opportunities are expected to continue growing at double-digit percentages through 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Within the industry, many careers offer a fast track into lucrative, secure jobs with less than four years of education, making them especially appealing to people who are changing careers.
For many, massage therapy tops the list for realizing monetary and spiritual rewards within a manageable time frame. The profession seems a natural fit for career changers. In fact, the average massage therapist is in his or her 40s and has entered the profession as a second career, according to the American Massage Therapy Association.
In addition to traditional settings like spas or resorts, independent businesses, chiropractic clinics and athletic clubs, massage therapists are working with insurance networks, within corporate settings, in hospice care and in hospital oncology, maternity or post-natal care departments.
"We've even had graduates who traveled to Antarctica on contract to provide massage therapy at scientific outposts for the summer months," says Dina Boon, president of Cortiva Institute-Seattle.
Most Americans will get assistance from a professional tax preparer or tax software when filing their taxes this year. The Better Business Bureau encourages taxpayers to use caution when selecting tax preparation help or they may get hit with headaches and mounting fines and fees if the return isn't correct or filed late. The BBB offers the following advice to find a trustworthy tax preparer:
- Ask around. Get referrals from friends and family on who they use and check the BBB Reliability Report on tax preparation services at www.bbb.org.
- Look for credentials. Ideally, your tax preparer should either be a certified public accountant, a tax attorney or an enrolled agent. All three can represent you before the IRS in all matters, including an audit. Also, find out if the preparer is affiliated with a professional organization that holds its members to a code of ethics.
- Don't fall for the promise of a big refund. Be wary of any tax preparation service that promises larger refunds than the competition, and avoid any tax preparers who base their fee on a percentage of the refund.
- Think about accessibility. Many tax preparation services only set up shop for the months leading up to April 15. In case the IRS finds errors, or in case of an audit, you might need to be able to contact your tax preparer throughout the year.
- Read the contract carefully. Read tax preparation service contracts closely to ensure you understand issues such as how much it is going to cost for the service, how the cost will be affected if preparation is more complicated and time consuming than expected and whether the tax preparer will represent you in case of an audit.
Here are the best Super Bowl commercials, according to Forbes.com:
1: E*Trade, “Girlfriend,” “First Class”
2: Doritos, "Underdog"
3: Denny's, "Chickens Across America"
4: Snickers, "Game"
5: Audi of America, “Green Police”
Number to Know
45: Percent of Americans who are satisfied with their jobs, according to a recent survey by the Conference Board.
GateHouse News Service