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Survey Details Back-to-School Spending for 2019
The National Retail Federation (NRF) and Proper Insights & Analytics recently released a survey detailing back-to-school spending for the 2019 school year. The survey looks at how American families plan to shop for clothing, supplies, and other items for the school year.
Record spending expected for 2019
As students prepare to go back to school and college, families are spending more than ever on school supplies. "Consumers are in a strong position given the nation's growing economy, and we see this reflected in what they say they will spend on back-to-class items this year," NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said.
According to the NRF, families with children in elementary school through high school plan to spend an average of $696.70, up from $684.79 last year and topping the previous record of $688.62 set in 2012. Families with college students are expected to spend even more — an average of $976.78, which is up from $942.17 last year and exceeds the previous record of $969.88 set in 2017.
The survey also revealed that total combined spending for K-12 and college is projected to reach $80.7 billion. This figure is down from last year's $82.8 billion, but is attributed to the decreased number of households surveyed with children in K-12 or attending college.
Clothing and accessories are expected to top K-12 families' expenses at an average of $239.82, followed by electronics such as computers, calculators, and phones ($203.44); and shoes ($135.96) and supplies such as notebooks, pencils, backpacks, and lunch boxes ($117.49). K-12 families plan to do most of their shopping at department stores (53%), discount stores (50%), online (49%), clothing stores (45%), and office supply stores (31%).
College shoppers plan to spend the most on electronics ($234.69), followed by clothing and accessories ($148.54), dorm and apartment furnishings ($120.19), and food items ($98.72). They plan to do most of their shopping online (45%), followed by department stores (39%), discount stores (36%), college bookstores (32%), and office supply stores (29%).
The survey shows that among K-12 shoppers, teens are expected to spend an average of $36.71 of their own money, up from $30.88 ten years ago. Pre-teens plan on spending $26.40, up from $11.94 ten years ago. According to Shay, "Members of Generation Z are clearly becoming more involved with back-to-school purchasing decisions rather than leaving the choices up to mom and dad."
Stay Vigilant Against Bogus IRS Phone Calls and Emails
Tax scams take many different forms. Recently, the most common scams are phone calls and emails from thieves who pretend to be from the IRS. They use the IRS name, logo or a fake website to try to steal your money. They may try to steal your identity too. Here are several tips from the IRS to help you avoid being a victim of these tax scams:
The real IRS will not:
Initiate contact with you by phone, email, text or social media to ask for your personal or financial information.
Call you and demand immediate payment. The IRS will not call about taxes you owe without first mailing you a bill.
Require that you pay your taxes a certain way. For example, telling you to pay with a prepaid debit card.
Be wary if you get a phone call from someone who claims to be from the IRS and demands that you pay immediately.
What Business Expenses can I deduct if you are self-employed or own a small business?
Business expenses are the cost of carrying on a trade or business. These expenses are usually deductible if the business operates to make a profit.To be deductible, a business expense must be both ordinary and necessary. An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your trade or business. A necessary expense is one that is helpful and appropriate for your trade or business. An expense does not have to be indispensable to be considered necessary.
It is important to separate business expenses from the following expenses:
The expenses used to figure the cost of goods sold,
Capital Expenses, and
Self-employed health insurance deduction. If you were self-employed and paid for health insurance, you may be able to deduct premiums you paid during the year. This may include the cost to cover your children under age 27, even if they are not your dependent. See Publication 535, Business Expenses, for details.