If you’re like most Americans, a 401(k) or similar retirement plan represents the bulk of your long-term savings. Every year, the IRS places limits on the annual contributions you can complete to these and other qualified retirement plans. Too often, people mistakenly think that if they’re contributing these maximum annual amounts, they’re saving as much as they need. While these limits might be acceptable for some individuals, they may not be adequate for everyone. The reality is that the amount you need to save for retirement hinges upon the following five key factors. Read More
The 2017 tax filing season began on January 23, 2017. That’s the day that the IRS began accepting electronic tax returns. Electronic filing is now the most popular method for preparing and submitting tax returns, accounting for more than 80% of total returns filed in the US. Altogether, an estimated 153 million individual returns will be submitted during the upcoming tax year.
This year sees a number of updates to tax return processing. In line with our commitment to facilitate client tax preparations, we offer an overview of the latest IRS updates. Read More
One of the most valuable self-employed savings vehicles, whether you’re a sole proprietor or more formally established, is a solo 401(K), also known as an individual 401(K). This powerful retirement savings account allows flexibility and significant tax deferral opportunity, far greater than traditional 401(K) accounts. If this account is right for you, you can defer contributions until your tax filing, but the deadline to establish an account for the current tax year is December 31st. Read More
With year-end approaching, tax planning becomes a key factor, particularly considering possible tax changes following the recent election. It’s impossible to predict the full landscape of changes that might occur in 2017 or beyond. However, now’s the time to take stock of both current and potential future opportunities.
Here are our top recommendations and related potential tax changes based upon current tax reform plans under consideration. We encourage you to contact us to discuss these and other end-of-year strategies before December 15th. This ensures you have time to think, plan and act, as most tax planning must be implemented before December 31st. Read More
Gratitude for your dedication also comes from perhaps a more unexpected source: namely, the IRS and state tax agencies. There are a variety of special Federal and state tax breaks available only to members of the US Armed Forces; because the sacrifices that you and your family make should not extend to your finances.
When a couple divorces, the fall-out can affect your finances too. Retirement funds in particular can prove complex in how they’re divided during the divorce settlement and restructured for the future. Professional financial advice can help preserve your share if you’re the retirement fund owner, or ensure equitable distribution if you’re the other party. Michael Fuhr recently highlighted the importance of retirement fund tax rates during divorce negotiations in US News & World Report’s Investment article: ‘12 Steps To Protect Your Money In Divorce‘. Read More
We’re often asked what you need to keep versus what you can toss. Here’s a quick overview on how to make sure you have what you need to reduce any taxable gain exposure on your house when it’s sold, while opening up some valuable living space in the meantime.
With year-end approaching, tax planning becomes a key consideration. Now is the time to take stock of opportunities available, to ensure you have time to think, plan and act, particularly as most tax planning must be done before the clock strikes midnight on December 31st.
Here are our top recommendations for identifying and implementing a variety of potential tax-saving opportunities.
This rule applies to both traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs, giving you some flexibility in terms of the timing of your annual IRA contribution.
Traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs are each subject to different contribution rules.
Year-end is fast approaching, a time when tax planning should become a key consideration. Proactive tax planning could allow you to identify tax saving opportunities. Most opportunities must be implemented before year-end. One of our many wealth management objectives is to help you maximize such opportunities, and to implement decisions with ease. Please take a moment to review the following planning techniques. We are happy to discuss opportunities with you and your tax advisor. We recommend action before December 10th. Read More
Many students take a job in the summer after school lets out. If it’s your first job it gives you a chance to learn about the working world. That includes taxes we pay to support the place where we live, our state and our nation. Here are eight things that students who take a summer job should know about taxes.
This information regarding tax tips for students who take a summer job was recently released by the IRS. Please feel free to pass it on to anyone who may benefit from this useful advice. Please visit www.IRS.gov for more about tax rules for students, or click on the links below. Read More
You have until your tax return due date (not including extensions) to contribute up to $5,500 for 2013 ($6,500 if you were age 50 by December 31, 2013). For most taxpayers, the contribution deadline for 2013 is April 15, 2014.You can contribute to a traditional IRA, a Roth IRA, or both, as long as your total contributions don’t exceed the annual limit. You may also be able to contribute to an IRA for your spouse for 2013, even if your spouse didn’t have any 2013 income.
Contributions are subject to income threshold limits, which are outlined below. Read More
A number of tax changes took effect in 2013, many of which could increase your potential tax liability. Proactive tax planning could allow you to identify tax saving opportunities. Most opportunities must be enacted before year-end. One of our many wealth management objectives is to help you maximize such opportunities, and to implement decisions with ease. Please take a moment to review the following summary of key tax changes, and potential actions that might apply to you. We are happy to discuss any of the following with you and your tax advisor. We recommend action before December 10th. Read More
The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have announced that same-sex couples who are legally married in jurisdictions that recognize same-sex marriage will be treated as married for all federal tax purposes. Guidance has been provided in the form of a Revenue Ruling (Rev. Rul. 2013-17) and associated Frequently Asked Questions. The Treasury Department and IRS guidance was issued in response to the recent Supreme Court case striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 (DOMA), which defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Read More
The 5-4 decisions bolster the federal benefits available to same-sex married couples and clear the way for same-sex marriages in California.
We discuss the implications of these rulings.
A rustic cabin or a seaside cottage? Buying a second/vacation home can be an alluring prospect. Before you decide to purchase one, though, you should consider a number of issues. These include the costs associated with owning a second/vacation home, the attributes of the home, its rental potential, and the income tax treatment. Even if you rent it out or deduct part of the costs of ownership from your taxes, a second/vacation home is primarily a luxury, not an investment. You should buy one to add value to your life instead of to your net worth.
Year-end planning is particularly important (and challenging) this year. This is due to uncertainty as to whether Congress will implement sweeping tax changes in advance of increases that are scheduled to occur in 2013.
By a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court upheld the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA). The law’s most controversial provision will stand – a mandate requiring every American citizen to buy individual health insurance coverage. The court made a key distinction, interpreting that mandate not as a directive but as a tax. “The federal government does not have the power to order people to buy health insurance,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. wrote in the majority opinion. “The federal government does have the power to impose a tax on those without health insurance.” The ruling carries profound implications for individuals, businesses and households. Read More
As a result, investors have been granted a reprieve while Congress wrestles with those issues.
That’s time you can use to think about how best to position your portfolio. Read More
The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (the 2010 Tax Act) included new gift, estate, and generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax provisions. The Act provides that in 2012, the gift and estate tax exemption is $5,120,000, the GST tax exemption is also $5,120,000, and the maximum rate for both taxes is 35%. New to estate tax law under this Act is gift and estate tax exemption portability: generally, any gift and estate tax exemption left unused by a deceased spouse can be transferred to the surviving spouse. The GST tax exemption, however, is not portable. These major changes are temporary: absent further legislation, in 2013, the exemptions are generally scheduled to drop to $1 million, the maximum rate will jump to 55%, and portability will be repealed. You should understand how these temporary rules may affect your estate plan.