Blog

Planning for the Net Investment Income Tax

August 14, 2019

Despite its name, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) didn’t cut all types of taxes. It left several taxes unchanged, including the 3.8% tax on net investment income (NII) of high-income taxpayers. You’re potentially liable for the NII tax if your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) exceeds $200,000 ($250,000 for joint filers and qualifying […]

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Know a Teacher? Tell Them About This Tax Break

August 14, 2019

When teachers are setting up their classrooms for the new school year, it’s common for them to pay for a portion of their classroom supplies out of pocket. A special tax break allows these educators to deduct some of their expenses. This educator expense deduction is especially important now due to some changes under the […]

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Estate Planning Portability Lives on Under The TCJA

July 15, 2019

When the TCJA was passed, the big estate planning news was that the federal gift and estate tax exclusion doubled from $5 million to an inflation-indexed $10 million. It was further indexed for inflation to $11.18 million for 2018 and now $11.4 million for 2019. Somewhat lost in the clamor, however, was (and is) the […]

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No Surprises: Why You Should Check Your Tax Bracket

July 15, 2019

Many taxpayers learned some tough lessons upon completing their 2018 tax returns regarding the changes brought forth by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). If you were one of them, or even if you weren’t, now’s a good time to check your bracket to avoid any unpleasant surprises next April. Under the TCJA, the […]

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Vacation Homes: Do You Understand the Tax Nuances?

June 15, 2019

Owning a vacation home can offer tax breaks, but they may differ from those associated with a primary residence. The key is whether a vacation home is used solely for personal enjoyment or is also rented out to tenants. Sorting it out If your vacation home is not rented out, or if you rent it […]

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Consider the Tax Advantages of Qualified Small Business Stock

June 15, 2019

While the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) reduced most ordinary-income tax rates for individuals, it didn’t change long-term capital gains rates. They remain at 0%, 15% and 20%. The capital gains rates now have their own statutory bracket amounts, but the 0% rate generally applies to taxpayers in the bottom two ordinary-income tax brackets […]

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Send Your Kids to Day Camp and You May Get a Tax Break

May 15, 2019

Among the many great challenges of parenthood is what to do with your kids when school lets out. Do you keep them at home and try to captivate their attention yourself or with the help of sitters? Or do you send them off to the wide variety of day camps now in operation? There’s no […]

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Innocent Spouse Rules Offer Protection Under Some Circumstances

May 15, 2019

Must one spouse pay the tax resulting from a fabrication or omission by another spouse on a jointly filed tax return? It depends. If the spouse qualifies, he or she may be able to avoid personal tax liability under the “innocent spouse” rules. Joint filing status Generally, married taxpayers benefit overall by filing a joint […]

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Are Income Taxes Taking a Bite Out of Your Trusts?

April 15, 2019

For trusts, there are income thresholds that may trigger the top income tax rate of 37%, the top long-term capital gains rate of 20%, and the net investment income tax of 3.8%. Here are three ways to soften the blow: 1. Use grantor trusts. An intentionally defective grantor trust (IDGT) is designed so that you, the […]

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Business vs Hobby: The Tax Rules Have Changed

April 15, 2019

If you generate income from a passion such as cooking, woodworking, raising animals — or anything else — beware of the tax implications. They’ll vary depending on whether the activity is treated as a hobby or a business. The bottom line: The income generated by your activity is taxable. But different rules apply to how […]

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