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Fourth Quarter Tax Calendar

October 15, 2018

October 15 — Personal federal income tax returns that received an automatic six-month extension must be filed today and any tax, interest and penalties due must be paid. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Report 114, “Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts” (FBAR), must be filed by today, if not filed already, for offshore bank […]

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Are You a Member of the Sandwich Generation?

October 15, 2018

If you’re currently taking care of your children and elderly parents, count yourself among those in the “Sandwich Generation.” Although it may be personally gratifying to help your parents, it can be a financial burden and affect your own estate plan. Here are some critical steps to take to better manage the situation. Identify key […]

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Study Up on the Tax Advantages of a 529 Savings Plan

September 15, 2018

With kids back in school, it’s a good time for parents (and grandparents) to think about college funding. One option, which can be especially beneficial if the children in question still have many years until heading off to college, is a Section 529 plan. Tax-deferred compounding 529 plans are generally state-sponsored, and the savings-plan option […]

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TCJA Draws a Silver Lining Around the Individual AMT

September 15, 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) didn’t eliminate the individual alternative minimum tax (AMT). But the law did draw a silver lining around it. Revised rules now lessen the likelihood that many taxpayers will owe substantial taxes under the AMT for 2018 through 2025. Parallel universe Think of the AMT as a parallel universe […]

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Assessing Your Exposure to the Estate Tax and Gift Tax

August 15, 2018

When Congress was debating tax law reform last year, there was talk of repealing the federal estate and gift taxes. As it turned out, rumors of their demise were highly exaggerated. Both still exist and every taxpayer with a high degree of wealth shouldn’t let either take their heirs by surprise. Exclusions and exemptions For […]

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Take Note of the Distinctive Features of Roth IRAs

August 15, 2018

For some people, Roth IRAs can offer income and estate tax benefits that are preferable to those offered by traditional IRAs. However, it’s important to take note of just what the distinctive features of a Roth IRA are before making the choice. Traditional vs. Roth The biggest difference between traditional and Roth IRAs is how […]

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4 Questions to Ask Before Hiring Household Help

July 14, 2018

When you hire someone to work in your home, you may become an employer. Thus, you may have specific tax obligations, such as withholding and paying Social Security and Medicare (FICA) taxes and possibly federal and state unemployment insurance. Here are four questions to ask before you say, “You’re hired.” 1. Who’s considered a household […]

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Don’t Let the Kiddie Tax Play Costly Games with You

July 14, 2018

It’s not uncommon for parents, grandparents and others to make financial gifts to minors and young adults. Perhaps you want to transfer some appreciated stock to a child or grandchild to start them on their journey toward successful wealth management. Or maybe you simply want to remove some assets from your taxable estate or shift […]

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Three Common Types of IRS Tax Penalties

June 14, 2018

Around this time of year, many people have filed and forgotten about their 2017 tax returns. But you could get an abrupt reminder in the form of an IRS penalty. Here are three common types and how you might seek relief: 1. Failure-to-file and failure-to-pay. The IRS will consider any reason that establishes that you were […]

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Deducting Home Equity Interest Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

June 14, 2018

Passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) in December 2017 has led to confusion over some longstanding deductions. In response, the IRS recently issued a statement clarifying that the interest on home equity loans, home equity lines of credit and second mortgages will, in many cases, remain deductible. How it used to be […]

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