Individual Taxes Blog
October 12, 2017
Your decision on who should own your life insurance policy at your death depends in part on whether you want to replace income, provide liquidity or transfer wealth to loved ones.
October 6, 2017
Accelerating deductible expenses into the current year is one way to reduce your tax bill. Tax reform may make “bunching” medical expenses into 2017 an especially valuable acceleration strategy.
September 28, 2017
While no one wants to lose money, realizing a capital loss on an investment can provide tax savings. Don’t let the wash sale rule wash out the tax benefits.
September 21, 2017
Have you been contributing enough to your 401(k) plan in 2017?
September 14, 2017
Sec. 529 plans can help you build a large college nest egg via tax-deferred compounding.
September 7, 2017
Estate tax relief for owners of family businesses is available. Find out if you qualify.
August 31, 2017
Summer has flown by and now it’s time for students and their teachers to head back to class. Teachers who buy supplies for their classrooms may be eligible for a tax break. Learn more.
August 24, 2017
Two crucial components of an estate plan are powers of attorney for property and for health care. A nonspringing power of attorney is generally preferable to a springing one. Learn why it matters.
August 17, 2017
When Congress comes back from its August recess, it’s expected to start addressing tax reform. An estate tax repeal is one reform that’s been proposed, but a repeal may not affect you. Here’s why.
August 10, 2017
College tuition, mortgage insurance premiums, mortgage debt forgiveness: These might all save you tax on your 2017 return . . . if Congress extends expired breaks for them.
August 3, 2017
Trusts are a common estate planning tool because of the many benefits they can provide. But sometimes trust income can trigger high tax rates. Here’s why, plus three ways to soften the blow.
July 27, 2017
Tax planning is not just a year-end activity. Boost the power of your individual tax planning by implementing these three strategies now.
July 27, 2017
Do you know how to turn an IRA from a retirement tool into an estate planning tool? The answer is to “stretch” it. Doing so is surprisingly simple.
July 20, 2017
Many businesses operate as C corporations so they can buy and hold real estate just as they do equipment, inventory and other assets. But this can be a costly tax mistake.
July 13, 2017
Taxes may not be top of mind during the summer, but a little effort now can pay off later!
June 30, 2017
Don’t bequeath specific assets to specific heirs. Here’s why, and what to do instead.
June 15, 2017
If you want to minimize taxes on your sales of investments, the details matter.
June 8, 2017
Provide yourself peace of mind by taking steps now to protect retirement savings from creditors. Qualified employer plans and traditional and Roth IRAs can be at risk to potential creditors’ claims.
June 1, 2017
Before donating a vehicle, find out the charity’s intent. How the charity will use the vehicle can have a significant impact on your charitable deduction.
May 25, 2017
Could you benefit from opening the “back door” to a Roth IRA?
May 16, 2017
Adding a no-contest clause to your will or living trust might deter challenges to your estate plan after your death. But enforceability differs from state to state.
May 10, 2017
Don’t run afoul of the IRS with noncash gifts. Valuation by a qualified appraiser is a must.
May 3, 2017
If you received a 2016 federal income tax refund, you essentially made an interest-free loan to the government. Here’s how you can avoid doing that this year and, instead, begin collecting your 2017 refund now.
April 26, 2017
Do you know what individual income tax records are safe to toss? Here are some guidelines.
April 20, 2017
Look beyond April 18 to the tax-related deadlines you face for the rest of 2017.
April 13, 2017
Do you know who’ll make medical decisions on your behalf if you’re unable? Do they know your wishes? If not, a health care power of attorney and a living will are two key estate planning documents to execute today.
April 6, 2017
Probate can be an undesirable process. Fortunately, you can avoid, or at least minimize, probate. Designating beneficiaries where possible is one way, but there are others.
March 30, 2017
Don’t miss a valuable opportunity to make direct payments of your grandchild’s tuition. This strategy can reduce potential gift and estate tax exposure.
March 23, 2017
A divorce can be devastating. But it doesn’t have to ruin your estate plan. By making the proper revisions, you can regain the peace of mind that your assets will be distributed per your wishes.
March 16, 2017
Making a 2016 IRA contribution by April 18 can be beneficial even if it isn’t deductible.
March 9, 2017
Supporting an elderly parent? You might qualify for a tax break on your 2016 return.
March 2, 2017
A $100 donation may not provide a $100 charitable deduction. What you give and how the charity uses the gift are just two of the factors that may also affect your deduction. Here’s what you need to know.
February 23, 2017
Choosing the wrong executor of your estate can have wide-ranging implications. Learn about the duties of an executor and your options so you can make the right decision based on your circumstances.
February 17, 2017
Special planning is required if you wish to pass your IRA on to nonspouse beneficiaries, such as your children, while preserving the tax benefits of the account.
February 9, 2017
Are you a single parent of minor children? Your estate plan requires special attention.
February 2, 2017
If you had a child in college in 2016, be sure you max out your higher education tax breaks.
January 26, 2017
Will the investment interest expense deduction save you tax? Perhaps not, or not much, if you invest in municipal bonds or your investment income is mostly long-term capital gains and qualified dividends
January 19, 2017
Grappling with the decision of having a parent declared incapacitated? Learn about two key questions to consider and some estate planning tools that can help.
January 11, 2017
Medical expense deductions can be difficult for many taxpayers to claim. In 2017, it will become even tougher for those over age 65 to get a tax break. Here’s why.
January 4, 2017
Don’t let a weekend getaway end in a fight over the family vacation home. Learn about estate planning strategies to help avoid tensions and keep the home in the family for future generations to enjoy
December 28, 2016
Keeping your children in the dark over your wealth plans by using a quiet trust can backfire. A better option may be an incentive trust. Learn the differences between the two trust types.
December 21, 2016
The 2016 gift tax annual exclusion allows you to give up to $14,000 per recipient tax-free. Even with a possible 2017 estate tax repeal, 2016 annual exclusion gifts may be tax-smart.
December 14, 2016
Legally adopting your stepchildren will provide them with inheritance rights. However, there are other considerations to take into account before doing so. Learn more.
December 7, 2016
Will your year-end donations qualify for a 2016 charitable deduction? Only if their “unconditional delivery” is by Dec. 31 and the organization is eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions.
November 30, 2016
What’s the President-elect’s tax plan for individuals? The top tax rate would go down and the estate tax would be abolished. But some taxpayers could see their taxes go up. Here’s more.
November 16, 2016
Review your beneficiary designations to avoid these three pitfalls and ensure that your life insurance proceeds will be distributed as you wish.
November 8, 2016
Income-based limits on tax breaks can be costly to higher-income taxpayers. Will your deductions and exemptions provide the tax savings you’re expecting? Find out!
November 1, 2016
The manner in which you transfer a family business can affect estate and income taxes. Two techniques to consider using are an intentionally defective grantor trust or an estate defective trust.
October 25, 2016
Grandparents: Estate-plan-friendly options are available to help fund your grandchildren’s college educations. Read more about how grantor and Crummy trusts can be beneficial tools.
October 19, 2016
A prenup should work in concert with your estate plan, rather than against it. Learn about estate planning benefits and potential tax traps involved with using a prenup.
October 11, 2016
Don’t get hit with taxes and penalties on retirement plan assets when you change jobs.
October 4, 2016
Are you planning to make charitable donations before year end? Do you own appreciated stock that you’d like to sell, but you’re concerned about the tax hit? Then consider donating it to charity.
September 22, 2016
Proposed IRS regulations, if finalized, may limit the estate planning power of family limited partnerships (FLPs). Here’s a brief overview of how FLPs work and the potential impact of the regs.
September 15, 2016
Today the federal estate tax rate is a whopping 45%. Do you know if your estate could be subject to this tax? Find out.
September 12, 2016
Being classified as a trader rather than an investor has certain tax advantages if you make short-term investments. But qualifying as a trader isn’t easy.
September 1, 2016
If you’ve paid investment advisory fees, retained certain legal services or not been reimbursed for employee business expenses, you might benefit from “bunching” miscellaneous deductions into 2016.