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State tax laws discriminate based on age, and that can be a good thing for some taxpayers. Even notoriously high tax states can be tax havens for retirees. In fact, Florida and other retiree magnets might not be the tax havens they are promoted as when the full tax picture is considered. Florida has no […]
The marital deduction is perhaps the best-known estate tax reducer. It also is among the most misused planning devices. While powerful, the mari-tal deduction also can trigger higher taxes or other headaches. The marital deduction is straightforward. The estate executor totals the value of all assets owned by the deceased to arrive at the gross […]
Anyone can make unlimited tax-free gifts. The strategy gets wealth out of your estate, and unlike many other gifts, you can be sure of how the money will be used. The strategy of maximizing tax-free gifts is growing in popularity, especially since the change in Congress makes it unlikely that elimination of the estate tax […]
Though set up to help regular people save, IRAs are fraught with complicated tax rules. Missteps can be made without the owner knowing it until it is too late to correct the problem. The result often is higher taxes and penalties. Sometimes the result is reduced IRA options. Here are some little-known but very common […]
With today’s tricky tax law, the account in which you hold an asset can be as important as which assets you own. Unfortunately, too little attention is paid to the issue of which accounts should hold which investments. Most of us have more than one type of investment account: 401(k)s, traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, taxable […]
The marital deduction is key to most estate plans of married couples. It can wipe out the entire estate tax liability. But misuse of the marital deduction can create a larger long-term tax bill or cause non-tax problems. Let’s look at how to use the marital deduction and avoid misusing it. The estate tax is […]
It’s another year, and many IRA owners have to focus on required minimum distributions (RMDs). The right strategy for these and other aspects of an IRA can make the account last longer. RMDs are mandatory after an owner is age 70 1/2. The rules apply to all qualified retirement plans, though we’ll focus on IRAs […]
The American Jobs Creation Act is a major tax law enacted quietly just before the elections. While primarily a corporate tax law, several provisions affect individuals and small businesses. Sales tax. In 2004 and 2005, individual taxpayers who itemize deductions have the option of deducting either state and local sales taxes or state and local […]