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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 […]
There could be big changes in the estate and gift tax law by this fall. The House of Representatives passed a permanent, full repeal of the estate tax. The Senate is not willing to go that far but is likely to pass a bill that repeals the estate tax for all but a small number […]
The Alternative Minimum Tax might be nearing its end. Powerful U.S. senators announced their plan to pass a termination of the AMT by the end of 2005. If they are successful, many middle class and upper middle class Americans will breathe easier. But even if the senators are successful, you still must fear getting trapped […]
Two surprises await many new residents of the popular continuing care retirement communities. These surprises are two tax issues that are different from those the residents are used to. Most of these comprehensive retirement communities provide a combination of residential services and medical care. The communities usually include at least independent living, assisted living, and […]