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Tax planning was turned on its head by the last couple of tax laws. Several key planning rules need revisions for those who want to maximize after-tax wealth. One of the oldest tax planning rules is that it is better to defer a tax whenever possible. Paying taxes tomorrow is better than paying them today. […]
We’re coming up on the day many retirees dread. It arrives four times each year. What many do not realize is that they easily can avoid this day. During their working years, most retirees had income taxes withheld from paychecks. They did not worry about making quarterly estimated tax payments during the year. The only […]
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 […]
The rapid real estate appreciation of recent years endowed many families with substantial real estate wealth but not enough cash. Real estate appreciation does not produce cash. But it does result in higher property taxes, and there are maintenance expenses to pay. Some families also are disappointed with having paper wealth that cannot be spent […]
In early October, Congress voted to extend for another year the higher exemption amounts for the AMT that were enacted in the 2003 tax law. The exemptions were to expire at the end of 2004. Yet, many of you still are likely to be snared by the AMT. You need to carefully review your finances […]
You work hard to manage your IRAs and set them up just right. One reason is so your heirs will get the maximum benefit from the IRAs. Unfortunately, heirs rarely know what the owner had in mind or what the IRS requires when IRAs are inherited. As a result, the IRS gets thousands of extra […]
Last year a number of estate planners worried that the IRS and the Tax Court nailed shut the door on family limited partnerships. A recent federal appeals court decision recently made clear the door still is open, and it set some guidelines for the successful use of FLPs. Family limited partnerships have been premier estate […]