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Most of us need to get set for an unusual tax filing year. The recent tax laws, phased-in provisions, and other factors will keep you on your toes. Prepare for amended returns. Brokerage firms asked the IRS for permission to issue their Form 1099-DIVs a month late. They have to determine which dividends qualify for […]
It is the charitable giving season, and the tax code is here to help you. Most folks will write checks of after-tax dollars to their favorite charities. A few shrewd taxpayers, however, will give in different ways, enabling them to get higher tax write offs and to provide more help to the charities. Before making […]
Taxpayers with flexible spending accounts might see their after-tax medical costs decline. The IRS recently announced that the cost of nonprescription drugs can be reimbursed by flexible spending accounts. Flexible spending accounts reimburse account holders for medical costs that are not covered by insurance. An employee has a portion of salary deposited into the account, […]
Mutual fund shareholders got a big boost to their bottom lines this year when the top tax rates on long-term capital gains and on dividends were reduced to 15%. Fund investors can get further tax reductions by carefully planning and reporting sales of fund shares. Here are steps to consider before year end. Don’t always […]
Charitable remainder trusts get a lot of attention from estate planners. Yet, they might not be the best option for many estate owners. There is the less-known charitable gift annuity to consider. Each strategy shelters appreciated assets from capital gains taxes, reduces current income taxes, provides income for life or for a period of years, […]
A few years ago, near the stock market top, I was talking with a frustrated financial advisor. He had a wealthy client who would not let the advisor sell the client’s large position in a major stock. The investor bought the position many years ago, held it through thick and thin, and had a large […]
Those of you with two or more homes might owe more taxes on the sale of a home than you thought. Tax-free home sale gains also might be in danger for anyone owning an RV, camper, or boat. Those are the consequences of a recent court case. Under the ruling, the IRS and the courts […]
The order in which you withdraw money from various retirement accounts affects how long your wealth lasts. Most of you have retirement assets in both tax deferred and taxable accounts. There is a lot of guidance available on how to choose the different accounts and even how to invest them. Despite its importance, you won’t […]