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As readers ready their year-end tax plans, they need to keep in mind recent changes in charitable contribution deduction rules. Congress tightened the rules in the Pension Protection Act of 2006, and the rules affect deductions for most types of charitable contributions on this year’s tax returns. Cash donations. Proper documentation now is needed to […]
Few tax strategies provide as many benefits as charitable remainder trusts. The trusts generate a current income tax deduction, remove assets from the estate, shelter asset appreciation from capital gains taxes, and provide income for life or a period of years. Yet, CRTs are a paradox. On the one hand, they seem underused. Many people […]
The days of tax advantages for retirees are long gone. In the old days, most people could count on being in a lower tax bracket in retirement than during their working years. Now, many people stay in the same tax bracket. For other retirees the marginal tax rate (the rate on the last dollar of […]
We are finally here. It is 2008, the year the tax rate drops to 0% for some taxpayers on some types of income. We covered this tax break a couple of times over the last few years. In this visit we review who can take advantage of the 0% tax rate and the different strategies […]
Paying estimated taxes is a trap for many retirees. Most had income taxes withheld from paychecks while they were working. Once retired they are responsible for ensuring taxes are prepaid on their investment income, IRA distributions, and other sources of income. If the payments are late or not high enough, penalties can be imposed. If […]
A small percentage of taxpayers deduct medical expenses. That is partly because of the deduction limits. It also is because many people do not know all the costs that qualify for medical expense deductions. Medical expenses can be deducted only by those who itemize expenses on Schedule A. They deduct only the medical and dental […]
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 […]
More taxpayers than ever are paying the alternative minimum tax (AMT). If Congress does not act by the end of 2007, an estimated 25 million households will pay the AMT for 2007. Many of my readers are among those most likely to be snared in the AMT. Originally targeted at the very wealthy, the AMT […]