Onward to Tax Year 2018

Did you finish your taxes? Technically you have until Tuesday, April 17th to file – and pay if you owe – because of Emancipation Day in Washington, DC on Monday, April 16th AND a Sunday being April 15th.

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Last year was bitter-sweet for taxpayers and investors. The stock markets enjoyed gains, gains, gains in 2017 – almost the 9th year in a row – and the economy delivered mostly good things in the way of jobs and incomes. There are always exceptions, of course, but 2017 was mostly a great year economically and investments-wise. So even though you probably paid more in taxes and likely had less investment losses to offset gains, it was a positive year. Remember, rebalancing your portfolio is a critical tool but one that can create taxable gains — and an attentive, qualified adviser will guide you to minimizing inevitable taxes on a profitable portfolio. Continue reading “Onward to Tax Year 2018”

It’s Never too Early to Plan

A couple of planning “gems” to pass along from the plethora of great financial news reporting* on the new Tax Plan.

Tax Planning

  • Use the Roth 401k whenever it is available at your employer or your company (there are NO income limits for a worker to contribute to a Roth 401k, unlike a Roth IRA).
  • For those of you doing Charitable Gifting AND because of the new, higher Standard Deduction that you may consider using instead of itemizing your taxes, consider doing your Charitable Gifting every OTHER year. This, in effect, “bunches” (to use Greg Iacurci’s word) your charitable gifting into LARGER amounts and then you may only need to itemize in years when your charitable gifting plus deductions is MORE THAN $24,000 for married couples ($12,000 for Single filers).

Continue reading “It’s Never too Early to Plan”

Silver Lining to Tax Policy Debate

AS IF we need to hear any further “noise” about the debate in Washington, DC regarding tax policy.  There is a basic silver lining (or two) to the discussion worth pointing out.  First, a quick review of the big-picture elements in the limelight:

  • The number and rate of Individual tax payer brackets (15%, 25%, 35%, etc.)
  • The corporate tax rate (20%? 35%? pass-through? etc.)
  • Individual retirement savings vehicles and allowances (IRAs, 401k, “Roth-i-fication”, etc.)

Might I offer TWO “silver linings” to this prolonged, politically entrenched back-and-forth on tax policy:  

GOP Tax Plan

Continue reading “Silver Lining to Tax Policy Debate”

Year-End Tax Planning

Tax planning is important stuff.  Not as exciting as the markets, but saving money on taxes can be more exciting than you think.  The beginning of October means we are in the 4th Quarter…and the countdown begins to year-end. The following is a handy Tax Planning Checklist.*  Some of these items, if done now, could make a big difference to your 2017 tax situation AND add to your savings. Continue reading “Year-End Tax Planning”

Quadrant #3 of Saving: Personalize Your Savings Plan

More on Saving.  Saving is a critical subject at all ages — for the simple reason that savings and investments give people choices at various points in life.  In my latest series, I have broken down the concept of Saving into “4 Quadrants”:

Continue reading “Quadrant #3 of Saving: Personalize Your Savings Plan”

Tax Break…Anyone?

One of the more anticipated pieces of legislation out of Washington DC has been the Trump tax proposal — or really ANY tax proposal — that has been said to carry some kind of relief for all taxpayers.

tax-formsHealthcare is another hot button but taxes slightly edge out healthcare as the #1 item of interest (and if my readership is any indication, the subject of taxes is my #1 most read topic year-over-year).

This is at least a two-part edition, so here goes the tip of the iceberg of ideas being floated by reporters on the front lines in Washington:*

  • Lowering the corporate tax rate to 15%
    • theoretically encourages US corporations to bring back, or “repatriate”, cash being held overseas.
  • Simplification of individual tax brackets to three: 10%, 25% and top rate of 35%.

Continue reading “Tax Break…Anyone?”