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Mar
16
What You Reall Should Do With Your Tax Refund
Tags: Taxes
It's Christmas in March! With millions of Americans waiting for Santa (otherwise known as the IRS) to deliver their tax refunds, it begs the question...what is the right thing to do with the money? It is a good question, and one that actually deserves some serious thought. First, we must dispel an important piece of "fake news". Your tax return is not found money. It is not a gift from Uncle Sam. It is not a bonus from your employer. It is not "extra". It is your money—which you generously loaned to the federal and/or state government at a zero percent interest rate during 2017. I am not trying to rain on the refund parade, nor put a lump of coal in the proverbial stocking, but understanding what this money really is will help you make a...
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Dec
29
Another Word About Your Taxes
Tags: Taxes
It is the end of the year. And like most years, the Christmas fog and New Year's Eve planning are probably first and foremost on your mind. But this is NOT just any year. When the clock strikes midnight this Sunday, we will not only turn the calendar to a new year...we will turn the calendar to a new tax code and there are things all of us should do to prepare. There are many changes to the tax code coming. Unlike what President Trump, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Speaker Paul Ryan had long talked about, there will be no tax filers using postcards, and the tax code will not suddenly become less complex. In fact, the Tax Reform and Jobs Act ADDS about 11,000 pages to the tax code. For many, much of the initial impact will be...
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Dec
22
December Commentary: Tax Reform is Here
With last night's Senate passage of the Tax Reform and Jobs Act, Americans woke up this morning faced with the reality of a brand new income tax code for 2018. There is plenty to dislike about this bill. And judging by the latest polls on its popularity, the majority of Americans do, in fact, dislike it. There is no rational argument that says this bill doesn't increase our Country's already large deficit. No rational argument that the vast majority of the tax relief proposed in the Tax Reform and Jobs Act is headed somewhere other than the corporate sector and the wealthiest Americans. That said, there is also no rational argument that our tax reform was not in need of reform after more than three decades without major legislation. Think...
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May
03
May Commentary: The Tax Reform Gauntlet
Last week Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin stepped into the White House Briefing Room and laid out the broad strokes of Trump Administration's much-hyped tax reform plan. Whether it was the ticking of the "100-day clock" or the first salvo towards delivering on a popular campaign promise, Wednesday gave us the first few drips about where this complex legislative negotiation will begin. The centerpiece of the Administration's proposed tax cut is a drastic decrease in the business tax rate, where corporations and small businesses alike would see their tax bill cut by more than half--from 35% to 15%. Moreover, this new 15% business tax rate would include "pass-through" entities (businesses formed as partnerships, LLCs, and even some...
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Aug
05
August Commentary: The Tax Plans of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton
After the longest election cycle in modern history, we are finally entering the stretch run. Less than 100 days separate us from knowing who the next President of the United States is going to be. Truth is, either way, history will be made. A victory by Secretary Hillary Clinton means the first time that we all get to say "Madam President". A win by Donald Trump will, for the first time since Dwight Eisenhower was elected more than 60 years ago, put a man in the Oval Office who has never held elected office. This election has been polarizing, if nothing else. Social media has been set aflame by constant political rhetoric, and the old adage of not talking politics has been all but retired. As all of us prepare to make our choice in...
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Aug
28
Market Commentary: A Late Summer Harvest
The financial news over these last 10 days seems like a steady stream of negativity. Triple-digit market loss, after triple-digit market loss will certainly create some aches and pains for those of us who have money invested in equities here and around the globe. While a loss is a loss, and nothing, but time, will bring back the gains we saw in investment accounts as recently as earlier this month, there are strategies to take some of the sting out of these most recent injuries. One strategy that we are implementing here at the firm is called tax-loss harvesting. Simply put, it means selling a losing position for a loss while using those proceeds to purchase a similar position while it is low. The goal here is to create a current...
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Mar
31
There's Still Time to Lower Your 2014 Taxes
By now, most of us have filed and forgotten about our 2014 tax returns. However, if you are one of the millions of Americans who is planning to file over these next two weeks, then there is still time to either bolster your return or lower the payment you will be making to Uncle Sam. The IRS allows individuals to make a prior-year contribution (in this case, 2014) to a traditional IRA, ROTH IRA, or both, prior to your tax return due date, not including extensions. For most of us, that is April 15th, which makes this an ideal time to give final consideration to saving a little bit of extra money for retirement. Your qualifications for this opportunity depend largely on your employment status, filing status and income. The deductibility...
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Mar
06
March Commentary: Some Last Minute Tax Tips!
It's that time of year again! Accountants are burning the midnight oil as they receive package after package, email after email, and phone call after phone call, from clients dreaming of large tax refunds or bracing themselves for the dreaded news of owing additional money to Uncle Sam. By now, I hope most of us have scheduled appointments with our accountants, or downloaded the latest version of TurboTax onto our computers. Or, at the very least, I hope all of us have said to ourselves, "I really need to get my taxes done." The truth is, April 15th will be here before you know it. So as we sit here, just over a month from Tax Day, here are some last-minute tips for you to consider. If you need more time, get an extension. Even...
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