Mid-Year Tax Planning – June 2019

Year-end tax planning is on the agenda for many taxpayers, with good reason. That said, you don’t have to wait for November or December to make astute moves. Planning in June or July can lead to tax savings that might be reduced or lost altogether if you wait for late fall to act.

What’s Inside

  • Mid-year tax planning
  • How IRA’s affect Medicaid planning
  • New rules for business travel deductions
  • Tax calendar
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Using The 0% Tax Rate – May 2019

Generally, profits from selling assets such as securities and real estate held in taxable accounts are classed as long-term if the holding period was longer than one year. Tax rates on long-term capital gains are 0%, 15%, or 20%, depending on the seller’s income.

What’s Inside

  • Using the 0% tax rate
  • Working around the new “kiddie tax”
  • Final regulations clarify IRC Section 199A
  • Tax calendar
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The Standard Deduction’s Double Standard – April 2019

The 2019 “tax season,” during which most 2018 tax returns are prepared, will soon peak at the April 15 deadline. One key trend is that more people are taking the standard deduction, which has increased significantly, and fewer people are claiming itemized deductions, which have been restricted. These changes result from passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, which affects preparation of 2018 tax returns.

What’s Inside

  • The standard deduction’s double standard
  • Homeowner’s insurance protects a prime asset
  • Roth solo 401(k) for (very) small businesses
  • Tax calendar
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The New Math of Municipal Bonds – March 2019

Stock market volatility has some investors thinking about putting some money into bonds, which historically have offered relatively stable prices. One key decision facing bond market investors is whether to choose regular, taxable bonds or tax exempt municipal bonds. (This discussion concerns investments in taxable accounts because tax-exempt municipals and muni funds typically don’t belong in a tax-favored retirement account.)

What’s Inside

  • The new math of municipal bonds
  • Handling qualified charitable contributions
  • Deducting qualified business income
  • Tax calendar
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Putting Stock Market Volatility in Perspective – February 2019

As of writing, in late 2018, the U.S. stock market has been extremely volatile. By the time you read this article, in February 2019, stocks may have stabilized, may have risen, or may have dropped dramatically. The last stunning market retreat, which made tumultuous news in late 2008, reached its bottom in February 2009.

What’s Inside

  • Putting stock market volatility in perspective
  • Making stock sales less taxing
  • New tax law enhances the appeal of C Corporations
  • Tax calendar
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Double (and Triple) IRA Season is Here – January 2019

The start of each year might be considered “Double IRA” season. Until mid-April (the 15th, in 2019), you still can make contributions to an IRA for 2018, if you have funds you’d like to save for retirement. Most workers and their spouses may each contribute up to $5,500 or $6,500 for those who were 50 or older at the end of 2018.

What’s Inside

  • Double (and triple) IRA season is here
  • Drive cautiously but carry ample auto insurance
  • IRS says business meal deductions still apply
  • Tax calendar
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