Year-End Planning Under The New Tax Law

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA), passed at the end of last year, generally took effect in 2018. Therefore, the fourth quarter of this year provides the first real opportunity for year-end planning under what has been called the most important tax law passed in more than […]


Sizing Up The Standard Deduction

Under the new, as well as prior, tax law, taxpayers can either take a standard deduction or itemize deductions on Schedule A of IRS Form 1040. Typically, tax preparation involves comparing the total of itemized deductions with the standard deduction and choosing the larger amount. Most people have used the […]


Year-End Tax Planning For Charitable Donations

As explained in the article, “Sizing up the standard deduction,” more taxpayers are likely to take the standard deduction for 2018, rather than claim itemized deductions. Therefore, they’ll lose the tax benefits from their charitable contributions. Example 1: Art and Beth Dean are in their 40s and have paid off […]


Year-End Tax Planning For Investors

This year has been a roller coaster for investors, with good months followed by steep pullbacks. At this point, you may have taken some gains and losses in your taxable accounts during 2018; you also may have unrealized losses as well as gains. The classic strategy is to tabulate all […]


Year-End Retirement Tax Planning

A major feature of the TCJA is the reduction of income tax rates owed by individuals. For example, married couples filing jointly for 2018 may have taxable income up to $77,400 and remain in the 12% bracket, up to $165,000 and stay in the 22% bracket, and up to $315,000 […]


Year-End Business Tax Planning

Under the TCJA, equipment expensing permitted by Section 179 of the tax code was expanded. In 2018, your business can take a first-year deduction of up to $1 million worth of equipment purchases. You might buy, say, $400,000 worth of equipment and deduct $400,000 from your company’s profits this year. […]


Tax Calendar: November and December 2018

NOVEMBER 2018 Employers. Ask employees whose withholding allowances will be different in 2019 to fill out a new Form W-4 or Form W-4(SP). The 2019 revision of Form W-4 will be available by mid-December at IRS.gov/FormW4.   November 13 Employers. For Social Security, Medicare, and withheld income tax, file Form […]


It’s Now Harder for Veterans to Qualify for Long-Term Care Benefits

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has finalized new rules that make it more difficult to qualify for long-term care benefits. The rules establish an asset limit, a look-back period, and asset transfer penalties for claimants applying for VA pension benefits that require a showing of financial need. The principal […]


It’s Important to Shop Around for Your Medigap Policy

Medigap premiums can vary widely depending on the insurance company, according to a new study, so be sure to shop around before choosing a policy. When you first become eligible for Medicare, you may purchase a Medigap policy from a private insurer to supplement Medicare’s coverage and plug some or […]


How to Handle Sibling Disputes Over a Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is one of the most important estate planning documents, but when one sibling is named in a power of attorney, there is the potential for disputes with other siblings. No matter which side you are on, it is important to know your rights and limitations. A […]