CPA Bulletin


Regard Roth Conversions Carefully

The article “Rethinking retirement contributions” explains why the new TCJA devalues putting money into traditional tax-deferred plans and favors Roth versions. Does the same reasoning apply to conversions from Roth to traditional accounts? From a tax viewpoint, the answer may be yes, but other factors indicate you should be cautious […]


Positive Prognosis for Medical Deductions

Many miscellaneous itemized deductions, including unreimbursed employee business expenses (see the CPA Client Bulletin, February 2018), no longer can be used to reduce your income, starting with 2018 tax returns. Some observers predicted a similar demise for medical and dental expenses. As it turned out, these deductions not only were […]


Home Equity Hassle

A key component of the TCJA is the expansion of the standard deduction. The numbers for 2018 are $24,000 (married couples filing jointly), $18,000 (heads of household), and $12,000 (all others). These amounts are almost double the respective standard deductions in 2017. However, personal exemptions were eliminated. As a give-and-take, […]


New Tax Deduction for Pass-Through Entities

Many small businesses are pass-through entities, including S corporations, partnerships, sole proprietorships, LLCs, and LLPs. The label indicates that all business earnings are passed through to the owners’ personal income tax returns. Thus, they avoid the corporate income tax. The TCJA contains a new tax benefit for pass-throughs. This provision […]


Weighing the Risks of Bond Funds

Most portfolio allocations call for a mix of stocks (equities) and bonds (fixed income). The underlying theory is that stocks may deliver substantial results over the long term, whereas bonds contribute interest income and lower volatility. As we’ve seen in recent years, stocks can be extremely risky but have recovered […]


Two Five-Year Tests for Roth IRAs

The pros and cons of Roth IRAs, which were introduced 20 years ago, are well understood. All money flowing into Roth IRAs is after-tax, so there is no upfront tax benefit. As a tradeoff, all qualified Roth IRA distributions can be tax-free, including the parts of the distributions that are […]


Solving the Annuity Puzzle

Americans hold billions of dollars in annuities, yet they are widely misunderstood. Used properly, an annuity can serve valuable purposes in personal financial planning. On the other hand, some types of annuities are widely criticized, even scorned, by some financial advisers.   Lifelong income What might be considered the purest […]