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Year-End Tax Planning

Lavelle & Finn


As the end of the year approaches, it’s time to consider strategies that could help you reduce your tax bill. But most tax tips, suggestions, and strategies are of little practical help without a good understanding of your current tax situation. This is particularly true for year-end planning. You can’t know where to go next […]

Appropriate Checklists for Year-End Tax Planning

Lavelle & Finn


What are appropriate checklists for year-end tax planning? Tax planners often develop checklists to guide taxpayers toward year-end strategies that might help reduce taxes. Typically, suggestions are grouped into several different categories, such as “Filing Status” or “Employee Matters,” for ease of reading. When year-end approaches, it might be wise to review each suggestion under […]

Accelerate Income/Postpone Deductions

Lavelle & Finn


What is accelerating income/postponing deductions? One goal of year-end tax planning is to use IRS allowances, such as deductions and exemptions, to minimize your overall tax liability. Another is to recognize income when it hurts you least. Generally, this means that you should postpone your income and accelerate your deductions. However, there are occasions when […]

Postpone Income/Accelerate Deductions

Lavelle & Finn


What is postponing income/accelerating deductions? Postponing income and accelerating deductions are two techniques commonly employed by taxpayers to minimize tax liability during the current year. These techniques are part of year-end tax planning. Your ability to utilize a deduction depends largely on when you incur the deductible expense. In many cases, you can control whether […]

How to Use a Trust in Medicaid Planning

Lavelle & Finn


With careful Medicaid planning, you may be able to preserve some of your estate for your children or other heirs while meeting Medicaid’s low asset limit. The problem with transferring assets is that you have given them away. You no longer control them, and even a trusted child or other relative may lose them. A safer […]

Most Are Taking Social Security at the Wrong Time

Lavelle & Finn


A new report finds that almost no retirees are making financially optimal decisions about when to take Social Security and are losing out on more than $100,000 per household in the process. The average Social Security recipient would receive 9 percent more income in retirement if they made the financially optimal decision. When claiming Social […]

Tips for Preventing, Detecting, and Reporting Financial Abuse of the Elderly

Lavelle & Finn


Reports of elder financial abuse continue to increase, and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to scams or to financial abuse by family members in need of money. It is hard to ascertain the exact numbers of people affected by elder abuse because studies show that elder abuse is underreported. However, one study found that financial loss from financial elder […]

What to Look for When Buying an Annuity

Lavelle & Finn


An annuity can be a useful tool for long-term care planning, but annuities are also complex financial products that are hard to understand. If purchasing an annuity, you need to consider your options carefully.  An annuity is a contract with an insurance company under which the consumer pays the company a certain amount of money […]

Tax Planning for Income

Lavelle & Finn


You don’t want to pay more in federal income tax than you have to. With that in mind, here are five things to consider when it comes to keeping more of your income. 1. Postpone your income to minimize your current income tax liability By deferring (postponing) income to a later year, you may be […]

Annuities: Traps for the Unwary

Lavelle & Finn


Annuities are fairly straightforward products as far as taxation is concerned. To the extent that a distribution is considered a return of your investment in the contract, no income tax is due; to the extent that a distribution is considered earnings, income tax is due (ordinary, not capital gains). In addition, a distribution n taken […]