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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 […]

Qualifying for the Home Office Deduction

Lavelle & Finn


Working from home can certainly provide you with personal benefits, such as a flexible schedule and more family time. But increasing numbers of people are discovering the tax advantages as well. It’s no secret that you generally can’t deduct certain personal expenses (e.g., homeowners insurance, utilities, and home repairs) on your federal income tax return. […]

Unforgettable Birthdays

Lavelle & Finn


Birthdays may seem less important as you grow older. They may not offer the impact of watershed moments such as getting a driver’s license at 16 and voting at 18. But beginning at age 50, there are several key birthdays that can affect your tax situation, health-care eligibility, and retirement benefits. 50 — Taxable distributions […]

Medicaid’s Asset Transfer Rules

Lavelle & Finn


In order to be eligible for Medicaid, you cannot have recently transferred assets. Congress does not want you to move into a nursing home on Monday, give all your money to your children on Tuesday, and qualify for Medicaid on Wednesday, so it has imposed a penalty on people who transfer assets without receiving fair […]

New Rule May Make It Harder for Medicare Beneficiaries to Receive Home Care

Lavelle & Finn


It may become harder for Medicare beneficiaries to find home health care due to a new rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Although the rule changes the way home health care providers are reimbursed, it could affect patient care as well. Starting in January 2020, Medicare will reimburse home health agencies […]

Will My Advance Directive Work in Another State?

Lavelle & Finn


Making sure your end-of-life wishes are followed no matter where you happen to be is important. If you move to a different state or split your time between one or more states, you should make sure your advance directive is valid in all the states you frequent. An advance directive gives instructions on the kind […]

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren May Qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit

Lavelle & Finn


Raising a grandchild can be tough financially, but grandparents should be aware that there is a tax credit available that could help them. Working grandparents who are supporting their grandchildren may qualify for the earned income tax credit, which could reduce the amount they pay in taxes by thousands of dollars or allow them to […]

Medicaid’s Gift to Children Who Help Parents Postpone Nursing Home Care

Lavelle & Finn


In most states, transferring your house to your children (or someone else) may lead to a Medicaid penalty period, which would make you ineligible for Medicaid for a period of time. However, there are circumstances in which transferring a house will not result in a penalty period. One of those circumstances is if the Medicaid applicant transfers […]

New Rule Once Again Allows Nursing Home Arbitration Agreements

Lavelle & Finn


The Trump administration is officially rolling back a ban on the use of arbitration agreements by nursing homes that was initiated under President Obama. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a rule that once again allows nursing facilities to use arbitration to settle disputes with residents. Historically, nursing homes increasingly asked — […]