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Tax Planning

How Much Can You Take Home in 2018? – Reviewing Your Form W-4 after TCJA

With the tax deadline having just passed, now is the perfect opportunity to start planning for next year. Last year’s return should be readily available, and you may even have many important items committed to memory. Additionally, four months into the year is the perfect time to begin making current year projections. Of course, this year is different. That’s because 2018 will be the first that we file under the changes created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).

The Tax-Filing Deadline is Almost Here – Is Your IRA Ready?

The countdown to the 2017 tax filing deadline is on. The deadline is April 17, 2018, which is really only hours away. Time is running out. Is your IRA ready?

Putting Your 2017 QCD on Your Tax Return: Four Things You MUST Know

A QCD is a qualified charitable distribution. It is a way to transfer funds from your IRA to a qualifying charity as a non-taxable distribution. It can also satisfy your RMD (required minimum distribution) for the year. You must be at least age 70½ at the time of the transaction to qualify. There are four things that you must know.

How Safe Are Your Tax Secrets?

Tax return information is confidential. As the April 17th tax filing date approaches, pay attention to keeping your tax return information out of the hands of those who could cause you harm.

12 Ways the IRS Website Can Help You Reduce Your Taxes and File Your Return

The IRS website provides a host of free resources that can help minimize your tax bill and manage your taxes all year round. Yet, most taxpayers are unaware of them. Here are a dozen of the best.

What Retirement Documents Do You Need to File Your 2017 Tax Return?

There are certain events that will require the filing of special forms or tax documents when you file your income tax return. If you have received a distribution from any retirement account, real or deemed, during the year, or if you have done a Roth IRA conversion - even if you did a total recharacterization - or if you have incurred a penalty or additional taxes in a retirement account during the year, you will have to tell IRS about any of these events.

Tips for a Successful Tax Season

The IRS says it will start accepting and processing 2017 tax returns on January 29 and expects to issue nine of 10 refunds within 21 days. To get the fastest refund possible, file electronically and request direct deposit of the refund amount. The IRS says it won't start processing paper returns until mid-February, and requesting a mailed paper check adds more time to processing and delivery. The due date for 2017 returns is April 17, 2018, since April 15th is a Sunday and the 16th is Emancipation Day, a legal holiday in the District of Columbia.

Liability for Tax Underpayments, Penalties, and Interest: Relief for the “Innocent” Spouse

In many households, married couples divvy up the responsibilities; one will handle the bills and banking while the other cooks and does the grocery shopping, or one will do the laundry while the other manages the yardwork and house. This split often extends to annual income tax responsibilities, even in couples who use a professional preparer. However, when couples submit joint returns, both are jointly and severally liable for the information included in the return. That means if there’s an underpayment, both spouses are going to be liable for the debt.

What Now? A Widow's Story About Making the Right Financial Decisions

In 2006, Alan, a strapping young man who had just turned 50, collapsed and died of a massive heart attack while attending Sunday morning Mass with his wife Karen. Alan and Karen co-owned a business. Alan was a contractor and Karen handled the accounting and billing. Karen was fairly savvy financially. However, because she felt she had to get everything settled “right away” after Alan’s passing, she made several costly mistakes. It's a story you and your clients can learn from.

Widows Can Now Take Control of RMDs When Spouse Passes Away

According to the US Census Bureau, approximately 800,000 people are widowed each year in the United States, and “nearly 700,000 of them are women who lose their husbands.” One of the greatest economic challenges for a large portion of widows in America is higher income taxes when their spouse passes away. Don Rasmussen, member of Ed Slott's Elite IRA Advisor Group, outlines how widows can take control of required minimum distributions when their spouse passes away ... lowering their tax bill.

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