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Estate, Gift, and GST Taxation and Trusts

January 11, 2016
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How are trusts treated for federal estate, gift, and GST tax purposes? A trust is created when you (the grantor) transfer property to a trustee for the benefit of a third person (the beneficiary). The act of transferring property to a trust is generally treated no differently than if it were transferred to an individual…

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Income Tax Key Numbers

January 6, 2016
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The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are…

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2015 Year-End Tax Planning Basics

January 4, 2016
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The window of opportunity for many tax-saving moves closes on December 31, so it’s important to evaluate your tax situation now, while there’s still time to affect your bottom line for the 2015 tax year. Timing is everything Consider any opportunities you have to defer income to 2016. For example, you may be able to…

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Charitable Giving

December 22, 2015
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Charitable giving can play an important role in many estate plans. Philanthropy cannot only give you great personal satisfaction, it can also give you a current income tax deduction, let you avoid capital gains tax, and reduce the amount of taxes your estate may owe when you die. There are many ways to give to…

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2016 Federal Income Tax Rate Schedules (Individuals, Trusts, and Estates)

December 21, 2015
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  The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices…

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Key Numbers Projected for 2016

September 30, 2015
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Exemptions 2015 Projected for 2016 Personal and dependency $4,000 $4,050 Phaseout threshold (applies to itemized deductions as well) Married filing jointly $309,900 $311,300 Head of household $284,050 $285,350 Single $258,250 $259,400 Married filing separately $154,950 $155,650 Standard deduction 2015 Projected for 2016 Married filing jointly $12,600 $12,600 Head of household $9,250 $9,300 Single $6,300 $6,300…

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New Veterans Pension Rates Announced – January 21, 2015

February 13, 2015

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a pension to eligible veterans and their families to supplement income they may already receive. Each year, Congress announces maximum annual pension rates used to determine whether, and how much, a veteran may be eligible to receive as supplemental income. The new rates may be found on…

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Tax Planning for Annuities

February 9, 2015

Favorable tax treatment is one of the main reasons for buying an annuity. But what exactly are the tax benefits? And are there any drawbacks? It’s important to know the answers to these questions before deciding whether to purchase an annuity. Of course, any information pertaining to taxes is complex, full of exceptions, and subject…

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IRS Announces 2015 Pension Plan Limitations; Taxpayers May Contribute up to $18,000 to their 401(k) plans in 2015

January 5, 2015
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“IR-2014-99, Oct. 23, 2014 WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today announced cost‑of‑living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for tax year 2015. Many of the pension plan limitations will change for 2015 because the increase in the cost-of-living index met the statutory thresholds that trigger their adjustment. However, other limitations…

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