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Taxes

Optimizing the Tax Impact of Charitable Giving Under the New Tax Law

September 4, 2018
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Written by Doug Custer, CFP Beginning at age 70½, IRA owners must start taking Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) each year from their IRA accounts.  Unless you have made after-tax contributions in the past, these distributions are taxable as ordinary income. However, if you are charitably inclined, your RMDs can not only help you deduct more…

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5 Ways to Play the New Tax Law

August 27, 2018
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Written by Joe Erickson, CPA The new tax law—known officially as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) and signed into law in December 2017—took effect at the beginning of the 2018 tax year. Among its major adjustments, the TCJA almost doubled the standard deduction, lowered tax brackets, repealed the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate,…

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Renting vs Buying

June 11, 2018
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Written by Joe Erickson, CPA People are often faced with the question of whether buying or renting a home is smarter. Seattle has grown rapidly over the years, and many of our clients – either for themselves or their grown children – ask us whether renting or buying is financially more advantageous.  Like many things, this…

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Smart decisions for the 2018 tax environment

May 14, 2018

Written by Joe Erickson, CPA Tax reform: what does it mean? Since Congress passed the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017, you’re likely to find that things have shifted for your financial situation. Some of the most significant changes include the following: New tax brackets: A new top rate of 37% will apply to…

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Five Strategies for Tax-Efficient Investing

April 2, 2018
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You may be able to use losses within your investment portfolio to help offset realized gains. If your losses exceed your gains, you can offset up to $3,000 per year of the difference against ordinary income. After factoring in federal income and capital gains taxes, the alternative minimum tax, and potential state and local taxes,…

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Questions to Ask When Drafting an Estate Plan

March 19, 2018
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Because you’ve worked hard to create a secure and comfortable lifestyle for your family, you’ll want to ensure that you have a sound financial plan that includes trust and estate planning. With some forethought, you may be able to minimize gift and estate taxes and preserve more of your assets for those you care about.…

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Income in Respect of a Decedent

September 25, 2017
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Taxpayers are generally required to recognize income for federal income tax purposes in the year in which it is received. If, however, someone dies before receiving income to which he or she is entitled, that income is not included on his or her final income tax return. Instead, such income, referred to as “income in…

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Tax Planning for the Self-Employed

July 10, 2017
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Self-employment is the opportunity to be your own boss, to come and go as you please, and oh yes, to establish a lifelong bond with your accountant. If you’re self-employed, you’ll need to pay your own FICA taxes and take charge of your own retirement plan, among other things. Here are some planning tips. Understand…

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And Baby Makes Three

February 7, 2017
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So you’re going to have or adopt a baby. Congratulations! Parenthood may be one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll ever have. As you prepare for life with your baby, here are a few things you should think about. Reassess your budget You’ll have to buy a lot of things before (or soon after) your…

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Understanding the Net Investment Income Tax

December 26, 2016
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If your income hits a certain level, you may face an additional wrinkle in calculating your taxes: the net investment income tax (also referred to as the unearned income Medicare contribution tax). This 3.8% Medicare tax applies to some or all of your net investment income if your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) exceeds certain…

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