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Frequently Asked Questions: My spouse passed away this year, what filing status should I claim?

August 6, 2012
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Question: My spouse passed away this year, what filing status should I claim? Answer: As the surviving spouse, you have several filing choices that may be appropriate. You may be able to choose married filing jointly, married filing separately, qualifying widow(er), or head of household. Married filing jointly: You can usually file a joint return…

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Frequently Asked Questions – Estate Taxes

July 16, 2012
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Question: How will estate taxes be paid if I leave no provision in my will? Answer: The IRS places an automatic lien against your estate for any estate taxes that may be due. If your will leaves no specific provision about how these taxes are to be paid, state law generally controls how the burden…

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Frequently Asked Questions: What is the AMT?

July 9, 2012
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Question: What is the alternative minimum tax? Answer: The alternative minimum tax (AMT) is a separate tax computation that affects only certain taxpayers. The purpose of the AMT is to ensure that taxpayers with substantial income will not escape taxation entirely by employing certain exclusions, deductions, and credits. The tax law affords preferential treatment to…

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What Does the Supreme Court Ruling on the Health-Care Reform Law Mean for You?

July 4, 2012
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On June 28, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in a landmark decision, that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), including the provision that most Americans carry health insurance or pay a penalty, is constitutional. The ACA, signed into law in 2010, made sweeping reforms to health-care coverage in the United States. Many…

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Frequently Asked Questions – What is My Tax Bracket?

July 2, 2012
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Question: What is my tax bracket? Answer: Generally, a tax bracket is the income tax rate at which you are taxed for a certain range of income. The income ranges vary, depending on your filing status: single, married filing jointly (or qualifying widow(er)), married filing separately, or head of household. Brackets are expressed by their…

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Medicare Tax on Investment Income

June 20, 2012
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  Beginning in 2013, high-income individuals may be subject to a new 3.8% Medicare contribution tax on some or all of their unearned income. For more information, click the link to the video below: Medicare Tax on Investment Income   *image used courtesy of stock.xchng

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High-Wage Individuals Face New Medicare Payroll Tax in 2013

June 13, 2012
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  Starting in 2013, high-wage individuals will be subject to an additional 0.9% hospital insurance (HI), or Medicare, payroll tax. This video explains the basics of the new payroll tax. 2013 – Additional Medicare Payroll Tax *image used courtesy of stock.xchng  

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Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage or Invest?

January 24, 2012
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Owning a home outright is a dream that many Americans share. Having a mortgage can be a huge burden, and paying it off may be the first item on your financial to-do list. But competing with the desire to own your home free and clear is your need to invest for retirement, your child’s college…

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Putting on the Right Market Cap: Why Stock Size Matters

February 17, 2010

While there have been many times in history when the U.S. stock market’s performance was driven in large part by the successes of large companies, there have been other times when the innovation and high-growth orientation of smaller or midsized firms led the charge during an economic boom. This raises an important question for investors…

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