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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 Among its major adjustments, the TCJA almost doubled the standard deduction, lowered tax brackets, repealed the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate,…

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Marriage: Entering a New Investment Life

April 30, 2018
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There are a lot of issues that couples need to think about when tying the knot — wedding preparations, family, and, of course, finances. Addressing personal finance and investment issues before the big day may help improve your odds of being together years later. Here are some financial issues that you should consider when embarking…

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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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True or False: You Are a Retirement Savings Plan Expert

April 11, 2016
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How much do you really know about your employer-sponsored retirement savings plan? If you’re like many people, you have many ideas about how your plan works, which may or may not be entirely accurate. To gauge your knowledge, take this brief quiz: Are the following statements true or false? Even though I’m young, I should…

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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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Changing Jobs? Take Your 401(k) and Roll It

August 26, 2015
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If you’ve lost your job, or are changing jobs, you may be wondering what to do with your 401(k) plan account. It’s important to understand your options. What will I be entitled to? If you leave your job (voluntarily or involuntarily), you’ll be entitled to a distribution of your vested balance. Your vested balance always…

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Understanding IRAs

January 7, 2015
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An individual retirement arrangement (IRA) is a personal savings plan that offers specific tax benefits. IRAs are one of the most powerful retirement savings tools available to you. Even if you’re contributing to a 401(k) or other plan at work, you should also consider investing in an IRA. What types of IRAs are available? The…

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Revised One-Rollover-Per-Year Limit Applies in 2015–IRS Clarifies Rules

December 24, 2014

Background The Internal Revenue Code says that if you receive a distribution from an IRA, you can’t make a tax-free (60-day) rollover into another IRA if you’ve already completed a tax-free rollover within the previous one-year (12-month) period. The long-standing position of the IRS was that this rule applied separately to each IRA someone owns.…

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Rollovers

December 18, 2014

In general, a rollover is the movement of funds from one retirement savings vehicle to another. You may want, or need, to make a rollover for any number of reasons–your employment situation has changed, you want to switch investments, or you’ve received death benefits from your spouse’s retirement plan. There are two possible ways that…

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