Digital assets, including things like online bank and brokerage accounts, digital photo galleries, and even email and social media accounts, are just as important to include in your estate plan as material assets. If you die without addressing these assets in your estate plan, your loved ones or other representatives may not be able to [...]
Disagreements about spending and debt can disrupt any marriage, but they can be particularly divisive when one or both partners have been married before. People entering second marriages often come with additional financial baggage. Issues like child support, alimony, and carryover debts can be common. Nobody wants to be stuck with obligations from their partner’s former relationship, but second marriages often come with these burdens.
Have you heard of the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)? Does it apply to you? AMT was first created to ensure that the wealthiest individuals paid at least some tax, disallowing many of the exclusions, deductions, and credits available under regular income tax rules. After decades of the AMT thresholds not raised for inflation, this tax now hits many middle-class taxpayers, and catches many off guard.
Most taxpayers wonder at some point how they can avoid being selected for an IRS audit. Since some returns are chosen at random, there is no way to completely eliminate the risk of an audit. But it does help to know the red flags that might catch the attention of the IRS.
If you need money before retirement, borrowing from your 401(k) is one option. Whether it is a good idea depends on your personal financial situation. It is important to understand the potential costs of this type of loan before making your decision. Borrowing from your 401(k) is a formal loan. You will be charged interest and will have set payment dates. The interest you pay on the loan is not tax deductible. This is true even if you use the proceeds for your home.
Do you know what to do when you receive a letter from the IRS? Your first reaction may be to panic, but your letter is most likely one of millions that the IRS sends to taxpayers every year. So, wipe the perspiration from your forehead, take a deep breath, and calm the shaky hands. This [...]
The deduction for expenses related to a home office can be attractive, but the rules can be confusing and often leave taxpayers wondering if they should bother with the deduction. Understanding the rules is key. Here we explain what you need to know, so that if you truly have a home office that meets the [...]
Did you buy property for your business in 2013? Sell stocks or mutual funds? Receive an inheritance? In all of these events, your total investment in the property – known as basis – can affect your tax return. For instance, say you purchased a copy machine for your business during 2013. The amount of depreciation [...]
Business-related purchases of new or used vehicles may be eligible for Section 179 expensing, and business-related purchases of new vehicles may be eligible for bonus depreciation. But Sec. 179 expensing limits are scheduled to go down in 2013, and bonus depreciation is scheduled to disappear. So you might benefit from purchasing business vehicles before year [...]
I recently told you about a U.S. Tax Court case (see part 1) about what happens if you withdraw early on your retirement money. Se “Understanding IRA Rollovers”. What happened in Kim's case illustrates why you should consider seeking professional tax advice whenever you are contemplating a significant financial move. The IRA rollover rules seem [...]