Although planning is needed to help build the biggest possible nest egg in your traditional IRA (including a SEP-IRA and SIMPLE-IRA), it’s even more critical that you plan for withdrawals from these tax-deferred retirement vehicles.

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There are three areas where knowing the fine points of the IRA distribution rules can make a big difference in how much you and your family will keep after taxes:


Continue Reading Knowing the IRA Distribution Rules Can Make a Difference

Many people have Series EE bonds that were purchased many years ago. Perhaps they were given to your children as gifts or maybe you bought them yourself and put them away in a file cabinet or safe deposit box.

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You may wonder: How is the interest you earn on EE bonds taxed? And if they reach final maturity, what action do you need to take to ensure there’s no loss of interest or unanticipated tax consequences?


Continue Reading Series EE Bonds – What to Know and How They’re Taxed

Is your business closing? Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many to shut down. If this is your situation, we’re here to assist you in any way we can, including taking care of the various tax obligations that must be met.

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Of course, a business must file a final income tax return and some other related forms for the year it closes. The type of return to be filed depends on the type of business you have.

Here’s a rundown of the basic requirements.


Continue Reading The Tax Responsibilities of Your Business Closing

When a couple gets divorced, taxes are probably not foremost in their minds. But without proper planning and advice, some people find divorce to be an even more taxing experience. Several tax concerns need to be addressed to ensure that taxes are kept to a minimum and that important tax-related decisions are properly made.

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Here are four issues to understand if you’re getting divorced.


Continue Reading 4 Tax Issues Divorced Couples Need to Know

If you invest in mutual funds, be aware of some potential pitfalls involved in buying and selling shares.

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Surprise Sales
You may already have made taxable “sales” of part of your mutual fund investment without knowing it.

One way this can happen is if your mutual fund allows you to write checks against your fund investment. Every time you write a check against your mutual fund account, you’ve made a partial sale of your interest in the fund. Thus, except for funds such as money market funds, for which share value remains constant, you may have taxable gain (or a deductible loss) when you write a check. And each such sale is a separate transaction that must be reported on your tax return.

Here’s another way you may unexpectedly make a taxable sale.


Continue Reading Avoid Tax Pitfalls of Mutual Funds

If you’re finally done filing last year’s return, you might wonder: Which tax records can you toss once you’re done?

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October 15 is the deadline for individual taxpayers who extended their 2019 tax returns. (The original April 15 filing deadline was extended this year to July 15 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.) Now is a good time to go through old tax records and see what you can discard.


Continue Reading Keep Tax Records or Throw Them Away?

IRS audit rates are historically low, according to the latest data, but that’s little consolation if your return is among those selected to be examined. But with proper preparation and planning, you should fare well.

In fiscal year 2019, the IRS audited approximately 0.4% of individuals. Businesses, large corporations and high-income individuals are more likely to be audited but, overall, all types of audits are being conducted less frequently than they were a decade ago.

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There’s no 100% guarantee that you won’t be picked for an audit, because some tax returns are chosen randomly. However, the best way to survive an IRS audit is to prepare for one in advance. On an ongoing basis you should systematically maintain documentation — invoices, bills, cancelled checks, receipts, or other proof — for all items to be reported on your tax returns. Keep all your records in one place. And it helps to know what might catch the attention of the IRS.


Continue Reading Getting Ready for an IRS Audit in Advance

As a result of the current estate tax exemption amount ($11.58 million in 2020), many estates no longer need to be concerned with federal estate tax. Before 2011, a much smaller amount resulted in estate plans attempting to avoid it. Now, because many estates won’t be subject to tax, more planning can be devoted to saving income taxes for your heirs.

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While saving both income and transfer taxes has always been a goal of estate planning, it was more difficult to succeed at both when the estate and gift tax exemption level was much lower.

Here are some strategies to consider.


Continue Reading Plan for Income Taxes as Part of Your Estate Plan

In some cases, investors have significant related expenses, such as the cost of subscriptions to financial periodicals and clerical expenses. Are they tax deductible? Under the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, these expenses aren’t deductible through 2025 if they’re considered expenses for the production of income.

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But they are deductible if they’re considered trade or business expenses. (For tax years before 2018, production-of-income expenses were deductible, but were included in miscellaneous itemized deductions, which were subject to a 2%-of-adjusted-gross-income floor.)

In order to deduct investment-related expenses as business expenses, you must figure out if you’re an investor or a trader — and be aware that it’s more advantageous (and difficult) to qualify for trader status.


Continue Reading Investor or Trader? Deductible Business Expenses