Key Retirement and Tax Numbers for 2017

Every year, the Internal Revenue Service announces cost-of-living adjustments that affect contribution limits for retirement plans, thresholds for deductions and credits, and standard deduction and personal exemption amounts. Here are a few of the key adjustments for 2017. Retirement plans Employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), and most 457 plans can defer up to $18,000 …

Substantiating Your Charitable Gifts

When you claim a federal income tax deduction for charitable contributions, you must substantiate the contributions by maintaining certain records. The records must establish the charity to whom the gift was made, the amount of cash or the type and value of other property donated to charity, whether anything was received in consideration for the …

When Your Home is Not a Principal Residence

“Houston, we have a problem.” Who could ever forget those famous words as one catastrophe after another unfolded for the astronauts in the movie, Apollo 13? After considering a recent client related situation, it hit me – America, we have a problem! OK, I know that’s the number one topic these days – the problems …

No Increased Tax Withholdings – What a Bad Idea

BACKGROUND A piece in the LA Times reports that taking the country over the “fiscal cliff” would cost American households $3,500, on average in higher taxes next year. It goes on to say that almost 90% of Americans would see a rise in their tax liability. First, a quick review. “Fiscal cliff” is a term being …

New Tax on Home Sales? – Read Carefully

Have you ever noticed how a title can often mislead you? There is not so much about the moon in the movie “Twilight: Eclipse” nor was “Silence of the Lambs” about happy sheep offspring. And while the Health Care Act is in fact much about health care, it  contains some provisions that might aptly belong under another title. For example, …

Health-Care Reform: Tax Issues For Individuals

The health-care reform legislation that was recently signed into law contains a number of tax changes. Some of these changes take effect immediately; others won’t have an impact for a few years. Here’s a year-by-year breakdown of some of the changes worth taking note of. Changes taking place in 2010 Bad news if you frequent …