Tag: Tax Advantages

Explaining the Basis of Inherited Real Estate

May 6, 2024

Giving house away
What is cost basis? Stepped-up basis? How does the home sale tax exclusion work?

At some point in our lives, we may inherit a home or another form of real property. In such instances, we need to understand some of the jargon involving inherited real estate. What does “cost basis” mean? What is a “step-up?” What is the home sale tax exclusion, and  what kind of tax break does it offer? (more…)

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How Market Cycles Can Impact Retirements

Apr 24, 2024

stock market
Sequence of returns can play a role in your overall portfolio

A thoughtful retirement strategy may help you pursue your many retirement goals. That strategy must consider many factors, and here are just a few: your income needs, the order of your withdrawals from taxable and tax-advantaged retirement accounts, the income tax implications of those withdrawals, and sequence of return risk. (more…)

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Tax Planning for Income

Feb 21, 2024

How should you file?
You don’t want to pay more in federal income tax than you have to. With that in mind, here are five things to consider when it comes to keeping more of your income.

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How Are My Investments Taxed?

Feb 7, 2024

It’s nice to own stocks, bonds, and other investments. Nice, that is, until it’s time to fill out your federal income tax return. At that point, you may be left scratching your head. Just how do you report your investments and how are they taxed?

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Mutual Fund Distributions

Feb 5, 2024

Capital Gains Tax Sticky Note
Watch your December Statements.

This time of year as you prepare for taxes, you might glance at documents and see some capital gains taxes you may have overlooked.

Many mutual funds in December pay shareholders capital gains distributions that they have accumulated throughout the year.1

Typically, mutual fund companies start making estimates about distributions as early as November and most finalize the payment by mid-December. Unfortunately for us, this can cause undesirable tax consequences. (more…)

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Income Tax Planning and 529 Plans

Jan 29, 2024

The income tax benefits offered by 529 plans make these plans attractive to parents (and others) who are saving for college or K-12 tuition. Qualified withdrawals from a 529 plan are tax free at the federal level, and some states also offer tax breaks to their residents. It’s important to evaluate the federal and state tax consequences of plan withdrawals and contributions before you invest in a 529 plan.

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Tax Planning Tips: Life Insurance

Jan 26, 2024

Tax Planning
What to know about your IRA, HSA, and more

Understanding the importance of life insurance is one thing. Understanding the tax rules is quite another. As insurance products have evolved and become more sophisticated, the line separating insurance vehicles from investment vehicles has grown blurry. To differentiate between the two, a mix of complex rules and exceptions now governs the taxation of insurance products. If you have neither the time nor the inclination to decipher the IRS regulations, here are some life insurance tax tips and background information to help you make sense of it all.

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Personal Deduction Planning

Jan 22, 2024

Taxes, like death, are inevitable. But why pay more than you have to? The trick to minimizing your federal income tax liability is to understand the rules and make the most of your tax planning opportunities. Personal deduction planning is one aspect of tax planning. Here, your goals are to use your deductions in the most efficient manner and take all deductions to which you’re entitled.

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Year End Tax Planning

Oct 18, 2023

As the end of the year approaches, it’s time to consider strategies that could help you reduce your tax bill. But most tax tips, suggestions, and strategies are of little practical help without a good understanding of your current tax situation. This is particularly true for year-end planning. You can’t know where to go next if you don’t know where you are now. (more…)

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Choosing an Income Tax Filing Status

Sep 18, 2023

How should you file?

Selecting a filing status is one of the first decisions you’ll make when you fill out your federal income tax return, so it’s important to know the rules. And because you may have more than one option, you need to know the advantages and disadvantages of each. Making the right decision about your filing status can save money and prevent problems with the IRS down the road.

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More Insights

May 20, 2024

Withdrawing taxable funds from a tax-deferred retirement account before age 59½ generally triggers a 10% federal income tax penalty, on top of any federal income taxes due. [Distributions from Section 457(b) plans are generally not subject to an early distribution penalty; and the penalty for distributions from SIMPLE IRA plans during your first two years … Continue reading “Exceptions to 10% Early Withdrawal Penalty”

May 20, 2024

In today’s corporate environment, cost cutting, restructuring, and downsizing are the norm, and many employers are offering their employees early retirement packages. But how do you know if the seemingly attractive offer you’ve received is a good one? By evaluating it carefully to make sure that the offer fits your needs.

May 17, 2024

Do bad money habits constrain your financial progress? Many people fall into the same financial behavior patterns, year after year. If you sometimes succumb to these financial tendencies, now is as good a time as any to alter your behavior.

May 15, 2024

You don’t want to pay more in federal income tax than you have to. With that in mind, here are five things to consider when it comes to keeping more of your income.

May 13, 2024

There’s a subjective uncertainty associated with financial wellness. Are you financially fit? And if so, how fit are you? While there is no clearly defined threshold for answering affirmatively, much less grading your level of fitness, there are baseline elements associated with financial fitness. To make sure that you’re on the right track, develop a … Continue reading “Basics of Financial Fitness”

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