Make the most of the annual gift tax exclusion

The holidays often inspire a spirit of generosity. So, at year end, many people decide to give money or assets to their loved ones. Over time, lifetime gifts can also be an effective way for wealthy people to minimize their taxable estates. Here are the basic federal tax rules for these transactions. Beware: Quite a few …
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Year-end strategies for donating to charity or gifting to loved ones

As we approach the holidays, many people plan to donate to their favorite charities or give money or assets to their loved ones. Here are the basic tax rules involved in these transactions. Donating to charity  Normally, if you take the standard deduction and don’t itemize, you can’t claim a deduction for charitable contributions. But …
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Retiring to another state? Be sure to factor in taxes

Are you considering a move to another state when you retire? Perhaps you want to relocate to an area where your loved ones live or where the weather is more pleasant. But while you’re thinking about how many square feet you’ll need in a retirement home, don’t forget to factor in state and local taxes. …
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IP PIN protects against tax return ID theft

By Bennett Allison, CPA Identity theft is a growing problem.  After obtaining personal information, identity thieves often file fraudulent personal income tax returns with the hope of collecting ill-gotten income tax refunds in the process.  Applying for an IP PIN is an easy way to prevent such tax return fraud. IP PIN stands for Identity …
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Navigating the taxes of donating art to charity

If you own a valuable piece of art, or other property, you may wonder how much of a tax deduction you could get by donating it to charity. The answer to that question can be complex because several different tax rules may come into play with such contributions. A charitable contribution of a work of …
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Planning for year-end gifts with the gift tax annual exclusion

As we approach the holidays and the end of the year, many people may want to make gifts of cash or stock to their loved ones. By properly using the annual exclusion, gifts to family members and loved ones can reduce the size of your taxable estate, within generous limits, without triggering any estate or …
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Getting divorced? Own a business? Proceed with caution.

If you’re a business owner and you’re getting a divorce, tax issues can complicate matters. Your business ownership interest is one of your biggest personal assets and in many cases, your marital property will include all or part of it. Tax-free property transfers You can generally divide most assets, including cash and business ownership interests, …
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Not all property tax deductions are limited

There are exceptions to the $10,000 cap Property owners have been turning to online tax forums the past few years with a head-scratching question that usually goes something like this: “Why is my tax preparation software limiting my itemized deductions for property taxes to $10,000 on my federal return?” In fact, the 2017 Tax Cuts …
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Are investment-related expenses deductible? It depends…

Do you have significant investment-related expenses, including the cost of subscriptions to financial services, home office expenses and clerical costs? Under current tax law, these expenses aren’t deductible through 2025 if they’re considered investment expenses for the production of income. But they’re deductible if they’re considered trade or business expenses. For years before 2018, production-of-income …
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