Category: Taxes

Estate and Inheritance Tax

Many years ago, Will Rogers said, “The difference between death and taxes is death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets.” If you’ve ever tried to navigate the ins and outs of estate and inheritance taxes, you may agree, as they tend to cause a lot of confusion. In fact, wondering what is owed in taxes is the number one question we at Coyle Financial receive from surviving spouses and heirs.

Tax Cuts & Jobs Act 2017

This is a special blog post on the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act 2017.Follow this link if you would like to read the two page summary from December 15, 2017 by the House Ways and Means Committee.

Until next time, enjoy!

The Charitable Double Benefit

A recent study showed that about one-third of families with at least $1 million in investible assets want to do some kind of charitable giving. Here we are in the fourth calendar quarter of the year, when the majority of charitable giving takes place – especially around the holidays. Let’s say that your church or synagogue is running a capital campaign and they’d like you to donate $10,000. It may sound like a lot of money to many people, but suppose you have a stock that you bought many years ago for $2,000, and now it’s worth $10,000 – i.e., it has appreciated by $8,000. You can sell the stock and give your house of worship your $10,000 in proceeds.

The 2 Out of 3 Tax Rule

I have a rule of thumb for you: If the government owes me money, now is better than later.

But if I owe the government, later is better than now. That’s a good rule-of-thumb tax rule and it works most of the time.

Last-minute Tax Reminders

Every once in a while, I find myself looking over a well-off individual’s tax return that shows they have no taxable income. However, the person could have generated even more tax-free capital gains or IRA distributions (if they were over age 59 ½) and still showed zero taxable income. Unfortunately, they hadn’t done any planning during the current year to take advantage of these kinds of tax mitigation strategies. Don’t let this happen to you. In fact, I’ve got six powerful tax-saving tips for you to consider before year-end.

The Charitable Double Benefit

A recent study showed that about one-third of families with at least $1 million in investible assets want to do some kind of charitable giving. Here we are in the fourth calendar quarter of the year, when the majority of charitable giving takes place—especially around the holidays. Let’s say that your church or synagogue is running a capital campaign and they’d like you to donate $10,000. It may sound like a lot of money to many people, but suppose you have a stock that you bought many years ago for $2,000, and now it’s worth $10,000—i.e., it has appreciated by $8,000. You can sell the stock and give your house of worship your $10,000 in proceeds.

Smart Levers

Let’s say you’re 50 years-old and you have an extra $900 a month to work with. Should you use that money to pay down your mortgage or contribute it to your 401(k)? Assume you just refinanced your mortgage for $450,000 over 15 years at 3.5 percent interest— so you’re paying $3,217 a month. Also, assume you have $500,000 in your 401(k) account and you’re putting away $10,000 annually, which is growing at 7 percent.

Hidden Benefits in the Sharing Economy

On a recent visit to Phoenix, I asked my Uber driver how he was doing. “Not so good,” he lamented. “I just ran TurboTax and I’m going to owe $5,000 on the $25,000 I made working outside my regular job for Uber.” He said he had to hire an accountant for the first time. I said, “Just hold on a second,” and I asked him a few simple questions about his finances. Within 10 minutes, we realized that he could eliminate all the tax he thought he owed, and he was thrilled.

IRS “Dirty Dozen” 2016 Tax Scams

During the 1920s and 1930s, a renowned circuit court judge, the Honorable Learned Hand, used to say that there were two tax systems in the United States: one for the informed and one for the uninformed. I would add a third system to that list—one for the ill-informed.

Saving Taxes in 2016

Now that the calendar has flipped over to March, it’s time for spring cleaning. It may be too early to plant flowers, but it’s not too early to start doing some tax planning for 2016. Why am I bringing this up now? Because at the end of 2015, Congress and President Obama finally approved over 50 permanent tax extenders that we’ve been waiting for. So how do they affect you?

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