Articles Posted in Income Tax

6a019b003fe4d5970b0240a518c8f8200b-300x200“Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced Friday, March 20th,  that the administration has moved the IRS deadline for filing taxes from April 15 to July 15 due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus.”

There has been some confusion about the income tax filing / tax payment deadline extensions. However, on Friday, March 20th, Americans received much needed clarity that both the filing and the payment deadlines have been extended from April 15 to July 15 giving all taxpayers and businesses additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties.

This allows taxpayers and businesses some time to breathe in such a strange and unknowing time.  If you are expecting a refund, however, the Treasury Department encourages you go ahead and file as soon as possible – the sooner you file, the sooner you will get your refund.

6.14.19Estate tax, death tax, income tax and inheritance tax: what do they mean for your estate and your heirs? You’ll want to be sure to know the difference between them, as you create your estate plan.

Most people don’t have to worry about the federal estate tax, which is often referred to as the death tax. Unless your estate is valued at more than $11.4 million ($22.8 for couples), you won’t be paying this tax. However, says Forbes in a recent article, “Eight Things You Need To Know About The Death Tax Before You Die,” that doesn’t mean your estate and your heirs won’t have to pay income taxes or inheritance taxes.

Assets in your name only and everything else you had control over will be added into your gross estate. For example, all stocks, bonds, bank accounts and life insurance death benefits are included, as well as any real estate, business interests, jewelry, household furnishings and artwork.


  1. Realize that your Exit Strategy is not business as usual. Get knowledgeable guidance e.g. from financial/legal advisors (team approach). Start now.
  1. Be realistic about objectives: Is it first and goal to go or is it a goal line defense?

10.24.16We’ve been so inundated with the idea of tax-free investment accounts that the taxable investment account’s role in retirement planning is underutilized and overlooked.

If you’re like most Americans, you’ve got at least one and maybe a few retirement accounts. You like the tax benefits that come from having IRA's, 401k's, 403b's, 457b's and defined benefit plans. You know you’ll have to pay income taxes when you start taking distributions from them, except for the Roth accounts, but seeing those accounts grow makes you feel good. And if you have a Roth, you like knowing that even if you aren’t getting a deduction now, distributions will be tax free. But there are other kinds of investment accounts for retirement planning.

As Physician’s Money Digest says in “10 Reasons You Need a Taxable Investment Account,” taxable retirement accounts are ignored because we’re so focused on IRS-approved retirement accounts. But you might think about supplementing your savings with a taxable retirement account. This can be a regular, old-school investment portfolio that’s not linked to any government regulations and that you’re building for retirement.

9.9.16If you are working after 70 ½, there are still ways to save money tax-free.

Wage earners are not permitted to put money into a traditional IRA in the year they turn 70 ½ according to the Kiplinger article, “Tax-Smart Ways to Save When You're Too Old for a Traditional IRA.” But you would still be able to contribute to a Roth IRA, as long as your income in 2016 is less than $132,000 if single or $194,000 if married and file taxes jointly. In addition to the money growing tax-free in the Roth IRA with no time limit, you don’t have to take any RMDs (required minimum distributions).

You can contribute up to the amount you earned for the year (your net income from self-employment), with a maximum of $6,500—that’s $5,500 for everyone under age 50, plus $1,000 for people age 50 and older. If your earnings are well over the $6,500 maximum, you can just contribute that amount. However, if your earnings are near or under the maximum, you’ll need to know what is considered compensation and how to calculate your allowed contribution.

8.17.16Moving a lifetime of possessions in or out of the country is one thing, but moving money from country to country without losing it takes a new kind of financial planner.

Whether you are retiring to a small cottage in the Cotswolds or coming home after a career that kept you in Asia’s booming manufacturing markets, there is a new type of professional who can help with one of the most potentially costly parts of the move: moving money across borders.

Nasdaq’s recent article, “Money Crossing Borders Requires Special Planning,” says the good news is that a new kind of financial planning is emerging to help people navigate the potential pitfalls of such moves.

Cattle grazingPeople who own as little as three acres and engage in agricultural practices such as hay harvesting, bee keeping, chicken raising, and designating land for grazing animals may find themselves rewarded by localities with an enormous discount of up to 95 percent on property taxes. This tax break — available in all states except Michigan — has made for some surprising members of the nation’s farming community. Consider Malcolm S. Forbes Jr., Jon Bon Jovi, and former New Jersey Gov. Christie Whitman, among many other famous business folk, celebrities, and politicians with a sideline in farming.

While most tax breaks for landowners occur in a single year, according to a recent Barron’s article, property-tax discounts awarded for agricultural activities are “reaped” annually, just like soy beans, corn, and alfalfa. Barron’s talks about these land tax breaks and more in an article titled “A Harvest of Land-Related Tax Breaks.”

Taxpayers using their land to grow timber can find benefits beyond the property-tax break:  Timberland is great for wealth preservation. Even when land values or the demand for timber tails off, the trees on your farm continue to grow. Experts say that timber growth can provide an annual return of roughly 2 percent to 6 percent a year, and once you sell your timber, your profits are taxed as capital-gains, instead of higher income tax rates. It’s only when you manufacture products like pulp or poles from your timber crop that income tax will apply.

MP900411753There is less emphasis on estate taxes because the exemption—$5.43 million per person—is so high now. But income taxes are higher, so know what you are in for.

Maybe the estate tax doesn’t apply to you, but what about rising income taxes? How should you plan accordingly?

According to a recent post on, titled Tax planning tips for high-income earners,” tax planning is better done looking ahead three or five years. If you see a trend, such as an increase or reduction in income, you can alter your deductions or deferrals.

Stack of law booksActually, the answer is yes. The Tax Court is an actual federal court and not, as some people think, affiliated with the IRS. At Tax Court, the IRS is a party to the matter just like the taxpayer. 

If you’ve got beef with the IRS, maybe you should head to court. Didn’t think that was possible, did you?

Contrary to popular belief, the Tax Court is a real federal court and not a tribunal run by the IRS. The IRS is a party in the case just like any taxpayer in the Tax Court, says a recent Forbes article titled “Taxpayer Advocate Reports On Top 10 Most Litigated Tax Issues.”

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