What’s New in Taxes in 2021

In addition to the planning changes in tax benefit phaseouts and other cost of living (COLA) adjustments, here are changes to the tax code for 2021. For Individuals Tuition and Fees Deduction eliminated. This oft-expired tax break is now permanently closed. Lifetime Learning Credit phaseouts increase dramatically. To help reduce the impact of the elimination […]

Understand the Time Value of Money

If you were offered the choice of being paid $100 today or $100 a year from now, you would probably choose $100 today. After all, even at today’s low interest rates, your $100 might earn a small return over the next year. This simple example illustrates an important concept: that the value of money changes […]

Switching Jobs? Here Are Several Options for your 401k

Suppose you’re switching jobs if you were furloughed because of the pandemic or you’re simply searching for greener pastures. If you have a 401(k) from your soon-to-be former employer, you must decide what to do with your retirement account when you leave. Here are your four options: Leave the money in your previous employer’s pension […]

Help! My Stimulus Payment is Wrong or Missing!

Millions of Americans already received their economic impact payment. But what if you’re still waiting or you got a check, an electronic payment or a debit card with an incorrect amount? Here are some common scenarios why you may not have received your payment and what you can do. Your payment was sent to a […]

Five Big Tax Mistakes

Every year taxpayers are hit with tax surprises that could be avoided if they just knew the rules. Here are five big ones that are easy to avoid with some simple planning. Mistake #1. Withholding too little. This results in a tax surprise when filing your income tax. Don’t be too hard on yourself if […]

How to Have a Comfortable Retirement

If you’re age 35 or more and haven’t made a serious effort to plan for retirement, your dreams of a comfortable and active retirement could turn into the nightmare of being old and poor. Scare tactics, you say? Consider this: most experts say you need at least 66% of pre-retirement income to live comfortably when […]

The Nine Basic Rules of Investing

There is no magic to making money by investing. It requires discipline, determination, perseverance, and hard work. In deciding what investments are suitable for you, you must first understand the nine basic rules of investing. 1. Risk versus return. The greater the risk that you will lose not only the return on your investment but […]

Avoid the 10% Early Withdrawal Penalty

It is one thing to be taxed on retirement contributions and their related earnings when you withdraw funds from your Traditional IRA, it is quite another when you pay the tax PLUS a 10% penalty for early withdrawal. Need funds prior to retirement and want to avoid the early withdrawal penalty? There are cases when […]

Consider Donating Appreciated Stock & Mutual Funds

One way to reduce your tax bill this year is to donate appreciated stock to a charity of your choice versus writing a check. This part of the tax code provides a tax benefit to you in two ways: Higher deduction. Your charitable gift deduction is the higher Fair Market Value of the appreciated stock […]

Lifestyle Audits. A thing of the past?

The word “audit” is enough to raise anyone’s blood pressure. If the IRS agent then tells you they want to see bank accounts and personal records you may need a heart monitor. Should this happen to you, you could be in a process known as a lifestyle audit. Background The lifestyle audit was a tool […]