Tag Archives: Personal Finances
The market is red hot. In fact, Seattle’s housing market currently ranks among the fastest-moving in the nation.
More than a third of Seattle-area homes—including single-family, condos and townhouses—sell in the first week. If you extend the time period to two weeks, the percentage increases to nearly 50 percent. That makes Seattle number ten on Redfin’s April 2013 list of hot residential real estate markets.
Perhaps even more significant, the average selling price for single-family homes in Seattle has increased by (continue reading…)
He must have meant it at the time. Benjamin Franklin apparently felt that “nothing is more fatal to health than an over care of it.”
But in current-day America, it’s increasingly apparent that nothing is more fatal to health than the lack of access to health care. A recent analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that “the consequences of reduced access to care over time can be serious, including preventable hospitalizations, poor overall health, disability, and premature death.”
According to the (continue reading…)
Know How Long to Keep Those Digital or Paper Documents? Record Retention Guidelines for People, Businesses and Not-for-Profits
When it comes to saving things, there are really two kinds of people: Those who tend to save everything, forever. And those who throw it all away or delete it at the earliest possible moment — and sometimes before.
The same is often true for businesses and not-for-profit organizations. They can save too little or too much, for too long or not long enough.
So, when it comes to digital and paper records, which documents should you keep and for how long?
Although (continue reading…)
You may have a good sense of what you pay in federal income taxes. Most people do.
But many people pay other taxes they aren’t as aware of. Like federal and state taxes for cell phones and other taxes levied on your use of cable and electricity.
Perhaps surprisingly, the average American pays more than 20 different taxes during the year. Yet only a small percentage of people can accurately estimate the portion of their incomes absorbed by taxes.
Understanding what you pay (continue reading…)
Are Your Fringe Benefits Taxable? What Partners, LLC Members and S Corporation Shareholders Need to Know
Health coverage. Meals. Life insurance. Parking fees and transit passes. Flexible spending accounts. Even employer-provided cell phones. Bet you’re getting some kind of employer-provided fringe benefits in addition to your salary.
But do you know which fringe benefit the IRS considers taxable? Which benefits are also subject to employment taxes? And how fringe benefits affect your estimated taxes?
It can be incredibly confusing under the best of circumstances—and it’s especially complicated for partners, as well as members of LLCs and certain shareholders in S corporations.
But unless (continue reading…)
Have a Trust or an Estate with Investment Income? A Little Tax Planning May Reduce Your Medicare Surtax
The timing’s the thing according to Shakespeare. Of course he wasn’t talking about taxes, but he could have been.
For taxes in the post-fiscal cliff era, timing can be everything—and the Medicare surtax is no exception.
Beginning January 1, 2013, affluent individuals, estates and trusts pay an additional 3.8 percent in federal taxes on net investment income above certain federally established threshold amounts. It’s referred to as the Medicare surtax.
The threshold amount is significantly lower for estates and trusts than for individuals. Combine (continue reading…)
The newly enacted American Taxpayer Relief Act retroactively reinstated federal tax rules that allow certain IRA owners to make tax-free distributions from their IRAs to eligible charities.
If you have an IRA and are age 70½ or older, you can make tax-free distributions of up to $100,000 per year for 2012 and 2013. These distributions aren’t subject to charitable contribution limits since they aren’t included in your gross income or claimed as a deduction on your return. They do, however, count (continue reading…)
Uncertainty ends, at least when it comes to federal taxes. And it was a real cliff-hanger, if you’ll pardon the pun.
As of December 31, 2012, U.S. taxpayers faced significant increases in federal income, estate and gift taxes for 2013 as a result of Congressional inaction.
Then, on January 1, 2013, Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (the Act) which President Obama signed into law on January 2.
The Act reduces income tax rates for the majority of Americans, as (continue reading…)
To most of us, a gift is something that we choose to give to another person without expecting anything back—a birthday or an anniversary present, for example.
To the IRS, it’s a direct or indirect transfer of money or money’s worth to an individual where full consideration is not received in return. And it’s often a taxable event.
However, there are simple gifting strategies that can provide large gift and estate tax advantages.
General Tax Rule for Gifting The gifts you make to (continue reading…)
Unless Congress acts, the estate tax and lifetime gift tax exemptions are drastically reduced after this year—decreasing from $5,120,000 this year to $1,000,000 in 2013.
If you have a taxable estate and you haven’t discussed the changing tax rules with your Bader Martin advisor, give us a call now.
The time required to implement critical strategies is quickly running out.