THE WANDERING TAX PRO
Up-to-the-minute advice, information, resources, and, on occasion, commentary on federal and New Jersey state income taxes, and the various New Jersey property tax rebate programs, and insights and observations on tax policy and professional tax practice, by 45+-year veteran tax professional Robert D Flach.
Monday, October 16, 2017
WHAT’S THE BUZZ, TELL ME WHAT’S A HAPPENNIN’
Very, very important – you MUST get your extended
tax returns in the mail (postmarked) TODAY
– even if you cannot afford to send your “uncle(s)” the total amount of any tax
* Have you ever
thought about becoming a professional tax preparer? If the answer is yes you
should check out my book SO YOU WANT TO BE A TAX PREPARER.Click here to read a review.And click here to order a copy in e-book
format you can read on Kindle.
* I have talked often about how ending the
federal Estate Tax might result in the end of the step-up in basis of inherited
assets, which would be a total disaster for tax preparation.Daniel
Berger suggests another result from eliminating the “death tax” in “The Unintended Consequences of Killing the Estate Tax” at TAX VOX, the blog of the
Tax Policy Center -
there are other considerations to repealing the estate tax. One is that many
wealthy people use charitable giving while alive or through bequests to reduce
or eliminate their estate tax liability. In the mid-1940s the bequests of Henry
Ford’s sons made the Ford Foundation the largest philanthropy in the world, and
in 2014 businessman Ralph Wilson Jr. left $1 billion to his charitable
foundation. In 2015, charitable bequests amounted to around $20 billion
it is not possible to know how the estate tax affected any individual bequest,
nor should the generosity of these gifts be minimized, there is evidence to
suggest that the existence of an estate tax does effect decisions to leave
charitable bequests and increases lifetime giving.
economics are relatively simple. Each dollar bequest to charity lowers the size
of the taxable estates by a dollar, and reduces the amount of estate tax
liability by as much as 40 cents. Eliminating the estate tax would make leaving
money to charity more “expensive”, compared to current law. The same logic
follows with lifetime giving. If a high-income household claims an itemized
deduction for a charitable contribution on its income tax, the gift will lower
its current tax bill and at the same time the contribution will reduce the
amount of money that might eventually be subject to the estate tax.”
This is certainly something to think about
when evaluating the fate of the Estate Tax.I have not been a fan of the Estate Tax, but to be honest, at current
levels it only affects at most 2 or 3 of my clients.
triggering higher inflation in August and September, the storms may have
boosted the expected increase in benefits in 2018 by the most in six years. The
annual COLA, or cost-of-living adjustment, could be as much as 2% versus the
1.6% to 1.8% increase that seemed likely a few months ago.”
* FORBES.COM’s TaxGirl Kelly Phillips Erb
deals with a little-understood tax form in her “Ask the TaxGirl” post “Should I Cancel A Form W-9?”
— tax professionals and all us individual taxpayers — should be cautious when
we receive any tax or financial-related unsolicited emails.”
I personally never “open” an email from an
address I do not know.I do sometimes
miss legitimate emails from clients and their representatives whose email
addresses are not familiar to me – but it is more better to miss an email than
to FU your computer or open yourself up to identity theft.
I also know that email addresses can often be
hacked, as mine has been on occasion, so I use either the subject line as a
guide to determine if I will open an email from a client, or evaluate the
“body” of the actual email before clicking on any links.
that a ruling by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals would apply to ministers in that circuit, which includes the states of
Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. It would become a national precedent
binding on ministers in all states if affirmed by the United States Supreme
Court--an unlikely outcome because the Supreme Court accepts less than 1
percent of all appeals. Note, however, that the IRS would have the discretion
to follow or not follow an eventual ruling by the appeals court nationally to
promote consistency in tax administration.”
So, this decision does not directly affect my client in Maryland yet.But the “fat lady has not sung” yet – and
there may be further developments on this issue in the future.
it comes to time to actually use the money you’ve saved, be sure that you know
the laws and are utilizing your 529 savings in the most efficient way possible.
If you have specific questions, it never hurts to speak to an accountant that’s
familiar with 529 plans.
your college savings work for you!”
* FREE! FREE! FREE! New tax e-newsletter -
TAX TOPICS.Check it out!