News Stories and Articles
Smart Year-End Moves to Trim Your 2014 Tax Bill
If You Act Before New Year’s Day, You Can Limit What You Owe The IRS. This is the time of year when many of us count our blessings, and if you own stocks and mutual funds, you probably have a lot of blessings to count. But eventually, most of us must share some of our good fortune with the IRS. As the year comes to a close, consider strategies to hang on to more of your bull-market bounty. Read more.
Six IRS Tips for Year-End Gifts to Charity
Many people give to charity each year during the holiday season. Remember, if you want to claim a tax deduction for your gifts, you must itemize your deductions. There are several tax rules that you should know about before you give. Here are six tips from the IRS that you should keep in mind. Read more.
Estate Tax Provisions For Married Couples in Recent Wills, Trusts May Be Obsolete
As the result of recent major tax law changes, the tax planning provisions incorporated into wills and trusts created for married couples only a few years ago are now, in many cases, obsolete. The first big change was a dramatic increase in the estate tax exemption. The federal government assesses a 40 percent estate tax on the portion of a decedent’s estate that exceeds his or her unused federal estate tax exclusion amount. Read more.
States Are Lowering Their Estate Taxes to Lure Retirees
It’s not unusual for states to claim that they’re terrific places to live. But increasingly, states are trying to get out the message that they’re also great places to die.
In 2015, four states will increase the amount that’s exempt from state estate taxes, reducing or eliminating the tax that heirs will have to pay. On January 1, Tennessee’s estate tax exemption will jump to $5 million from $2 million, Maryland’s exemption will increase to $1.5 million from $1 million, and Minnesota’s exemption will rise to $1.4 million from $1.2 million. On April 1, 2015, New York’s estate tax exemption will increase to $3.125 million from $2.062 million.
More relief is on the way. Tennessee’s estate tax will disappear in 2016. Maryland and New York will increase their thresholds every year until 2019, when they’ll match the federal exemption (currently $5.34 million). Minnesota’s exemption will rise in $200,000 annual increments until it reaches $2 million in 2018. Read more.
Republican’s Senate Wins Boost Prospects of Tax Changes for Nonprofits
from The Chronicle of Philanthropy
With Republicans poised to take control of the Senate following Tuesday’s elections, it is likely that lawmakers will dig deep into the tax code soon after a new Congress is sworn in next year. While that means added scrutiny on the charitable deduction and the tax treatment of nonprofits, charity leaders are confident a solidly Republican Congress will keep their cherished provisions intact. Read more.
IRS Announces 2015 Pension Plan Limitations; Taxpayers May Contribute up to $18,000 to their 401(k) plans in 2015
The Internal Revenue Service announced cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for tax year 2015. Many of the pension plan limitations will change for 2015 because the increase in the cost-of-living index met the statutory thresholds that trigger their adjustment. However, other limitations will remain unchanged because the increase in the index did not meet the statutory thresholds that trigger their adjustment. Highlights include the following: Read more.
In 2015, Various Tax Benefits Increase Due to Inflation Adjustments
For tax year 2015, the Internal Revenue Service announced today annual inflation adjustments for more than 40 tax provisions, including the tax rate schedules, and other tax changes. Revenue Procedure 2014-61 provides details about these annual adjustments. The tax items for tax year 2015 of greatest interest to most taxpayers include the following dollar amounts: Read more.