Harless Tax Blog
NING, Ding, Grat. Ilit, Crat, Crut, Qtip. And for those with short memories, Slats. [Source: NYTimes.com]
Is this code? The output of a broken keyboard? No, they’re acronyms that are commonly bandied about when discussing trusts. Always a rarefied space, the world of trusts is now awash in Washington-style shorthand. Unlike with that alphabet soup of government agency jargon, spelling out the names of these acronyms does not necessarily make it clear what the trust does. A Grat, for example, is a grantor-retained annuity trust, but it has nothing to do with annuities or insurance of any kind. See More
It's getting down to the wire and your taxes are due soon. You don't want to miss out on important tax credits and deductions that can save you money. Sharon Epperson talks to Elda Di Re, a partner and tax leader at Ernst & Young, about retirement plan contributions, job-relaxed expenses, charitable donations and other tax moves that can help filers save money, even in the 11th hour. This article and video from CNBC.com gives you eight way you can deduct and save money on your taxes.
With time running out to file your 2013 tax return, you want to make sure you're on top of the available deductions to maximize your tax savings.
Taxpayers may be aware of numerous tax breaks, but depending on your income, many deductions may no longer be as valuable—or you may be ineligible entirely. See More
By Caroline Harless and Wes Littlejohn, Peachtree Capital Corporation
Risk management is a key step in the financial planning process and protects your assets from being depleted in the event of an accident or decline in health. With proper planning, you can protect your assets and family from unforeseen events. One facet of risk management that many people overlook until it's too late is long-term care insurance.
By Donna Holm, CPA, MST, Associate of Harless & Associates
While rumors circulate that the Social Security System is going bankrupt, consider the source of funding; every U.S. wage earner. While it is true that there are fewer workers for every benefit recipient, (2.8:1 in 2011 vs. 5:1 in 1960), and the average American will collect much longer than once envisioned, bankruptcy would be impossible as long as workers continue to contribute. Keep in mind that the maximum wage base has steadily increased; it’s $117,000 in 2014.
Since 2011, some 11,000 Americans turn 65 every day. Social Security means you worked for it, you’re entitled to it, and you deserve it. Full retirement age (FRA) depends on the year you were born because it has changed several times since Social Security began. What age is the right age to begin taking benefits? It depends. As you approach retirement age, this becomes one of the most important decisions to make, and advice should be sought
As a result of taking benefits too early and/or not coordinating benefits with a spouse, 73 percent of Americans receive a reduced benefit. With life expectancies increasing, it is important to realize just how far your retirement funds need to stretch. Those individuals taking benefits between ages 62 and 65 offer various reasons, including family histories that don’t favor longevity, or simply a decision to take what is owed to them. See More
Beginning January 1, 2014, all automatic gratuities must be recorded for tax purposes as "service charges". A tip is not a tip if it is mandatory; rather, it is a service charge, which represents reportable income to the restaurant operator. See More
Wondering which of the 55 tax breaks that are expiring at the end of 2013? Here's an informative article about these expiring tax breaks. Caroline Harless
In an almost annual ritual, Congress is letting a package of 55 popular tax breaks expire at the end of the year, creating uncertainty—once again—for millions of individuals and businesses.
Lawmakers let these tax breaks lapse almost every year, even though they save businesses and individuals billions of dollars. And almost every year, Congress eventually renews them, retroactively, so taxpayers can claim them by the time they file their tax returns. See More