Posts Tagged: tax

States vs. SALT or “How to turn taxes into charity”

tax charity
Each year, thousands of CPAs and financial planners—like us—use their creativity and ingenuity to try to determine the best (legal) ways to lower your federal taxes.  You know you’re living in interesting times when state lawmakers join that crowd! The reason state legislators are working ...
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Is That Really Your Money?

Uncle Sam
When you look at your monthly brokerage statement, you see the values and what has happened in your account over the last 30 days.  It’s pretty simple math: “You started there, you finished here, and what happened to cause the changes—dividends (increase), market gains (increase), market decl...
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529 Plan – What are Qualified Expenses?

education books
The main tax advantage of a 529 Plan (in a state-sponsored college savings plan) is that distributions for qualified expenses are tax-free. In other words, contributions grow tax-free and earnings won’t be taxed when withdrawn for QUALIFIED EXPENSES.  In certain states, you may also benefit from ...
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Keep or Shred? What To Do with Important Documents

shredded documents
Inspired Financial will host its biennial Shred Party on Saturday, April 14, 2018 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.  We have prepared a list of items and timeline to help you decide on what important documents to keep and for how long. Keep for less than 1 year Sales receipts for minor purchases (kee...
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What The Tax Bill Means To You

tax calculations
Now that the new tax bill has been formally ratified by the U.S. House and Senate, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 will be sent to the President’s desk in the next few days.  As you probably know, the House and Senate versions were somewhat different and you may be wondering: What does the fina...
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’Tis the Season (for Financial Planning)

holiday gift
The period between Thanksgiving and the end-of-year holiday season would seem like a sleepy time for financial planners but in fact, it is anything but!  You might be surprised at how much financial planning activity takes place on your behalf in the final month of the year. For instance?  Even...
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What is a Step-Up in Basis? Why should I Care about it?

calculator
(get ready for a whirlwind tax lesson!) A basis step-up is one of the basic concepts of estate planning. When a person dies, we say that their assets get a “step-up” in basis. Basis is short-hand for “income tax basis,” “tax basis,” or “cost basis” and is often shortened simply to...
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Benefits of a Professional Fiduciary

couple fight
Family strife when a family member dies is a sad and often tragic thing.  Yes, when funds are short, but I want to talk here about when the funds are plenty but the emotions of greed and fear get involved, or pride and even criminal behavior rear their ugly heads.  What could a good parent do to h...
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Taxes & the Hidden Alpha

taxes
I am of the opinion that every wealth management firm should have someone with a strong tax background – very strong!  Like having a CPA or Masters of Science in Taxation (MST). Why is tax expertise so important?  Our client work is quite fluid and virtually every action we take has tax conse...
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Property Tax Bill Made Easy for Orange County Residents

house property
A few weeks ago, Evelyn and I attended an event with the Orange County Treasurer: Shari Freidenrich, CPA. Shari shared four great tools created to help Orange County residents keep track and pay their property tax bills online. We thought that you might find them useful. 1. Sign up for a Property...
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