Each year, thousands of professionals use their creativity and ingenuity to try to figure out the best ways to lower your federal taxes. You know you’re living in interesting times when state lawmakers join that crowd.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law in December 2017, approximately doubled the federal gift and estate tax basic exclusion amount to $11.18 million in 2018 (adjusted for inflation in later years). After 2025, the exclusion is scheduled to revert to its pre-2018 level and be cut approximately in half. Otherwise, federal gift and estate taxes remain the same.
Established in 1996, 529 plans were designed to encourage tax efficient saving for future college expenses. The Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 expanded how these plans can be used and now allows them to cover up to $10,000 per year, per child for primary and secondary education at private institutions.
The Social Security administration announced a 2% increase in benefits in 2018. The increase is estimated to affect 70 million Americans. The increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI-W) is used to determine the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in order to keep Social Security benefits in line with changes in consumer prices. Continue reading “Social Security Benefits Expected to Increase 2% in 2018”
Technology is advancing at an increasingly rapid pace. The age of the internet has ushered in an unprecedented level of connectivity. In today’s modern world, people accrue vast amounts of digital assets, including digital files, such as photographs, videos, and documents, as well as digital accounts, such as social media, e-mail, websites, financial accounts, etc. As our digital footprint grows more valuable, it would be prudent to consider how these assets are handled after death.
When a couple discovers that they are expecting a child, they are often overwhelmed with feelings of joy…and anxiety. According to recent data from 2015, the USDA estimates that a child of a middle-income married couple will cost $233,610 ($12,980/year) from birth through age 17. Continue reading “Financial Planning for Expectant Parents”
Individuals who own company stock in an employer-sponsored qualified retirement plan may be able to benefit from an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax rule that provides an additional distribution option for such a holding. According to Vanguard’s 2014 research on nearly 1,500 qualified plan sponsors, 15% of all plan participants utilize company stock in their employer’s qualified retirement plan. Continue reading “Net Unrealized Appreciation — Your Options”
One of the most important components of financial planning is ensuring a sound plan is in place for the transfer of an individual’s estate upon their passing. Several changes have been (and continue to be) made to federal and state laws that govern the transfer and subsequent taxation of estates in the United States, leaving many people feeling overwhelmed by the sheer complexities that exist. Continue reading “Estate Tax Versus Inheritance Tax — What’s The Difference?”
The cost of education is rapidly increasing. With student loan debt now being the second highest consumer debt category, trailing mortgage debt, the stakes of college planning are high and there is not much room for error. Here are some common mistakes that parents make when planning for their children’s college education.