July 1, 2016

Qualified HSA Funding Distribution

Qualified HSA Funding Distribution

There is an obscure tax rule that allows a one-time Traditional IRA-to-HSA conversion called a Qualified HSA Funding Distribution (QHFD).

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Mailbag: The Practical Limits of 1031 Exchanges

Mailbag: The Practical Limits of 1031 Exchanges

Using a 1031 exchange to turn investment property into residential property is possible, but it takes careful planning from the outset.

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What is a Roth Conversion?

What is a Roth Conversion?

If you don’t have retirement savings in Roth IRAs, it’s time you considered their benefits. Assets in traditional IRAs can be rolled into Roth IRAs without a withdrawal penalty.

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Government Requires 2.5 Hours of Daily Work

Government Requires 2.5 Hours of Daily Work

Without the burden of federal, state, and local taxes, you could leave your job at 2:27pm every day and earn the same salary.

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Mailbag: How Is Capital Gains Tax Calculated?

Mailbag: How Is Capital Gains Tax Calculated?

The IRS does not do a good job of helping people understand capital gains taxes. They provide a worksheet to help you calculate it, but it has so many steps that it’s nearly impossible to figure out what’s going on.

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Tax Loss Harvesting and Wash Sales

Tax Loss Harvesting and Wash Sales

Wash sale rules need to be followed when realizing capital losses for taxes but can be burdensome to track and monitor.

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Ted Cruz’s Tax Plan

Ted Cruz's Tax Plan

More than many other candidates, Ted Cruz’s tax plan aims to fundamentally change our tax system.

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How Roth Conversions Are Reported to the IRS

How Roth Conversions Are Reported to the IRS

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is notorious for misunderstanding the recharacterizations of Roth conversions.

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What Counts as Wages for the Social Security Earnings Test?

What Counts as Wages for the Social Security Earnings Test?

Contrary to the normal way of things, this time what Uncle Sam gives with the IRS, he takes away with the SSA.

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Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) from IRAs

Qualified Charitable Distributions

QCDs allow individuals age 70 1/2 or older to give directly to a charity from your IRA without counting the distribution as taxable income.

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What Counts as “Boot” in a 1031 Exchange?

What Counts as "Boot" in a 1031 Exchange?

1031 exchanges can include “boot,” which is an unofficial term for other property received in the exchange.

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2016 Employer-Sponsored Retirement Account Limits

Retirement Cash Jar

Here are the limits for how much your employer can add to retirement accounts on your behalf.

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After-Tax IRA Contributions Must Be Reported On IRS Form 8606

After-Tax IRA Contributions Must Be Reported On IRS Form 8606

The backdoor Roth strategy involves contributing after-tax funds to a traditional IRA.

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2016 Retirement Plan Limits

Retirement Cash Jar

Knowing how much you can contribute to your retirement accounts is important.

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Gifting Appreciated Stock To Family Members

Gifting Appreciated Stock To Family Members

For children with lower incomes, there is an opportunity to give them appreciated stock to shift the capital gains to a lower tax bracket.

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2016 Tax Facts

2016 Tax Facts

Here’s a quick guide to the tax brackets and some other useful information for 2016.

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What is the Kiddie Tax?

What is the Kiddie Tax?

The kiddie tax was first added to the tax code in 1986 for children under age 14. Now, it can burden them until they are 23.

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Mailbag: Where Does Cost Basis Go in a Partial 1031 Exchange?

Mailbag: Where Does Cost Basis Go in a Partial 1031 Exchange?

In a 1031 exchange, the cost basis of the property you give up is rolled into the new property you receive.

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Understanding Your IRA Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)

Understanding Your IRA Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)

After you reach the age of 70 1/2, the IRS requires you to begin taking minimum distributions from your traditional retirement accounts.

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When Are Taxes Due On A Roth Conversion?

When Are Taxes Due On A Roth Conversion?

Any tax which is ultimately going to be owed is owed by April 15th. Otherwise it may be subject to interest and penalties.

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Mailbag: When Can I Move Into a 1031 Property?

Mailbag: When Can I Move Into a 1031 Property?

Because 1031 exchanges are a great way to defer paying large amounts of capital gains tax, the IRS tends to be suspicious of them.

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What Capital Gains Is Owed For The Sale Of Gifted Stock?

What Capital Gains Is Owed For The Sale Of Gifted Stock?

It is better to leave stock to a family member in your estate plan than to gift them the stock while you are alive.

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Jeb Bush’s Tax Plan

Jeb Bush's Tax Plan

Bush’s tax plan is in good company with Trump, Rubio, and Lee. It hits many common Republican talking points but doesn’t seem to take its own reasoning very seriously.

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Why You Should Use a Donor Advised Fund

Why You Should Use a Donor Advised Fund

We highly recommend a Donor Advised Fund for generous investors.

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Donald Trump’s Tax Plan

Donald Trump's Tax Plan

Tax season under Trump’s plan would likely be just as complicated but slightly less painful.

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How Much Can I Contribute To A Roth IRA If I Earn Too Much?

How Much Can I Contribute To A Roth IRA If I Earn Too Much?

I’m on the borderline for being able to contribute to a Roth IRA. How do I determine how much I can contribute?

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How To Correct Excess Roth IRA Contributions

How To Correct Excess Roth IRA Contributions

Regardless of the reason, if you have put too much money in your Roth IRA, the solution is the same.

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What is a Backdoor Roth?

What Is A Backdoor Roth?

Even over the income threshold, you may still be able to add funds to your Roth IRA with what is called a backdoor Roth.

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When Should You Stop Funding Your HSA?

When Should You Stop Funding Your HSA?

You’ve opened your HSA and funded it for several years. When should you stop funding it?

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Mailbag: Marco Rubio and Mike Lee’s Tax Plan

Mailbag: Marco Rubio and Mike Lee's Tax Plan

Is each dollar value the average for that category or is it really the average for a family with $88,871 in annual income?

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Marco Rubio and Mike Lee’s Tax Plan

Marco Rubio and Mike Lee's Tax Plan

Rubio and Lee do make definite improvements but sadly, this good is largely undone by a well-meaning but naive tilt of the playing field towards parents.

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Education Improvement Scholarship Tax Credits

Education Improvement Scholarship Tax Credits

Virginia taxpayers can give generously and offset the cost of those gifts through tax credits and the avoidance of capital gains taxes.

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Rand Paul’s Tax Plan

Rand Paul's Tax Plan

2016 Presidential hopeful Rand Paul has released a sketch of an intriguing tax plan.

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Can I Fund My Roth With Book Publishing Royalties?

Can I Fund My Roth With Book Publishing Royalties?

Roth IRAs can only be funded with earned income and therein lies the confusion.

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How to Intentionally Realize Capital Gains

How to Intentionally Realize Capital Gains

Careful tax planning can avoid much of the capital gains tax.

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Radio: Knowing When to Realize Capital Gains

Old Radio

David Marotta was interviewed on the radio discussing how to figure out know when to realize capital gains and how much to realize when you do.

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Should I Fund a Roth or a Traditional Account?

Should I Fund a Roth or a Traditional Account?

As with many financial decisions, our gut feelings deceive us on this matter.

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A Guide to Your W-4

A Guide to Your W-4

All new employees have to fill out form W-4, but despite its ubiquity, most people don’t understand it.

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Tax Alpha: How to Fix a Client Portfolio

Tax Alpha: How to Fix a Client Portfolio

Good financial planners can be worth their weight in gold in helping clients build a tax-efficient portfolio.

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Why Liberals Should Hate Real Estate Taxes

Why Liberals Should Hate Real Estate Taxes

Taxes hurt ordinary folks before the extraordinary ones, and it can hurt them badly.

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Tax by Fiat: Legacy of Alexander Hamilton

Tax by Fiat: Legacy of Alexander Hamilton

Hamilton, like our current president, sees people as temporary holders of wealth until such time as the government decides to expand.

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Schwab Intelligent Portfolios: Incomplete Rebalancing Algorithm

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios

See our review of the two pros and nine cons of how Schwab monitors and rebalances portfolios.

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Radio: Twelve Tax Planning Agenda Items To Do Before April 15

birds in snowstorm

It is better to do tax planning all throughout the year, but here are 12 things to do (or plan to do in the coming year) before April 15.

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Tax by Fiat: Legacy of James Wilson

Tax by Fiat: Legacy of James Wilson

The arguments for greater government power have always been the same.

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Mailbag: Is There An Advantage For Me To Do A Roth Conversion?

Is There An Advantage For Me To Do A Roth Conversion?

My wife and I are 65 years old and I am newly retired. Is there any advantage in doing a Roth conversion this year?

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How Much Does the Government Cost?

How Much Does the Government Cost?

Is it fair for the government to confiscate a full quarter of the average person’s earnings every year? Where does it all go?

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Index of 2015 and 2014 Tax Tables

Tax Tables

Want the full list of tax tables? Here they are in one place for easy browsing.

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Wealth Redistribution and the Most Social President

The Most Social President

The loudest tend to drown out competitors regardless of whose reasoning is better.

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One Hidden Way the IRS Hurts the Bereaved

One Hidden Way the IRS Hurts the Bereaved

It is often said that the only two certainties in life are death and taxes. The IRS takes that truism to heart.

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2015 Tax Facts

2015 Tax Tables

The tax tables have arrived! Here are some highlights to keep in mind for the 2015 tax year.

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