Not Having an Estate Plan — Mistake #1
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The worst thing you can do is to do nothing at all and assume everything will pan out in the end. No matter how much (or how little) money you have, you need at least a simple will.

IRS Notice of Proposed Adjustment for Underpayment/Overpayment (CP2000) for 2010 Roth Recharacterization
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Currently the IRS is sending notices to anyone who did a Roth Recharacterization in 2010 asking them to pay as though they kept the entire conversion amount.

A Progressive Tax Code is Economically Destructive
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Most Americans assume a progressive tax code is needed to promote equality and remove some of the burden of other taxes on those with the lowest income. But the progressive nature of the tax code changes behavior in many ways.

Smart Tax Planning for the Gap Years
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Many families seek financial planning advice specifically for retirement. But if they wait too long, they miss an important tax-planning opportunity. A great strategy is to take advantage of the time between retirement and Social Security at age 70, the so-called gap years.

Mailbag: How Can I Get Started Gifting Appreciated Investments?
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Do I start planting investments and then refrain from giving for ten years?

$ ?s: Six AMT Reduction Strategies
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There are two opposing approaches to limit your AMT tax. The obvious strategy is to lower your income so you avoid this AMT bull’s-eye. The less obvious approach is to raise your income.

Tax Efficient Investing
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It can be useful to maintain a grid where all of the available asset classes are arranged in order, by tax efficiency and potential return based on time horizon, so clients can clearly see when and where tax-deferral can offer the greatest benefits.

Are Investment Management Fees Tax Deductible?
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I often get asked, “Are investment management fees tax deductible?” The answer is not a simple “yes” or “no.” Like many tax questions, the answer is “It depends.”

Radio: Tax Planning in 2012
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David John Marotta was interviewed on radio 1070 WINA’s Schilling Show discussing tax planning in 2012 and the most important things to do now to prepare for rising taxes in 2013.

How Does Marital Status Affect Your Federal Taxes?
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Laws have always regulated who may marry, the obligations related to marriage and children and whether and how a marriage can be ended. Governments have always put their own social agenda above the pluralism of personal choice.

Mailbag: I’d Like to Withdraw Money from My IRA to Purchase Physical Silver.
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Precious metals will, on average, just keep up with inflation, but your after tax return would mean you fell behind inflation by the 28% tax you must pay.

Last Chance for 0% Capital Gains Rate
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Most infomercials that begin with such urgency are trying to get you to buy something, but in this case I want you to consider selling.

Capital Gains Tax Rising
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Starting in 2013, pending further legislation, the capital gains tax will go up to 20%.

Double-Taxed Dividends: Going Up
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The qualified dividend tax rate is currently at a maximum of 15%, as are capital gains. Starting January 1, 2013, dividend tax rates will go up to the investor’s ordinary income rate.

How Do I Allocate Investments with Capital Gains Among Taxable and Traditional IRA Accounts?
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There is a distinction between existing high capital gains exposure in a mutual fund verses future capital gains you expose yourself to.

Tax Planning from the 2012 January / February issue of Planning Perspectives
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“How can you respond if these new taxes are enacted? One option is to do a Roth conversion so that you can pay taxes now for those retirement funds.”

Green Gift$ for the Holiday Season ($ ?s)
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Q: I received a letter from a nonprofit organization to which I regularly donate suggesting I may be eligible for state tax credits. Can you please explain what this means?

David John Marotta in NAPFA Planning Perspectives Nov/Dec 2011
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An article by David John Marotta on how to glean information from your IRS 1040 tax return was featured in the latest Nov/Dec 2011 issue of NAPFA Planning Perspectives.

Which rich are you trying to tax?
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Those productive small business owners with higher earnings are a different group from the ultra-wealthy with higher net worths.

Personalizing the Debt Shows it is Unsustainable
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Our country’s debt and deficit is difficult to understand in the abstract. Translating it to the numbers on each taxpayer’s credit card can help us see how our country’s spendthrift ways have debilitated economic productivity.

Dorothy in Taxland: Tax Credits
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Tax credits are much more valuable than tax deductions. Deductions only reduce the amount you are taxed on. One dollar of deduction might only be worth 35 cents. In contrast, tax credits are a dollar-for-dollar reduction in your tax bill. And a refundable tax credit could mean the government will owe you money you never paid in the first place.

Dorothy in Taxland: Overview
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A professional tax expert can help you get the correct deductions. But he or she likely won’t motivate you to keep the right records unless you understand the benefits for yourself.

Fourteen Tax Management Techniques
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No one approaches financial planning with the goal of paying more taxes. Tax management, like all financial planning, is based on the premise that small changes made over time can achieve big goals.

Owners of Second Homes: Beware of New Tax Laws
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A shortage of people are buying real estate and we’ve passed a one-per-customer tax incentive law.

The Assault on Free Markets
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Free markets are under assault in America. We have seen much hyperbole and slander in these past two years of political polarization. But the idea of capitalism and free markets has received more negative campaigning and vicious attack than both candidates combined.

Tax Rebates Are a Losing Proposition Part 1
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Tax rebate stimulus checks are a cheap and inefficient gimmick.

Eliminate the Capital Gains Tax
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The correct rate for the capital gains tax is zero, zip, nada. Perhaps it is even negative!

Dorothy in Taxland: Below the Line Deductions
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Below the line deductions are uncertain. Like many items in the tax code the correct answer to “Will they reduce my taxes?” is: “It depends.”

Dorothy in Taxland: Tax on Marriage
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As Glinda advises us, “It’s always best to start at the beginning,” and at the beginning of the tax return is determining your filing status.

Dorothy in Taxland: Above the Line Deductions
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Most Americans look backward and only hope that Uncle Sam will return some of what they have already paid, but those with wealth look ahead and adjust their affairs according to the tax code.

It is Time to “Scrap the Tax Code”
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Anyone of us could design a better system, but 500 congress people cannot resist the pressure groups who want to twist the code to benefit their particular constituencies.

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