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Taxes Archives

IRS Changes Policy on Identity Theft

Identity thieves not only steal credit cards in victims' names, they often file fraudulent tax returns in hopes of receiving refunds. The IRS has changed its policy and it should become less difficult to learn the truth.

Inheritances Inevitably Lead to Tax Consequences: Irrevocable Trusts Basics

Taxes and inheritance issues go together like Halloween and trick or treating. Tax planning is a critical part of estate planning, and families who wish to transfer assets from one generation to the next need to prepare for both aspects, as settling an estate can easily become quite complicated. Many estate plans include the use of irrevocable trusts. There are some basics that heirs need to know if they are beneficiaries of these trusts.

'Tis the Season for End of Year Financial Matters

With the holiday season on the horizon, the end of year financial season has arrived. It's time to deal with money issues relating to income tax planning, charitable giving and scams and the annual check up on family finances. There is not too much in the way of tax drama in the final weeks of the year, with no major legislation being passed, but a few popular tax provisions are still undecided. Congress needs to act soon to extend these favorites, which include a higher education tuition and fees deduction, a mortgage debt forgiveness exclusion and a classroom expense deduction for teachers

Estate State Taxes: More than a Tongue Twister

With every state seeking additional revenue and every candidate seeking additional votes, estate taxes have become part of many politicians' platforms. Most of us pay more attention to estate taxes on the federal level, but estate taxes on the state and federal level have changed a lot in recent years. Not everyone is clear on how these changes apply to them and their estate planning. Key point to keep in mind - state and federal taxes are very different from one another. The bottom line: everything you own, including the face value of insurance policies where you are an owner, gets taxed. The federal estate tax exemption is $5 million, and federal estate tax of approximately 35% is levied on any estate valued at more than $5 million. Using the "portability" feature, any married person can pass along any unused portion of their $5 million to their spouse.

Keeping Estate Plans Current Protects Family Businesses

Whether it's a farm or a manufacturing facility, family businesses are a key part of the global economy. Family business owners are not always very good about keeping their estate plans up to date. Circumstances change: the value of the business may grow or shrink, relationships within the family may change, and tax laws change. Failing to update the family business's estate plan can lead to financial disaster. Legacies built up for generations can come apart in the span of one generation when planning is not done properly or kept up-to-date.

Before You Say "I Do," Do This

Financial planning should be a part of every couple's wedding planning, whether they are just starting out or if they are coming to the marriage with substantial assets. When the couples are not economic equals, this becomes even more important. In "When financial planning meets wedding planning" from Reuters, experts advise couples to work with an estate planning attorney and financial advisor to objectively evaluate assets, review insurance coverage, discuss retirement goals and analyze estate plans already in place. This should take place before the wedding to prevent larger problems later on. Questions to ask:

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Get the peace of mind that you deserve. First, attend a seminar. This will entitle you to a free initial consultation and a discounted estate planning fee. To learn more about our services or sign up for a seminar, contact us online or call us at 866-402-1805. We have offices in Torrance, Orange, Newport Beach, Pasadena and Woodland Hills.

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