Tips for deducting losses from a disaster, fire or theft

If you suffer damage to your home or personal property, you may be able to deduct these “casualty” losses on your federal income tax return. A casualty is a sudden, unexpected or unusual event, such as a natural disaster (hurricane, tornado, flood, earthquake, etc.), fire, accident, theft or vandalism. A casualty loss doesn’t include losses […]

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What’s your charitable donation deduction?

Charitable Contributions

When it comes to deducting charitable gifts, all donations are not created equal. As you file your 2015 return and plan your charitable giving for 2016, it’s important to keep in mind the available deduction: Cash. This includes not just actual cash but gifts made by check, credit card or payroll deduction. You may deduct […]

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How to max out education-related tax breaks

If there was a college student in your family last year, you may be eligible for some valuable tax breaks on your 2015 return. To max out your education-related breaks, you need to see which ones you’re eligible for and then claim the one(s) that will provide the greatest benefit. In most cases you can […]

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Deduct home office expenses — if you’re eligible

Deduct home office expenses — if you’re eligible Today it’s becoming more common to work from home. But just because you have a home office space doesn’t mean you can deduct expenses associated with it. Eligibility requirements If you’re an employee, your use of your home office must be for your employer’s convenience, not just […]

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Reduce taxes on your investments with these year-end strategies

While tax consequences should never drive investment decisions, it’s critical that they be considered — especially by higher-income taxpayers, who may be facing the 39.6% short-term capital gains rate, the 20% long-term capital gains rate and the 3.8% net investment income tax (NIIT). Holding on to an investment until you’ve owned it more than one year […]

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The 529 savings plan: A tax-smart way to fund college expenses

If you’re saving for college, consider a Section 529 plan. Although contributions aren’t deductible for federal purposes, plan assets can grow tax-deferred. (Some states do offer tax incentives for contributing.) Distributions used to pay qualified expenses (such as tuition, mandatory fees, books, equipment, supplies and, generally, room and board) are income-tax-free for federal purposes and […]

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2 tax consequences to consider if you’re refinancing a home

   Now may be a great time to refinance, because mortgage rates are still low but expected to increase. Before deciding to refinance, however, here are a couple of tax consequences to consider: 1. Cash-out refinancing. If you borrow more than you need to cover your outstanding mortgage balance, the tax treatment of the cash-out […]

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A shorter cash flow cycle means a stronger business

A shorter cash flow cycle means a stronger business Every business owner knows that maintaining a healthy cash flow is essential to a company’s success. But there are a variety of ways to accomplish this objective. One way is to accelerate inflows and decelerate outflows, thereby shortening your cash flow cycle. Truncating this cycle by […]

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Gearing up for the ACA’s information reporting requirements

Gearing up for the ACA’s information reporting requirements Starting in 2016, applicable large employers (ALEs) under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will have to file Forms 1094-C and 1095-C to provide information to the IRS and plan participants regarding their health care benefits for the previous year. Both the forms and their instructions are now […]

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