Why you should check your tax bracket

Many taxpayers learned some tough lessons upon completing their 2018 tax returns regarding the changes brought forth by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). If you were one of them, or even if you weren’t, now’s a good time to check your bracket to avoid any unpleasant surprises next April. Under the TCJA, the top income tax rate is now 37% (down from 39.6%) for taxpayers with taxable income over $500,000 for 2018 (single and head-of-household filers) or $600,000 for 2018 (married couples filing…

Could an FLP help your business succession plan?

One of the biggest concerns for business owners is succession planning — transferring ownership and control of the company to the next generation. Often, the best time taxwise to start transferring ownership is long before the owner is ready to give up control of the business. A family limited partnership (FLP) can help owners enjoy the tax benefits of gradually transferring ownership yet allow them to retain control of the business. How it works To establish an FLP, you transfer your ownership interests to a…

Do you know the current value of your business?

Even if you’re not considering selling your company or otherwise transferring its ownership right now, it could happen sooner than you think. In some cases, an ownership transfer becomes suddenly appealing when a company struggles to the extent that a sale becomes the best avenue for starting over. But more positive circumstances can drive the decision, too. For example, a small to midsize business might do so well that it receives an acquisition offer that’s too good to pass up. Whether it’s an impending ownership…

Estate Planning Portability Lives On

When the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was passed, the big estate planning news was that the federal gift and estate tax exclusion doubled from $5 million to an inflation-indexed $10 million. It was further indexed for inflation to $11.18 million for 2018 and now $11.4 million for 2019. Somewhat lost in the clamor, however, was (and is) the fact that the new law preserves the “portability” provision for married couples. Portability allows your estate to elect to permit your surviving spouse to use…

Is your long-term care policy tax qualified?

A long-term care insurance policy supplements your traditional health insurance by covering services that assist you or a loved one with one or more activities of daily living. Such activities include eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, and transferring (in and out of bed, for example). Long-term care coverage is relatively expensive, but it may be possible to reduce the cost by purchasing a tax-qualified policy. Generally, benefits paid in accordance with a policy are tax-free. In addition, if a policy is tax-qualified, your premiums are deductible…