Category Archives: Taxes

Where the Money Goes

It’s tax time again, and as you look over your tax payments for calendar 2016, you’re undoubtedly wondering where those dollars are being spent.

The Wall Street Journal recently published a chart which breaks down spending for every $100 of tax receipts—and concludes that the U.S. government is actually a very large insurance company that also happens to have an army.

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Money in Cyberspace

One of the strangest investment vehicles ever designed is something called the Bitcoin, which is at once an exciting new technology for managing online transactions and an alternative currency to national currencies like the dollar, yen and euro.  Last week, people who owned bitcoins discovered that electronic “coins” worth $1,350 were suddenly worth just under $945.  Around the same time, U.S. regulators rejected an effort to create a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).

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Creative Giving

Giving to a charity is easy, right?  You write a check and send it off to your favorite 501(c)(3) organization, and get a full deduction for the amount on your tax return, up to 50% of your adjusted gross income.

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2016 Year End Report

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You know you’re deep into a longstanding bull market when you see things like average pedestrians keeping one eye on the market tickers outside of brokerage houses to see when the Dow Jones Industrial Average has finally breached the 20,000 mark.  Who would have imagined record market highs at this point last year, when the indices ended the year in negative territory?  Or when new year 2016 got off to such a rocky start, tumbling 10% in the first two weeks—the worst start to a year since 1930?

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Preliminary Tax Forecast

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Many of President-Elect Donald Trump’s policy proposals are too vague to analyze, but one area where he has been clear is on reforming our tax system.  Here’s a quick primer on the changes that you can expect to be introduced to Congress in the coming year.

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Roth Conversions and Mandatory Distributions

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You probably know that the IRS requires you to start taking mandatory distributions from your IRA when you turn 70 1/2, even if you don’t actually need the money.  But can you do a Roth conversion at that late date, and thereby defer distributions forever?

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The Election’s Impact on Your Portfolio

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By now, most voters have made up their mind about who they want to serve as their next President.  But what can they look forward to, from an investment and tax standpoint, if their candidate wins or loses?  How will the election affect their portfolio and future net worth?

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