Typically, I don’t write about tax bills because they may never become law. Congress’ latest plan for tax reform stands out, though, because it proposes to change many longstanding tax rules. But a lot of horse-trading goes on before final laws are enacted, and that’s already started.
While there is a lot of talk about the proposed reduction in corporate taxes (from 35% to 20%), individuals may face tax changes that aren’t so beneficial. That will be the focus here.
When it comes to personal tax deductions, many of us benefit from deductions for home mortgage ...
Here is some more information about probate: Understanding Probate
What is Probate?
Probate is the legal process of petitioning the court to declare that a will is valid and appointing an executor to oversee the estate. The executor is the person chosen to carry out the wishes of the decedent. And the will provides instructions for what’s to be done.
Probate assets are typically assets titled in the decedent’s name alone. Common examples include:
Personal property such as furnishings, jewelry and collections.
Bank accounts or deeds to real estate, in ...
Elective Contributions to IRAs, 401(k)s and Other Qualified Plans
On October 27, 2016, the IRS announced the new 2017 limits for IRA, pension and other contributions. For the most part, the limits remain unchanged from 2016 because there was not a sufficient rise in the cost-of-living index, which is needed to trigger an increase.
The maximum limit for contributions to IRA’s remains unchanged at $5,500 for 2017.
If you are age 50 or older, you can contribute a maximum of $6,500 to an IRA for 2017, unchanged from 2016. You can make contributions to your IRA ...
Income Tax Update
The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA), which was enacted in 2013, made many tax changes affecting 2014 and later years. ATRA put some new taxes and tax deduction phaseouts on the books. Some of these that will impact tax returns for 2017 and later years are:
6% tax bracket
20% capital gains tax rate for higher income taxpayers
9% additional Medicare tax on higher earned income taxpayers
8% tax on net investment income for higher income taxpayers
Phaseout limits for itemized deductions and personal exemptions
But when it comes to “legal” ownership of property and assets, the law often spells out who owns what. It’s important to follow the rules to protect your rights, because for many things, possession isn’t 9/10ths of the law.
Let’s look at some common examples:
JOINTLY HELD REAL ESTATE
Two sweethearts, Jane and John, pool their funds and buy a condo. They put Jane’s name on the deed (e.g. legal title) to avoid problems with potential business creditors of John. When Jane’s name is on the deed, she is the owner for legal purposes. She is legally respons...