If there be any truer measure of a man than by what he does, it must be by what he gives.
Trust Your Heirs Not to Squander Your Estate
"I want to give my kids just enough so that they would feel that they could do anything, but not so much that they would feel like doing nothing." (Warren Buffett)
Buffett isn't alone in his concern about the impact of wealth on kids. Nearly 60 percent of parents believe their children are not well prepared to handle a financial inheritance. Experts say that much of family wealth is lost when it???s passed from the first to the second generation, and it???s nearly all wiped away by the third generation. Read more.
ed notes ??? A charitable trust can provide annual income for you and/or your children???s lives or for a term of years instead of a lump sum. It also provides a significant gift to charity and a charitable tax deduction for you when the trust is established. It is a way of giving a gift twice. Charitable trusts are a powerful and flexible estate planning tool. Talk with your development officer for more information.
Beware of Telephone and Email Scams
Keep your personal information in your wallet, not someone else's. By far, the most common way of separating seniors from their money is through the telephone, in cons ranging from the grandparent scam to the Jamaican Lottery scheme.
The grandparent scam started showing up in the area a few years ago, and a number of local residents have fallen victim. It targets older people, making them think a grandchild has gotten in trouble, often in another country. The con artist asks for money and tells the victim, "Please don't tell mom or dad; they'll kill me if they find out." Read more.
Three Timely Tips about Taxes and the Health Care Law
The health care law has provisions that may affect your personal income taxes. How the law may affect you may depend on your employment status, whether you participate in a tax favored health plan and your age. Here are three tips about how the law may affect you. Read more.
IRS Tips about Taxable and Nontaxable Income
Are you looking for a hard and fast rule about what income is taxable and what income is not taxable? The fact is that all income is taxable unless the law specifically excludes it.
Taxable income includes money you receive, such as wages and tips. It can also include noncash income from property or services. For example, both parties in a barter exchange must include the fair market value of goods or services received as income on their tax return. Some types of income are not taxable except under certain conditions. Read more.
How to Lower Your Tax Bill
Every year Americans scramble to shave dollars off their federal tax bill in December -- then miss out on a huge opportunity come January. The beginning of the year is also a great time to strategize, since you can reap the benefits of any changes you make for a full 12 months ahead. Read more.
5 Money Myths You Shouldn't Fall For
Conventional wisdom is often a good thing, or at least harmless. For instance, even if chicken soup doesn't help your cold ??? and research shows it probably does help ??? it won't hurt you. Plus, you'll help keep someone employed in the soup industry. But there are plenty of times when conventional wisdom isn't just wrong ??? it can cost you money. So the next time you're about to make a big financial decision, keep in mind that rarely is anything black and white when it comes to the green stuff. Here are five money "rules" that are largely wrong. Read more.
Don't Overlook These Tax Deductions
2013 was a great year for many investors, but there's a downside. All those market gains may have left you with a lot more income to report. Successful investing isn't exactly a problem, but it does mean that it's especially important not to overlook useful tax deductions when you prepare your paperwork for the IRS. Read more.
Summary on Final Regulations on 3.8% Medicare Surtax for Individuals
Starting in 2013, in addition to any other tax, a 3.8 percent tax is imposed on the lesser of: (A) the individual???s net investment income for the taxable year, or (B) the excess (if any) of: (i) the individual???s modified adjusted gross income (AGI) for the taxable year, over (ii) the threshold amount. The threshold amount(s) are: (1) for a taxpayer filing a joint return or as a surviving spouse, $250,000; (2) for a married taxpayer filing a separate return, $125,000; and (3) in any other case, $200,000. For most taxpayers, modified AGI is their AGI. ???Modified??? applies only to taxpayers living abroad and using the foreign earned income exclusion. Note. The dollar thresholds for individuals are established by statute and aren't indexed for inflation.
What is net investment income? Simply stated (ifs, ands and buts abound), it's gross income from interest, dividends, annuities, rents and net capital gains. Excluded from net investment income are items, such as tax-exempt bond interest, excludable gain on the sale of a principal residence and qualified retirement plan distributions.
From Philanthropy Tax E-Letter by Conrad Teitell