The amount of coverage in the media of the U.S. - China trade war is far out of proportion with the potential impact that China - U.S. trade has on the U.S. economy.
It may be better to give than to receive, as the old saying goes, but it's also best to avoid the taxes on your generosity. What's also smart is knowing when you have to file a tax form as a gift giver.
To keep your tax bill down, if you are over 70½, consider a qualified charitable contribution, which makes donations of up to $100,000 from an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) to a fully deductible charity.
Despite the way securities traditionally are sold and what you hear in the media, the stock market confoundingly defies prediction. Look at the two quarters ended March 30th, 2019: The 19.8% plunge in the Standard & Poor's 500 index in the fourth quarter of 2018 was a flash bear market; in the first quarter of 2019, a recovery was just as swift, a snapback gain of 13% gain. If whipsaw emotional shifts from fear to greed make it harder to stay realistic about what to expect from a prudently-designed retirement portfolio, this chart offers a way to know what to expect based on historical data.
A tax-savvy way to improve your real estate situation is to swap one property for a new one. Called a 1031 exchange, referring to its section of the tax code, this works so long as you are switching business properties. Personal residences aren't eligible.
"Everybody wants to go to heaven," according to a classic blues song, "but nobody wants to die." Nor does anyone like to think about dying. And that must be why some people don't put much thought into estate planning, much the less in drawing a schematic for distributing one's earthly possessions to those you love the most.
So, you want to sell your small business? The good folks in Washington have a dandy tax break exempting you from all federal taxes on the sale-provided that you own a C corporation.
An installment sale of real estate is a variety of seller financing in which the buyer is borrowing from the seller. Why would a seller want to do this? Isn't it better to get the money up front? No, not always, especially when a sizable real estate capital gain would push you into a higher tax bracket.
If you've ever thought about becoming a landlord, here's an update on recent tax breaks that changed the equation for weighing whether to rent a property or be the sole tenant throughout the year.
A new provision in the tax law for the first time in 2018 is leading to a frenzy of tax-driven investment products to be promoted to affluent investors, but caution is wise.
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The myRa Is Cut Short, But Other Options Abound
The myRA is going the way of the VCR. Citing unsustainable costs, the Treasury Department has announced it is closing down the program for this retirement savings vehicle. Participants will be notified about their options for moving funds into other investments.
The myRA was pitched as a way for moderate-income people to save for retirement and was designed to resemble the Roth IRA.
Just as in a Roth IRA, MyRA contributions were made with after-tax dollars, and withdrawals from the account during retirement were exempt from federal income tax. Unlike with a Roth, however, the MyRA had only one investment option: U.S. government savings bonds. So, you weren't risking principal, but yields were low.
Contributions were limited to $5,500 a year ($6,500 if you were 50 or older), but availability of this saving vehicle was phased out for upper-income taxpayers. And once your account balance reached $15,000, you had to roll over the funds to a Roth IRA, letting you choose from a wider array of investment options.
According to the Treasury Department, the myRA program has cost taxpayers $70 million, with projections that it would take $10 million a year to keep it going. It made the decision in mid-2017 to shut down the program. Yet most retirement savers still have numerous other options at their disposal.
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