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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Taxes

Posted by in News

March 30, 2017

By: J. André Weisbrod

Every year around this time a nationwide consternation builds up regarding taxes.  This is especially true for investors with diversified portfolios, and even truer for investors who own private investments, including partnerships, small corporations and LLCs.

I think people often get more agitated than they need to be.  Understanding the processes can help us relax a bit.

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Posted by in News

Taxable Capital Gains When Funds Don't Increase in Value?

December 30, 2015

By J. André Weisbrod

Summary:

  • Some investments increase in value and others decrease.
  • When an investment is sold a gain or loss is "realized" for tax purposes.
  •  It may be appropriate to sell appreciated investments in a year when the overall portfolio is down.
  • Therefore it is possible and even probable that you can realize taxable gains in a year when your portfolio loses value.
  • This is likely such a year for many mutual funds.
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Posted by in News

November 17, 2015

Health Insurance, Taxes, Independence & Retirement, Social Security

Health Insurance Open Enrollment Periods End Soon

Medicare/Medigap – October 15 to December 7, 2015.  This is the window in which you can shop for the best benefits and premiums without having to qualify via medical underwriting.  If you are newly eligible or even if you already have coverage, you should look at your options now.  Make sure you have the best coverage for your money.

ObamaCare - November 1, 2015 to January 31, 2016.  If you have any health conditions that would make it difficult to obtain insurance at good rates through policies that require medical underwriting you should look at your options now.   Existing 2014/2015 plans expire on December 31, 2015. To avoid any gaps in coverage, you should consider enrolling by December 15, 2015.

Group Health Plans Should Be Reviewed Also

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Posted by in News

November 21,2014

Financial & Tax-Saving Actions to Consider before Year End 2014

Please call 412-367-9076 if you have questions or need to act on any of these.

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Posted by in News

August 22, 2014

TAXES AND IMMIGRATION:  TWO MAJOR SYSTEMIC OVERHAULS COULD CHANGE EVERYTHING

By J. André Weisbrod

Do you want your financial future to be more secure?  Do you want to see the economy grow and businesses do well so that your investment portfolios have a better chance of producing good real returns?  Do you want your health care to be reliable and affordable?  Do you want to have better job and career opportunities?  Do you want to afford good housing, vacations and educations for your children.  Do you want your retirement to be more secure?  Do you want your neighborhood and city to be safer and more economically sound?  Do you want all this for your children and grandchildren?  If so then consider the following two major changes that could help bring these goals closer to fulfillment.

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Posted by in News

April 14, 2014

"Taxation with representation ain't so hot either." -- Gerald Barzan

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Tagged in: Congress Quotes Taxes
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Posted by in News

"The income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf has.  Even when you make a tax form out on the level, you don't know when it's through if you are a crook or a martyr." -- Will Rogers

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Posted by in News

News of Note February 17, 2014

Here are some news items (with links) from other sources along with my comments. 

Is the Correction Over? 

Americans Losing Faith in American Dream

Income Inequality

Bundesbank Does Not Think Emerging Markets Turmoil Will Derail Global Recovery

Dollar Weakness

Cost of living: How far will my salary go in another city?

 

Click below to read.

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Posted by in News

"All the Congress, all the accountants and tax lawyers, all the judges, and a convention of wizards all cannot tell for sure what the income tax law says." -- Walter B. Wriston

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Tagged in: Taxes
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Posted by in News
"Of course the truth is that the congresspersons are too busy raising campaign money to read the laws they pass.  The laws are written by staff tax nerds who can put pretty much any wording they want in there.  I bet that if you actually read the entire vastness of the U.S. Tax Code, you'd find at least one sex scene ("'Yes, yes, YES!' moaned Vanessa as Lance, his taut body moist with moisture, again and again depreciated her adjusted gross rate of annualized fiscal debenture")." -- Dave Barry
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Tagged in: Congress Taxes
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Posted by in News

Ok, now we must applaud Representatives when they try to do good things, and we have been saying for a long time that our complex tax code is an economic inhibitor, hurting the wealth creation that is the only solution to systemic debt problems.  With apologies to my accountant friends, tackling small business tax rules is a good place to start.  For more, click...

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Posted by in News

The STAARBlogTM
March 14, 2013                        Follow STAAR Financial onFacebookandTwitter

Editor: J. André Weisbrod

IRA Minimum Distribution Deadline April 1 if You Turned 70 1/2 in 2012

You got deductions and deferral for many years.  Now you are over age 70 and Uncle Sam wants his pound of flesh.  The rule is that you must begin taking distributions by April 1 of the year after you reach 70 1/2.

There are three mistakes people make when it comes to minimum distributions:

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Posted by in News

Under the heading, “Know What/Who You Voted For,” President Obama and many in Congress are looking for revenue generation and a good bit of it could come out of the middle class voters he and they appealed to in the campaign.  This link outlines 5 deductions you might sorely miss.  Fair?  When is this President going to get serious about spending reductions instead of raiding our pockets even more?  My job is to help you financially, so regardless of your political persuasion, you should call/write/email the White House and Congress to get serious about their own spending instead of raiding our middle class pockets that have already been raped and pillaged enough.  (See my previous blog post, "Are You Being Cooked by Your Taxes?)  If the President and Congress want to raise revenue by closing traditional deductions, how about if we start with their own tax free expense accounts and perks?  When are our so-called leaders going to lead by example?  Oh, right.  That might require integrity.   http://www.marketwatch.com/story/5-tax-breaks-on-the-chopping-block-2013-02-05?siteid=nwhpm

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Tagged in: Congress Debt Obama Taxes
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Posted by in News

The STAARBlogTM
January 28, 2012                     
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Are You Being Cooked by Your Taxes?

Taxes, your name is Legion!   Most of us have never really counted all the taxes we pay. 

In many ways our governments have treated us like the frog in the pot.  Put the frog into a boiling pot and he jumps right out.  Ouch!  But put him in a pot of lukewarm water and he will be comfortable.  Then you can gradually turn up the heat and he won’t know he’s being cooked.

We all know about federal, state and local income taxes as well as our payroll taxes.  For a typical middle-class family making around $75,000 per year, those alone will cost approximately 17-23% of gross income, depending on the state you live in.   But not so apparent is the half of the payroll tax paid by employers that could otherwise be paid in income.  The Medicare tax rate is 2.9% split between employee and employer.  That raises the aggregate rate paid so far to 26-32%!  

Now let’s add in all the other taxes we pay directly or indirectly.  Property taxes typically will amount to between 3% and 6%.  Sales taxes total 2-3% of gross income in many states.  Then there are user taxes, such as fishing and dog licenses and gas and utility and vehicle and phone taxes and...  Let’s say they add another 1%.   Among the “unseen” taxes are corporate taxes that are passed through to end users in the price of goods and services.  These can amount to another 2-3% or more for middle class consumers.

Add it all up and a middle class family’s real tax rate is in the 35% to 46% range, depending on your spending habits and where you live.  Feeling cooked?

Continue reading to see more facts about taxation and wealth... 

 

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Tagged in: Taxes
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Posted by in News

The STAARBlogTM
January 1, 2012                     
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Tax Changes Taking Effect

 

For your planning - as a result of the “Fiscal Cliff” deal, the following changes are occurring:

 

Payroll taxes: Now back to normal at 6.2% (from last year’s 4.2%) for both you and your employer.  Plus there will be a new 0.9% tax increase on Medicare payroll taxes.  Anticipate less net pay from now on.

Income taxes – If your taxable income is over $400,000 (single) or $450,000 (married filing jointly), you should probably make sure your withholding is increased or make additional estimated tax payments.

Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) – finally the $78,750 exemption will now be tagged to inflation.

Dividends – extended the advantageous treatment for “qualified” dividends, except for the high income folks previously mentioned.

New Tax on Investment Income – Due to Obamacare, people with significant net investment income will be taxed an extra 3.8%.  This one is complicated.

 

Consult your tax professional if you have any questions or want to make sure your planning is adequate.

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Tagged in: Fiscal cliff Taxes
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Posted by in News

Everyone has a special interest or interests.  But even in government there are those who make sense, at least occasionally.  Consider this from the CFO of the state of FL:  http://www.myfloridacfo.com/pressoffice/newsletter/ 

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Posted by in News

The STAARBlogTM
January 1, 2012                     
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Fiscal Cliff Deal Goes to House; the Real Issue Remains Deficit Reduction

The Senate and President Obama reached a deal early this morning.   Passed by a large majority of 89 senators, the bill will now go to the House, which has until noon on Thursday to approve it. 

Key provisions: Higher taxes on families making over $450,000 annually – highest tax bracket goes from 35% to 39.6%.  Increased

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