Category: individual tax

  • A job loss is bad but the tax implications could make it worse

    Unemployment has been holding steady recently at 3.7%. But there are still some people losing their jobs — particularly in certain industries including technology and media. If you’re laid off or terminated from employment, taxes are likely the last thing on your mind. However, there are tax implications due to your altered employment circumstances. Depending…

  • A three-step strategy to save tax when selling appreciated vacant land

    Let’s say you own one or more vacant lots. The property has appreciated greatly and you’re ready to sell. Or maybe you have a parcel of appreciated land that you want to subdivide into lots, develop them and sell them off for a big profit. Either way, you’ll incur a tax bill. For purposes of…

  • New option for unused funds in a 529 college savings plan

    With the high cost of college, many parents begin saving with 529 plans when their children are babies. Contributions to these plans aren’t tax deductible, but they grow tax deferred. Earnings used to pay qualified education expenses can be withdrawn tax-free. However, earnings used for other purposes may be subject to income tax plus a…

  • A job loss is bad but the tax implications could make it worse

    Unemployment has been holding steady recently at 3.7%. But there are still some people losing their jobs — particularly in certain industries including technology and media. If you’re laid off or terminated from employment, taxes are likely the last thing on your mind. However, there are tax implications due to your altered employment circumstances. Depending…

  • Beware of a stealth tax on Social Security benefits

    Some people mistakenly believe that Social Security benefits are always free from federal income tax. Unfortunately, that’s often not the case. In fact, depending on how much overall income you have, up to 85% of your benefits could be hit with federal income tax. While the truth about the federal income tax bite on Social…

  • IRAs: Build a tax-favored retirement nest egg

    Although traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs have been around for decades, the rules involved have changed many times. The Secure 2.0 law, which was enacted at the end of 2022, brought even more changes that made IRAs more advantageous for many taxpayers. What hasn’t changed is that they can help you save for retirement on…

  • If you gave to charity in 2023, check to see that you have substantiation

    Did you donate to charity last year? Acknowledgment letters from the charities you gave to may have already shown up in your mailbox. But if you don’t receive such a letter, can you still claim a deduction for the gift on your 2023 income tax return? It depends. What the law requires To prove a…

  • Filing jointly or separately as a married couple: What’s the difference?

    When you file your tax return, a tax filing status must be chosen. This status is used to determine your standard deduction, tax rates, eligibility for certain tax breaks and your correct tax. The five filing statuses are: Single Married filing jointly, Married filing separately, Head of household, and Qualifying surviving spouse. If you’re married,…

  • The “nanny tax” must be paid for nannies and other household workers

    You may have heard of the “nanny tax.” But if you don’t employ a nanny, you may think it doesn’t apply to you. Check again. Hiring a housekeeper, gardener or other household employee (who isn’t an independent contractor) may make you liable for federal income and other taxes. You may also have state tax obligations.…

  • Court awards and out-of-court settlements may (or may not) be taxed

    Monetary awards and settlements are often provided for an array of reasons. For example, a person could receive compensatory and punitive damage payments for personal injury, discrimination or harassment. Some of this money is taxed by the federal government, and perhaps by state governments. Hopefully, you’ll never need to know how payments for personal injuries…