Results for "Tax Planning"

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Estate plans require a fresh look

November 29, 2015

Significant tax law changes mean it's time to dust off your estate plan. Long-term capital gains tax rates now range from 25% to 33%, with the combination of the top federal, state and local rates and the Medicare surtax. This hike in capital...

How advisers can help lessen the impact of the alternative minimum tax

October 27, 2015

Any successful investment adviser understands that it's not about the return you earn; it's about the return you keep. Advisers need to manage a portfolio by keeping one eye on the market and the other eye on the tax man, with the goal of earning...

The end of discounts for FLPs?

October 4, 2015

Rumors have abounded in the estate planning community that the IRS was working on regulations designed to change the gift and estate tax rules applicable to valuing interests in family-controlled entities, such as corporations, limited partnerships...

Fees v. commissions: Different tax advantages

August 28, 2015

In a year like 2015, when equity indexes such as the S&P 500 and Russell 2000 have provided the slimmest of returns, advisers and their clients are especially aware of any kind of drag on investment performance. Naturally, investors eventually...

An adviser's touch can improve tax aware investing

June 19, 2015

Robo-adviser services are programmed to recognize the importance of investing with an eye toward maximizing after-tax returns, but may miss the nuances around high-net-worth clients' needs. These online investment services can work well to provide...

Take advantage of 'tax alpha'

April 27, 2015

With tax season over, now is a great time for financial advisers to take a look at their clients' returns and reflect on opportunities to be even more tax efficient next year. Though one should not let tax considerations dictate an investment...

Use tax time to focus on retirement

April 2, 2015

As Tax Day looms, your clients' thoughts are probably focused on putting the finishing touches on their 2014 tax return — or at least preparing that extension and kicking the can down the road for a few months. However, don't let tax season...

Why President Obama's estate tax proposal is a big deal

February 6, 2015

President Barack Obama whipped up the class warfare argument with his estate tax proposal in the State of the Union address. Let's explore the estate tax and the step-up in basis, and their influence on taxable investors. When a person dies,...

New cost-basis rules for options

January 11, 2015

It's the beginning of the year and you and your clients are starting to receive an avalanche of forms and reports from brokerage firms and custodians. You'll see some new information this season as 2014 was the first year that brokers had to...

Some year-end tax strategies to consider

December 14, 2014

When is the best time for clients to fund their retirement plans? One has until April 15, 2015 to contribute to their retirement plan for 2014, but is that optimal? A report from the Vanguard Group Inc. sheds new light on the issue. Vanguard...

Working around the wash-sale rule

November 16, 2014

Loss harvesting is popular in December, but it should be done year-round, especially since there are ways to take a loss that don't disturb alpha. There are perfect end runs around the wash-sale rule, most of which use options strategies. If...

How are REIT dividends taxed?

October 19, 2014

My recent column talked about companies lowering their overall tax burden by spinning off or be¬coming REITs that pay no corporate level of tax. Readers have asked if these real estate investment trusts pay qualifying dividends or are REIT...

Inversions the latest tax-cutting strategy

September 21, 2014

It's not often that a tax story gets front page treatment but the movement to erode the U.S. corporate tax base has taken center stage. We've read about inversions, where an American company and a foreign firm combine and the non-U.S. company...

Derivative basket options questioned

August 17, 2014

The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has turned its attention to a derivative strategy that, from a tax standpoint, was rendered unusable in an earlier IRS memo. I attended the July 2 hearing and was not very surprised by the...

A new era for longevity insurance

July 20, 2014

Longevity insurance refers to a forward-starting life annuity. As an example, an investor at age 60 plunks down a wad of cash with an insurance company that promises a monthly income for life; but this monthly income only starts when the investor...

Managing tax brackets a potent tool

June 15, 2014

Now that we again have so many tax brackets, it's time for a refresher on what these brackets are and how to make the most of them. If a married couple had taxable income of $150,000, they would be in the 28% tax bracket. However, only $1,150...

Out-of-state trusts may lose appeal

May 18, 2014

Over the past few years, we have been asked on numerous occasions about the tax benefits of holding your investments in a trust situated in a state that has no income tax, such as Nevada or Delaware. This might sound very much like the activity...

Foreign dividends can be a minefield

April 27, 2014

As dividends cross borders, complications arise. In my February column, I mentioned how shareholders of foreign corporations are the investors most negatively affected by a tax trap when buying puts. I will elaborate on the math on that and...

Taking a closer look at tax reform

March 9, 2014

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., has proposed sweeping changes to the Internal Revenue Code. And while many of the ideas — such as a top tax rate of 35% and changes to the way derivatives are taxed — have been...

When buying puts to protect profits

February 23, 2014

Some clients are asking about buying puts to protect the profits that they have earned. Of course, there are possible tax surprises when using puts to hedge, and none of them are pleasant. When one buys puts on a stock as an outright speculation,...

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