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Tax cut optimism may be overblown

March 22, 2017

Even if new health-care legislation makes it through the House and Senate, the timing is likely to push tax reform into next year, pushing tax cuts further into the future, says Wall Street Journal columnist Justin Lahart. "Investors who are...

Taxpayers only hurting themselves by not mentioning their nondeductible IRA contributions

March 22, 2017

By now nearly all taxpayers have begun the arduous task of compiling the information needed to prepare their 2016 tax return, including sifting through receipts and statements to determine what's needed for the return and what is just noise....

Tax reform could be 'way worse' for retirement industry than Department of Labor's fiduciary rule: Graff

March 20, 2017

Some of the reforms being weighed in Washington as part of a comprehensive tax-reform package could end up having a much more negative impact on the retirement industry than the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule, warns an executive with the...

Advisers embrace elimination of Obamacare taxes, question GOP replacement plan

March 7, 2017

Financial advisers endorse the elimination of taxes that funded the Affordable Care Act but wonder about the extent of the health insurance coverage that will result from the House Republican substitute plan. The House Ways and Means and Energy...

Advisers' expectations for Trump's tax reform high

March 3, 2017

Hope and expectations for both corporate and individual tax reform are running high among financial advisers, many of whom believe real progress can get done as early as this year. "Thinking back to the last significant tax reforms during the...

Wealthy clients might be vulnerable to IRS audit

February 28, 2017

The IRS is turning up the heat on taxpayers. Some of them, anyway. The number of audits conducted by the Internal Revenue Service has dropped as it continues to reel from years of budget cuts. But even as its workforce shrinks, the agency must...

Adviser loses IRS fight, putting tax status for solo practitioners in question

February 23, 2017

In October, I wrote a column about a financial adviser who was squaring off with the IRS in a dispute over using a flow-through tax structure known as an "S corporation" to pay himself. Financial advisers who are solo practitioners have been...

Lower taxes could hit municipal bond yields

February 13, 2017

The one drawback to lower tax rates: Muni bond prices could take a hit, according to Peter Hayes, BlackRock's head of municipal bonds. People buy municipal bonds primarily because their interest is free from federal, and sometimes state, income...

RIAs at odds over fees for clients' cash balances

February 10, 2017

With the stock market charging ahead to new highs, financial advisers are faced with the question of whether to move some of their clients' profits off the table by going into more cash or cash equivalents. But doing so raises an even bigger...

IRS wants $700 million from Michael Jackson estate

February 6, 2017

How much are the rights to the late Michael Jackson's name and likeness worth? That's the central question in a case in U.S. Tax Court, according to The Wall Street Journal, which reported that the artist's executors are squaring off against...

Estate-tax flux could boost grantor trusts

February 5, 2017

With the federal estate tax in flux, advisers may want to consider planning strategies that afford some measure of flexibility. For example, there's the grantor trust, a common type of irrevocable trust. (More: What will the estate tax look...

What will the estate tax look like under Trump?

February 5, 2017

While it's clear that President Donald J. Trump wants to scrap the estate tax, it's not clear what financial advisers should be telling their clients as details about the law's demise get sorted out. Mr. Trump has suggested he wants to eliminate...

Another salvo in the fee wars: Schwab cuts expense ratios on index funds

February 2, 2017

Charles Schwab & Co. has fired the latest round in the mutual fund cost-cutting battle, slashing expenses on several of its open-ended index funds. Schwab said Thursday that it would cut the expenses on its index funds to the same level as their...

Financial advisers welcome demise of investment tax to fund health care law

February 2, 2017

One aspect of the effort by congressional Republicans to scrap the health care reform law is being embraced by financial advisers — the demise of the investment tax that funds part of the program. The law imposes a 3.8% tax on net investment...

Some 401(k) advisers seize on Trump tax reform to push Roth

January 27, 2017

Some retirement plan advisers are using the prospect of tax reform in the Trump administration to promote the idea of a Roth 401(k) to employers and their employees. Lower income tax rates are a prominent feature of tax plans presented by both...

IRS raises red flag over tax shelter land deals

January 20, 2017

At least one independent broker-dealer is pulling back from selling tax shelter land deals that have recently drawn fresh scrutiny from the IRS. International Assets Advisory last year raised more than $3 million for one such tax shelter and...

Potential tax impact of health care act repeal

January 20, 2017

The new Republican-controlled Congress has taken the first steps toward their goal of repealing the Affordable Care Act, and President Donald Trump has set a Jan. 27 deadline for repeal to be completed. The new administration has said that ACA...

Now is the time to review and correct 1099-R tax forms

January 19, 2017

Your clients are now receiving 1099-Rs for distributions they received in 2016 from their retirement accounts. However, there is a good chance the form contains an error. This can cause IRS problems for the client later on, since IRS also receives...

Opponents want new secretary to scrap Treasury Department estate-tax proposal

January 19, 2017

Opponents of a Treasury Department proposal that would change the way inherited assets are valued want the Trump administration to rip up the rule. The proposal was not finalized by the Obama administration, which means that the Trump Treasury...

Will Trump's tweets continue to move markets — and is that a good thing?

January 12, 2017

President-elect Donald Trump proved he can move markets, but how persistent the Trump effect will be remains to be seen. Mr. Trump said at his press conference Wednesday that pharmaceutical companies were “getting away with murder” on drug...

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