Results for "Tax Planning"

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Wash sales and index investing

January 11, 2009

Wash sale rules prohibit an investor from recognizing a loss for tax purposes if securities are sold and "substantially identical" securities are purchased within 31 days. We were recently reminded that these rules apply only to securities,...

Harvesting losses with options

November 23, 2008

Investors and their advisers are rightfully concerned about running afoul of the wash sale rule and triggering a taxable event. As you know, a wash sale — as defined in Section 1091 of the Internal Revenue Code — occurs when an investor sells...

Kudos to the tax writers

October 26, 2008

The government rescue plan inevitably will produce many villains. But one group that has performed like heroes in this turmoil is the Washington tax writers, who acted quickly to remove possible tax roadblocks to free up seized credit markets....

Dividends, withholding, offshore funds

September 28, 2008

For as long as I can remember, there has been a business in helping investors minimize taxes withheld on dividends. U.S. tax-exempt entities withhold taxes on foreign-share dividends yet can't apply the tax credits generated by that withholding....

The tax impact of selling calls

September 1, 2008

Selling covered calls is a common strategy employed by many investors to en-hance the return of their equity position. In today's high-volatility, directionless market, this strategy has become quite attractive. Yet many investors with low-basis...

New IRS rulings affect investors

August 4, 2008

Three new revenue rulings released by the Internal Revenue Service over the past few weeks are likely to have substantial effects on investors. The first is Revenue Ruling 2008-31, which concerns foreign investors in U.S. real estate. Until...

Are deferrals worth it?

June 30, 2008

Last time, I discussed the rationale behind accelerating the payment of taxes rather than deferring taxes for as long as possible. In some cases, early payment makes sense. However, paying a tax early entails voluntarily depleting the money...

Harvest your capital gains?

June 2, 2008

A mantra of tax-efficient investing is to harvest capital losses and defer all gains. Does it ever make sense to take capital gains voluntarily? As a rule of thumb, no, but there are exceptions. Both Howard Marmorstein, associate professor of...

Why pick on exchange traded notes?

May 5, 2008

The time is drawing near for comments requested by the Department of the Treasury regarding changing the taxation of exchange traded notes and other prepaid forward contracts. ETNs have many attractive features: low expense ratios, no tracking...

How fees can trigger stealth taxes

April 7, 2008

Since the tax laws are so complex, and often inconsistent, it's no wonder that the tax treatment of investment management fees varies widely. Consider investment management fees paid by a trust. The Supreme Court recently ruled that these costs...

Drawing down retirement money

March 10, 2008

Over the past six months, I have done extensive research on the best ways to draw down assets to create retirement income, including looking at the effect of taxes on that process. This is an important issue, as several studies have found that...

When ETFs pass along gains

February 11, 2008

Investors often ask me why an exchange traded fund they own paid a big gains distribution. The answer is simple, but the lessons can affect the advice you give your clients. First, let's review ETF distributions. Just like their open-end and...

Now is the time to exercise ISOs

January 14, 2008

Incentive stock options are thought of more favorably than non-qualified stock options because ISOs can create capital gains while NQOs create ordinary income. When employees exercise ISOs, no immediate taxable income is created. By contrast,...

Do-it-yourself structured notes

November 26, 2007

As discussed in earlier columns, there are two types of structured-note products — those without a principal guarantee and those that guarantee the return of principal as a worst-case scenario. Profits from notes that don't guarantee principal...

It's harvest time - for tax losses

October 29, 2007

As November approaches, and 2007 comes to a close, investors are taking stock of their realized and unrealized gains and losses for the year. Many investors who find themselves with net realized gains are looking to harvest some unrealized losses...

A possible wallop for master limited partnerships

August 20, 2007

Washington tax talk these days seems focused on hedge funds, their investors and their managers. Much of the talk involves leveraged-buyout firms and hedge fund managers, such as The Blackstone Group LLP of New York, and the consequences of...

The magic of exchange-traded notes: Tax deferral

July 9, 2007

Exchange-traded notes are the newest wrinkle from Barclays, the main sponsor of exchange-traded funds. According to Barclays, its iPath ETNs were invented to allow investors to access difficult asset classes. Akin to exchange-traded funds, ETNs...

Probe seen targeting IRS revamp of e-fraud-detection system

July 24, 2006

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration reportedly will soon issue an investigative report about serious problems with the redesign of the Internal Revenue Service's electronic-fraud-detection system. Those problems resulted in...

IRS up and swimming, er, running, after the flood

July 10, 2006

The Internal Revenue Service's headquarters building in Washington is likely to remain closed at least until early next month due to flooding and electrical outages. The building sustained extensive damage to the infrastructure, office furniture...

Compromise deemed likely on estate tax repeal effort

June 19, 2006

Not content to let efforts to repeal the estate tax rest in peace, a reworked and presumably more politically palatable estate tax bill is in the works. Senate Majority Leader William H. Frist, R-Tenn., is working on a compromise estate tax...

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