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States losing battle over SALT cap deduction

June 13, 2019

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have been fighting a new cap on state and local tax deductions ever since it was included in the 2017 Republican tax overhaul. They are losing. [More:​ Treasury deals final blow to states' SALT deduction...

Trump tariffs have wiped out most families' tax-cut gains

June 7, 2019

President Donald J. Trump's trade wars have already wiped out all but $100 of the average American household's windfall from Mr. Trump's 2017 tax law. And that's just the beginning. That last $100 in tax-cut gains also could soon disappear —...

One of the most hated tax breaks in America just won't die

June 3, 2019

One of private-equity and hedge-fund managers' most prized tax breaks is again in politicians' cross hairs, but Democrats would need to sweep the 2020 election if they want to pull the trigger to kill it. President Donald J. Trump said in May...

New tax rules raise the cost for most kids — but not all

May 20, 2019

When word about changes to the kiddie tax rules started getting around, the response was mostly confusion. Were parents supposed to be happy about these changes, or would the changes increase taxes and hamstring investment strategies? The answer,...

New W-4 form aims to prevent tax refund surprises

May 31, 2019

Upset with a smaller-than-anticipated tax refund this year? The IRS has a remedy for that. The Internal Revenue Service is redesigning the key tax withholding form, the W-4, which tells employers how much to take out of employees' paychecks....

SALT apocalypse predictions have not come true

May 21, 2019

To listen to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, the 2017 Republican tax overhaul that limited state and local deductions to $10,000 was a devastating blow. The rich would flee, the middle class would suffer and blue state budgets would bleed. Perhaps...

Retirement bill would allow tax-free financial planning

May 30, 2019

Recently introduced legislation includes tax incentives for financial planning related to retirement. The provision, contained in section 113 of the Retirement Security and Savings Act, would permit employees to use pre-tax dollars through employer-based...

Attempt to ban SALT weakened by strong data

May 23, 2019

It was always a long shot, but a quixotic lawsuit by four northeastern states to squelch the Trump tax law's cap on state and local tax deductions is being undermined by a repetitive drip of strong economic data. New York, Connecticut, Maryland...

4 top surprises from the new tax law

May 22, 2019

We recently completed the first tax season following passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. There were sweeping changes, and most taxpayers — and their advisers — experienced many unforeseen surprises. Rather than lament, we should learn...

Should we treat the super-rich as our piggy bank?

February 1, 2019

A friend sent me an email the other day, complaining about the 70% marginal tax rate floated by Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the new wealth tax proposed by Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez first...

This strategy can double your estate-tax exemption

May 20, 2019

Financial advisers who want to maximize a wealthy client's tax-free estate have a simple yet often overlooked strategy handy that essentially doubles the amount avoiding taxation at death. The strategy, called portability, applies to married...

Millionaires flee homelands as tensions rise, taxes bite

April 30, 2019

The world's wealthy are increasingly on the move. About 108,000 millionaires migrated across borders last year, a 14% increase from the prior year, and more than double the level in 2013, according to Johannesburg-based New World Wealth. Australia,...

Don't confuse old tax rules with new ones when selling a home

October 25, 2018

When the first versions of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act were released last year, Congress looked to rework the rules on the sale of a personal residence. By the time the bill was finalized, however, all those proposed changes were eliminated. So...

Homebuyers in New York's most posh county take shelter in multifamily houses

October 11, 2018

The highest property taxes in the nation and new federal limits on deductions have scared many homebuyers from New York's tony Westchester County. Now, some have discovered a workaround — buy multifamily. Purchases of two- to four-family houses...

Mohamed El-Erian puts Democratic tax proposals in perspective

May 7, 2019

With nearly two dozen Democratic candidates now running for president, many of the contenders are trying to stand out from the crowd by proposing various forms of tax hikes on the wealthy and tax breaks for those who aren't yet wealthy. For...

Alternative minimum tax a casualty of tax reform nobody will miss

August 24, 2018

The tax reforms enacted under President George W. Bush in 2001 and 2003 were highlighted by cuts to ordinary tax rates at all income levels. However, the savings from those cuts were muted for many taxpayers because the alternative minimum tax...

'Wall Street Tax Act' will land on Main Street investors

April 11, 2019

Last month, Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, and Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., introduced the Wall Street Tax Act in the Senate and the House, respectively. The bill would level a tax of 10 basis points (or 0.1%) on the value of the securities transferred...

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act takeaways

April 12, 2019

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was enacted in late 2017 but individuals are now grappling for the first time with many of its temporary provisions as they prepare their 2018 income tax returns. Wealthy donors may be eyeing the chance to pass more...

Few rush to invest in opportunity zones

April 10, 2019

Investors eyeing President Donald Trump's Opportunity Zones face a ticking clock if they want to fully capture one of the biggest tax breaks in decades. But few so far seem ready to make the leap. Tucked into the 2017 tax overhaul, Opportunity...

Trump's rules for opportunity zones satisfy investors' wish lists

April 18, 2019

There's plenty of enthusiasm for new U.S. tax breaks for investing in low-income communities designated as opportunity zones. But many people have delayed spending because of uncertainty about how the incentives will work. The Trump administration...

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