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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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

Giant dividends: Bonanza or tax trap?

October 20, 2013

Vodafone Group PLC (VOD) has said that it intends to sell its 45% interest in Verizon Wireless to Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ), its joint venture partner in the wireless company, for $130 billion. Verizon will pay Vodafone mainly in cash...

Holding periods are a moving target

September 22, 2013

There are many instances in which the government demands a minimum holding period for an investment to obtain a long-term capital gains tax rate in order, I assume, to prove that the investment wasn't a speculation or merely a tax savings transaction....

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...

For wealthy, a hard fall off the cliff

January 27, 2013

For those who make more than $450,000 a year, New Year's Eve brought no good news. These high-income individuals were hit with almost all the tax increases associated with the fiscal cliff. The top rate on investment income increased 24% to...

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...

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...

New tax law offers opportunities for advisers and retirees

February 7, 2018

The most sweeping tax reform in a generation may have begun under the guise of simplification, but the application of the new tax rules will be anything but simple for financial advisers and their retired clients. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that...

Top marginal tax rates may skyrocket

October 23, 2011

The latest news from Washington isn't good. The political winds have shifted and “millionaires” now are expected to shoulder much of the burden of balancing the budget. The recently proposed 5.6% surtax on those with the highest income,...

Are your clients traders or investors?

July 24, 2011

Under U.S. tax law, investment expenses are considered miscellaneous itemized deductions. But these so-called Section 212 deductions are limited, and the limits result in most investors' not being able to deduct investment expenses such as management...

Many wealthy jolted by unpleasant tax shock this season

March 4, 2019

This tax season, many wealthy Americans are getting an expensive jolt. The Republican tax overhaul signed by President Donald J. Trump more than a year ago provides plenty of perks for the rich. But not all well-off folks are treated alike under...

More options taxation oddities

May 30, 2010

My recent column on the taxation of listed options on SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) seems to have struck a nerve. Many practitioners were incredulous. How, they asked, could the option on a security possibly be taxed more favorably than the underlying...

Harvest losses without hurting alpha

November 1, 2009

Most money managers who strive to be tax-efficient harvest losses year-round. A 2001 study by First Quadrant LP, a global institutional money manager, found that continual loss harvesting can add 80 basis points annually to an indexed investor's...

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