Can You Afford to Retire Early?

Answer the key questions below If you are like many Americans, you may have visions of an early retirement. Although there are usually hurdles to overcome, the dream may become a reality, depending on your answers to the following questions. Q. Are you financially ready to retire? A. Some people begin planning for retirement when they
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This Tax Shelter Is Still Standing

Home sale exclusion remains intact Although Congress threatened to reduce the benefits of the home sale exclusion, the final version of the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) did not include a crackdown. As a result, if you sell your home at a huge profit and qualify under the existing rules, you can still
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Compare the Two Types of IRAs

Distinguishing traditional IRAs from Roths There are two basic types of IRAs: the traditional IRA and the Roth IRA. With either one, the deadline for contributions for the 2017 tax year is April 17, 2018. There are no extensions for making IRA contributions for 2017, even if you obtain an extension for filing your return
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Favorable Tax Treatment for Medical Expenses

New law creates retroactive tax break The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) repeals or cuts back many deductions on personal returns (see “Last Chance for Key Tax Deductions?”), but the medical expense deduction survived the chopping block. In fact, the new law temporarily enhances the deduction, retroactive to the 2017 tax year. In other
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Last Chance for Key Tax Deductions?

Opportunities vanishing after 2017 returns The new tax law enacted at the end of last year—the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA)—provides numerous tax changes for individuals, including tax rate cuts and a higher standard deduction. Significantly, the TCJA also eliminates or modifies certain deductions, including the majority of itemized deductions, beginning in 2018. As
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How to Support Your Charitable Deductions

Follow recordkeeping rules for donations Charitable deductions are often treasured by high-income taxpayers who itemize deductions on their personal returns. But your deductions are at risk if you do not have the requisite proof to back up your claims. Worst-case scenario: You are forced to forfeit all or part of your charitable deduction for 2017 if the
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Medical Deductions & The New Tax Law

Note: The is one of a series of articles explaining how the various tax changes in the GOP’s Tax Cuts & Jobs Act (referred to as “the Act” in this article), which passed in late December of 2017, could affect you and your family, both in 2018 and future years. This series offers strategies that
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Do You Have to File a Gift-tax Return?

Protection under annual gift-tax exclusion Did you make gifts to family members in 2017? As long as the gifts did not exceed the limits for the annual gift-tax exclusion, you should have no federal gift-tax worries. You do not even have to file a gift-tax return. And the annual gift-tax exclusion limit, which has not
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Tricky Tax Rule for Itemized Deductions

Phaseout may affect 2017 returns Can you deduct the full amount of your itemized deductions on your 2017 tax return? Under current law, deductions are reduced for certain upper-income taxpayers under the “Pease rule,” named for the congressman who initially introduced the provision. This little-known rule may catch taxpayers with rising incomes by surprise. Background: Most
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