So when Should I Draw Social Security?

Download Planning for Social Security Benefits, a newly updated publication which explains the various aspects of how Social Security Benefits are computed and what you need to know to get to maximize your, and your spouse’s, benefits. It’s a hard question to answer because how long someone will live is the key to answering it, […]

Bernie Sanders’ Dumb FTT Plan

Before I criticize Bernie Sanders’ financial transaction tax plan, let me give him some credit for his willingness to impose a payroll tax to pay for a new “Family and Medical Leave Act” and for his willingness to impose an across-the-board income tax rate increase to fund a “Medicare-For-All” plan. He’s taken a lot of […]

Obamacare for the Self-Employed

I’ve encouraged many of self-employed clients to sign up for Obamacare over the past 2 years, particularly those whose “household income” on their tax returns can be reported at a level below 400% of the Federal Poverty Line ($62,920 for a family of two or $95,400 for four for 2015) which qualifies them for premium […]

How the IRS Taxes Debt

In December Congress passed and the President signed the Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act of 2015. The act extends the tax exclusion for “canceled mortgage debt”. This affects taxpayers who were foreclosed upon or did short sales or renegotiated mortgages on their primary residence. The exclusion was first enacted into tax law in 2007 and […]

Maximizing Your Health Savings Account Tax Benefits

According to data published by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, the average Health Savings Account contribution for taxpayers who set up their own HSA was just $2,032 in 2013 and for those with employer- sponsored accounts a paltry $1,184. I see a similar pattern among my own clients; their employers contribute $600 or $800 or […]

Are You Ready for the New Capital Gains Reporting

Starting this year, brokerage firms, banks and mutual funds are required to report to the IRS the “cost basis” of stocks and other publically-traded securities sold during 2011.  In the past “sale amounts” were reported.  The new reports will also indicate whether sales are short-term or long-term.  Only gains on long-term sales qualify for preferential […]

Tax Advantages of Health Savings Accounts

What is a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP)?   It’s a health insurance plan with a minimum annual deductible of $1,200 and a maximum of $5,950 for individual plans, or a $2,400 minimum and a $11,900 maximum for family plans.  Blue Cross/Blue Shield, United Health Care, Aetna and some other health insurance carriers all offer […]