Do you have questions about the recent tax changes? We have provided some updates that could affect you. Please contact us today if you would like to schedule a consultation.
Does the New Surtax Apply to You?
As of January 1, 2013, there is a 3.8% net investment income tax on some categories of passive investment income for individuals, trusts and estates that exceed certain income thresholds. As a result, it is in your best interest to identify these income sources and adopt strategies to lower your modified adjusted gross income or your net investment income to avoid the surtax. If you think the new tax may apply to you, we can explain your choices and help you pick the best strategy to reduce your tax bill.
Stop Tax Identity Theft in Its Tracks
Imagine after sending in your annual tax return, you receive a notice from the Internal Revenue Service saying that another return has already been filed using your name and Social Security number—and claiming a refund. Sound impossible? It can happen if you become one of a growing number of victims of tax return identity theft. According to one estimate, tax-related identity theft cases have soared more than 650% since 2008. At the least, this crime can lead to a delay in your refund, but the consequences may be much more serious. In addition, you may face a larger problem with identify theft if the scammer is also running up credit card debt or taking out loans in your name.
To avoid becoming a victim, we recommend steps such as safeguarding your Social Security number and other financial information, keeping an eye on changes to your credit ratings and taking precautions with electronic transfers of confidential information. Be sure to contact us if you believe you have been a victim of identity theft or would like advice on the best ways to secure your financial information.
Is Your Will Up To Date?
When was the last time you reviewed your will? People generally make wills to guarantee the proper disposition of their money and property, which is why it’s a good idea to consult your CPA when it’s time to create or update your will.
We recommend that you revisit your will every time you experience a major life event, such as marriage, the birth of a child, retirement or other significant milestones. Even if there is no meaningful change in your life, it’s smart to review the document every couple of years to ensure it still addresses all your estate concerns and reflects your wishes. Changes in the value of your investments—such as a stock portfolio or real estate—may also require adjustments in your estate plans.
Reviewing your will may raise questions about various areas of your financial life, including your retirement or estate planning, college savings or other financial concerns. Be sure to turn to us for the perspective and advice you need to make the best choices.
DOMA Decision’s Impact on Financial Planning for Same-Sex Couples
If you are a member of a married same-sex couple, then the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act could have a substantial effect on many aspects of your financial life. You may want to consider, for example, filing an amended income tax return if you now qualify for deductions or credits available to married couples under federal law. Since same-sex couples are now eligible for the estate tax exemption available to surviving spouses, it may also be time to review your estate planning.
Those are just a few of the changes affecting qualifying same-sex couples. If you have questions about the decision’s impact and what it means to your financial situation, be sure to contact us today.
Let Us Help You Leverage What You Can Learn from Your Tax Return
What does your tax return say about your financial situation? The fact is, the paperwork you file each year offers excellent information about how you are managing your money—and about areas where it might be wise to make changes in your financial habits. If you have questions about your financial situation, remember that we can help. Our firm is made up of highly qualified and educated professionals who work with clients like you all year long, serving as trusted business advisors. So whether you are concerned about budgeting; saving for college, retirement or another goal; understanding your investments; cutting your tax bite; starting a business; or managing your debt, you can turn to us for objective answers to all your tax and financial questions.