Are Charitable Deductions Going To Be Wiped Out Under Trump?

For many American families who prepare for year end tax planning, no discussion is complete without talking about charitable contributions.   Many families make charitable contributions by tithing a percentage of their family income, giving cash to local charities, or they end up taking non-cash items from their household and donating them to a worthy charity.  With the potential shake up in the tax law under a Trump regime, will you have your charitable contributions completely wiped out in 2017? First things first.   You don’t really need to worry about charitable contributions if you don’t itemize your deductions at all.  Today, a single filer has a $6,300 standard deduction and a married couple has $12,600 for a standard deduction. In addition, you get to deduct you, your spouse, and your children as personal exemptions on your tax return.  The suggested policy going forward would be to wipe out the personal exemptions and offer a larger standard deduction of $15,000 for a ...

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5 Tax Tips Before You File

It’s the beginning of February and your tax documents will be piling up by the day as a new mail from your mortgage companies, banks, and investment companies are sent out to you.   As you begin to stack up your pile of information to bring to the CPA or accountant, did you ever wonder if there are still ways you can save money on your 2013 income taxes before you hit the SEND button to the IRS?   Here are my 5 smart money moves on tax tips before your file away for another year. Contribute To An IRA- Whether this is a Traditional IRA or for small business owners/freelancers a SEP-IRA, these types of IRA contributions could still potentially be tax deductible for the 2013 calendar year even though the contributions and accounts were opened in 2014.   The biggest mistake individuals make is not investigating how these vehicles work or the adjusted gross income limits that would make things like ...

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Will You Lose Your Home Mortgage Deduction In 2013?

Last Friday, I spent a chunk of my day at the Georgia Regional Financial Planning Association conference. I was a panelist at the event, but one of the reasons I attended was to see a friend of mine Michael Kitces speak on all of the tax law changes here in 2013. He is one of the best tax management advisors that I know of in the industry. As I have shared before in my blogs, tax management will be as important if not more important than asset management over the next decade. With all of the recent fiscal cliff changes, the tax law has become even more complicated and requires a close eye here in 2013 when income to tracking your gross income, capital gain sales, and potentially triggering out things like stock options or selling a piece of rental real estate. One of the main questions taxpayers will face this this year is whether or not their home mortgage ...

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Personal Finance 101 – 5 Deductions Taxpayers Overlook

Part of putting together an effective tax management strategy is gaining an understanding of what you can and cannot deduct from your tax return.  Every CPA or accountant seems to have a slightly different slant on the tax code, but here are a few that may be able to help you increase your bottom line. Charitable Mileage – Most taxpayers are very good at keeping receipts of their cash donations that they make to the organizations they donate to during the course of the year.   One of the deductions few taxpayers pay attention to is the charitable mileage deduction.  For 2011, you can deduct .14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.  Don’t forget fees and tolls as well (www.irs.gov)  Think about the time that you give gratuitously during the course of the year for your religious organizations, charitable causes you support, or possibly coaching a one of your kid’s teams. Non-Cash Charitable Contributions – Most taxpayers literally ...

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Text HELP! For Detroit

There isn’t a day that passes by now where I don’t see a continued commercial for raising money to save Haiti. I feel awful for the people of Haiti over this terrible tragedy, but I keep coming back to the major issues we have going on in our own country. Americans donated $150 million in the first four days after the Haiti earthquake, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Donations to Hurricane Katrina efforts in 2005 only totaled $108 million in the first four days after the disaster, the chronicle said. Who knows exactly how much money we have donated between the U.S. Government and American citizens, but doesn’t anybody find it strange that we raise more for other countries than our own? We don’t know the exact numbers, but one study had the unemployment rate last year in Detroit at 28.9% (Source: The World Newser August 28th, 2009). At those levels of unemployment, you ultimately have a tidal wave ...

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What Tax Deductions Could Go Away In The Future?

All of us know that the United States is in a massive federal deficit. Most pundits on television are letting us know that taxes in some way, shape, or form will have to up. That seems reasonable. Any business that is losing money will eventually have to cut expenses, and figure out how to generate more revenue. We couldn’t cut expenses near enough to solve our problem, so the certainty of some form of increased taxation is an inevitability we will face in the future in my opinion. The one thing that I don’t hear much talk about is that increasing taxes isn’t the only way to generate additional revenue, but you could certainly choose to reduce overall tax deductions that we take today as another source for increasing additional revenue. According to a recent study done by the Joint Committee On Taxation (source: Fiscal Year 2010 Budget: Analytical Perspectives. OMB./Table 19-3), here are the top 5 potential sources of ...

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