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Be a Tax Pro! Part II: 5 MORE ways to cut your 2011 personal income taxes

Here are 5 MORE ways to cut your 2011 personal income taxes like a tax pro: 1. Homeowners – accelerate your tax deductible expenses.  Pay your January 2012 mortgage payment and property taxes before December 31, 2011.  You can write off the interest and taxes in 2011.    2.Take advantage of the 0% tax rate on long-term capital gains and dividends.  If you can keep yourself below the 25% income tax bracket, the profits on assets owned for more than a year and dividends are tax free. 3. Use tax credits to mitigate state income tax liabilities.  There are various tax credits that can be used to avoid some or all state income tax.  Some can be generated by a business, some can be purchased, and some are based on taking an action that is supported by the government.  4.Pay your state income taxes early.  Estimate your state income tax liability to the best of your ability and pay it on ...

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What a GRAT trust to fund before 2010 ends!

Who knows where the estate tax limits will fall in 2011.  It might be 1 million or 3.5 million or higher depending on how the legislators settle on this issue. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Congress is trying to put limits on a popular trust families have used for years to avoid the estate tax. Since this type of trust works best at times when interest rates are low and asset values are depressed, we are urging high net worth clients to look at setting one of these up before Congress decides to make these trusts look like a rainy day in the tax world. This type of trust is known as a GRAT or grantor-retained annuity trust, which allows people to give a portion of an asset’s future profits to heirs tax-free. The trusts we have found can be very popular for clients who have a family business that is expected to increase in value or may have stock ...

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