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Income Taxes « Financial Matters



Articles About Tax Issues



  • "2010 Tax Act" Year-End Transfer Tax Planning Alert (Morris Law Group – Dec. 2010)
    Congress and President Obama were able to agree upon a far-reaching compromise before the Christmas holiday that affects unemployment benefits, estate planning and taxes, among other things. The outcome is entitled "The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, P.L. 111-312" ("2010 Tax Act") and has been signed into law. The new law contains numerous significant changes that will affect estate plans across the board.
  • A Checklist of Tax Benefits for Parents of Special Needs Children (Special Needs Answers – Oct. 2007)
    Unique tax benefits are available to families with individuals who have special needs.
  • Avoiding a Penalty on Early Distributions for Qualified Plans and IRAs (Bruce D. Steiner, Esq.)
    A 10% penalty generally applies if a taxpayer receives early distributions from a qualified plan or IRA, but there are exceptions. This article focuses on the exception for distributions that are substantially equal periodic payments.
  • Estate Taxes: Clock is Ticking and Time is Running Out (Lawyers Weekly – 11/1/10)
    While some practitioners still believe that Congress will retroactively reinstate the federal estate tax for 2010, as the months go by without any action, it is becoming increasingly likely that there will not be a federal estate tax this year.
  • Gift Annuities Benefit Donors, Nonprofits (Wall Street Journal – 2/3/09)
    Charitable annuities are the gifts that keep giving. These vehicles allow individuals to support a charity, reduce their tax bill and secure a steady stream of payments for life.
  • How to Deduct Assisted Living Facility Costs (Robert C. Anderson, LL.M. Taxation, CELA)
    The IRS provides an income tax deduction for medical expenses which include "qualified long-term services." This is a helpful article written by one of our friends on important tax considerations for folks who live in an assisted living facility!
  • IRA Change Helps Retirees Ride Out the Storm (Washington Post – 1/15/09)
    It's hard to keep up with all the legislative changes taken as the federal government grapples with the recession.
  • IRS Hates This Old Supreme Court Case: No Taxation on Currency Gain (Int'l Tax Counselors Blog – 8/26/12)
    Can currency volatility  create taxable income?  Well if you believe the IRS, yes it can. If you believe the United States Supreme Court,  the answer is sometimes. In this case, the answer was “no”. The IRS ignores the case in its ruling on currency gains and losses.
    Patti's Comment:  I love this blog and in particular this post!! Keep up the good work, and for goodness sakes why on earth should the IRS think they are above the highest law in the land??
  • IRS Issues Guidance on Disability Exemption to Early Distribution From IRA Penalty (Elder Law Answers – 7/12/09)
    The Internal Revenue Service provided guidance on when a taxpayer may avoid the 10 percent penalty on IRA distributions before age 59 by claiming to be disabled.
  • Maximizing the Medical Expense Deduction (Beyond Structured Settlements – 8/30/10)
    Jeremy Babener, author of previous articles on structured settlement taxation, has published Taking Medical Expense Deductions Before and After a Personal Injury Suit in the August issue of Practical Tax Strategies. The article is available at his web site, Tax Structuring.
  • Poll: Many Sick Americans Experience Significant Financial Problems And Report Their Care Is Not Well-Managed (Harvard School of Public Health – 5/21/12)
    Many Americans who have experienced a serious illness or injury within the past 12 months are concerned about the financial costs of medical care, and struggle to ensure that their care is appropriate,  according to a new poll released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), NPR and Harvard School of Public Health. RWJF commissioned the poll to better understand Americans’ experiences and attitudes related to cost and quality of U.S. medical care.
    Patti's Comment:  You can count me in as agreeing!
  • Self-Employed? Remember Roth IRA Option (Wall Street Journal – 7/2/10)
    Saving more for retirement is something we should all be doing. If you can save in a tax-smart fashion, so much the better. Making annual Roth IRA contributions is definitely tax-smart, because you can take tax-free withdrawals after age 59½. Of course, Roth contributions are nondeductible. That's OK because you'll collect your rightful tax savings on the back end. However, many successful self-employed individuals have dismissed the idea of making annual Roth contributions for two reasons. 
  • Should You File Jointly, Or Not? 
    For many married couples, filing jointly is a good idea, but there are exceptions.
  • Tax Break for Surviving Spouses Selling Homes (Wall Street Journal – Jan. 20, 2008)
    Some widows and widowers thinking of selling their home may benefit from a new law enacted last month. The new law effectively gives them more time to sell and still be eligible for the maximum home-sale tax break available for married couples who file jointly.
  • Tax Deductions and Credits for People with Disabilities and Their Families (1/28/16)
    If you or your spouse have a disability, or if you care for a dependent with a disability, you may be able to qualify for one or more tax credits and deductions.
  • Tax Time Tips for Families of Children with Special Needs
    Your family may work with a good accountant, but consulting a qualified special needs planner at tax time can solve complicated questions about taxable income affecting people with disabilities.
  • The Tax Consequences of Mark Zuckerberg's Marriage (TaxProf Blog)
    What does this latest development mean for the Zuckerberg family tax return?
  • The Tax Relief Act of 2010
    This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional service.
  • To Roth or Not to Roth (Elder Law Answers – 1/12/10)
    To review, a Roth and a traditional IRA are effectively the opposite of one another. You get a tax deduction by contributing to a traditional IRA, but the money you take out is taxed at ordinary income tax rates. While there is no immediate tax benefit for contributing to a Roth, you don't have to pay tax on the money when you withdraw the funds in retirement.

IRS Information & Press Releases

Books & Publications

  • 2011 Income Tax Guide (The Arc Michigan)
    This guide has been prepared for persons supporting children and/or adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and is now available online at no charge in pdf format.

Resources: Websites and Services

  • Tax-filing Assistance to Long-term Care Workers (PHI)
    Every year, home health aides, certified nurse aides, and personal care attendants miss out on thousands of dollars worth of tax credits and free tax preparation services. The Earn, Keep, Save MORE campaign aims to increase the number of workers that are aware of these tax options so that fewer are among those that fail to claim what they have rightfully earned.