New Year's Resolution: Review Your Estate Plan
Before you ring in another New Year, you may want to take time out of your busy schedule to observe another annual ritual: a review of your estate plan. If you're like most people, you probably stuck your will and other documents in a drawer or a safe deposit box as soon as you had them drawn up-and have rarely thought about them since. But changes in your personal circumstances or other events could mean it's time for an update.
Good Riddance To The Alternative Minimum Tax
Perhaps the most despised federal levy is the alternative minimum tax, which Congress passed in 1969 to prevent the loophole- savvy ultra-wealthy from shortchanging Uncle Sam.
Over the years, AMT's reach expanded to include households with more than $200,000 in AGI (adjusted gross income) annually and two- earner couples with children in high- tax states.
Reduce Your Widow’s Tax Bill Materially Annually
This is a good time to consider converting a traditional individual retirement account into a Roth IRA. Tax rates are low but unlikely to stay that way. Here's a long- term strategy that takes advantage of the current tax policy and economic fundamentals - a tax-efficient retirement investment and avoids a new twist in the Tax Cut And Jobs Act that penalizes widows.
Giving More to Loved Ones- Tax Free
While it may be better to give than to receive, as the adage contends, both givers and receivers should be happy with the new tax law. The annual amount you can give someone tax-free has been raised to $15,000, from $14,000 in 2017.
Protect Yourself Against Spearphishing
The Russian conspiracy to meddle in the 2016 presidential campaign relied on a common scam called "spearphishing." While the history-making scam may sound sophisticated, this form of digital fraud is running rampant. Anyone using email is likely to be attacked these days. Here are some tips to protect yourself.
Sidestepping New Limits on Charitable Donations
If you think you're no longer allowed to deduct items like charitable donations on your income tax return, think again.
The new tax law doubled the standard deduction, slashing the number of Americans eligible to itemize deductions from 37 million to 16 million.
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