10April
2018
Go Green, Save Green: Tax Breaks for Saving Energy

Earth Day is April 22. This occasion reminds us to consider implementing changes to help reduce the amount of energy we consume. But “going green” isn’t just good for the Earth — certain energy-saving expenditures also may qualify for generous tax breaks that are good for your pocketbook, too. Here are some tax credits for buying and installing certain types of energy-efficient residential equipment. Current Tax Breaks for Green Equipment On your 2017 through 2019 returns, you may be eligible for a tax credit of 30% of expenditures (including costs for site preparation, assembly, installation, piping, and wiring) for installing the…

05April
2018
Understanding the Business Cycle

What has upswings and downturns, troughs, peaks, and plateaus? Though such terms could easily describe a roller coaster ride, in fact they are commonly used to refer to something known as the business cycle. The business cycle — also known as the economic cycle — refers to fluctuations in economic activity over several months or years. Tracking the cycle helps professionals make forecasts about the direction of the economy. The National Bureau of Economic Research makes official declarations about the economic cycle, based on factors such as the growth of the gross domestic product, household income, and employment rates. Not…

05April
2018
Sell Corporate Stock Tax-Free to an ESOP

When business owners sell C corporation stock for a big profit, they usually qualify for the current maximum 20% maximum federal rate on long-term capital gains, assuming they’ve owned the shares for over a year. While a 20% capital gains rate is good, a tax-free sale to an ESOP could be even better. Current rules: The maximum federal income tax rate on C corporation dividends is now 20% for single people with taxable income above $425,800 ($479,000 for married joint-filing couples). Upper-income individuals may also owe the 3.8% Medicare surtax on dividend income. For other taxpayers with lower incomes, the…

05April
2018
Discussing Inheritances with Heirs

Many people are uncomfortable discussing with heirs how they will distribute their estate. Perhaps you don’t want your children to realize how much they may receive after your death. Or you may think your choice of heirs could change in the future. However, if you don’t discuss your estate plan, disagreements and conflicts could erupt once the details of inheritances are revealed. For instance, siblings may resent each other if distributions are not equal. Children may resent a spouse from a second marriage if they feel that spouse is using up their inheritance. At that time, you won’t be able…