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Information provided on this page is informational only. Nothing posted here should be considered investment advice. Please review your financial situation with a qualified financial professional before taking action. For more information please see our disclosure.

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Financial Planning for Unmarried Couples

Financial and tax planning advice is relatively easy to find online for married couples and single individuals. However, according to the U.S. census, about 8% of adults live with an unmarried partner. When you are living with a long-term partner, you may think of yourself as married for most purposes, but the law treats you very differently than it does a married couple. It is important to understand these differences, as they can have a dramatic impact on your lifetime taxes paid. It used to be that if you were LGBTQ+ and in a relationship, you were going to be an unmarried couple, as the federal government did not recognize same-sex marriage. This all changed in 2015, when gay marriage was made legal by a Supreme Court decision. However, many LGBTQ+ couples were long disgusted by the lack of marriage equity and chose to remain unmarried even after the court decision. This means there are still many unmarried LGBTQ+ couples.

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Last-Minute Tax Planning for 2021

Where has the time gone? Another year came and went. Although we are beginning to draw the curtain on 2021, that does not mean there aren’t some last-minute tax planning considerations before we close out the year. With the clock winding down, there are some final tax moves you should consider before year-end. However, for others, you may have until early 2022, or even the tax filing deadline, to make final decisions that will impact your taxes in 2021. Here are some things to review before the year is out.

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The Importance of Retirement Tax Planning – Why Tax Planning in Retirement Is Just as Important as When You’re Working

In financial media, there is significant chatter about saving for retirement and utilizing ways to reduce your taxable income during your working years. But what often gets neglected are the discussions surrounding taxes in retirement, which, in many cases, are even more complex than when you’re working. With Medicare premium surcharges, Social Security brackets, estate taxes, required minimum distributions, and withdrawal decisions from tax-deferred, tax-free, and taxable accounts, juggling all these different items can be incredibly challenging.

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Generosity: Making Tax-Efficient Gifts to Individuals

What makes people happy, content and fulfilled? More money and more stuff can give a temporary boost to someone’s mood, but it can’t make them truly happy. Financial contentment is understanding that money and things are not what provide fulfillment. What makes most people happy is having a sense of purpose, having a sense of contentment, spending time with family and friends, and making a difference in the world. Today we are going to discuss why you should give—and how to give—to individuals in a tax-efficient way.

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End of the Backdoor Roth? New Tax Law Proposal Aims to Quash This Powerful Retirement Savings Move

An incredibly wise man, Benjamin Franklin, once said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.” While there isn’t anything we as financial planners can do about death, one of our main goals is to help our clients reduce their total lifetime taxes paid. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to contribute money to a Roth retirement account (either a Roth IRA or a Roth 401(k)). The trouble with this is that not everyone is eligible to contribute to a Roth IRA directly or has an employer that offers a Roth 401(k) option. In these instances, another avenue to pursue is evaluating whether it makes sense to do what’s called a backdoor Roth contribution instead.

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Generosity: Making Tax-Efficient Gifts to Charity

Many people like to donate to charity. Often, people will write checks or make an online donation to a variety of charities throughout the year. Since most people now take the standard deduction instead of itemizing their deductions on their tax return, they usually don’t get the maximum bang for their buck by donating in this fashion.

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Contemplating Your Compensation – What to Consider When Receiving Company Stock as a Part of Your Compensation Package

When many people consider the compensation package for an employer, they primarily look at the base pay and possible bonus potential. Beyond that, other fringe benefits such as health insurance, company paid life insurance, a 401(k) match, or other perks (like being able to work from home) may come into the equation. However, for many people who work for publicly traded companies, a portion (often significant) of their total compensation will come in some form of company stock awards. How do you quantify this part of your pay, and its risks, when evaluating your entire compensation package? Here are some things to consider when company stock is a portion of your total pay.

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The Step-Up Loophole and the STEP Act

On April 28th President Biden pitched his American Families Plan to select group of members of Congress. Near the end of the proposal was a section entitled “End capital income tax breaks and other loopholes for the very top.” The first part of this section covered changes to capital gains tax rates that we covered in a previous blog article. The second part covered closing the “step-up” loophole (see text below) which is what we’re going to cover in this week’s blog.

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Making Kids a Little Less Expensive - Big Changes to the Child Tax Credit in 2021

Kids aren't cheap. Between providing for their food, clothes, childcare, activities, toys, possibly college, and countless other things, the financial cost of raising children can be quite high. However, most parents will admit that the joys and wonders of having children far outweigh the financial costs (at least until their adolescent years). Luckily for those who have qualifying children, many will receive an expanded tax benefit in the form of a tax credit from the recently passed American Rescue Plan. This credit is in addition to the enhancements of the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit that was discussed in a previous blog. Here's what you should know about the Child Tax Credit, and what expanded benefits may apply to you.

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The American Families Plan and the potential increase in Capital Gains Tax rates

President Biden is planning on previewing his American Families Plan (AFP) at his first address to a joint session of Congress on April 28th. Some of the expected parts of the plan include extending the enhanced child tax credit, 12 weeks of family leave paid for by the federal government, free community college, access to free childcare, and universal pre-K. To pay for all of these new programs, the President is expected to propose tax increases in various forms. One of the most talked-about changes is with long-term capital gains rates, reportedly increasing dramatically for those Americans with more than $1 million in taxable income.

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Big Changes to the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credits & FSAs in 2021

The American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) has temporarily expanded two key provisions of the tax code that affect families with children 18 or under along with other types of dependents. Not that anything in the tax code is simple, but the new Child Tax Credit and Child & Dependent Care Tax Credit have now become super complicated to understand for 2021. For now, these rules only apply to 2021 and then revert to the old rules in 2022 (pending permanent changes in future tax legislation). In this week’s blog we are going to look at the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. We will analyze the Child tax Credit in a future blog.

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