tax planning


A mid-year tax withholding check-up

Did you know that only about 6% of people have the right amount withheld from their paychecks? It’s what brings all the drama to tax-time: the uncertainty of knowing whether you had enough withheld to cover the tax bill, or if you’re going to owe more. The main reason for this is that the Federal withholding tables do not work for nearly anyone except a single person with one job. Ever try to use the […]


Tax Planning Issues related to QBI deduction

Yesterday I went for a full day of continuing education aimed at CPAs regarding the Qualified Business Income Deduction. I came away trying to change my focus from the multi-variable linear equations I got there into actual tax planning strategies to bring up with my clients. I’m going to write up my notes here. This will be long. I’ll highlight the actual planning opportunity, though. REITs and MLPs are superstars of this new tax bill. That […]


Cliff notes version of Friday’s tax reform proposal

I’ve spent the week-end digesting what’s in this tax bill, now that it’s formed up and ready for a vote. Obviously it could still fall apart, but here are some quick thoughts. I’ve bolded the ones that could use attention in December. Standard deductions are going up, and some of you may find you have even less reason to itemize than ever before. I’ll revisit my recommendations to everyone individually this week. (Festive yule, anyone?) But […]


A great tip about Roth conversions

At the AICPA conference, and then later in a Journal of Financial Planning article, I read a really cool idea. I’m not sure it’ll still be possible after Congress gets done hashing out changes to the tax code, but I’ll note it here and we can circle back in January. Here’s the trick: let’s say you’re thinking of converting between $10,000 and $20,000 of IRA money this year. You don’t know for sure how much […]


Tax Alpha

No investment advisor can honestly tell you that they can use their expertise to make you an additional 10% return on your investments. However, I can honestly say that I can, in many instances, save you 10% of your investments through good tax planning to get taxes paid on qualified money at the lowest possible bracket. You don’t want to leave a tip to the IRS! How, you ask? I’ve got a lot of strategies. […]


Charity

The Tuesday after Thanksgiving this year is designated locally as “Giving Tuesday.” A company called Razoo has figured out how to gamify giving. I don’t want to stop anyone from playing if they’re so inclined. Far be it from me to tell you social media has no redeeming qualities. But there are a lot of different ways to think about charitable giving. First, it’s good for you. There’s a fairly new field of study called […]


ProsperiTea Planning

What to bring to your first appointment with Wendy Marsden, CPA, CFP®

You’ve just signed up for a consultation with a financial professional.  What do you need to bring? It depends a bit on what you’re hoping to get out of the meeting.  Let’s break it into three cases and you can skip to the section you think fits your situation: Financial planning Tax planning Investment advising Financial planning (which may include investment advising, but see that below) The first thing you need to bring is your problem. What is […]


Book Review: “Parlay Your IRA into a Family Fortune” by Ed Slott

I’ve been having a mid-life crisis of sorts regarding the value of tax-deferred savings. I decided to go back and reread the “conventional” wisdom before I disrespect it in front of my clients. Ed Slott is one of the foremost experts on IRAs in the country. He knows every single nuance of how to milk an IRA to the absolute tip top tax advantage possible. He speaks from the same perspective as I do as […]