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IRS Waives Penalties for Many on 2018 Withholding, Estimated Tax Payments

Posted by IRS on Thu, Jan 17, 2019

The IRS this week announced it is waiving the estimated tax penalty for many taxpayers whose 2018 federal income tax withholding and estimated tax payments fell short of their total tax liability for the year.

The IRS is generally waiving the penalty for any taxpayer who paid at least 85 percent of their total tax liability during the year through federal income tax withholding, quarterly estimated tax payments or a combination of the two. The usual percentage threshold is 90 percent to avoid a penalty.

This relief is designed to help taxpayers who were unable to properly adjust their withholding and estimated tax payments to reflect an array of changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the far-reaching tax reform law enacted in December 2017. 

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Topics: 2018 Federal Tax Reform, Individual tax planning

Estate Planning: How to Save Taxes using the Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Jan 10, 2019

Beneficial rules for the generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax are currently in force, which may allow you to pass on assets to future generations without a federal tax bill.

GST Tax Basics

When it comes to arranging for gifts and bequests to loved ones, most planning strategies focus on avoiding or minimizing the federal gift and estate taxes. Rightly so. But there's one more piece to the puzzle. It's called the generation skipping transfer tax. The GST tax is intended to snare those who would try to foil the federal gift and estate tax system by transferring wealth to persons more than one generation younger than themselves (typically grandchildren).

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Topics: Estate and Trust Services, Individual tax planning

Estate Planning: How to Set up a Private Foundation to Save Taxes

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Dec 18, 2018

Are you interested in setting up a private foundation?

With this approach, you make contributions to a foundation and get a charitable tax deduction just as you would with any qualified organization. Then, as the director, you decide which charities you want to make distributions to so you retain control of the assets.

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Topics: Estate and Trust Services, Individual tax planning

Gift of MAGI? Tax planning can help!

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Dec 11, 2018

The IRS has announced its 2019 cost-of-living adjustments to tax items that might affect you. Many of the amounts increased to account for inflation, but some remained at 2018 levels. As you implement 2018 year-end tax planning strategies, be sure to take these 2019 adjustments into account in your planning.

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Topics: 2018 Federal Tax Reform, Individual tax planning

Save More. IRS Approves Larger Retirement Contributions

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Dec 6, 2018

Did you know that you will be able to contribute more to your 401(k), IRA and other types of qualified retirement accounts in 2019? The IRS recently published annual cost-of-living adjustments to these accounts. Many limits have increased, including the amount you're allowed to contribute to a traditional IRA account, which last increased in 2013. Here's what you should know.

Every year, the IRS releases cost-of-living adjustments to qualified retirement plan amounts. For tax year 2019, many of the limits applicable to pensions and other retirement plans will increase. But some will remain unchanged from 2018.

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Topics: Individual tax planning, Financial planning

Still Time to Lower Your Personal Tax Bill

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Nov 27, 2018

Have you thought about your personal tax situation for 2018? In addition to reviewing the adequacy of your payroll withholdings and estimated tax payments, there's still time to employ some tax-savvy moves that could potentially decrease this year's tax bill. Tax reform legislation has changed the rules of the game, so it's important to discuss end-of-year strategies with your tax advisor as soon as possible. 

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Topics: 2018 Federal Tax Reform, Individual tax planning

Act Now to Cut Your 2018 Tax Bill

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Nov 6, 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) created more than 100 new tax provisions — a staggering thought as you begin to prepare for the next filing season. The good news is that these and some of the surviving provisions create a wealth of year-end planning opportunities.


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Topics: 2018 Federal Tax Reform, Individual tax planning

Post Tax Reform: Who Pays No Tax on Long-Term Gains and Dividends

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Sep 27, 2018

Do you have long-term capital gains or qualified dividends? If so, there's good news: After the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, you might still qualify for the 0% federal income tax rate on these types of income.

The rate is only available for those with relatively low income. But, if your income is too high to benefit, your children, grandchildren or other loved ones may still be eligible for the tax savings. Here are the details.

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Topics: 2018 Federal Tax Reform, Individual tax planning

House Takes Steps on Further Federal Tax Reform

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Sep 18, 2018

The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee last week passed three separate bills that will be the cornerstone of what is being referred to as Tax Reform 2.0.

The bills focus on making permanent certain provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that affect individuals, families, and small businesses. They also promote family and retirement savings and new business innovation. For example, one proposal would allow new businesses to write off more of their initial start-up costs. Here’s a brief overview of the three bills.

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Topics: 2018 Federal Tax Reform, Individual tax planning, Business tax planning

The Controversial SALT Limitation: What Taxpayers can do on State and Local Taxes Deductions

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Sep 13, 2018

In recent weeks, the IRS has issued a series of proposed regulations to help clarify provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. One of the most controversial parts of the law is the limit on individuals' deductions for state and local taxes that goes into effect this year.

In the wake of the TCJA, lawmakers in some high-tax states have enacted charitable contribution "workarounds" to preserve federal tax breaks for their residents. Earlier this summer, several states — New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Maryland — filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Treasury and the IRS, alleging that the SALT limitation is an "unconstitutional assault on states' sovereign choices."

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Topics: 2018 Federal Tax Reform, Individual tax planning

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