Category: News 2018

Mid-Year Planning: Tax Changes to Factor In

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed in December of last year, fundamentally changes the federal tax landscape for both individuals and businesses. Many of the provisions in the legislation are permanent, others (including most of the tax cuts that apply to individuals) expire at the end of 2025. Here are some of the significant changes you should factor in to any mid-year tax planning. You should also consider reviewing your situation with a tax professional.

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Marriage and Money: Taking a Team Approach to Retirement

Now that it’s fairly common for families to have two wage earners, many husbands and wives are accumulating assets in separate employer-sponsored retirement accounts. In 2018, the maximum employee contribution to a 401(k) or 403(b) plan is $18,500 ($24,500 for those age 50 and older), and employers often match contributions up to a set percentage of salary.

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Investing to Save Time Boosts Happiness Returns

The more money you make, the more valuable you perceive your time to be — and the more time-strapped you may feel, according to University of British Columbia psychology professor Elizabeth Dunn. So wouldn’t it stand to reason that if you use some of your hard-earned money to buy yourself more time — for example, by paying someone to clean your house or mow your lawn — you might achieve a greater level of happiness? Indeed, that was the primary finding in a series of studies by Professor Dunn and other researchers published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

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Fact or Fiction?

Fiction: If you’re on the threshold of a tax bracket, you should stay on the higher end and enjoy the higher-income status.

Fact: If you’re on the threshold of a tax bracket, deferring income or accelerating deductions may help you reduce your tax exposure. It might make sense to defer some of your income to the next year if doing so will put you in a lower tax bracket. Accelerating deductions, such as medical expenses or charitable contributions, into the current tax year may have the same effect.

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Two for One: Something Old Something New

How to Get a Georgia State Income Tax Credit and a Charitable Contribution Deduction at the Same Time. It is not often that you can get both a Federal charitable tax deduction and a credit against your Georgia income taxes at the same time. In Georgia, there are now two ways that taxpayers can make this happen.

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Deciphering the Impact of Rising Interest Rates

At the end of March, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announced that it was increasing the fed funds rate by 0.25%. This rate, which is also known as the “overnight rate,” is the rate at which depository institutions (banks and credit unions) lend reserve balances to other depository institutions overnight on an uncollateralized basis so that those institutions can meet their reserve balance requirements. The general consensus is that this increase is the first of three this year although some analysts think there could be as many as four rate hikes in 2018.

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