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Watch Out for the Top 12 Tax Scams & Schemes

The “dirty dozen” favored by criminals & cheats.

Year after year, criminals try to scam certain taxpayers. Year after year, certain taxpayers resort to schemes in an effort to put one over on the Internal Revenue Service (I.R.S.). These cons occur year-round, not just during tax season. In response to their frequency, the I.R.S. has listed the 12 biggest offenses – scams that you should recognize, schemes that warrant penalties and/or punishment.

What To Do When a Windfall Comes Your Way

Getting rich quick can be liberating, but it can also be frustrating. Sudden wealth can help you address retirement saving or college funding anxieties, and it may also give you the opportunity to live and work on your terms. On the other hand, you’ll pay more taxes, attract more attention, and maybe even contend with jealousy or envy. You may also deal with grief or stress, as a lump sum may be linked to a death, a divorce, or a pension payout decision.

Stop Procrastinating About Financial Planning

Some things to think about as you get started with your strategy.

First, look at your expenses and your debt. Review your core living expenses (such as a mortgage payment, car payment, etc.). Can any core expenses be reduced? Investing aside, you position yourself to gain ground financially when income rises, debt shrinks, and expenses decrease or stabilize.  

Wealth Management with Memory Disorders

What steps can a family take?

Besides impacting lives and relationships, dementia can also impact family finances. It may call for another family member to assume money management responsibilities for a parent, grandparent, or sibling. It may increase the risk of financial exploitation, even as we do our best to guard against it.

Watch Our Video: The Importance of Setting Financial Goals

These are the obstacles we all face in trying to achieve our financial goals:

 

Take Advantage of The New Tax Laws

The $1.5 trillion tax reduction will act as a tailwind for the economy in general, but it will also have a positive impact on most people’s individual economy. You've filed your 2017 tax return, but now is the time to start thinking about tax planning opportunities for 2018. 

The biggest changes in personal taxes are 1) lowering tax rates for most income levels, 2) eliminating personal exemptions, and 3) roughly doubling the standard deduction to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for married couples.  For about 2/3 of tax payers that used to itemize deductions, the result will be simplification of tax preparation as the standard deduction will provide a greater benefit than itemizing deductions. 

Talking to Your Heirs About Your Estate Plan

They should not be left ill-informed or unaware.

Talking about “the end” is not the easiest thing to do, and this is one reason why some people never adequately plan for the transfer of their wealth. Those who do create estate plans with help from financial and legal professionals sometimes leave their heirs out of the conversation.

5 Year End Tax Saving Strategies

The Senate passed its version of the tax reform bill last weekend and the two houses will now go to work reconciling their bills for final passage.  While both versions of the bill have changes taking effect beginning in 2018, there are some financial maneuvers you may want to consider in 2017.

An Estate Plan or a Wealth Transfer Strategy? What's Right For You?

Basic estate planning documents may not communicate your intentions.

There are three degrees of estate planning: advanced, basic, and none at all. Basic is better than none, but elementary estate planning can still leave something to be desired.

Your Year-End Financial Checklist

Seven aspects of your financial life to review as the year draws to a close.

The end of a year makes us think about last-minute things we need to address and good habits we want to start keeping. To that end, here are seven aspects of your financial life to think about as this year leads into the next...

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