Have You Properly Substantiated Your 2018 Charitable Gifts?

Posted by L&H CPAs on Mar 7, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Donating to charity is a key estate planning strategy for many people. It reduces the size of your taxable estate and it can help you leave a lasting legacy with organizations you care about.

The benefit of making such gifts during life rather than at death is that you may be eligible for an income tax deduction. Qualifying for a charitable deduction is, in some respects, a matter of form over substance. The IRS could disallow a deduction, even if it’s otherwise legitimate, if you fail to follow the substantiation requirements to the letter.

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Tags: Estate Planning

What You Need to Know About Filing Gift and Estate Tax Returns

Posted by L&H CPAs on Mar 6, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Have you made substantial gifts of wealth to family members? Or are you the executor of the estate of a loved one who died recently? If so, you need to know whether you must file a gift or estate tax return.

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Tags: Estate Planning

A Review of Significant TCJA Provisions Impacting Individual Taxpayers

Posted by L&H CPAs on Mar 5, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Now that 2019 has begun, there isn’t too much you can do to reduce your 2018 income tax liability. But it’s smart to begin preparing for filing your 2018 return. Because the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which was signed into law at the end of 2017, likely will have a major impact on your 2018 taxes, it’s a good time to review the most significant provisions impacting individual taxpayers.

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Tags: Taxes

3 Big TCJA Changes Affecting 2018 Individual Tax Returns and Beyond

Posted by L&H CPAs on Feb 28, 2019 9:00:00 AM

When you file your 2018 income tax return, you’ll likely find that some big tax law changes affect you — besides the much-discussed tax rate cuts and reduced itemized deductions. For 2018 through 2025, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) makes significant changes to personal exemptions, standard deductions and the child credit. The degree to which these changes will affect you depends on whether you have dependents and, if so, how many. It also depends on whether you typically itemize deductions.

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Tags: Taxes

The Home Office Deduction: Actual Expenses vs. the Simplified Method

Posted by L&H CPAs on Feb 27, 2019 9:00:00 AM

If you run your business from your home or perform certain functions at home that are related to your business, you might be able to claim a home office deduction against your business income on your 2018 income tax return. There are now two methods for claiming this deduction: the actual expenses method and the simplified method.


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Tags: Business Owners & Entrepreneurs

Some of Your Deductions May Be Smaller (Or Nonexistent) When You File Your 2018 Tax Return

Posted by L&H CPAs on Feb 26, 2019 9:00:00 AM

While the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) reduces most income tax rates and expands some tax breaks, it limits or eliminates several itemized deductions that have been valuable to many individual taxpayers. Here are five deductions you may see shrink or disappear when you file your 2018 income tax return:

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Tags: Taxes

Appointing the Right Trustee for Your Living Trust Provides Peace of Mind

Posted by L&H CPAs on Feb 21, 2019 2:25:28 PM

A living trust is a cornerstone of many estate plans. During your life, you can serve as the trustee and manage the assets just as you would if you owned them outright. However, you must choose a trustee to oversee and administer the trust after your death (and during your lifetime, should you become unable to act as trustee).

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Address Your Pet in Your Estate Plan Using a Pet Trust

Posted by L&H CPAs on Feb 21, 2019 2:25:10 PM

If you’re an animal lover, a pet is a member of the family — sometimes even more so than flesh-and-blood. So you want to ensure that your beloved pet is cared for after you’re gone. One way to do so is to make provisions for your pet through a trust.


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401(K) Retirement Plan Contribution Limit Increases for 2018; Most Other Limits Are Stagnant

Posted by L&H CPAs on Feb 21, 2019 2:24:46 PM

Retirement plan contribution limits are indexed for inflation, but with inflation remaining low, most of the limits remain unchanged for 2018. But one piece of good news for taxpayers who’re already maxing out their contributions is that the 401(k) limit has gone up by $500. The only other limit that has increased from the 2017 level is for contributions to defined contribution plans, which has gone up by $1,000.

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Estate Planning Lite: College-Aged Children Need a Basic Estate Plan

Posted by L&H CPAs on Feb 13, 2019 9:00:00 AM

If your son or daughter currently is home from college on winter break, now is a good time to sit down and discuss a few estate planning documents he or she should have at this stage of life. Let’s take a closer look at four such documents:

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Tags: Estate Planning

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