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Tag Archive for capital gains

It’s Time For Year-End Tax Planning

Barry Fowler32

For the past few years, year-end tax planning has been challenging due to the lateness of action by Congress. This year is no different because of uncertainty over whether Congress will extend any of the many expired or expiring tax provisions. However, regardless of what Congress does later this year, solid tax savings can still be realized by taking advantage of tax breaks that are still on the books for 2015. For individuals and small businesses, these include:

• Capital Gains and Losses – You can employ several strategies to suit your particular tax circumstances. If your income is low this year and your tax bracket is 15% or lower, you can take advantage of the zero percent capital gains bracket benefit, resulting in no tax for part or all of your long-term gains. Others, affected by the market downturn earlier this year, should review their portfolio with an eye to offsetting gains Read more

Should You Keep Home Improvement Records?

TaxConnections Picture - Building Chart 4-16-15 - square

Article Highlights:

• Keeping home improvement records
• Home gain exclusion amounts
• Records may be required to avoid tax

Many taxpayers don’t feel the need to keep home improvement records, thinking the potential gain will never exceed the amount of the exclusion for home gains ($250,000 or $500,000 if both filer and spouse qualify) if they meet the 2-out-of-5-year use and ownership tests. Here are some situations when having home improvement records could save taxes: Read more

Special Rules In The Canada-US Tax Treaty Apply To Cross-Border Death Tax Issues

treaty

Canada and the United States have very different regimes for imposing taxes on death. The United States imposes a Federal Estate Tax; however, Canada has not imposed any Estate Tax since 1971. Rather, Canada taxes accrued, but unrealized, capital gains on death, as part of its income tax system.

Most tax practitioners are not aware of the fact that there special rules found in Article XXIX-B of the Canada-United Tax Convention (“the Treaty”) that are aimed at providing relief in connection with certain cross-border death taxes issues.

Some of these are summarized below:

Read more

2014 Tax Fears & Advice

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With my family snugly content amidst a long holiday season I felt compelled to pen some thoughts regarding the ubiquitous United States Tax Code and all its myriad of seemingly scary changes looming around the proverbial corner. This post lists ten tax matters to be aware of in the new year that have come up in conversations with clients. It also offers four recommendations to minimize tax obligations that I’ve found myself repeatedly trumpeting whenever asked. And finishes with some quick reference tax facts.

Be Aware:

1. For 2013 the self-employment tax has reverted back to its normal 15.3% rate, and the limit for the Social Security portion of the tax has increased to $113,700. Read more

Income Tax Aspects of Non-Business Capital Gains and Losses – Part V

Profit, Loss, Risks Dice Showing Incomes

Government Debt Securities

Interest on non-taxable bonds

The interest on most of these is not taxable but must be reported on the tax return. On form 1040 and 1040A, it is reported on line 8b (non taxable interest). On form 1040 EZ, on line 2, put “TEI” and then the amount, but do not include it in the amount reported for taxable interest on line 2. Exceptions (i.e., interest is taxable) are federally guaranteed obligations (there are some exceptions to these), revenue bonds used to finance home mortgages (there are some exceptions to these), and private activity bonds (there are some exceptions to Read more

Currency and International Financial Centers

World Currency blog postGenerally

The normal assumption in domestic business transactions is the expectation that there will not be a movement in terms of a currency’s accelerating or declining value during the interim of a financial transaction. In an international transaction there is an expectation the currency will have volatility. The use of financial instruments has as its purpose, a prudence of assurance that delivery of currency on a contract date certain will enable the sale or purchase of goods to be unaffected by a fluctuation. To accommodate the necessity in the international market place to hedge international transactional risks, a business enterprise often utilizes an offshore corporate conduit to carryout the financial management of this function.

Financial instruments frequently are companion to a business transaction and utilized to manage the market risk inherent in the currency fluctuations of the floating exchange system. A purchase or sale of goods in conjunction with transnational agreements is in many instances a secondary transaction that poses a risk by virtue of a financial instrument being tied to the transaction. Where a purchase of merchandise requires payment in a currency other than the vendee, financial instruments insure against currency fluctuations. The purchase of such financial instruments is incidental to the transaction and can result in gain or loss of the actual financial instrument utilized to manage the risk.

One party to a transaction may anticipate a currency to accelerate in value and purchase a currency contract reflecting that expectation. Contrarily, a counter party may sell a currency contract anticipating a currency will Read more

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