L&H Insights

Casualty Losses Can Provide a 2017 Deduction, but Rules Tighten for 2018

Posted by L&H CPAs on Apr 16, 2018 9:35:56 PM

If you suffered damage to your home or personal property last year, you may be able to deduct these “casualty” losses on your 2017 federal income tax return. For 2018 through 2025, however, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act suspends this deduction except for losses due to an event officially declared a disaster by the President.

What is a casualty? It’s a sudden, unexpected or unusual event, such as a natural disaster (hurricane, tornado, flood, earthquake, etc.), fire, accident, theft or vandalism. A casualty loss doesn’t include losses from normal wear and tear or progressive deterioration from age or termite damage.

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Tags: Insider

Keeping a Trust a Secret Could Violate State Law

Posted by L&H CPAs on Apr 16, 2018 9:02:16 PM

If your estate plan includes one or more trusts, you may have a good reason for wanting to keep them a secret.

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Tags: Estate Planning

2018 Q2 Tax Calendar: Key Deadlines for Businesses and Other Employers

Posted by L&H CPAs on Apr 10, 2018 5:42:50 PM

Here are some of the key tax-related deadlines affecting businesses and other employers during the second quarter of 2018.

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Tags: Business Owners & Entrepreneurs

Size of Charitable Deductions Depends on Many Factors

Posted by L&H CPAs on Apr 10, 2018 5:23:39 PM

Whether you’re claiming charitable deductions on your 2017 return or planning your donations for 2018, be sure you know how much you’re allowed to deduct. Your deduction depends on more than just the actual amount you donate.

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Tags: Estate Planning

5 Estate Planning Tips for the Sandwich Generation

Posted by L&H CPAs on Apr 9, 2018 9:06:20 PM

The “sandwich generation” accounts for a large segment of the population. These are people who find themselves caring for both their children and their parents at the same time. In some cases, this includes providing parents with financial support. As a result, estate planning — which traditionally focuses on providing for one’s children — has expanded in many cases to include aging parents as well.

Including your parents as beneficiaries of your estate plan raises a number of complex issues. Here are five tips to consider:

1. Plan for long-term care (LTC). The annual cost of LTC can reach well into six figures. These expenses aren’t covered by traditional health insurance policies or Medicare. To prevent LTC expenses from devouring your parents’ resources, work with them to develop a plan for funding their health care needs through LTC insurance or other investments.

2. Make gifts. One of the simplest ways to help your parents financially is to make cash gifts to them. If gift and estate taxes are a concern, you can take advantage of the annual gift tax exclusion, which allows you to give each parent up to $15,000 per year without triggering taxes.

3. Pay medical expenses. You can pay an unlimited amount of medical expenses on your parents’ behalf, without tax consequences, so long as you make the payments directly to medical providers. 

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Tags: Estate Planning

Tax Reform - Taxes on Capital Gains

Posted by L&H CPAs on Mar 26, 2018 4:02:11 PM

As the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) worked its way through the legislative channels last year, there was some uncertainty about how short- and long-term capital gains would be taxed. The final bill, passed into law in December 2017, may affect investors in different ways. There are some aspects of the new tax law as it relates to capital gains that will be familiar to investors. However, new capital gains tax rates are not tied to your ordinary income tax bracket, which can make calculating gains more complex.

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Tags: Tax Reform

Tax Reform: Expanded Use of 529 Education Tax Breaks

Posted by L&H CPAs on Mar 26, 2018 2:45:43 PM
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Tags: Tax Reform

Tax Reform - Expanded Child Tax Credit

Posted by L&H CPAs on Mar 26, 2018 2:23:26 PM

The Child Tax Credit was designed to help working families by offsetting some of the expenses that come with raising children. A staple of federal tax regulations since 1998, the credit has changed more than once over the past 20 years. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), signed into law in December, made further changes to this credit, making it available to more parents.

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Tax Reform - Federal Estate Tax Exemption

Posted by L&H CPAs on Mar 23, 2018 11:45:46 AM

While recent tax reform signed into law in December 2017, more commonly know as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TJCA),  included a number of significant changes. One of the most notable changes for those of us with complex estate planning issues was the doubling of the federal estate tax exemption amount.

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Tags: Tax Reform

Tax Reform: Simplified Standard Deductions and Personal Exemption

Posted by L&H CPAs on Mar 22, 2018 10:48:53 AM

One of legislators’ stated aims with recent tax reform, formally known as The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), was to simplify the way Americans do their taxes. While the end result wasn’t the ability for taxpayers to file their taxes on a postcard, there are some provisions that will likely make the process of doing taxes easier for millions of Americans.

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Tags: Tax Reform

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