Little Known Tax Strategy Could Save Tax Dollars for Millions

If you are retiring and hold a significant amount of your company’s stock in your qualified retirement plan, you can choose to elect a special tax treatment for the distribution called net unrealized appreciation. Before you make this election, you’ll need to compare your tax liability on the distribution to future tax costs. For more information on this strategy, read this Financial Strategy.

Rental of Vacation Home Used as a Residence

If you’re fortunate enough to have a vacation or second home, you should consider some basic tax laws that will allow you to make the best tax use of your vacation home. You may consider taking advantage of tax free rental income, rental income deductions or a tax free sale of the home. For more information on these tax advantages and the rules that apply, read this C.P.A. Insight.

Protecting IRA Accounts from Bankruptcy

If you’re faced with a bankruptcy situation, there are federal laws in place that protect your assets held inside qualified retirement plans such as a 401(k) or an IRA. The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 extends some of these safeguards. For more information on how much is protected by these laws, read this Financial Strategy.

Business and Nonbusiness Bad Debt

Inevitably, you may incur a financial loss in your business or personal life. If this loss is due to a loan that cannot be repaid, it may be considered bad debt. From a tax standpoint, how you handle the bad debt is a complicated situation. For more information on determining if you have a bad debt and how it may offset your income, read this C.P.A. Insight.

The Estate Tax

Everyone knows about death and taxes, and if your estate is large enough, sometimes they go hand in hand. Estate tax is the transfer of property from one individual to another at the time of death. For more information on how estate tax is derived and the deductions and credits available to reduce the gross estate, read this Financial Strategy.

Georgia’s 529 Plan—Path2College 529 Plan

Residents of Georgia are eligible for a state tax deduction for contributions to Georgia’s 529 College Savings Plan regardless of income. Because of this tax benefit, residents should consider this plan as a savings vehicle for higher education costs. For more information on Georgia’s plan and the seven available investment options, read this week’s Financial Strategy.

Hobby Losses

If you take tax deductions for any activity that is not your full-time job, you need to meet certain criteria to ensure the IRS does not consider your activity a hobby rather than a for-profit business. The IRS has nine factors they consider when determining if your activity is a hobby or a viable business. For more information on these factors, read this week’s C.P.A. Insight.