529 Plans Explained
A 529 is a tax-advantaged investment account which encourages individuals to save for future higher educational expenses. Named for Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, the investment account offers tax-free withdrawals and earnings growth when the funds are used to pay for qualified education costs. You are not limited to investing in the state where you reside—Any U.S. state’s 529 plan can be used to pay for future college expenses at any qualified college in the United States. According to the Wall Street Journal’s The 6 Biggest Questions About ‘529’ Plans, American families have invested approximately $329 billion in 529 plans, with about $24,153 existing in each account.
The Internet has transformed the national economy in recent years as America has gradually become a nation of online shoppers. E-commerce offers a number of appealing perks: low prices, stay-at-home convenience, a myriad of choices, and—until now—sales tax-free purchasing.
Federal tax law has a longstanding history of providing tax deductions for alimony, or spousal maintenance – a trend that was recently broken by the Trump administration. For court decrees and alimony agreements entered into after December 31, 2018, alimony payments are no longer deductible. Divorce agreements entered into on or before December 31, 2018 remain unaffected. However, the new tax legislation does not specifically refer to prenuptial agreements, so how the law affects such agreements remains unclear; there has been some growing concern that the new tax code will confound existing prenuptial agreements.
Keep reading to learn about 529 Plans, a little-known option which may result in big tax savings
Heading into April, tax season is now in full swing. With the April 15th “Tax Day” due date quickly approaching, Americans filing their income taxes should be aware of increasingly-sophisticated scams. Geared towards taxpayers eager to secure a large refund, the scammers employ a wide range of tricks to prey on individuals.
On March 29, 2014, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and legislative leaders announced an agreement on New York State’s 2014-2015 budget which included several tax law changes.
On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court decided United States v. Windsor, a case involving a same sex couple married in New York, where such marriages are authorized. One of the women died leaving a substantial estate. An estate tax return was filed and the surviving spouse, because of the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA), was not entitled to the unlimited spousal deduction that heterosexual couples could take advantage of generally reducing the estate tax on the first death to zero. The spouse filed the return, the IRS disallowed the spousal deduction, and the surviving spouse sued for a refund of taxes paid.
Well, here we are a new year and another new tax law. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 came to be on January 2, 2013. The law addresses the expiring “Bush Era Tax Cuts” previously addressed on this blog and many, many, other places. Here is what the new tax law does for individuals- note that the fixes are made permanent unless otherwise noted. An important note, “permanent” means there is no set expiration; it does not mean the law cannot be changed again. Finally, not every aspect is addressed here.
The issue of a person’s legal place of residence has significance in matrimonial proceedings and other legal matters affecting where you can sue or be sued or where you must pay taxes among others. Legal residence is primarily a function of intent.
Back in December 2010 there was a much reported flurry of work done on changes to the US Tax laws. One of the big changes was to increase the amount an individuals could pass free of estate or gift (“transfer”) taxes. The changes made it possible to pass during $5,000,000 you life or at death (or combination thereof) without paying either of the transfer taxes. This “exemption amount” was substantially more than in prior years. (The amount is adjusted for inflation and is $5,120,000 for 2012.) Additionally, the then new law made it possible for spouses to share this amount so that a surviving spouse could use any unused portion of a predeceased spouses $5,000,000.