Shrinking Tax Refunds 1.  The U.S. Cut Taxes. Why Will Fewer Folks Get Refunds? (Washington Post, 2/10/2019) This article has Q&A taking you through the reasons why. Hint: Some of the explanation is because of changes to the tax code, but also because less taxes were withheld from employee paychecks than in prior years due to changes in the withholding tables, and in the lower rate withheld from bonuses and employee stock compensation...

No, we are not in a 9-year-old bull market 1. Currently some clients, and pundits, are voicing concerns about the longevity of the current bull market. In the September 2017 article “No, This Is Not the Second Longest Bull Market Ever”, Barry Ritholtz and Michael Batnick laid out the case that the period running from mid-2015 to early 2016 "absolutely was a bear market." Barry also explains how he measures...

  Have you heard about that new Postcard-sized Tax Return? Kelly Phillips Erb, aka @taxgirl, gives us a first look in Here's How The New Postcard-Sized 1040 Differs From Your Current Tax Return. Yes, the new 1040 is smaller but it comes with at least six additional schedules, or forms, that many taxpayers will have to attach to the main form. And the font size is TINY. Does Your State Rely...

How do you save for “retirement” if you don’t participate in a 401(k) plan? Katie Lobosco with CNN Money writes “The good news is that there are other accounts you can open yourself that offer similar benefits. For some self-employed people, the benefits can be even better than a traditional 401(k) plan's.” Roth IRA’s are great for kids with earned income Kimberly Lankford with Kiplinger’s Personal Finance notes “Contributing to a...

Here is a copy of a letter we sent to our SageBroadview clients: Year-End Reflections on the New Tax Law Dear SageBroadview Clients and Friends: We interrupt your busy holiday season with a reach-out on this week’s U.S. tax code overhaul. While the ink still dries on this sweeping new legislation, you may be wondering whether there are ways you can or should spring into action immediately, before year-end, to reposition yourself for...

Being smart about charitable giving  1.   As Barry Ritholz notes in this oldie but goodie -- “giving to charity is personally fulfilling and it helps those in need, but some charities are better than others in channeling donations to where they are most needed.” Find out how to do your homework before you give.  Be Smart About Charity (Bloomberg View, 12/4/2014)  +   GiveWell is a nonprofit dedicated to finding outstanding giving opportunities through in-depth analysis. Thousands of hours...

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 Senate Republicans passed their tax reform bill in the wee hours last Saturday morning. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters that the GOP tax bill would pay for itself. Independent analysis rejects this notion. Next step: turning two bills into one. When chambers pass different versions of a bill, conferees appointed from both the House and Senate meet to reconcile the bills they...

At SageBroadview we are very busy this holiday season and I expect our readers are too. So, for the rest of the year, barring an emergency that I would need to address (another credit agency security breach, for example), we will keep things short and sweet. I will share three articles each week with one or two sentences about each article. The articles may all be on the same topic,...

  “Hip and happening” isn’t the usual phrase that comes to mind when you think about the Internal Revenue Service. A more common stereotype is captured by Will Ferrell’s character, IRS Agent Harold Crick in the movie “Stranger Than Fiction.” Harold Crick counts the strokes when he’s brushing his teeth. His wristwatch is his guardian angel. He explains to the woman he’s wooing (and simultaneously auditing): “IRS agents, we’re given rigorous aptitude...