Are frequent flyer miles ever taxable?

Post Date: May 30, 2016

If you recently redeemed frequent flyer miles to treat the family to a fun summer vacation or to take your spouse on a romantic getaway, you might assume that there are no tax implications involved. And you’re probably right — but there is a...

Now’s the time to start thinking about “bunching” — miscellaneous itemized deductions, that is

Post Date: May 30, 2016

Many expenses that may qualify as miscellaneous itemized deductions are deductible only to the extent they exceed, in aggregate, 2% of your adjusted gross income (AGI). Bunching these expenses into a single year may allow you to exceed this “floor.” So now is a...

Combining business and vacation travel: What can you deduct?

Post Date: May 30, 2016

If you go on a business trip within the United States and tack on some vacation days, you can deduct some of your expenses. But exactly what can you write off? Transportation expenses Transportation costs to and from the location of your business activity...

3 strategies for tax-smart giving

Post Date: May 30, 2016

Giving away assets during your life will help reduce the size of your taxable estate, which is beneficial if you have a large estate that could be subject to estate taxes. For 2016, the lifetime gift and estate tax exemption is $5.45 million (twice...

Don’t roll the dice with your taxes if you gamble this year

Post Date: May 30, 2016

For anyone who takes a spin at roulette, cries out “Bingo!” or engages in other wagering activities, it’s important to be familiar with the applicable tax rules. Otherwise, you could be putting yourself at risk for interest or penalties — or missing out on...

Should you make a “charitable IRA rollover” in 2016?

Post Date: May 30, 2016

Last year a break valued by many charitably inclined retirees was made permanent: the charitable IRA rollover. If you’re age 70½ or older, you can make direct contributions — up to $100,000 annually — from your IRA to qualified charitable organizations without owing any income...

To deduct business losses, you may have to prove “material participation”

Post Date: May 30, 2016

You can only deduct losses from an S corporation, partnership or LLC if you “materially participate” in the business. If you don’t, your losses are generally “passive” and can only be used to offset income from other passive activities. Any excess passive loss is...

There’s still time for homeowners to save with green tax credits

Post Date: May 30, 2016

The income tax credit for certain energy-efficient home improvements and equipment purchases was extended through 2016 by the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (the PATH Act). So, you still have time to save both energy and taxes by making these eco-friendly...

3 mutual fund tax hazards to watch out for

Post Date: May 30, 2016

Investing in mutual funds is an easy way to diversify a portfolio, which is one reason why they’re commonly found in retirement plans such as IRAs and 401(k)s. But if you hold such funds in taxable accounts, or are considering such investments, beware of...

Awards of RSUs can provide tax deferral opportunity

Post Date: May 30, 2016

Executives and other key employees are often compensated with more than just salary, fringe benefits and bonuses: They may also be awarded stock-based compensation, such as restricted stock or stock options. Another form that’s becoming more common is restricted stock units (RSUs). If RSUs...