Government Shutdown Is Not a Tax Holiday

With just over a week to go before the October 15 filing deadline for US tax returns that are on extension, the Internal Revenue Service is currently operating under a government shutdown contingency plan.  What does that mean for taxpayers, especially those who have yet to file their 2012 returns?

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You’ve Got to Take Risk. So, Manage It

Seth J. Masters (pictured), Daniel J. Loewy and Martin Atkin Below-average expected returns will make it difficult for most investors to achieve their goals with traditional portfolios unless they increase stock exposure dramatically.There is a better way.

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Last Call to Take Advantage of Ultralow Rates for GRATs?

 Tara Thompson Popernik (in photo) and Stephen S. Schilling US investors interested in establishing a “zeroed-out” Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT) would benefit from completing their transactions before rising interest rates diminish its potential value—preferably before the end of July.

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“Please, Sir, I Want Some More”

By Kathleen M. Fisher and Stephen M. Lippman Oliver Twist had no luck with his plaintive request, “Please, sir, I want some more.” But high-income doctors, lawyers, accountants and small-business owners in the US can get more—increased tax deferrals for retirement savings—courtesy of a cash balance plan.

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You’re in the Money

Kathleen M. Fisher and Richard L.N. Weaver  Lots of stock options have become valuable in the recent stock market rebound. When should you exercise and when should you sit tight? Systematic planning is required to answer that question.

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Reducing the Risk from Adding Stock Exposure

Adding other sources of diversification could significantly reduce the risk from increasing stock exposure, our research suggests.

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After ATRA, Tax Management Gains Importance

Daniel B. Eagan and Paul Robertson The US tax reform just enacted has made effective tax management of portfolios far more valuable for some investors. The old rules of thumb never really worked, but their shortcomings will now cost investors more.

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New US Tax Law May Reduce Portfolio Trading

Daniel B. Eagan, Paul Robertson and Tara Thompson-Popernik By raising capital-gains tax rates for some investors, the American Tax Relief Act alters the ground rules for tax-aware trading. If your taxable income exceeds $400,000 (single filer) or $450,000 (joint filer), there may now be less trading in your portfolio because each trade must clear a [...]

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Seniors: Act Fast If You Want to Transfer IRA Assets Directly to Charity

Daniel B. Eagan and Brian D. Wodar Philanthropic seniors in the US have only until the end of January to decide whether to make a tax-neutral transfer of up to $100,000 in IRA assets to the charity of their choice. For many, this could significantly lower their tax bill.

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Municipals Escape Taxation for Now

In the end, the American Taxpayer Relief Act did not eliminate the tax exemption for municipal bonds or modify it any way. In fact, the increase in the top marginal tax rate makes muni bonds more attractive versus taxable bonds. And the Medicare surtax on investment income, enacted in 2010 but effective in 2013, makes muni bonds more [...]

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