To Reduce Your US Tax Bill, Keep Dividends Qualified

Paul Robertson and Tuppence Russo The recently passed American Tax Relief Act (ATRA) raised the top tax rate for qualified dividends, but it scarcely affected the benefit this rate provides to investors. That’s because ATRA also raised the top tax rate on ordinary income—the rate investors have to pay for nonqualified dividends—by nearly as much.

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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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To Wait or Not to Wait? That Is the Charitable Gifting Question

Daniel B. Eagan and Brian Wodar The tax impact of delaying a charitable gift by just a couple of weeks (until 2013) could be large, but it may not be positive for US taxpayers.

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A Municipal Bond Cliffhanger

Municipal bonds are popular because the interest they pay is exempt from federal taxation. But in its search for solutions to the fiscal cliff, the US federal government is looking under every rock for more revenue sources. This could put muni bonds’ tax-exempt status at risk.

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Tomato, Tomahto: Why Obama, Simpson-Bowles and Others Miss the Point on Munis

When it comes to eliminating or modifying the tax-exempt status of municipal bonds, everyone seems to have an opinion these days.

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Who’s Afraid of the Fiscal Cliff?

Warnings about the fiscal cliff have saturated the US public debate. But consumers are still spending, even though they face huge potential tax hikes, while companies are being very cautious—even though they have relatively little to lose.

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Do the US Elections Matter for Investors?

Frank Caruso and Robert Brown Pundits across the political spectrum say the health of the US economy and stock market hangs in the balance of this year’s presidential election. We found that when it comes to driving the stock market, politics actually takes a back seat.

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