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The following is intended as general information and does not represent legal or tax advice. The information presented is the view of the author and not necessarily the view of McLeod Health Foundation. Individual circumstances vary – please consult your legal and tax advisors about your specific situation.

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Sixteen Year-End Financial Planning Tips

(Ed. Note – written for financial advisors)
Deadlines are rapidly approaching. As 2019 comes to an end, so does the window of opportunity to take advantage of certain tax and financial planning strategies. To help advisors and their clients be best positioned come Tax Day 2020, CPA financial planners with the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA)—the world’s largest member association representing the CPA profession—offer the following 2019 year-end tips. These 16 tips can help your clients improve their financial situations, support the lives they want to live and ensure their loved ones are provided for.

4 tax tasks to take care of by Oct. 15

October is here and I've got to say that although it's still early, the month so far is disappointing. Here in Central Texas, by now we're usually enjoying daytime temperatures in the 80s, with overnight lows dropping into the 60s. That typically means our windows are open 24/7 to get full enjoyment of autumn weather. Not in 2019. We're at least 10 degrees higher both days and nights. One thing, however, that is certain every October is the mid-month tax deadline. Oct. 15 is, of course, the day when procrastinators must finally send in their prior year's tax return. It's also the due date for some other important, though less wide-ranging, tax-related moves. Here's a look at four tax tasks to take care of on or before Oct. 15.

4  tax matters that matter for the self-employed

The millions of taxpayers who hold wage-paying jobs where income taxes are withheld from their checks obviously will benefit from the Internal Revenue Service new tax withholding estimator. But what if you don't have a job where there's withholding? That's the case for millions of individuals who are self-employed. The work freedom of being your own boss comes with some new tax responsibilities.

Blood Test for Alzheimer’s up to 94% Accurate

New tests can detect dementia years before any outward signs appear. Early brain changes due to Alzheimer’s disease may soon be detected with a simple blood draw in your doctor’s office, according to researchers. Doctors have been hoping for such a test for years — one that providers can administer in the office at a reasonable cost. They have been searching for an alternative to the $4,000 PET brain scan currently in use.

Has the Government Abandoned Retirement Security?

Workers who thought pensions would fund their retirements are getting an unwelcome surprise as Uncle Sam looks the other way. Having a pension used to be the retirement gold standard. A defined benefit plan meant workers could count on payments for as long as they lived, without ever worrying the money would run out. But all that’s changed, and the government says it’s OK.

Ten year end tax moves to start making in November

It's November. You know what that means. Year-end tax move time. If you don't get tax task proactive now, all the other important non-tax stuff that demands your attention this time of year will take over and you'll miss out making some tax-smart tax actions. Here are 10 tax things to consider and, wherever applicable, complete ASAP. Then you can get back to your holiday planning.

Ten Year-End Tax Tips for 2019

Here are 10 things to consider as you weigh potential tax moves between now and the end of the year.

Three Regrets of Retirees

A recent survey found that more than half of retirees have retirement planning regrets. Unfortunately, many of these retirees had to cut back on their lifestyles to compensate for financial shortfalls. Considering their most common regrets may help you avoid making the same mistakes.

Underutilized and Misunderstood Strategies for Gifting Assets

When it comes to gifting assets to rising generations, many families of wealth are rightfully concerned about the potential tax impact. How and when should they pass down wealth to ensure that the greatest amount possible gets transferred to their heirs? Here are some underused and often misunderstood strategies for gifting assets and potentially reducing the tax consequences.

How smart are you about economic theories?

The economy may be about the only human creation that works better in practice than in theory. Still, economists are busy churning out theories to explain the behavior of markets and investors. Advisors may occasionally find some of these theories useful in helping clients understand why the economy behaves in a certain way. Take this quiz to test your understanding of 12 economic theories, both popular and obscure. If you get half right, count yourself an economic theorist of the first order.

IRS provides tax inflation adjustments for tax year 2020

The Internal Revenue Service today announced the tax year 2020 annual inflation adjustments for more than 60 tax provisions, including the tax rate schedules and other tax changes. Revenue Procedure 2019-44 provides details about these annual adjustments.

Some DNA test costs are tax deductible. Are smartwatches, other health apps next on IRS-OK list?

Current medical deductions: The Internal Revenue Code already recognizes a wide array of medical expenses, both for tax deduction and tax-favored medical spending account purposes. The general definition of an allowable medical expense is something that includes "the costs of diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, and the costs for treatments affecting any part or function of the body." These expenses, to be of tax value, must be prescribed by a licensed medical physician, whether you use medical spending account money to pay for them or itemized them on Schedule A when you file your annual tax return.

Fake followers: A social media hoax

Influencers, celebrities and other people with strong online followings can be, well, influential. When considering whether you want to buy something or use a service – especially when you’re buying online – you might look at a person’s or company’s social media. A bigger following might mean something to you, maybe telling you something about their legitimacy or how good their product or service is. A company called Devumi knew that and sold fake followers to help people and organizations gain strong “followings.”

What you can do to fend off hackers

Your personal information is valuable. That’s why hackers try to steal it. This year, for National Cyber Security Awareness Month, we’ve got tips to help you keep your personal information from ending up in the hands of a hacker.

What teachers should know about deducting out-of-pocket classroom expenses

Now that fall is here and school has started, many teachers are dipping into their own pockets to buy classroom supplies. Doing this throughout the year can add up fast. Fortunately, eligible educators may be able to defray qualified expenses they paid in 2019 when they file their tax return in 2020.

For more information or a confidential discussion of your charitable options, please
email or call, Roxanna Prezioso, at (843) 777-2694.

Please note, individual financial circumstances will vary. The information on this site does not constitute legal or tax advice. Donor stories and photographs are for purposes of illustration only. As with all tax and estate planning, please consult your attorney or estate specialist. You may also contact a member of the Professional Advisory Council. All material is copyrighted and is for viewing purposes only. Use of this site signifies your agreement with the terms of use. The content in this Legacy Giving section has been developed for McLeod Health Foundation and is owned by Future Focus. Please report any problems to section webmaster.