If 2017 lulled market participants to sleep, then the turbulent start to 2018 has been a wake-up call. Just when the dust seemed to settle on Februarys bout of market volatility, investors are now contemplating the impact of a proclamation authorized on March 9th to impose 25% and 10% import tariffs on steel and aluminum respectively. Canada and Mexico are temporarily excluded contingent upon renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The President stressed flexibility to adjust tariffs for specific countries and left the door open to more tariffs. This is sure to be a fluid issue and will take time to play out. We will monitor the situation to assess reactions from U.S. trading partners. Key Points: President Trump has persistently concentrated on policies aimed to incentivize corporations to invest domestically. In January 2017, President-elect Trump proposed a Border Adjustment Tax (BAT) that was eventually scrapped. Four days after his inauguration, President
At age 70 you need to be aware of these rules. If you have retirement accounts, the IRS has allowed you to have assets growing in those accounts without paying income taxes on the income or gains. At age 70 , the IRS wants to begin taxing those accounts by making you take money out, whether you want to or not. Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) are one of those facts of life that many dread, and that make life even more confusing and complicated. Lets try and reduce the confusion. For retirement account owners, the RMD rules apply to Traditional, SEP and SIMPLE IRAs, qualified plans like 401ks, 403(b) and governmental 457(b) accounts. The RMD rules do not apply to Roth IRA owners, but they do apply to Roth IRA beneficiaries. If a non-spouse inherits a Roth IRA, they are required to take RMDs no matter what their age is, just like the non-spouse beneficiary of all retirement accounts. A word of caution: if you inherit an IRA from someone other than your spouse, you must begin taking
Over the weekend of December 2nd, the Senate passed its tax reform bill, with a vote that mostly followed party lines. The recent Senate vote follows the Houses tax bill which was passed several weeks earlier. While the House could choose to expedite legislation by voting on the Senate bill without amendments, Republican leadership has indicated a conference committee will be assembled to reconcile differences between the bills. Modifications will need to be done in a manner that finds suitable compromises while still positioning the final bill to carry a majority vote in both houses. The Republicans have stated that their goal is to have a complete bill to President Trump by Christmas. We know that many of our clients wonder what these changes look like, and how the two bills compare to each other. Below is a chart comparing current law with the House and Senate proposals. Its likely we will see some changes as a final bill coalesces. The Tax Cut and Jobs Act: A Side by Side
As if paying taxes each year werent painful enough, there are also scammers out there that want to make the process even more challenging. Today, well talk about a couple of the most common scams that you should be aware of. Perhaps the best thing to do is to remind everyone what the IRS wont do. In the past several years, thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams, identity theft, and illegitimate IRS communications. Criminals will oftenuse mail, telephone, fax or email. Always remember that the IRS doesntinitiatecontact with taxpayers by any means to obtain your personal or financial information.The IRS also does not threaten taxpayers with lawsuits, imprisonment or other enforcement. They also dont use channels like social media or text messages, and dont send unsolicited emails. They wont call to demand payment theyll always send a bill in the mail first. If you do get a bill, look up the number for the IRS and call them first.