Reducing Tax Liability: Year-End Planning for Capital Gains & Losses

Without any planning, capital gains and losses can serve as a wild card when it comes to taxable income and tax liability.  With rates ranging from 0% to 39.6% for capital gains, taxpayers need to get educated.  The net investment income tax of 3.8% makes planning even more critical.  The first step to controlling capital gain taxes is to know the basics of tax rates and offsetting gains with losses.
 

Deductible Mortgage Interest

One of the more common itemized deductions that an individual claims on his or her tax return each year is the deduction for mortgage interest paid.  Generally, this is the amount reported in Box 1 of Form 1098 issued by the lending institution.  In recent years, interest rates have been and are still relatively low.  Many people have taken advantage of these lower rates either by buying new homes or refinancing their existing mortgage on their current home.  With this in mind, we will discuss some aspects of claiming interest related to your home as a deduction on your tax return.

IRS Scams

In today’s electronic age of social media, smart phones, electronic business transactions, and identity theft there are more opportunities out there for the scammers to find creative ways to steal money while hiding behind the scenes during the process of committing the crime.
 

Hosting a Foreign Student

Have you ever considered hosting a foreign student in your home for a school year?  Sometimes this thought may disappear due to the anticipation of incurring additional costs by adding another person to your household.  However, the experience of you and your family learning first-hand about another person and his or her country and culture may far outweigh any physical costs incurred.  Additionally, you may be able to deduct a portion of the expenses you incur for hosting the student.
 

Various Non-Taxable Gift Options

Sometimes using your own money and providing for others may cause to you pay taxes.  The IRS has placed limits on the amount of money you can outright gift to someone else before you may be liable to pay taxes on the gifted monies.  In this article, we will discuss a few ways in which your gifts to others may not be subject to taxes.
 

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