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Weinlander Fitzhugh - Certified Public Accountants & Consultants

The decision concerning whom you wish to designate as the beneficiary of your traditional IRA is critically important. This decision affects: The minimum amounts you must withdraw from the IRA when you reach age 70 ½;

  • The minimum amounts you must withdraw from the IRA when you reach age 70 ½;
  • Who will get what remains in the account after your death; and
  • How that IRA balance can be paid out to beneficiaries.

If you are married and thinking about not filing a joint return with your spouse, you will most likely use the married filing separate (MFS) filing status. If you are considering filing MFS, then you should be aware that the tax code is laced with special restrictions so that married individuals cannot benefit by filing MFS. This article describes some of the more frequently encountered issues when making the choice of filing status. Note: dollar amounts are those for 2017.

This question frequently arises: Who controls the funds held in a Section 529 qualified tuition account? These accounts can become quite large, as they are limited only by the projected cost of a college education, and those costs will vary between state plans. Some states base their maximums on the cost of an in-state, four-year education, but others use the cost of the most expensive schools in the U.S.—including graduate studies. Most have limits in excess of $200,000, and some can reach $475,000 or more. Thus, it is only natural that those who fund an account would be concerned about who controls the account’s distributions. This is especially true when grandparents or others are making contributions to an account that is limited only by gift-tax considerations.

On April 26, 2017, with some fanfare, the Trump administration has provided information on proposed tax law changes, many of which mirror his previous tax policy statements. Although these proposals lack significant detail, here is what the president proposes and how it might impact your tax liability:

Just a reminder to those who have not yet filed their 2016 tax return that April 18, 2017 is the due date to either file your return and pay any taxes owed, or file for the automatic six-month extension and pay the tax you estimate to be due.  The due date is normally April 15, but the 15th falls on a weekend and the next business day, April 17, is Emancipation Day, a legal holiday in Washington D.C., so the due date in 2017 is April 18.


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