Charitable Giving: Options & Deadlines for 2015

As the year comes to a close, you may be considering charitable gifting. With so many mechanisms to do so, it is necessary to plan ahead. Start by deciding who will receive your donation. We are here to help with the what, how, and when of charitable giving.

Although using cash is the simple and straightforward method for gifting, it may be advantageous to consider your options before writing that check. For example, if you were to liquidate securities in order to raise cash for the donation, you would be responsible for paying taxes on the possible gains associated with the sale. Any capital gain would negate a substantial portion of the tax benefits of charitable giving. READ MORE

Preparing for Year-End Tax Planning

Year-end tax planning may be especially challenging this year because Congress has yet to act on a host of tax breaks that expired at the end of 2014. Some of these tax breaks may be retroactively reinstated and extended, but Congress may not decide the fate of these tax breaks until the very end of this year (and, possibly, not until next year).

For individuals, these tax breaks include:

  • the option to deduct state and local sales and use taxes instead of state and local income taxes
  • the above-the-line-deduction for qualified higher education expenses
  • tax-free IRA distributions for charitable purposes by those age 70-1/2 or older

For businesses, tax breaks that expired at the end of last year and may be retroactively reinstated and extended include:

  • 50% bonus first year depreciation for most new machinery, equipment and software
  • the $500,000 annual expensing limitation
  • the research tax credit

READ MORE

Trust Basics

Introduction to Trust Basics

We find it beneficial to occasionally review the basics of trusts so our broader discussion of planning is more helpful.  There are numerous types of trusts, however all trusts share a common structure and generally share similar treatment by the law.READ MORE

2013 Year-End Personal Tax Planning Considerations & Checklist

As we approach year-end, tax planning considerations should be starting to take shape.  New tax legislation has brought greater certainty to year-end planning, but has also created new challenges.  The number of changes made to the Tax Code and the opportunities these changes bring may seem overwhelming.  However, early planning will help you to maximize your potential tax savings and minimize your tax liability.  Here is some key high level year-end tax planning strategies.READ MORE

Tax Implications after DOMA

On June 26, 2013, the US Supreme Court ruled Section 3 of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional as it violates the equal protection clause of the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution as applied to persons of the same sex who reside in states that recognize same-sex marriages.

This decision entitles same-sex married couples many federal tax related benefits.  These benefits will have an impact on their income tax filing status, estate and gift tax planning, employee benefits, and ability to inherit social security benefits, among others.READ MORE

Tax Filing Reminders….

The filing due date for your individual income tax return is coming up and is due on April 15, 2013.  If you are not going to be able to file your return on time, you can request additional time by filing an extension by the April 15th due date.  The extension gives you an additional six months; until October 15th to file your return.   However, it’s important to note the extension does not give you any extra time to pay any taxes due.  If you do not pay the taxes that you owe by the April 15th due date, you will owe interest on the taxes due and you may owe penalties as well. READ MORE

Thoughts on the “Fiscal Cliff” from the Coldstream Investment Strategy Group

With the elections over, the media has turned its attention to negotiations between the U.S. House, Senate and Administration over tax policy and spending programs to avert what has been dubbed the “fiscal cliff” facing our country.  One of our research resources, Strategas Research Partners, provides a list below of the various tax extensions, programs and spending cuts set to change in 2013 if action isn’t taken between now and year end. Investors have clearly been nervous about the outcome of these negotiations; the S&P 500 stock market index has fallen (as of November 16th) more than 6% from its early October level, with the NASDAQ composite and small cap stocks down even more.READ MORE

Retirement Income Tax Strategies

Retirement, finally!  The time has come to stop working and start enjoying your retirement.  Over the years, you’ve made significant contributions to your retirement account, you have other assets, and, of course, Social Security at some point.  But, like most things, the transition from Saver to Spender is not as simple as turning off your salary and living from your retirement nest egg, there are a lot of questions that need to be addressed:  READ MORE

Income Tax Planning Considerations for 2013

As we reach the mid-year point, much attention will be paid to the reduced income tax rates, known as the “Bush Tax Cuts,” slated to expire at the end of this year.  In addition, there are other new taxes and changes in tax deductions and credits that may affect your tax planning.  These changes may have an impact to your investment making decisions.READ MORE

© 2018 Coldstream Capital Management, Inc. & Rainier Group Investment Advisory LLC d.b.a. Coldstream Wealth Management. All data shown includes information from combined entities. All Rights Reserved.