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Tax Planning in 2018 After Tax Reform

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) changed the landscape of planning for individuals, business owners, estates, and trusts. Tax planning has now become very individualized, everyone’s situation is unique and many of the past rules no longer apply. Multi-year planning is also now a must. With the opportunity for income/deduction “bunching,” an important part of planning, it is hard to just look at one year. Sometimes generating income can save taxes in the long run. It is no longer simply a matter of deferring income or accelerating deductions. We also often look at “multi-generational” tax planning. There may be opportunities to shift income to lower bracket parents or children to reduce the overall tax burden for the family.

Double Whammy For Maryland Taxpayers

When Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act late in 2017 it was widely covered in the media that high income taxpayers in higher tax states could actually face a tax increase as a result of the bill. The reason for this is the $10k limitation placed by the bill on the deductibility of state income taxes. Prior to the passage of this bill, if you itemized deductions on your Federal return, you were able to take the full amount of the state income and property taxes you paid during the year as a deduction. For a high income taxpayer in a state with high income taxes, this often resulted in a big deduction at the Federal level. There was a lesser reported potential tax increase for many of the same taxpayers in high tax states like Maryland...

2018 First Quarter Market Commentary

Back in January, as we reflected on 2017 in the markets, we were looking back on an incredible year of strong returns and low volatility. Despite an endless stream of news that you might ordinarily think would cause markets to tumble, we never even saw the slightest dip. To say the first quarter of 2018 has seen a stark reversal of 2017 would be a vast understatement.

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Five Lessons Learned From a Five Year Old

Last week my son, Logan, turned five years old. Everyone tells you these years go by incredibly fast but there’s nothing you can do to slow down time. Instead, I’ve been trying my best to enjoy every minute of these years. What has amazed me more than anything is how much I’ve learned from him. I write down notes from time to time when he does something that opens my eyes and I thought I’d share a few of those lessons here. Many of these can be applied to different areas of your life, including your finances.

Misleading News

Over the past year we've been so inundated with talk of "fake news" that we have forgotten how bad simply "misleading news" can be. When the market drops and news channels focus on the number of points lost, you lose focus on what you can actually control...