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Inverted Yield Curve

The yield curve recently inverted, which means you now earn a higher rate of interest on two-year US Treasury bonds than you do on ten-year US Treasury bonds. In a “normal” environment, you should earn a higher rate of interest for locking up your money for a longer time period. I wrote about this concept last year as the yield curve was flattening, and it’s worth revisiting now that the curve has inverted.

3 Thoughts From France

We spend a lot of time helping clients plan for the future for themselves and their families. Our clients are successful financially, often accumulating significant wealth. We help them with estate planning and tax strategies to maximize that wealth. But unless you do that planning in the context of your broader, life planning goals, the process loses much of its meaning. We want to make sure you are living your ideal life and that your finances are woven into that life in a way that is meaningful for you and your family.

Social Security Administration Scam

There have been many scams in recent years where people impersonate authorities in an attempt to gain access to your personal information. The most common we have seen is scammers who pose as the IRS. They call or email unsuspecting individuals demanding information and threatening to call the police if you don’t comply. The IRS explains on this website:

IRS Penalties Waived

The IRS requires you to pay in 90% of your current year tax liability or 110% of your prior year tax liability. These amounts are considered “safe harbor” payments. If you are a W-2 employee, the withholding from your wages will typically cover this safe harbor payment amounts. If you are not a W-2 employee, you need to determine if it’d be best to pay in taxes based on 110% of your prior year tax liability or on 90% of your estimated current tax liability. If you don’t meet either of these thresholds, the IRS will assess underpayment penalties based on the amount of the underpayment and the time period when you were underpaid.

Maryland Portability

We have previously covered the federal estate tax changes implemented by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) here and here. We also explained how these changes impact state estate taxes for Maryland residents. A recent article written by Franklin Karibjanian and Law PLLC points out an important new wrinkle in the Maryland estate tax law.

Kiddie Tax

One of the less heralded aspects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was the change in how you calculate the “Tax for Certain Children Who Have Unearned Income”, otherwise known as the Kiddie Tax. This alternative tax calculation was put in place back in 1986 in an effort to prevent wealthy taxpayers from shifting investment assets to their children, where the investment income would be subject to a lower tax rate. This calculation is just one of the many reasons why preparing tax returns for children can often be more complicated and time consuming than you’d think!