Charitable giving is important all year 'round, but it's often this time of year when we receive the vast majority of solicitations. Why? Well, charities know that if you're in the position to itemize, you may be looking for a few more deductions to offset some gains and bring your entire tax bill down.
Love and marriage, soup and sandwiches, tax planning and estate planning -- some things just naturally go together, and now is a good time to sit down and look all of it over. Just before the holidays may be an especially good time to review an estate plan. Some of us are feeling more generous, more charitable toward our families before we spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with them.
There's a very good chance that you haven't heard of Raoul Weil, but the tax evasion case that he was wrapped up in likely had a major impact on every U.S. citizen who keeps money overseas. Weil was a former executive at UBS -- a financial giant in Switzerland -- and he stood accused of propagating a conspiracy when he aided and abetted U.S. citizens who wanted to keep their money overseas and out of the reach of the Internal Revenue Service.
If you have created a trust, you have already taken steps to ensure that your financial wishes are executed in the ways you believe they should be. But simply because you have created a trust does not mean that your wishes cannot change. Life events such as marriage, divorce, the birth of children and acquiring additional assets can impact the ways in which you wish to have your financial wishes carried out and respected.
In a strange way, our discussion of the law of civil forfeiture in our last post made us think of the expression, "Hate the sin, but love the sinner." The law allows the IRS to seize the property of a private citizen or a business if the IRS suspects that the property is somehow tied to illegal activity.
Was it 9/11 or the financial meltdown and recession that put more small businesses in the IRS's crosshairs? A mere sideways look from the agency can cost a small business more time, money and credibility than most can afford -- even if the business has done nothing wrong. Welcome to the land of civil forfeiture.
This is the time of year that many people start thinking about their taxes. There is time left in 2014 to reduce a tax bill, and there are a number of ways to do that. For those among us who have a little extra cash, it may be time to think about donating to a charity.