D’Arcangelo Blog

More Give in the Gift Tax

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 increased the federal estate tax exemption to $11.18 million for 2018. That’s per person, so the combined exemption for a married couple can be as much as $22,360,000 worth of assets this year. The same ceilings apply to the federal gift tax, which offsets the estate tax. 

Take Steps to Avoid the Warm Weather Slow Down

During the summer, it may be true that “the living is easy,” as the old song goes. The midyear season, though, is often not so easy at small businesses because many employees are taking vacations. Total work hours often shrink and so may company productivity. 

Home Equity Loans May Still Be Deductible

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 affects the tax deduction for interest paid on home equity debt as of 2018. Under prior law, you could deduct interest on up to $100,000 of home equity debt, no matter how you used the money. The old rule is scheduled to return in 2026. 

A Closer Look at Changes to Business Deductions in 2018

The good news is that the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017 lowered corporate tax rates from a graduated schedule that reached 35% to a 21% flat rate. The bad news? Many business expenses are no longer tax deductible. That list includes all outlays that might be considered entertainment or recreation.

How the New Tax Law Will Impact Divorce

When couples divorce, financial negotiations often involve alimony. The tax rules regarding alimony were dramatically changed by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, but existing agreements have been grandfathered. In addition, the old rules remain in effect for divorce and separation agreements executed during 2018. Next year, the rules will change, andContinue reading →

Five-Year Test for Roth IRAs

The pros and cons of Roth IRAs, which were introduced 20 years ago, are well understood. All money flowing into Roth IRAs is after-tax, so there is no upfront tax benefit. As a tradeoff, all qualified Roth IRA distributions can be tax-free, including the parts of the distributions that are payouts of investment earnings. 

Weighing the Risks of Bond Funds

Most portfolio allocations call for a mix of stocks (equities) and bonds (fixed income). The underlying theory is that stocks may deliver substantial results over the long term, whereas bonds contribute interest income and lower volatility. As we’ve seen in recent years, stocks can be extremely risky but have recovered from periodic setbacks. Bonds offerContinue reading →

Insuring Key People at Small Companies

At a multinational corporation, the loss of any single employee may hardly cause a ripple in its ongoing business. That’s often not true for a small business. If you’re the prime mover, your inability to work could have severe consequences. The same is true if you have partners or other vital personnel who can noContinue reading →

Substantiating Employee Expenses

If you work for a business, you might incur certain expenses that are related to your job. In some cases, those expenses can be substantial. As of this writing, in late 2017, Congress is considering legislation that would eliminate miscellaneous itemized deductions, but it appears that they will be available on 2017 returns. That said,Continue reading →

Solving the Annuity Puzzle

Americans hold billions of dollars in annuities, yet they are widely misunderstood. Used properly, an annuity can serve valuable purposes in personal financial planning. On the other hand, some types of annuities are widely criticized, even scorned, by some financial advisers.