Category Archives: Tax Related

Clumping Property Tax and Deductions Reminder – Standard Deduction Maximization Strategy

Over the Thanksgiving Holiday’s several family members were surprised to find out that there are still tax law changes – well clarifications, that are going on at this time…

It is possible that there will be changes/clarifications occurring right up and through this first “New” Tax season…

Now is reminder time for taxes — but given the above — we have more of a butter knife than a tax scalpel for our surgical tax techniques — No matter …. Let’s go!

Clumping Property Tax

A joint family will receive a $24k – yes … Twenty Four Thousand Dollar STANDARD deduction – add on to this that the new limited – state and local sales tax (SALT) deduction (read property tax) of $10k annually,  planning is needed to maximize deductions.

The easiest and most common way to POSSIBLY maximize deductions is to clump your property taxes as well as other elective expenses. As you can easily tell, clumping your SALT deductions will get you to $20k so we are still not there…

Mortgages interest up to $1million in loan value prior to 2018 and $750k after is still deductible.

Bad Deduction Planning

All of this fancy acceleration and delayed of tax deductible expenses is to avoid the following –

Every year coming up with just under the standard deduction! I.e. $23k of deductions annually is likely not as tax efficient as possible…

A better solution would look like this:

Clumping Taxes

Skip years = Standard/no itemization/simple tax return

According to this AARP report earlier in 2018 the approximate 30% of tax payers who formerly itemized will drop to about 10% –

Bottom Line do not feel bad if you do not itemize, BUT you may still be able to itemize every other year, under an appropriate standard deduction tax max strategy.

Reach out with questions before year’s end – We can help you calculate what the best strategy may be!

Have a Great “Standard Deduction Maximization” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
jkfinancialinc
street-cents

YEAA – Social Security Benefit Increase 2.8% – Most other Pensions to Follow too

Each year our federal government accesses the inflationary environment and makes a determination for those on Social Security as to how much, if any, of an inflationary adjustment is needed…. AKA Cola adjustment-

COLA Adjustment – Cost of Living Adjustment

Looking into 2019, those on fixed incomes with COLA or Cost of Living Adjustments, in MOST cases will see a 2.8% increase per the Social Security Administration and their flagship marker, the CPI or consumer price index…

This includes in most cases pension, and other fixed income types, as they usually (we have just run across a disconnect, but are not to the bottom of it yet) follow the same index – good for all.

Here is the last decade of adjustments from the Social Security Administration

2019 Cola SS

Social Security Tax Maximum

Ok – so the good news for those receiving fixed income could be looked at as a minor detractor for those paying the new higher Social Security Tax amount – but hey, we are all in this together –

Here is the new Social Security Tax Maximum amount with a little historical perspective for your perusal:

2019 SS Tax max and 10 year history

In 2019, the new tax maximum (said another way- the amount of money you need to earn to max your Social Security Benefit) is $132,900!

Have a great “Social Security COLA” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
jkfinancialinc
street-cents

RMD Season is here – Is your DOB between 7-1-47 to 6-30-48 ? You have a decision!

RMD – AKA Required Minimum Distributions – the Governments’ mandate of distribution from our IRA (Pre-Tax) funds in order to finally occur taxes is upon us…..

RMD Season Uncle Sam

In the coming weeks we will begin transferring mandated funds from our IRA/Qualified/Pre-Tax accounts to their directed destinations….

As a reminder this is so the US Government gets to take the taxes due …

IMPORTANT (Neat) Facts –

  1. RMD $$ mandated amounts are determined by the value of applicable accounts on the last day of the prior year
  2. Current year age is a necessary factor included in calculating the RMD – see below next, first time exception – each year of seasoning (getting older) we are forced to take more out of the applicable accounts – hey the IRS has never taxed us on these in many cases – it’s their time!
  3. After tax contributions to a qualified account MUST be accounted for in order to avoid taxes – here are greater details and our taxpayer obligations on this –  don’t overpay – the IRS is not tracking this and will not come to the rescue and lower your taxes
  4. All of an individual’s accounts must be included/totaled/value (certain exceptions are made to those continuing to work) to ascertain the needed distribution
  5. Any one account can be used to satisfy the needed distribution (you do not have to take a little from each account, making it easier from an organization standpoint) BUT you must take at least the minimum distribution
  6. Failure to take the mandated distribution amount COULD result in a 100% tax – Break in – our experience has been the IRS is nice about this, but let’s not test them

Here is a neat three part series from a while back that is worth a review!

70.5 is the key starting age

The mandatory commencement date of RMD’s is the year AFTER you turn 70.5 years young, under current tax law…

If you accept this first year deferral, you will incur two RMD’s in the year you commence your first RMD…

Depending on the situation, it may be advisable to distribute your first year RMD a year early so as not to clump your taxable distribution….

Is your DOB between 7-1-47 to 6-30-48?

Then you turn 70.5 in 2018 and you CAN defer your RMD until 2019, however you will have two RMD’s next year — be careful, large distributions could toss you into an extra tax bracket.

Reach out if you have ANY questions, we have plenty of time, BUT the clock is ticking…

Have a great ‘RMD Efficient Distribution” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
jkfinancialinc
street-cents

Job Change or Retirement? Here is a great reminder checklist

Books get updated and reprinted on a regular basis. This post is from several years back, but worthy of a re-post!

Maybe you are about to Retire… CONGRATULATIONS ! ……Or maybe you are about to change jobs… exciting new times, just around the corner…

Here are a few handy reminders before/as you leave!

Job/Retirement Change ChecklistFinanicial Planning Doc

Grab that Last paycheck– Once you are gone, the internal system may be harder to access, be sure to get your last paycheck downloaded for your tax and personal recordkeeping.

RSU -Options- Grants -Make sure you are not leaving anything on the table via a vesting sunset or time line that can be associated with your departure.

Employee Stock Purchase Plan-Confirm you have control of your stock and transfer it to an easily controlled account-most ESPP plans are only holding tanks and cumbersome to make transactions.

Deferred Comp– Check on when your plan will be paying you your funds- i.e. tax year, time frame, and if all at once or over several series of payments- confirm the payments method and where they will be sent if mailed.

Pension – Get a copy of your latest balance or estimated amount, time frame of payment, if the projection is inclusive of your departure, if your spouse is included as beneficiary and his/her date of birth is correct and MOST IMPORTANTLY your correct address.

Health Coverage– You do not want to go a day without coverage, make sure you have some type of overlap such as Cobra, New company coverage, Medicare or outside personal coverage.

401k– In most instances you want to take control of your old 401k by rolling into a self directed IRA. Make sure your final paycheck withholding has hit your 401k before you roll it over or there will be residual amount later.

New 401k-In most cases you want to allocate your new 401k aggressively- be careful NOT to overfund your old and new plan in the same year- most maximums are $18k (+$6k catch up) – If your two employers do not know about each other they may accidentally allow you to overfund the total afore mentioned amount

Severance– Be sure to get your arms around the type, amount, timing and pay and benefits.

Social Security Withholding – Withholdings may likely be over withheld since your two employers did not know about each other – keep good tax records- if they did, you get a refund.

While mentioned several times, once more due to just how important, be sure to keep your address up to date with your former employer !

Have a great ‘More Organized” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
www.jkfinancialinc.com
www.street-cents.com

Q 3 2018 Newsletter Video Audio Podcast Review By John Kvale

Welcome to our Video and Audio Podcast Review of our Q 3 2018 Newsletter. For those on the road or just unable to grab the time to read, our podcast type review gives you the behind the scenes insight to our thoughts, observations and deep views of the entire Newsletter.

Click here for direct link to an electronic version (an early peek-good ole fashion paper versions are on their way to you shortly) and here for our Newsletter page

Let’s get going!

Q 3 2018 Newsletter

And here is your review!

Inverted Yield Curve

In this hugely in depth article was originally ran in abbreviated form, here, here, here, here and here on street-cents.com-

Here is the key graph-

2s 10s Spread W Recession sfredgraph

The inverted yield curve has been a good predictor of recessions.

Three Key Tax Items

In our detailed article in the Newsletter, we address the three key tax change items-

  1. Higher Standard Deduction
  2. Lower Tax Rates
  3. Less Deductions

 

Where have all the Stocks Gone?

In this Article we discuss the absence of stocks over the past several decades, leading to possible higher valuations.

2017 Declining Stocks US and World Comparison

Enjoy your summer-

See Ya next Quarter!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
www.jkfinancialinc.com
www.street-cents.com

June 2018 Podcast Video, Financial Planning and Capital Market Update – By John Kvale

Hello and Welcome to our June 2018 Financial Planning and Capital Market Update!

If you are too busy to read, feel free to listen as we describe our post and thoughts in friendly podcast format.

June 2018 Video

BREAK IN : Summer Project Update – Finding Your Lost Money

Wow, we have had fun with this — our biggest find so far is a little over $5k AND COUNTING – keep your eyes on your email for a summer present if we are fortunate enough to find lost funds in your name – also send us your relatives who may have fallen out of connection with … well their hard earned money!

Pot of gold luck-152048_1280

Financial Planning Tip (s) –

To Itemize we must CLUMP

In our clumping post here, we discuss the need to clump – look no farther than the following hand written graph for the reasons- Standard deductions and limited itemizations make it hard to do every year!

Clumping Taxes

 

Handy Travel App

This is one of the few apps that has paid for itself many times over in less than a year. Not to mention the convenience or quick, email forwarding logging of the trip. That is just the tip of the iceberg as mentioned in our article here.

Tripit

 

Updated Tax Rates Compared to 2017 – Personal

This nice chart from the Tax Foundation shows pretty much across the board – see more details here and our coming Newsletter

TAX Comparison 18 to 17 FINAL-TCJA-Filers-Chart

Expect much more on this throughout the coming months as we dig DEEP into the actual rates and the planning techniques necessary to optimize our tax liability …. One Important five letter word…. CLUMP – more later on this in our Newsletter

Capital Market Comments

Stunning 50% Drop in Public Companies

Over the past several decades, there has been a greater than 50% – yes, 50% drop in publicly traded companies in the USA – same demand, less supply may make for higher prices moving forward- or at least the sustainability of higher than historical prices- read more here and our Newsletter!

2017 Declining Stocks US and World Comparison

 

Have a Great Day – Talk to you at the end of July!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
www.jkfinancialinc.com
www.street-cents.com

Three Key Tax Items from the New Tax Laws – So Far

Recently, in a study group of six long time Professional Financial Planners – including yours truly – someone in the group asked if they had their arms around the new tax code?

None of us were 100%- too many changes and too many possible changes-

That being said, here are three key observations

Three Key Tax Changesirs

  1. The new $12k standard ($24k for couples) will render many itemizers useless and will mandating clumping
  2. Tax Rates are going down- across the board – see our chart here
  3. Largely a loss of deductions – Especially small business owners

The last bullet point may give you pause, but it should not, the net effect (most likely) will be positive for most tax payers —

Have a Great “Less Taxing” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
www.jkfinancialinc.com
www.street-cents.com