Tag Archives: tax planning

Great Time of the Year to Check Run Rate of Contributions to Retirement Plans or the Like

With a pending holiday week coming up in the next several and as mentioned before many on Wall Street seem to be getting their kids back to school. We thought it a timely time to remind everyone to check those retirement contribution run rates….

Great time to review your contribution levels

Midway through the third-quarter, is a good time for all of us to review our retirement contribution levels. If our intent is to max out your 401(k), or other retirement plan, take a peek and see if you’re on track to achieve this goal.

If you have any questions certainly shoot us your latest paycheck and we can do the calculations, but here are roughly where we should be on our contributions to the regular and ketchup 401(k) levels.

Ideally your year to date (YTD) contribution levels for your 401(k) regular withholding by yourself should be about $13,500 in order to meet the $20,500 regular filing maximum by the end of the year and if our goal is to achieve the $27K catchup for those 50 and older we should be at about the $18,000 level today. Both of these should be our individual YTD withholding amounts. We know there are matching and employer contributions … but the rules are set for us as an individual at the $19,500 regular maximum and $27,000 catch-up maximum.

Two quick reminders… if you have changed employers it is our job to keep up with the maximum amounts as mentioned here because our new employer will not know our prior contributions… Lastly we like to max fund early our contributions if we know we are not going to be at our employer the full year…. Especially if we may be going to another place that may not have a plan or may have a mandatory waiting period..

There are variances in certain situations, most of which we have already discussed, but those that we have not recently …

  This is your friendly reminder!

Have a Great “Retirement Run Rate” Reminder Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.



Back to Basics Fun Educational Review – Part Eight and Final – Tax “PLANNING” … The Key is the Second word… Planning!

Welcome back to Part Eight and final of our “Back to Basics” series … we hope you’ve enjoyed the First Seven which started with all about “The Emergency Fund” in Part 1Part 2 being “Protection Planning” and Part 3 discussing All about Debt Planning or “The Good the Bad and the Ugly of Debt”, Part 4 Retirement PlanningPart Five, Back to Basics Education Planning, Part Six, Estate Planning Made Easy , Part Seven KISS Investing and now, with no further ado Tax Planning !

Tax Planning – The Key is the Planning

Welcome to the final part, for now, of our back to basics fun high-level financial planning series, we close this initial series out with Tax Planning!

In keeping with our high-level, most important, basics theme… in this special tax planning article, while we know there are tons of allegedly crafty techniques, sometimes we would call them gray, we want to stick with the basics of blocking and tackling as you can REALLY save a ton staying in the lanes, but just paying extra attention here and there….

So here we go:

Coincidentally, the most important part of Tax Planning is the second word in the subject, Planning!

As we individual or corporate tax payers traverse the tax year, it’s important to take note of unusual events that may be occurring. We’re certainly not saying you have to worry about this every minute of the day, but should you have an unusual increase in income, or decrease in income, this should be thought about before the end of the year for your tax planning.

Higher or Lower Income Years

As an example, a sudden increase in income may garner heavier donations, absolute confirmation of maxing out all pre-tax retirement vehicles, double checking your withholdings compared to prior years in what you may have owed or received as a refund, just to name a few.

On the inevitable lower income years you may want to do just the opposite, think twice about making donations, double check your withholdings to see if they are too high, we would certainly like you to max out all pretax retirement vehicles if possible, but not at the expense of our emergency funds as mentioned in prior episodes of the series.

The Actual Return – Scan that dude before signing and Filing

Always take a moment to scan your final return before filing it. Or if you’re using a tax professional or tax software, it’s always a good idea to review, once again the basic blocking and tackling on your actual tax return before filing.

Things that you want to make sure are correctly included on your tax return:


All income from all sources, this sounds simple but it’s super easy to miss especially in a job change year or retirement year.  The IRS easily picks this up in the form of a paper audit due to a miss match of income.  This includes proceeds from any type of sales, such a stock or other capital gains or any other income receiving asset.

Don’t Miss that Basis – Most all assets have them and the IRS does not

With regards to the prior points, double check that the basis has been entered on anything you may be paying capital gains. In certain instances there are no basis, but most of the time there is a basis on any capital asset that you may have, and if you forget to put it on your tax return the IRS has absolutely no way of knowing that you have a basis in it and therefore you will be paying unnecessary taxes that you otherwise would not.

Confirm You have Credit for Withholdings- Delayed Refunds

Lastly, with regards to the return, reconcile your withholdings from all sources and make sure that your return has all of the withholdings that you may have already sent the IRS. Unlike the prior subject, the IRS will notice a mismatch and eventually give you credit, but there could be months if not years of delays.

Don’t Ignore a Notice – The don’t usually bite

If you ever do receive a notice from the IRS, while it seems obvious, do not ignore it. If you ignore an IRS notice you are basically accepting their argument. If you notice it is correct pay it .. if not send a response. Over the decades of working with the IRS, we have found them to be very friendly and with good responses …usually very accommodating.

All right, there you have it the most important part of tax planning, is just that, planning in advance or maybe along the way. With a little foresight and a mild top of focus throughout the year, we feel certain you can Keep those taxes to a minimum…

Stay Tuned Here for Updates

Oh, one last thought, as long as you are receiving our regular posts here at Street-Cents, we constantly attempt to update everyone on actual, not probable or not maybe legislated, but actual tax law changes… so be sure to read our triple weekly posts…

That’s a Wrap for Now!

There you have it…. A complete Back to Basics from the ground up Financial Planning Review like Course….

Hope you enjoyed!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.



October 2020 Podcast Video, Financial Planning and Capital Market Update – By John Kvale …

Hello and Welcome to our October 2020 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 audio format as well as Video!

Newbies –

We like to articulate our thoughts and review on a Monthly basis our Financial Planning Tips, Capital Markets and current events!

Hope you enjoy!

October Video


Financial Planning Tip (s)  –

Social Security COLA Increase 1.3%

Social Security, one of the few Pension Like Benefits that has a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) announced an annual increase – there is not always an increase … which we discussed here in this post with links to the announcement for those wanting more detail!

Possible Realizing of Capital Gains

With year end tax planning in mind, here in this post we discuss the possibility of realizing Capital Gains if your are on the fence and may be thinking of pushing gains out to next year…. this with approval and knowledge of your tax professional – let’s not get reckless!

Capital Market Comments

Election Outcomes and Market Reactions

Here in this post we carefully tip toe into the Election outcomes and possible market outcomes ….

Hanging Chads – No one is elected and a lengthy battle ensues – In our minds, most Market disruptive – Participants dislike uncertainty

Clean Sweep Either Direction – This may surprise you, but participants generally favor a partial party political holding

Partial Party Holding = Inferred from the points above – Partial party holding in either direction is likely least market disruptive

Have a Great October Update!

Talk to you at the end of November!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.



Year End Tax Planning Thoughts – Realized Asset Tax Gains, If you’re on the Edge You Might Want to Take Them Now

With a couple of weeks of the final quarter under our belt we thought it a good time to talk about year end tax planning.

Once again much of this has come as a result of questions from you guys in the field, so thank you very much for the idea!

If you’re on the edge of taking gains on assets, strongly consider taking some this year!

Given the current level of tax rates, no matter what the political outcomes it’s likely we are at a lowest tax rate for sometime to come.

The much-needed stimulus and in our opinion perfectly OK to use, will eventually need to be chipped away at in some form or fashion,

It is very likely that we may all see higher taxes in the not too distant future both from a Federal Income Tax Level and an Asset Capital Gains level as well.

If you’re planning on selling a business, stock, asset or anything that may realize any taxable event certainly consider doing it sooner as in possibly this year, rather than later.

We are by no means making a tax statement forecast but simply looking at the odds and attempting to give ourselves the best possible longer term outcome. Please don’t recklessly go realize gains and certainly check with your Tax professional before making moves!

Have a Great “Realized Tax Gains” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.




January 2017 Podcast Video, Financial Planning Tip and Economic Review- By John Kvale

How Many times have you entered something with the date of 2016 ? If you are like me, SEVERAL…

Here is your January 2017… yes, new Month and new Year, Monthly review!

As a reminder, last month we started with an Audio Podcast format for those that are unable to SEE the video or just prefer to listen to the audio… this makes the review slightly longer, but more descriptive.


January 2017 Video


Financial Planning Tip –

Job Change/Retirement Checklist

Thanks to all of the fantastic comments, shares, views and thank you’s .. here is a brief summary of the actual super popular post:

  • Grab that Last paycheck– .
  • RSU -Options- Grants – Don’t let them expire
  • Employee Stock Purchase Plan-Make sure you have control
  • Deferred Comp–May be a taxable event, find out when
  • Pension – Be Knowledgeable
  • Health Coverage– Don’t go a day without
  • 401k– Old take control
  • New 401k– Be aggressive
  • Severance– Understand it
  • Social Security Withholding – Watch the double withholding

The underlying theme is making sure you know where everything is and any time deadlines you may now have due to the change… Your Vault is a great place for all this information !

Capital Market Movement

Rate Watch Still

Interest Rates have moved smartly higher and seem to be holding… signaling higher growth? This is the 10 year treasury rate, the benchmark in many cases for length of rates.


Happy 2017!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
JK Street Cents Logo


December 2016 Podcast Video, Financial Planning Tip and Economic Review- By John Kvale

The year is over… Wow, was that fast or what? As regular readers know we do a monthly review. Starting with this video we are going to also have an emphasis on describing our updates for those Podcast listeners. So if you do not have the ability to watch the video, the Audio Podcast of this review will bring you up to date and fill you in well.

Let’s finish 2016 with our December Financial Planning Tip and Economic Review.. Here we go!

December 2016 Video


Financial Planning Tip –

Tax Tips and more

The best part of these tips are they can be done now in the year 2017 and help our 2016 tax pain….

  • SEP – Offsets 1099/Non W-2 Income
  • HSA – Deductions for high deductible Health plans
  • IRA – Oldie but a goodie-
  • Roth – Special purpose retirement vehicle
  • Itemize those Sales Taxes

Capital Market Movement

Everybody is happy?

We have spoken about the consumer and her role in pushing GDP (Gross Domestic Production) forward when happy… now take a look at investor confidence, again from our friends at Gallup…


Triple digits here we come ?  Time will tell!

Have a Great start to 2017!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
JK Street Cents Logo


Corrected Tax Statement Update…..Time to start on Personal Taxes…..Thanks Team, On the road home

We are happy to report another round of corrected 1099’s has been completed and this time we have none. As we had cautiously stated earlier, when we received only two corrections in the first run, we felt pretty good about the next six, as each run usually has a diminishing head count….but there are still five remaining.2012 1099

Time to start working on the personal taxes for 2012 due April 15, 2013!

If you have not started your personal return data gathering and organization, let this be a gentle push…time to start moving on this, April 15th will be here before you know it. All financial reporting centers are clogged near mid April as duplicate lost requests fill their airwaves. If something is missing, it is much easier to get now rather than later.  Again…green light for gathering but light red light for filing ….just a little longer and we will give you the ok to file.

Exciting information next week..”Mini-Me” Options and A True story: $14,500 Reasons to review your return…

  • On Monday a new mini option contract begins trading…we will speak about it in greater detail as we are interested to see market acceptance.
  • $14,500 Reasons to review your return…we have been waiting for the right time to catch your attention on this true money-saving story….next week this will hit your in-box

On the way back home…thanks team

Today marks a travel day back home and preparation for the regular saddle on Monday. A special thanks to Cathy, Donald, Rich, Kathy, Team 16, technology and my family (early AM patience as I worked each morning) as well as my new-found friends in Starbucks. This week was a happily unusually busy one, and not a beat was missed.  You guys are great!

Have a Great Weekend!


PS Newsletter is coming along nicely….

PSS Yes I am sore…yikes !

8222 Douglas Ave # 590
Dallas, TX 75225

Not Finished with Your Taxes? Meet IRS Form 4868, Automatic Six Month Extension

It’s ok, and there is nothing to be ashamed of if you didn’t finish your taxes!

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012 is the official deadline for regular tax filing. If you have not completed your taxes for whatever reason, meet IRS Form 4868.

By simply downloading this form and filing in the one small area, you will be granted an automatic six month extension, no questions asked. Do remember that if you owe taxes and you do not send in enough funds to cover your shortfall, you may be subject to penalties.

This tax season has been the toughest for us in the last 10 years. The new tax basis rules and adjustments have made for a confusing season, and we are not even CPA’s!

So if you ended up running out of time, be sure to send in Form 4868 along with any possible shortage in taxes you may owe. Now if we are up against the wall again in six months, then we have an issue, but that is a full six months away. Just because we have six extra months, does not mean we have to use all six months.

Happy Tax Filing Eve Day, and start to another great week!




A Dozen Common Tax Mistakes You Do Not Want to Make!

As we near the end of the tax season, we wanted to point you (click here) to our blog page that highlights our most common found tax mistakes. An important item to note, many of these are forgotten items made by us, the tax payer, not our professionals. There is also a handy link to the tax forms and a good tax estimator page.

Finalization of the big event on April 28th at 2pm is upon us, we will be notifying you shortly of the complete details.

Have a Great Day!




Not a Patriotic Duty to Overpay Taxes…

Over the weekend I ran into this quote by Judge Hand, a famous US Judge. Given the current time of year, I thought his quote very timely.

By Judge Learned Hand

Judge Learned Hand

Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as
possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the
treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes.
Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister
in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everyone
does it, rich and poor alike and all do right, for nobody owes any
public duty to pay more than the law demands.”

Have a Great Monday!


PS We will release everyone to file their taxes shortly. Corrected 1099’s are minimal so far this year !!