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Taxes

What is a Custodial Account: UTMA Account vs UGMA Account

In the U.S., there are two main types of custodial accounts for minors: UGMA accounts and UTMA Accounts.  So what is a custodial account and what is the difference between a UTMA account and a UGMA account? In many jurisdictions, minor children are not able to enter into legal contracts like an adult can.  Therefore, [...]

Bradley Birkenfeld: The IRS Whistleblower Reward Program & $104 Million

The IRS whistleblower reward program is intended to reward people for coming forward when they see wrongdoing.  Some whistleblowers have made millions through this program, including Bradley Birkenfeld, who the IRS paid $104 million to in whistleblower compensation. Bradley Birkenfeld is a former UBS banker.  While still working at UBS, Birkenfeld began providing the US [...]

What is a Trust & How Does a Trust Work?

What is a Trust & How Does a Trust Work?

We all hear about trusts from time to time, but what is a trust and how does a trust work?  Are they only for the wealthy, or can they also be appropriate for people of more moderate means? A trust is basically an agreement whereby a person transfers property to another person or company that [...]

Alternative Minimum Tax 101:  The AMT Tax Explained

In 1969, over 150 wealthy individuals avoided paying any U.S. federal income taxes through the use of deductions and other legal tax breaks.  In an attempt to ensure that the affluent pay at least some tax, Congress instituted the alternative minimum tax, also commonly referred to as the AMT tax. An AMT exemption was also [...]

Lower Your Taxes by Bunching Deductions

Lower Your Taxes by Bunching Deductions

If you are like most people, your eyes probably begin to glaze over the second someone starts discussing taxes.  Whenever I can't sleep at night I just grab the Internal Revenue Code and start reading and that usually does the trick.  If you suffer from insomnia you should try that some time.  I can't perform [...]

Tax Planning

Tax Planning

Paying taxes has become one of the most convoluted procedures that we suffer through in this great country (even worse than going to the DMV!).  Taxes have become the single biggest annual expenditure for many people.  They affect pretty much every area of our personal finances.  Tax planning can help reduce this burden. I firmly [...]

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