Category: Finance / Taxes

The IRS Says that the Average Person Does Not Need an Offshore Credit Card!

Recently the IRS announced the IRS Offshore Voluntary Compliance Initiative. The IRS has had an increasing interest over the last four or five years in offshore activities, suspecting that United States citizens are avoiding taxes on income or gains by using offshore bank accounts. The… Continue reading

Bankruptcy: What is Your Preference?

Except for bankruptcy lawyers, most people, especially business people, cringe at the thought of bankruptcy. The concept of filing for bankruptcy protection is, to some extent, contrary to certain core business values such as paying your bills on time and being held accountable for your… Continue reading

Increase In Unified Credit/Annual Exclusion

The applicable credit amount (formerly the unified credit or the exemption equivalent credit) allowed in computing estate taxes for estates of decedents dying in 2004 is $555,800. This applicable credit amount exempts $1,500,000 from estate tax liability in 2004. The applicable exclusion amount for estate… Continue reading

Financial Privacy

We have been interested in the notifications which we have been receiving concerning everyone’s privacy policy. Whether it be your bank, brokerage firm, life insurance company, health insurance company, or others, hardly a day goes by without the receipt of someone’s “privacy policy.” Our research… Continue reading

Is the Reverse Mortgage your Panacea?

Is the Reverse Mortgage your Panacea? You are 62 (or older); you live in a home which has no mortgage and has appreciated substantially (beyond your dreams in this market!); you have retired; and your income from your pension plans (IRA’s, 401(k)’s, and company pension)… Continue reading

Penalty Free IRA Withdrawals

Back in the early 1980s the Individual Retirement Arrangement (“IRA”) became a popular vehicle for individual workers to sock away up to $2,000 annually (the limit is now $3,000, soon to go up to $4,000) without current taxation. Earnings on these contributions would also accumulate… Continue reading

Property Tax in Pennsylvania and the Impact of Slot Machines

Pennsylvania’s local tax system has roots in English history and in the colonial times; however the present local tax system dates back to the mid-1960’s with the passage of legislation that allows local communities to raise their revenue from a myriad of tax sources given… Continue reading

7 Tips for Financial Well-Being

Here are some quick tips to consider in the coming year to improve your financial picture: Get rid of high interest credit card debt by refinancing or using a home equity second mortgage at lower interest rates. The interest may become deductible and the overall… Continue reading

Internal Revenue Update

For those of you who pay income taxes (ha!) there are modest changes you should know about in the Internal Revenue Code for 2005; some are: The standard deduction for a single person or for a married person filing separately is increased to $5,000 (from… Continue reading

Creditors Ordered to Keep Hands Off IRAs

The United States Supreme Court recently held that individual retirement accounts (“IRAs”) were beyond the reach of creditors. This was a unanimous decision which preserves IRA assets for all taxpayers, even those who have filed for bankruptcy. Prior to this decision, there was confusion and… Continue reading