Category: Finance / Taxes

Security for a Loan

If you loan money to someone, whether to an individual or to a business, you should try to obtain security (collateral) for your loan, in case the borrower defaults.  When you buy a car, if you finance the purchase, the lender puts a “lien” on… Continue reading

IRS Extends Deadline for Obtaining Estate Tax Portability

A small percentage of estates are affected by the federal estate tax. Provided that an individual’s estate plus his lifetime taxable gifts (under the federal gift tax) are less than $11,200,000.00, no federal estate tax applies. However, for a married person with an estate exceeding… Continue reading

The Estate Tax – Not Quite Gone

Beginning January 1 of this year, the federal estate and gift tax thresholds have essentially doubled. Under the new law the exemption amounts for both estate and gift taxes jump to $11,200,000 per individual and $22,400,000 per married couple. For an unmarried individual, this means… Continue reading

Upset Tax Sales – Proceed with Great Caution

Tax sales are often touted as methods to get rich quick for new real estate investors.  However, it is vitally important that such an investor proceed with caution and learn the basics of the tax sale process in the jurisdiction in which he or she… Continue reading

Pennsylvania Tax Appeal Deadlines

Note well that if you received a Notice of Assessment from the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue you now have only 60 days to appeal the assessment to the Board of Appeals rather than the former period of 90 days. The same is true of the… Continue reading

Pertinent State and Local Tax News

In January 1, 2017, there will be a small increase in Philadelphia’s real estate transfer tax from 3% to 3.1%. When added to the Pennsylvania Realty Transfer Tax, this will increase the overall transfer tax to 4.1%. We believe that this will result in the… Continue reading

Tax Deduction for Legal Fees?

Can you deduct the legal fees you pay your attorney on your federal income tax return? The answer to that question depends on several factors, including who you are and the reason why legal fees were incurred. As a general rule, legal expenses incurred in… Continue reading

Suggestions for Financial Well-Being

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

Securing Promises to Pay

A promise to pay money can arise in many contexts.  If you buy a car on credit, you promise to make the monthly payments plus interest in a promissory note.  If you sell your business, the buyer may promise to pay a portion of the… Continue reading

Retirement Contribution Limits (It’s Not Too Late!)

The following chart illustrates the contribution limits for retirement plans for calendar years 2015 and 2016: Plan Type                               Contribution Limit IRA (under 50)              … Continue reading