Reuters Money

Will(ing) or not: 3 reasons to revisit your estate planning

June 30, 2011

My husband, Neil, and I recently planned a trip for the two of us to celebrate his 50th birthday in Anguilla. Because we were leaving our two sons at home, he mentioned that it would probably be a good idea to look over our wills. It made sense given the last time we looked them over was 12 ½ years ago when our youngest son was born.

Poll: Should debt deal include tax hikes for the wealthy?

June 29, 2011

President Obama took aim at tax breaks for the wealthy at his press conference today, saying, “You can afford it. You’ll still be able to ride on your corporate jet. You’re just going to pay a little more.”

Tax delinquencies and the economic downturn

June 29, 2011

The Internal Revenue Service’s Offers in Compromise program — in which taxpayers negotiate down the tax debts that they owe — has a long and tumultuous history. Critics have long complained about the complexity of the program, and the low rate of accepted offers, which amounted to just 24 percent between fiscal 1996 and 2005, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

Perma-interns: Is working for free a good career bet?

June 28, 2011

When he isn’t hitting the books at Northwestern University this summer, Mike Boyle of Chicago dreams of making it in the music industry. And why not? With his ready smile, tousled hair and laid-back demeanor, Boyle comes across as sharp and affable, a hipster with heart. And he grasps the fine points of the business like few 21-year-olds you’ll meet.

Charitable giving jumps despite slow recovery

June 20, 2011

With a depressed housing market, an unemployment rate hovering around nine percent and stocks struggling, you would think it difficult to convince people to give to those in need.  But a Giving USA Foundation report released today shows total charitable contributions — for individuals, corporations and foundations — rose 3.8 percent in 2010 to an estimated $291 billion.

After the housing bust, what’s next?

June 17, 2011

Beyond the double-dip U.S. housing recession, is there a future for the American home market? What I see emerging as growth magnets are established city enclaves and “new urbanist” communities that resemble old-style neighborhoods without the sprawl. They are close to public transportation, walkable and loaded with culture and amenities. They personify the new American dream.

Will Congress slash your 401(k) tax break?

June 16, 2011

Is Congress getting ready to slash the tax deduction on retirement saving?

The deductions on IRAs and 401(k) contributions is one of the deficit reduction options known in Washington as “tax expenditures” — that is, revenue the government foregoes through deductions, exclusions or exemptions. Overall tax expenditures — which also include deductions for big-ticket items such as mortgage interest and employer health plans – are worth more than $1 trillion a year.

Eldercare: How to hire your kids to take care of you

June 15, 2011

Long before the phrase “sandwich generation” took hold, seniors in declining health turned to children or other relatives for essential tasks such as cleaning, grocery shopping, doing laundry or driving to doctors’ appointments. Now, a growing number of families put a price on such devotion though caregiver contracts.

Tax lies? 3 myths you need to know

June 10, 2011

Although Mark Twain once said there are “lies, damn lies and statistics,” when it comes to U.S. taxes, statistics can tell the truth.

Self-employed? When to graduate from sole proprietorship

June 8, 2011

When Darin Edmonds started Waterproofing Solutions, Inc. earlier this year he knew making a go of it wouldn’t be easy in a struggling economy. But he was determined to get things off on the right foot, and to him part of doing that was putting a wall between his personal and business assets by setting up a Subchapter S Corporation.