Massachusetts deferred property tax program

Few Massachusetts residents participate in the deferred property tax program which assists seniors with limited incomes who want to remain in their home which allows them to defer property taxes until they die and the house is sold. Interest is charged on the amount deferred with municipalities setting the rate, capped at 8 percent. Follow our link to the Boston Globe article which details unintended consequences of deferred property tax for one Sharon family. An inheritance damaged by delayed taxes By Sean P. Murphy | Boston Globe Article Barry Arntz thought he and his sister owned the house passed down Continue Reading

You Can Give Away More Tax Free in 2018

After staying the same for five years, the amount you can give away to any one individual in a particular year without reporting the gift will increase in 2018. The annual gift tax exclusion for 2018 is rising from $14,000 to $15,000. This means that any person who gives away $15,000 or less to any one individual (anyone other than their spouse) does not have to report the gift or gifts to the IRS. If you give away more than $15,000, you do not necessary have to pay taxes, but you will have to file a gift tax return (Form 709). The Continue Reading

IRS Now Allows Private Debt Collectors to Dun Taxpayers

In a move that could be confusing to seniors who are vulnerable to scams, the IRS will begin using private debt collection agencies to collect past-due taxes. The new program will begin in April 2017.Authorized by a law Congress passed in December 2015, the IRS may now contract with private debt collectors to collect certain debts. The private collection agencies can work on accounts in which the taxpayer owes money, but the IRS is no longer actively working on the account, perhaps because the account is older or the IRS does not have resources to continue pursuing it. Historically, scammers Continue Reading

Things Seniors Should Remember at Tax Time

Tax day, which is April 18th in 2017, is approaching and it is time to begin crossing T’s and dotting I’s in preparation for paying taxes. As tax time draws near, you want to make sure you file all the proper forms and take all deductions you’re entitled to. Following are some things to keep in mind as you prepare your tax form. Gifts. Did you give away any money this year? The gift tax can be very confusing. If you gave away more than $14,000 in 2016, you will have to file a Form 709, the gift tax return. Continue Reading

How to Deduct Long-Term Care Premiums From Your Income

Taxpayers with long-term care insurance policies can deduct some of their premiums from their income. Whether you can use the deduction requires comparing your medical expenses to your income in a complicated formula. Premiums for qualified long-term care insurance policies are tax deductible to the extent that they, along with other unreimbursed medical expenses (including Medicare premiums), exceed 10 percent of the insured’s adjusted gross income. In tax year 2016, taxpayers 65 and older only need medical expenses to exceed 7.5 percent of their income, but in 2017, taxpayers 65 and older will have the same 10 percent rule as Continue Reading

IRS Issues Long-Term Care Premium Deductibility Limits for 2017

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is increasing the amount taxpayers can deduct from their 2017 taxes as a result of buying long-term care insurance. Premiums for “qualified” long-term care insurance policies (see explanation below) are tax deductible to the extent that they, along with other unreimbursed medical expenses (including Medicare premiums), exceed 10 percent of the insured’s adjusted gross income, or 7.5 percent for taxpayers 65 and older (for 2016; this rises to 10 percent in 2017). These premiums — what the policyholder pays the insurance company to keep the policy in force — are deductible for the taxpayer, his Continue Reading

6 Things to Know to Reduce Your Tax on Capital Gains

Although it is often said that nothing is certain except death and taxes, the one tax you may be able to avoid or minimize most through planning is the tax on capital gains. Here’s what you need to know to do such planning: What is capital gain? Capital gain is the difference between the “basis” in property — usually real estate or stocks, but also including artwork and collectibles — and its selling price. The basis is usually the purchase price of property. So, if you purchased a house for $250,000 and sold it for $450,000 you would have $200,000 of Continue Reading

Understanding the Tax Consequences of Inheriting a Roth IRA

Passing down a Roth IRA can seem like a good idea, but it doesn’t always make the most sense. Before converting a traditional IRA into a Roth IRA to benefit your heirs, you should consider the tax consequences. Earnings in a traditional IRA generally are not taxed until they are distributed to you. At age 70 1/2 you have to start taking distributions from a traditional IRA. Contributions to a Roth IRA are taxed, but the distributions are tax-free. You also do not have to take distributions on a Roth IRA. Leaving your heirs a tax-free Roth IRA can be Continue Reading