December 10, 1997
TO SAVE tax money on April 15, consider these year-end moves.Most important, with only 15 business days remaining this year, see your tax adviser or accountant promptly. The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 complicates capital gains taxation by imposing three different tax rates for various categories of capital transactions.Despite the complications, some basic strategies remain unchanged. Some general suggestions:Offset gains with losses."If your 1997 capital gains exceed your losses, you will owe tax," says Tax Hotline, December, adding, "The federal tax on these gains might run anywhere from 20 percent to 39.6 percent, depending on your holding period and sale date.
February 21, 1997
Members of the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants are answering readers' tax questions through April 15.Q. Is the $9,500 limit on a 401(k) tax-free contribution for each spouse or both together?A. The 401(k) tax-free contribution limit of $9,500 is provided on an employee by employee basis. Therefore, each employed spouse could contribute up to $9,500 to his or her 401(k) plan. Of course, there are additional complex limitations in calculating this amount. You should discuss this with your employer, tax adviser or plan sponsor.
December 18, 1996
WITH THE Dow Jones industrial average standing this morning at 6,308.33 -- 2,473.89 points, or 64.5 percent above its Jan. 1, 1995, level of 3,834.44 -- you may wish to take some money off the table.If capital gains taxes are holding you back, consider this offbeat strategy:To preserve stock profits but delay paying capital gains taxes, sell stocks "short against the box."Here, you "short" shares identical to the ones you already own. Your broker borrows and sells the shares on the open market.
April 15, 1994
This is the last day members of the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants answer readers' tax questions. Income tax returns must be postmarked by midnight tonight; if you file for an extension, you must enclose payment for any estimated tax due.Q: I have some rental property that I haven't received any rent for, but I have expenses -- gas and electric bills and the water bill. Can I deduct these?A: Yes. Ordinary and necessary expenses for managing, conserving or maintaining a rental property from the time you make it available for rent are deductible.