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Qualified Charitable Distributions Qualify for RMDs

If you’re an IRA owner who must take a required minimum distribution (RMD) in 2011, you can avoid some or all of the resulting income tax liability by donating a portion of it to charity. A qualified charitable distribution (QCD), also known as an IRA charitable rollover, can not only save you income taxes, it …

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The Problem with Do-It-Yourself Estate Planning

As the number of Internet websites and software packages have quickly multiplied, along with the many books and stationery store kits that have always been available, do-it-yourself (DIY) estate planning is on the rise. The one-size-fits-all fill-in-the-blank forms that these sources provide may be attractive to some individuals because they cost a fraction of what …

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How Much Do You Know about Social Security?

Social Security is in the news more and more, as the first wave of baby boomers retire and economic pressures on the program increase. More than 90% of Americans are covered by Social Security,* but how much do you know about this important program? How is Social Security funded? Unlike many government programs, Social Security …

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Gift Tax Strategies

The current large gift tax applicable exclusion amount, low gift tax rates, depressed property values, and low interest rates create a favorable environment for making certain gifts. Federal gift tax basics Annual exclusion. Each year, you can give a certain amount ($13,000 in 2011 and 2012) to as many individuals as you like gift tax …

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Five Year-End Tax Planning Considerations

Legislation passed in December of 2010 extended lower tax rates, deductions, and other expiring provisions for an additional one to two years. As a result, you can consider 2011 year-end tax planning moves with a relative degree of certainty. Here are five things to keep in mind. 1. Tax rates unchanged The same six federal …

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