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October 2008 Archives

Throw Momma from the Train

Remember Dabby DeVito and Billy Crystal in Throw Momma from the Train? Danny Devito is a mystery writer who has had it " up to here" with his overbearing mom. He makes a deal with Billy Crystal. Danny will kill Billy's ex-wife and in exchange Billy will kill Danny's mother.

Should You Sell Mutual Funds to Avoid Capital Gain Distributions?

It has been a lousy year for equity mutual fund investors. According to Morningstar, the average U.S. diversified stock fund is down 33% year-to-date. Adding insult to injury, some mutual fund owners are going to have to pay hefty income tax bills on their mutual funds that lost value. Why? Because of year-end capital gain distributions. Yes, even funds that are way down may be throwing off substantial amounts of income because of sales inside the fund earlier in the year.

Can a Creditor reach your IRA?

Assets in qualified retirement plans such as 401 (k) plans, defined benefit pension plans, and profit sharing plans, are specifically protected from the claims of creditors by the provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and a 1992 decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, Patterson v. Shumate.

2009 Gift Tax Annual Exclusion is $13,000

On October 16, 2008, the IRS announced annual inflation adjustments for 2009.  The adjustments include an increase in the annual gift tax exclusion for present interest gifts to $13,000. The annual exclusion for present interest gifts to a non-citizen spouse will be $133,000.

Who is an heir? What about the transsexual "wife"?

Who is the heir? This is an age-old question. Simply, an heir is the person who inherits a decedent's property if the decedent left no will. (If the decedent left a will, those who inherit are typically called beneficiaries, not heirs.) Throughout history the answer to who is an heir has changed many times.

Tax Changes in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008

On October 3, President Bush signed into law the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, more commonly known as the "Bailout Bill." The financial bailout provisions have had the headlines for days as everyone tries to sort out what on earth the legislation actually does. But the bill also includes a raft of other tax changes (most added by special interests) that affect individuals, corporations, and businesses. Here are some examples:

Bailout Extra - Includes IRA Charitable Rollover

The "Bailout" which is what the public calls The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (H.R. 1424) passed the House and was signed by President Bush on October 3, 2008.  Lot and lots of little "additions" appeared - plus lots of "pork."

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Lancaster, PA 17603

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