California is known for its high taxes, but careful planning can help you keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket. In our blog, we share important tax planning tips, as well as advice for what to do when you find yourself facing an IRS collection action, levy, or lien.

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  • Inheriting an IRA? Are You Ready for September 30th? Tax planning and particularly planning to minimize taxes on inherited retirement accounts requires attention to detail, dotting the "i's" and crossing the "t's". There are many requirements and deadlines that, if not met, may cost your family thousands of dollars in taxes and loss of the tax deferral growth. You...
  • A Dozen Ways to Cut Taxes This Summer After a brutal winter in many parts of the country, summer is finally here. While you're enjoying the warmer weather, it's still important to remain diligent about business and personal tax planning. Fortunately, many of the following hot summer tax-planning tips enable taxpayers to combine business with pleasure. Summer Tax...
  • The Benefits of Charitable Remainder Trusts A charitable remainder trust (CRT) is an irrevocable trust set up to benefit a charitable organization. The trust's term is one lifetime, several lifetimes, or a period not to exceed 20 years. Basically, you irrevocably gift an asset to the CRT, usually an asset with a low tax basis that...
  • Tax Paperwork and Other Records: What to Keep, What to Toss E-filing is on the upswing. According to the Data Book released by the IRS on March 24, the agency collected almost $3.1 trillion in federal revenue and processed almost 240 million returns during fiscal year 2014. About 65 percent of all returns were filed electronically. Of the 147 million individual...
  • S Corps and Partnerships: Beware of Failure-to-File Penalties The S corporation is a popular business structure that's available only to privately held businesses. In fact, approximately 44 percent of small employer firms -- generally defined as companies with fewer than 500 employees -- have elected to operate as S corporations, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration's Office...
  • IRS Aims to Ground More Offshore Accounts Despite reduced resources due to recent budget cuts, the IRS is continuing its efforts to deter illegal tax evasion schemes. Instead of announcing its annual list of the "Dirty Dozen" tax scams for 2015 in one fell swoop, the agency is issuing a press release for each one spanning twelve...
  • Repealing the Estate Tax The state tax is always controversial. Some people believe strongly in it while others see it as unfair. The current exemption for estate purposes is $5.43 Million. Fewer than 1% of US taxpayers are subject to the estate tax. A new bill in Congress seeks to repeal it completely. It...
  • Creditor Protection for Retirement Accounts Qualified plans such as 401(k)s, profit sharing plans and traditional defined benefit plans are protected under federal law under Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Protection continues for all qualified plan assets as long as the assets remain inside the plan and there are non-owner employees participating in the plan....
  • Same-Sex Marriages Create New Strategies for Tax Planning Now that the Supreme Court has issued its landmark ruling to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), same-sex couples should be hammering out joint financial plans, much like those that heterosexual pairs create when they marry. The plus side is that same-sex married couples nationwide are now afforded benefits...
  • Update on the IRA 'One Rollover a Year' Rule On the heels of a controversial U.S. Tax Court decision, the IRS announced plans to revise its current guidance on IRA rollovers. Starting January 1, 2015, the IRS will strictly apply the one-rollover-per-year rule on an aggregate basis, rather than on an IRA-by-IRA basis. This announcement could have important --...
  • Selling Your Home? Tax and Other Considerations The prime residential real estate selling season is in full swing -- and 2014 might be a good time to sell, depending on your situation. So, while prospective sellers are making their properties look like model homes in the hopes of raking in a nice profit, this is a good...
  • Should We Discuss Rocks, Flossing, or the Alternative Minimum Tax? Congress passed the alternative minimum tax (AMT) some 45 years ago because some wealthy families were legally using so many deductions and tax breaks that they were paying no federal income taxes at all. Talking about the AMT gets about the same response as discussing igneous rocks and teeth flossing—not...