Investors enjoy a tax break on certain types of investment income. Dividends that certain stocks pay qualify for lower tax rates, as do the profits on investments that you sell after having held them for longer than a year. These qualified dividends and long-term capital gains are eligible to get taxed at 0%, 15%, or 20%, producing substantial savings.
At least a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field is required for most accountant and auditor job positions, and some employers prefer applicants with a master's degree. A degree in accounting may also be required for, or may be used to fulfill the requirements for, membership to professional accounting bodies. For example, the education during an accounting degree can be used to fulfill the American Institute of CPA's (AICPA) 150 semester hour requirement, and associate membership with the Certified Public Accountants Association of the UK is available after gaining a degree in finance or accounting.
2020 could be a momentous year for many reasons. But if you're trying to do tax planning for 2020, it doesn't look like this year is going to bring much in the way of massive changes to tax laws. No matter what happens in the 2020 elections, any changes in the White House or control of Congress won't take effect until 2021, and so this year is likely to continue the gridlock that has kept current tax laws largely unchanged since 2018's tax reform efforts.
Donations to qualified charities are eligible for a deduction as well. Cash and check donations are deductible and full, and most gifts of property are also deductible up to their fair market value. The key to claiming charitable deductions is to make sure you get the appropriate acknowledgment from the charity that you made the gift, because you'll need that documentation in order to support your deduction in case you're audited.
Every year, tax season is an event so it makes sense to have a professional assist you in planning for that. Franklin P. Sparkman can take the worry out of tax season with services that work for you all year long. If you are in need of tax preparation for your business, or if you are just looking to file an individual tax return, Franklin P. Sparkman has a solution for you.
Dan Caplinger has been a contract writer for the Motley Fool since 2006. As the Fool's Director of Investment Planning, Dan oversees much of the personal-finance and investment-planning content published daily on Fool.com. With a background as an estate-planning attorney and independent financial consultant, Dan's articles are based on more than 20 years of experience from all angles of the financial world. Follow @DanCaplinger Follow @DanCaplinger
Hiring a certified public accountant (CPA) could be a better option instead of doing your taxes by yourself, but it depends on your tax situation and preferences. Having a CPA do your taxes is usually recommended if you have a business or any type of side job, or if you’ve been contacted by the IRS for a tax-related matter. Others who can benefit are those who own rental properties or have many assets. You can also hire a CPA if you need help understanding what deductions or credit you might qualify for.
Tax gain-loss harvesting is another form of tax planning or management relating to investments. It is helpful because it can use a portfolio's losses to offset overall capital gains. According to the IRS, short and long-term capital losses must first be used to offset capital gains of the same type. In other words, long-term losses offset long-term gains before offsetting short-term gains. As of 2018, short-term capital gains, or earnings from assets owned for less than one year, are taxed at ordinary income rates.
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Periodic Planning – Tax planning can either be of short or longer period of time, if done for less than 12 months, is known as shorter period planning, whereas planning done for more than 12 months is known as longer period planning. For example, there are short term and long-term capital gains taxes depending upon the holding period of assets/investments.
The earned income tax credit gives sizable reductions in taxes to workers with low- or mid-level incomes. The credit amount varies by family size and income, with maximums of $6,660 for those with three or more children, $5,920 for those with two children, $3,584 for those with one child, or $538 for those with no children. The income limits below indicate which taxpayers are eligible for at least some of the earned income credit, but bear in mind that the top credit amount phases out gradually over a large portion of the income range.
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The history of accounting has been around almost as long as money itself. Accounting history dates back to ancient civilizations in Mesopotamia, Egypt and Babylon. For example, during the Roman Empire the government had detailed records of their finances. However, modern accounting as a profession has only been around since the early 19th century.