Year-End Gifts to Charity – Tax Strategies

Posted November 25th, 2014 by George Mentz JD, MBA, CWM, MFP - International Lawyer and Award Winning Author

Many people donate to charity each year during the holiday season. Remember, if you want to earn a tax deduction for your gifts, you must itemize your deductions. There are several tax rules that you should know about before you give. Here are six tips from the IRS that you should keep in mind:

Posted in donations, gifting, income tax, international tax, IRS, tax preparation, wealth management, year end giving | Comments Off

International Wealth Management Considerations for American Expatriates by Mr. Edward D. Nieto

Posted October 6th, 2014 by Prof. William Byrnes

Summary: The financial and tax situations of expatriate taxpayers become more complex when assets are acquired, investments are made, and-or business activities are conducted overseas. Expatriates often require assistance managing their investments, minimizing their tax burdens, complying with offshore tax reporting requirements, and manage wealth through tax and estate planning. Expatriate investors should seek international financial and tax professionals from globally-recognized certification bodies to manage wealth and adhere to the regulatory compliance measures associated with banking and taxation reporting requirements.

Posted in international tax | No Comments »

Qualify For Medi-Cal Without Giving Up The Farm By: Nicole Heffel, Esq.

Posted October 1st, 2014 by Prof. William Byrnes

Medi-Cal is the state of California’s version of Medicaid, a state and federally funded health insurance program that assists in the necessary care of low-income families and seniors. One of the benefits in qualifying for Medi-Cal is the access to long-term care insurance. Recent research has indicated that 70% of people who are 65 years or older will need long-term care insurance at one point in their life. In 2014, the national average for assisted living rates was $3,500, while the median retirement income was only $2, 925 a month. Without access to long-term care insurance, the average retiree would be hard pressed to afford the necessary care.

Posted in income tax | No Comments »

Trade and Money Laundering by Sabina Sumner

Posted September 25th, 2014 by Prof. William Byrnes

Summary: Trade globalization combined with implementation of anti-money laundering regulations for financial institutions, resulted in the growing number of the trade-based money laundering (TBML) activities. While several preventive measures are in place, TBML is still hard to detect or control.

Posted in financial planning, international tax, IRS, money laundering, risk management | No Comments »

Tax Treatment of Offshore Real Estate Holdings and Foreign Housing Expenses

Posted September 19th, 2014 by George Mentz JD, MBA, CWM, MFP - International Lawyer and Award Winning Author

Summary: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not require that offshore real estate be reported as a foreign financial asset such as a personal residence or a rental property held by an American expatriate or a United States Government employee working overseas. It is only when the real estate is held through a foreign entity that the interest in the entity needs to be specified and reported as foreign financial asset if the total value of all specified foreign financial assets is greater than the applicable reporting threshold. American expatriates and federal government employees working overseas must report any gain realized through the sale of foreign real estate to the IRS. These employees, who own and occupy offshore homes, are taxed the same as having domestic real estate with the exception of depreciation, which must be over 40 years. These taxpayers may claim the principal residence exclusion if they own and occupy their home for at least two years out of the five years prior to its date of sale with certain exceptions allowed. The foreign housing exclusion applies only to amounts paid for with employer-provided amounts, whereas the foreign housing deduction applies only to amounts paid for with self-employment earnings.

Posted in income tax, international tax, IRS, risk management, tax preparation, wealth management | No Comments »

Wealth Preservation and Planning for Retirement

Posted July 11th, 2014 by George Mentz JD, MBA, CWM, MFP - International Lawyer and Award Winning Author

In the last 5 years, we have transitioned in wealth management from an estate focus to a Wealth Preservation focus.

Posted in financial planning, george mentz, income tax, risk management, wealth management | No Comments »

New Sales Strategy Book – The Edge by George Mentz

Posted June 2nd, 2014 by Prof. William Byrnes

Bestselling author George Mentz has a new book that helps advisors and their clients with risk management and investment management for the 21st century. National Underwriter has published the book and will distribute the book information to hundreds of thousands of their clients. This game changing book covers issues from the Art of War to Internet Marketing. Mentz, a former Wall Street Investment Banker, is revolutionizing the wealth management world with his teachings that have been distilled into easy to read books and training guides. This book is a MUST HAVE for your sales team and potential producer who want to provide value for clients and families and also grow a business

Posted in financial planning, george mentz, income tax, international tax, IRS, risk management, Uncategorized, wealth management | No Comments »

Foreign Housing Allowance for United States Government Employees – Taxable or Non-taxable?

Posted April 10th, 2014 by Prof. William Byrnes

The gross income of United States (U.S.) citizens and resident aliens is taxable on a worldwide basis. In most cases, compensation for personal services such as employer payments for housing expenses is fully taxable as an employee fringe benefit unless specifically excluded from taxation. However, there are exceptions to the taxation of housing allowances such as the special rules for members of the clergy or Peace Corps volunteers.

Posted in international tax, Uncategorized | No Comments »

Common Tax Mistakes 2014 – Review these common mistakes. – Ten Common Tax Mistakes to Avoid

Posted April 5th, 2014 by George Mentz JD, MBA, CWM, MFP - International Lawyer and Award Winning Author

Common Tax Mistakes 2014 – Review these common mistakes. – Nine Common Tax Mistakes to Avoid

We all make mistakes. But if you make a mistake on your tax return, the IRS may need to contact you to correct it. That will delay your refund.

Posted in george mentz, income tax, Uncategorized | Comments Off

529 Plans – Education Plans – Funding – Benefits – Gifting and Taxes – George Mentz

Posted February 13th, 2014 by George Mentz JD, MBA, CWM, MFP - International Lawyer and Award Winning Author

A 529 is a plan operated by a state or educational institution, with tax advantages and potentially other incentives to make it easier to save for college and other post-secondary training for a designated beneficiary, such as a child or grandchild. Earnings are not subject to federal tax and generally not subject to state tax when used for the qualified education expenses of the designated beneficiary, such as tuition, fees, books, as well as room and board. Contributions to a 529 plan, however, are not deductible.

Posted in book, deductions, income tax | No Comments »