When Roth is Wrong

In the book, Predictably Irrational, author and esteemed behavioral psychologist Dan Ariely wrote an entire chapter about the strong emotional impact of getting something for free.  He describes how we go back for free extra courses at the buffet despite not being hungry or how we wait in line for an hour to get a [...]

Can Student Loans Fairly Be Labeled “Good Debt”?

Last week’s Astute Angle post explained some fallacies related to mortgage borrowing and how the free pass treatment of home mortgages as "good debt" leads to poor financial decision-making.  In response to that post, I received a few questions related to the "good debt" label of student loans that prompted another debt-centric post.  Three of [...]

The Mortgage Myths We Naïvely Believe

Baseball, apple pie, mom, Chevrolet, hot dogs, and home ownership.  Americana.  To question any of these things is un-American.  And so it becomes a largely unquestioned truth that borrowing money to buy a home is "good debt."  Home ownership, after all, is just living the American dream. But as a result of accepting this good debt [...]

Should I Use a 529 College Savings Plan to Pay for Private K-12 Expenses?

When qualified state tuition programs (QSTPs) were first introduced in 1996 and Section 529 was added to the Internal Revenue Code, the intent of Congress was to create a create a tax-friendly way for families to save for college costs.  At that time, the law provided that any earnings in a QSTP would be tax [...]

The Newly Expanded Benefit of the Qualified Charitable Distribution

What do Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steven Tyler, Stevie Nicks, Billy Crystal, and my father all have in common?  At least two things.  They will, God willing, all celebrate their 70 1/2 birthdays in 2018 and join the ranks of approximately 25 million others in the United States over this age (assuming, of course, that they all [...]

Georgia Rural Hospital Tax Credit and Qualified Education Expense Credit Under the New Tax Law

Prior to 2018, the financial benefit for Georgia taxpayers to utilize the Rural Hospital Tax Credit and the Qualified Education Expense Tax Credit accrued only to those who faced alternative minimum tax (AMT).  Georgia taxpayers who were not subject to AMT had the opportunity to direct the application of their state taxes to a specific [...]

Tax Planning Strategies Under the New Tax Law

The first sentence of our early November 2017 Astute Angle post read "It is November 8th, 2017 as this is written and there is no doubt that a lot will happen with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act before the end of the year."  As expected, a lot did happen to the initial Tax Cuts [...]

10 Tax Planning Strategies for the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

It is November 8th, 2017 as this is written and there is no doubt that a lot will happen with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act before the end of the year.  The current bill is being marked up by the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate is due to release its own [...]

Georgia AMT Taxpayers Take Notice – The Rural Hospital Tax Credit

Note that an updated explanation of the tax impact under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act exists here. We wrote this article in 2015 about a simple tax credit (the QEE Tax Credit) that provided an opportunity for taxpayers in Georgia who face alternative minimum tax (AMT) to reduce their tax liability by $700.  The [...]

Take Advantage of a Year-End Tax Opportunity with a Donor Advised Fund

This time of year is referred to as the ‘season of giving’.  Charities report that 31% of all charitable donations happen in December each year and that 12% of donations occur on the final three days of the year.  There is good reason to believe that those percentages will increase dramatically in 2016.  Proposed tax [...]