Instead of dreaming about how the new tax package will affect them next year, millions of taxpayers might want to focus on a more immediate issue: How to avoid getting hit needlessly by estimated-tax penalties for 2017.
If you’re confused by the rules, you have plenty of company. The latest Internal Revenue Service statistics show a surprisingly large increase in the number of taxpayers ensnared by these penalties. While the rules can be tricky, most people who haven’t paid enough taxes during the year can avoid trouble by doing some basic homework. That includes focusing on how to sail into what tax professionals refer to as “safe harbors,” says Eric L. Green, a lawyer at Green & Sklarz LLC in New Haven, Conn.
Even the richest Americans are worried about having enough for retirement. 51% of affluent investors — defined as those who have total investable assets of $500,000 or more — say they are concerned about being financially secure in retirement.
The first week of 2018 saw equities enjoy a strong start to the new year. Less than a year after breaking the 20000 mark, the Dow soared past 25000 last week. The wide-ranging S&P 500 also posted a record close while climbing 2.60%. The Nasdaq picked up in 2018 right where it left off in 2017, posting a 3.38% weekly gain, boosted by surging technology stocks. Energy stocks were strong as the price of oil rose again last week. As bond prices fell, bond yields moved higher, with the yield on 10-year Treasuries increasing by 6 basis points.
For couples planning to get married, a meeting with a financial professional is an increasingly important step along the way, advisers say.
It’s a “function of the fact that people are accumulating assets before marriage, getting married later in life, and seeing more and more people getting divorced,” says Lawrence D. Mandelker, a trusts and estates attorney with Seyfarth Shaw LLP in New York who has been referring more clients to financial advisers for these services.
The holiday season is upon us—and with it, Salvation Army Santas standing on street corners, ringing their bells and imploring us to give. They are a great reminder of the generous spirit of the season. But how many of us, if we’re honest with ourselves, go out of our way to escape from these solicitations, and why?
The Markets (as of market close December 15, 2017)
Each of the benchmark indexes listed here closed last week in the black, led by the Nasdaq and the Dow, both of which climbed over 1.00%. Stocks appear to have followed the ebb and flow of the proposed tax plan, which seems to have enough support for congressional passage this week. Investors may see a lowering of corporate taxes as leading to an increase in company profits and value. A 25 basis point increase in the federal funds rate did not seem to have much of an impact on investors.