Tax Traps To Avoid For Doctors And Businesses

Physcians Practice:  “The next 60 days marks the final push to sell physicians across the United States tax plans of both good and questionable value. Promoters of various plans are well aware of the pressures affecting your income and will make a variety of frivolous arguments that appeal to your desire to save.  As always a great CPA is your first line of defense against both tax exposure itself and the risk of committing tax fraud through an overreaching plan, but there are a number of common markers that are easy to spot.

The IRS creates an annual list of the “Dirty Dozen” tax schemes; here’s a breakdown of the top ones that affect or target doctors. Remember that the higher your income, the more likely you are to face an audit and substantial civil and criminal penalties that I guarantee will exceed any short-term savings gleaned from any bad planning.”

Women Live Longer Than Men So Retirement Planning Is Critical

Financial Planning Association:  “The odds are extremely good that my wife will outlive me. Whatever the reason – genetics, a healthier diet, the fact that she uses our treadmill as something other than a clothes rack – there will likely come a day when she bids me adieu.

Most people know that women have a longer life expectancy than men, living about 81 years compared to 76 for the average male. But what they may not have considered is what this statistic means in reality: namely that the overwhelming majority of people in retirement are women.

In the U.S., women make up nearly 60 percent of the population over age 65 and nearly 70 percent of the population of those over age 85.How should that reality affect the retirement planning of the fairer sex?” 

Working With Financial Planners

AARP:  “A widow just shy of her 90th birthday recently asked me to review her investment portfolio. This happens a lot: Much of my practice involves giving second opinions to other financial planners’ clients.  This widow had a reason to worry. She had been sold two expensive annuities — just about the last thing a 90-year-old needs — and the rest of her portfolio consisted mostly of risky stock funds and junk bond funds. The planner was making a fortune as the widow’s nest egg dwindled.

A natural reaction would be to file this story next to that of Bernie Madoff or other brazen crooks. But that would be too easy. Like every financial planner I know, the widow’s adviser really seemed to believe that she was doing her client a great service. In fact, she considered her a dear friend.

My point is this: Bad advice is epidemic in my industry, and it doesn’t come only from villainous fraudsters such as Madoff. It also comes from pleasant, empathetic folks who are merely responding predictably to my industry’s perverse incentives and self-serving ethical standards.  We financial planners are masters at persuading ourselves that what’s in our best interest also happens to be the moral thing to do. By and large, we’re good people, which is why we can be so convincing — and so potentially dangerous to your money.”

Supreme Court May Uphold Key Provision of Arizona’s Illegal Immigrant Law

Legal Insurrection:  The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments today about Arizona’s controversial illegal immigratio law, SB 1070.  Based on the initial reports, it appears that the Court may uphold at least one key provision of the law, which allows state law enforcement to inquire about a person’s immigration status.  Even some of the Court’s liberal Justices seemed skeptical about prohibiting state law enforcement from checking the immigration status of a person within the state’s borders.  What remains unclear is how the Court will view the provisions of the law that make it a state crime to violate federal immigration law. 

Supreme Court To Hear Arizona Immigration Case

findlaw.com:  On Wednesday, April 25, the Supreme Court will hear from both sides of the argument as to whether states can adopt their own policies on handling illegal immigration.  Arizona’s lawmakers appear to be staunchly supportive of such sovereignty:

“If the federal government had been doing and would continue to do its job in securing the border here in southern Arizona, this would not be an issue. Unfortunately, they failed to do that so Arizona stepped up and said, ‘We want to be partners. Here’s a role we think we can play,'” said Sheriff Larry Dever of Cochise County, which shares an 83.5-mile border with Mexico in the state’s southeastern corner.

Five states have adopted policies similar to Arizona’s.  For the entire article on this hotly debated issue, click here.