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Forbes HeadlinesOct 28, 2020
Stocks Just Had Their Worst Day In Four Months-Here's How The Election Could Make Things Worse
The Dow plunged close to 900 points on Wednesday as a striking surge in coronavirus cases heightens pre-election uncertainty just six days before the election. Don't expect volatility to end soon.

KiplingerOct 28, 2020
Tax Tip: How to Deduct Property Damage Caused by Hurricane Zeta
If you live in Hurricane Zeta's path, your family's personal safety is your number one concern during the storm. But once the hurricane has passed, your primary concern might be dealing with property damage from high winds or flooding. If that's the case, the tax law can offer some help.

SEE MORE Tax Relief for Hurricane, Wildfire, Flood and Other Natural Disaster Victims Personal casualty losses of individuals are deductible to the extent that they are attributable to a federally declared disaster area. This encompasses areas devastated by hurricanes, earthquakes, major flooding, blizzards, tornadoes, wildfires and other events.

If your house, car or belongings are damaged or destroyed as a result of a federally declared disaster, you may qualify for a tax break to offset losses that aren't covered by insurance when you file a claim.

Generally, only taxpayers who itemize deductions can take a tax write-off for damage to personal property. And there are two important offsets that apply. First, you must reduce the amount of the loss by $100. Then, you can deduct the balance only to the extent that it exceeds 10% of your adjusted gross income (AGI).

Let's say your AGI is $100,000 and you have $30,000 in unreimbursed losses from damage to your house caused by Zeta. You first subtract $100 from the loss. Then you subtract $10,000 (10% of your AGI) from the $29,900 balance. The remaining $19,900 is the amount you can deduct on Schedule A of Form 1040. (More liberal rules apply for taking the deduction for 2018 and 2019 federally declared disasters.)

SEE MORE The Most Expensive Natural Dis


USA Today MoneyOct 28, 2020
The brand-new Amazon Echo and Echo Dot speakers are already on sale—here's how to save
The Amazon Echo and Amazon Echo Dot smart speakers are discounted when you buy them in pairs on the site—get the details.       

KiplingerOct 27, 2020
Estate Tax Exemption Amount Goes Up for 2021
The federal estate tax exemption is going up again for 2021. The amount is adjusted each year for inflation, so that's not a surprise. But it's still a big deal when the new exemption is announced each year because there's a lot at stake for certain high-income Americans.

2021 Estate Tax Exemption Generally, when you die, your estate is not subject to the federal estate tax if the value of your estate is less than the exemption amount. For people who pass away in 2021, the exemption amount will be $11.7 million (its $11.58 million for 2020). For a married couple, that comes to a combined exemption of $23.4 million.

Estate Tax Rate As you might guess, only a small percentage of Americans die with an estate worth $11.7 million or more. But for estates that do, the federal tax bill is pretty steep. Most of the estate's value is taxed at a 40% rate.

SEE MORE IRS Releases Income Tax Brackets for 2021 As the table below shows, the first $1 million is taxed at lower rates - from 18% to 39%. That results in a total tax of $345,800 on the first $1 million, which is $54,200 less than what the tax would be if the entire estate were taxed at the top rate. However, once you get past the first $1 million, everything else is taxed at the 40% rate.

Rate

Taxable Amount (Value of Estate Exceeding Exemption)

18%

$0 to $10,000

20%

$10,001 to $20,000

22%

$20,001 to $40,000

24%

$40,001 to $60,000

26%

$60,001 to $80,000

28%

$80,001 to $100,000


KiplingerOct 21, 2020
There's Never Been a Better Time for Business Owners to Make a Move
The future is uncertain. COVID proves that.

SEE MORE Audit Alert: Why Business Owners Shouldn't Be Spooked by Captive Insurance Not only that, this election year is filled with unpredictability, especially for owners of small and midsize businesses. We are simultaneously navigating the uncertain waters of the Paycheck Protection Program as well as planning for possible changes in the business tax code.

2020 has been particularly brutal. According to MarketWatch, 55% of Yelp-listed businesses that closed due to COVID will stay closed permanently.

It's easy to see why many would assume a wait-and-see approach. Let's see who gets elected and how the tax code will change. Let's see how COVID stimulus is going to play out.

If you've found yourself saying things like this, let me be clear: This is anything but the moment to wait. I'm telling my clients that not only is it the right time to plan at least two years into the future, it's the right time to think big and consider whether an even bigger move makes sense.

Here's what you need to know to start making those plans:

Business taxes Small and midsize businesses should be building contingency plans now for whoever ends up winning the White House, as well as which party controls the House and Senate. Yes, it will take time before any legislation is passed regarding business taxes, but as COVID-19 has taught us, building those plans now and thinking at least two years ahead will set your business up for success regardless of the outcome on election night.

First, let's think about the most drastic scenario: a Democratic president and Senate. This is where I'd expect

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