Feds, retirees & the 2017 Tax Act

One way to impress people, at least some of them, is to let slip that you’ve got a situation and some issues you need to run by your tax guy.  Sounds impressive.   Like you make lots of money and have many irons in the fire.

I’ve been tempted at times to do it. But truth to tell, my tax guy is a very nice, very smart woman who left a D.C.-based tax firm for an LLC group in Tennessee.  She made the move to be closer to her grandchildren.  But when it comes to dealing with the IRS, she is my tax guy!

She’s been great every year and I’m lucky to have her.  I fill in the blanks on the questionnaire which shows last years totals.  Witholdings, etc.  Then I send her the questionnaire and appropriate forms. She takes it from there.  About as easy as it can be for somebody like me.  I’ve been grateful to her for years, but this year (and next) more than ever.

Taxes are tricky. Remember in 2009 when the  Senate grilled the then Secretary of the Treasury about paying more than $34,000 in back taxes? He blamed the computerized tax service he used to prepare his own taxes.  Which leads us to experts like Thomas J. O’Rourke, a Washingon area estate tax attorney.  Many of his clients are current or former feds and he’ll be our guest today on our Your Turn radio show at 10 a.m.  You can listen live (or later) on Federal News Radio or listen live in the D.C. area on 1500 AM.

On the agenda: How does the 2017 Tax Act affect your tax and estate plan?

Estate tax changes for all but the most wealthy taxes are no longer an issue. Do I need an estate plan in view of the changes in the estate tax law? If I do need an estate plan, what should be included as part of this estate plan? Wills, trusts, powers of attorney?

Income Tax Change:

  • Lower rates
  • Reduction in allowable itemized deductions
  • Deductibility of state and local taxes
  • Deductibility of interest, including interest on a home equity loan
  • Deductibility of moving expenses
  • Miscellaneous itemized deductions
  • Changes in the treatment of alimony

Does it still make sense to contribute to the TSP?

Roth vs. Traditional:

  • How will it affect me personally?
  • Do you need to look at your income tax withholding?

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Nahal Amouzadeh

The conversation heart candies, known as Necco Sweethearts, were invented in 1866.

Source: Good Housekeeping