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Do I need to pay estimated tax?

Taxpayers are required to pay most of their tax obligation during the year by having tax withheld from their paychecks or pension payments, or by making estimated tax payments. Estimated tax is the primary method used to pay tax on income that isn’t subject to withholding. This typically includes income from self-employment, interest, dividends, and gain from the sale of assets. Estimated tax is used to pay both income tax and self-employment tax, as well as other taxes reported…

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Have you checked your tax withholding lately?

If you were unpleasantly surprised by the amount of tax you owed or the amount of your tax refund when you filed your 2018 tax return, it may be time to check your withholding. It may also be time if there are changes in your life or financial situation that affect your tax liability. For example, have you recently married, divorced, had a child, purchased a new home, changed jobs, or had a change in the amount of your…

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Why Not Do It Now? New Research on Procrastination

Do you have a tendency to push off important tasks? Do you do things at the last minute, or maybe not do them at all? If so, you’re not alone. About one in five adults is a chronic procrastinator.1 Procrastination can be frustrating in the short term for even the simplest tasks. But it can have far-reaching effects on important activities and decisions such as completing work projects, obtaining medical treatment, and saving for retirement. Recent research offers insights…

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Should You Invest Internationally?

Investing in foreign stocks provides access to a world of opportunities outside the United States, which may help boost returns and manage risk in your portfolio. However, it’s important to understand the unique risk/return characteristics of foreign investments before sending a portion of your money overseas. Reasons to go abroad Here are some of the potential benefits of international investing. Additional diversification. Other countries may be at a different stage in the business cycle than the U.S. economy. They…

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Is It Time to Declare Your Financial Independence?

No matter how much money you have or which life stage you’re in, becoming financially independent starts with a dream. Your dream might be to finally pay off the mountain of debt you’ve accumulated, or to stop relying on someone else for financial support. Or perhaps your dream is to retire early so you can spend more time with your family, travel the world, or open your own business. Financial independence, however you define it, is freedom from the…

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Inflation Variation, Eroding Purchasing Power

Inflation averaged 2.5% for the 30-year period from 1989 to 2018. Although the recent trend is below the long-term average, even moderate inflation can reduce purchasing power and cut into the real return on your investments.                         IMPORTANT DISCLOSURES Wellspring Financial Partners, LLC does not provide tax or legal advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual’s personal circumstances. To the extent that this material…

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What’s the real return on your investments?

As an investor, you probably pay attention to nominal return, which is the percentage increase or decrease in the value of an investment over a given period of time, usually expressed as an annual return. However, to estimate actual income or growth potential in order to target financial goals — for example, a certain level of retirement income — it’s important to consider the effects of taxes and inflation. The remaining increase or decrease is your real return. Let’s…

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Charitable Giving After Tax Reform

Tax reform changes to the standard deduction and itemized deductions may affect your ability to obtain an income tax benefit from charitable giving. Projecting how you’ll be affected by these changes while there’s still time to take action is important. Income tax benefit of charitable giving If you itemize deductions on your federal income tax return, you can generally deduct your gifts to qualified charities. However, many itemized deductions have been eliminated or restricted, and the standard deduction has…

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Managing Your Money in a Gig Economy

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 16.5 million people rely on contingent or alternative work arrangements for their income.1 Often referred to as the “gig economy,” these nontraditional or contingent work arrangements include independent contractors, on-call and temp agency workers, and those who sign up for on-demand labor through smartphone apps. If you are a contingent worker, you need to pay close attention to your finances in order to make up for any gaps in earnings that may…

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Time for a Mid-Year Investment Check

Many investors may be inclined to review their portfolios only when markets hit a rough patch, but careful planning is essential in all economic climates. So whether the markets are up or down, periodically reviewing your portfolio with your financial professional can be an excellent way to keep your investments on track, and midway through the year is a good time for a checkup. Here are three questions to consider. 1. How have my investments performed so far this…

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