On June 6th 2019, we will be moving to a new building in the newly renamed Lakefront Business Center at 11985 Technology Drive Suite 100 – less than 3 miles east of our current office in Eden Prairie!
The new location is conveniently located directly off of Highway 212, near the Eden Prairie Costco and looking out onto Lake Idlewild. See the map for a detailed bird’s eye view of our new place!
The decision to move to another location is both a personal and professional one. When the building became available, we saw this opportunity as a continuation of our long-standing commitment to grow Integrity Wealth’s presence and high-quality service.
Our newly remodeled location will continue to allow us to provide the same personalized financial service you’ve come to know, just in a new office space!
We are excited to move into our new building and look forward to hosting an open house late summer/early fall so you can see the new location for yourself.
As always, we at Integrity Wealth thank you for your trust and business over the past 12 years at our current location, and we look forward to continuing our relationship with you at 11985 Technology Drive.
As we arrive at the end of March, many of you have finalized, or are at least closer to finalizing your 2018 income tax return.
As I’ve discussed often, and as there has been much discussion in the media, this will be an interesting year under a new tax code.
Many people are discovering that they have tax due, or those with children at home may be surprised at the amount of credit they are now receiving against their tax due.
Regardless of whether you have tax due or a tax refund, all that figure really represents was whether you had enough or too much money sent to the IRS throughout the year.
What really matters is the “Total Tax” figure, which is line 15 of the new form 1040.
From there, I would encourage you to compare that figure to the “Adjusted Gross Income” figure on line 7.
While this number is reduced from your actual gross income because of adjustments an employer might make, this is the easiest figure to look at to quantify what your total income was for the calendar year.
If you divide your “Total Tax” figure by your “Adjusted Gross Income” Figure, you can determine your “effective tax rate,” in other words; what percentage of your income went to Federal Tax for the year.
What’s more meaningful, however, is to look at where you may have fallen under the new tax brackets. Keep in mind that everyone pays the same tax rate on the dollars in each individual bracket. As your income goes higher, you pay tax at higher rates on those dollars in the higher brackets.
While the adjustments to deductions and tax rates were the most talked about topic regarding the 2018 tax law, what many don’t realize is how much farther the lower income brackets run now.
In other words, the 24% Federal bracket runs until $165,000 of taxable income in 2018, while in 2017 the 25% bracket STARTED at taxable income of $75,000. That is significant!
Also, as a reminder, these tax rates were passed as temporary law, as tax legislation often is (remember the fiscal cliff??). As of now, these rates are scheduled to expire completely on December 31, 2025. Be prepared for another media event around that legislative battle!
While I will never try to predict political outcomes, past experience has shown that legislators have a tendency to preserve tax rates at lower levels, while letting reductions expire at higher income levels.
Where “higher” is of course, is always a topic of debate in Washington. In addition to the likelihood that these tax rates may expire, more importantly will be whether or not the variety of deduction changes and simplifications remain the same, or evolve over time.
The main takeaway?
Enjoy the predictability while we have it, and where appropriate, consider opportunities to take advantage of lower income tax rates.
I have spoken with many of you about this, and will continue to review income tax returns and look for areas of opportunity to provide a long-term net benefit through what may be simple moves today.
2018 has come and gone, and we are already a month into the new year.
Last year ended with significant volatility in stock prices, but has anyone noticed that people only talk about volatility during declines, and don’t mind volatility when it ends in a net gain?
What’s most interesting about 2018, and only time will tell, but “the big one” many people had been waiting for may have happened late in the year. On August 29, 2018, the S&P 500 closed at 2,914. That same day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 26,124.
On December 24th, the S&P 500 closed at 2,351, which would be a decline of about 13% from its previous high. The DJIA that day closed at 21,792, which is about 17% lower than where it had been on August 29th.
When looking at prices throughout the trading days during 2018, there was a point in which stocks were very close to 20% lower than they had previously been when at an all-time high within the calendar year.
What is the takeaway? By most definitions, a “Bear Market” happens when there is a 20% decline. As I said before, only time will tell, but we may learn that this downturn was the end of the “bull market” that started in 2009, and the beginning of a new one.
What’s most important? As is the case month after month and year after year, the way a financial plan should be invested is based on the need or desire for risk and rate of return, and not on short-term moods related to stock prices or market movements.
As we look ahead to 2018 income tax returns, many will be identifying for the first time exactly how the 2018 tax legislation may have impacted their bottom line on the tax return.
I suspect many parents with children under 18 years old will be surprised to learn they are receiving a $2,000 tax credit per child; which means this $2,000 tax credit is similar to the IRS putting a cash deposit down on your tax due bill.
Separately, I can’t stress enough that we should be mindful of these low tax rates in a moment in history when federal budget deficits and total debt are at all time highs. The 2018 tax law is scheduled to expire after the 2025 tax year, and with no action, many of the new provisions revert to 2017 tax law. This is very likely to end up in higher tax rates for many, if not most, taxpayers.
There may be ways for us to take advantage of this, and I think this tax window may be providing one of the biggest long-term tax opportunities we’ve seen in my 18+ years of financial planning. Considering there can be so many variables in investing outcomes, proper tax planning is an area where we can greatly increase certainty with good planning.
By Jeff Coplan, AAMS®, CFP®
Registered Principal, RJFS
*Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Investing involves risk and investors may incur a profit or a loss. Past performance may not be indicative of future results.
Raymond James and its advisors do not offer tax or legal advice. Any opinions are those of Jeff Coplan and the professionals at Integrity Wealth and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Changes in tax laws may occur at any time and could have a substantial impact upon each person’s situation. While we are familiar with the tax provisions of the issues presented herein, as Financial Advisors of RJFS, we are not qualified to render advice on tax or legal matters. You should discuss tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct.
The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index of 500 widely held stocks that is generally considered representative of the U.S. stock market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as “The Dow”, is an index representing 30 stocks of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of the Wall Street Journal.
Keep in mind that individuals cannot invest directly in any index, and index performance does not include transaction costs or other fees, which will affect actual investment performance. Individual investor’s results will vary.
Clients and friends,
Jeff Coplan recently wrote an article about estate planning that was published in Retirement Weekly. We are sharing it with you today. The article provides a detailed strategy for leaving money to heirs and charities. If you haven’t thought past leaving a “money pot,” you’ll want to read this article.