Search found 334 matches

by Buffetologist
Sun Mar 25, 2018 7:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Pls Help me understand 2018 SALT deductions.
Replies: 17
Views: 2001

Re: Pls Help me understand 2018 SALT deductions.

membership dues to a church, synagogue, mosque or other such religious organization are considered charitable contributions and are often overlooked. These are deductible.
by Buffetologist
Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deducting Prepaid Property Taxes
Replies: 13
Views: 2135

Re: Deducting Prepaid Property Taxes

I am also interested in this topic because I 1) prepaid my 2018 NH property taxes on my vacation home for about $4300 based on about 90% of my 2017 taxes. 2) prepaid the part of my FY 2019 MA property taxes that would be due in the later half 2018 using the exact numbers given to me by my town which...
by Buffetologist
Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lawyer Article Contradicts IRS Guidance on Prepaid Property Tax Deduction
Replies: 2
Views: 875

Lawyer Article Contradicts IRS Guidance on Prepaid Property Tax Deduction

I'd like to start a discussion of the following article http://www.ipbtax.com/assets/htmldocuments/158tn0243-Axelrod.pdf In the article, the author, a prominent tax attorney, Lawrence Axelrod, argues, citing chapter and verse of the tax code, that property taxes prepaid in 2017 based on good faith e...
by Buffetologist
Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I-Bonds?
Replies: 80
Views: 15068

Re: I-Bonds?

So it seems to me that because I-bonds must be taxable, that the returns are forced to lag inflation because of the tax. Over 30 years, that can lag inflation by a lot! On the other hand, I can hold TIPS index funds in my 401K where the return matches inflation where I only buy when 5 year tips show...
by Buffetologist
Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off mortgage due to new tax law
Replies: 39
Views: 7421

Re: Pay off mortgage due to new tax law

I had the same thing. I only had 5 years left on a 2.75% mortgage, which in a portfolio was an average duration of 2.6 years. I paid it off last Tuesday. There was no place else I could get that kind of return with a riskless fixed income investment for a similar duration. If you have a long time le...
by Buffetologist
Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CNBC quotes IRS on terms of deductibility of prepaid property taxes
Replies: 79
Views: 6284

Re: CNBC quotes IRS on terms of deductibility of prepaid property taxes

@tfb and @MikeG62, thank you so much for this discussion. I believe you are correct and the citation in the Massachusetts guide I linked makes it crystal clear. There is an article in today's Boston Globe this morning that seems to also agree with you. Just to close out, for the record, our Town's ...
by Buffetologist
Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Confusion about prepaying property taxes
Replies: 139
Views: 15142

Re: Confusion about prepaying property taxes

One thing about this that is great - the IRS now has a monumental task with less processors and staff than ever before. Why in the world would you think that is "great"? Yeah, why ? Too political maybe, but: taxes are a large part of what creates our civilization. But in the narrow context of this ...
by Buffetologist
Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CNBC quotes IRS on terms of deductibility of prepaid property taxes
Replies: 79
Views: 6284

Re: CNBC quotes IRS on terms of deductibility of prepaid property taxes

@tfb and @MikeG62, thank you so much for this discussion. I believe you are correct and the citation in the Massachusetts guide I linked makes it crystal clear. There is an article in today's Boston Globe this morning that seems to also agree with you. I also live in MA. Last week, I took the appro...
by Buffetologist
Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Suddenly my mortgage doesn't seem that great
Replies: 66
Views: 11382

Re: Suddenly my mortgage doesn't seem that great

I had been treating my mortgage which was 2.75% and about 5 years left as a short position on a riskless bond portfolio with a 1.63% after-tax interest rate and an average duration of about 2.5 years. My bond portfolio was much larger than my mortgage. Since I won't be able to itemize any more, it b...
by Buffetologist
Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CNBC quotes IRS on terms of deductibility of prepaid property taxes
Replies: 79
Views: 6284

Re: CNBC quotes IRS on terms of deductibility of prepaid property taxes

@tfb and @MikeG62, thank you so much for this discussion. I believe you are correct and the citation in the Massachusetts guide I linked makes it crystal clear. There is an article in today's Boston Globe this morning that seems to also agree with you.
by Buffetologist
Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CNBC quotes IRS on terms of deductibility of prepaid property taxes
Replies: 79
Views: 6284

Re: IRS clarifies 2018 property tax prepayment

Exactly when do I become liable for the 8/1/18 payment? a) The December 2017 assessment when the amount of that payment is determined exactly b) The June 2018 billing which puts that value on a piece of paper and mails it to me c) The December 2018 assessment which determines the fiscal year tax ra...
by Buffetologist
Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CNBC quotes IRS on terms of deductibility of prepaid property taxes
Replies: 79
Views: 6284

Re: IRS clarifies 2018 property tax prepayment

Do you have payment vouchers (and a printed bill and/or tax assessment) which show the amounts due on Aug 1, 2018 and Nov 1, 2018? Or are you simply stating that when you do get a bill with vouchers for those dates, it will be for the same amounts as for the Feb 1 and May 1 2018 vouchers? The perso...
by Buffetologist
Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CNBC quotes IRS on terms of deductibility of prepaid property taxes
Replies: 79
Views: 6284

Re: IRS clarifies 2018 property tax prepayment

The problem is Buffetologist does not have a tax bill in hand. Buffetologist only anticipates there will be a bill due on 8/1/2018 and another due on 11/1/2018 and Buffetologist can estimate with high accuracy what the amounts will be, but there is nothing official from the local government that Bu...
by Buffetologist
Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CNBC quotes IRS on terms of deductibility of prepaid property taxes
Replies: 79
Views: 6284

Re: IRS clarifies 2018 property tax prepayment

From what you described so far, the December 2017 assessment (which comes out in January 2018 in some towns) finalizes the taxes for the fiscal year that runs from July 2017 to June 2018. It does not say anything about the year that will start in July 2018. Property owners (as of what date?) are in...
by Buffetologist
Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CNBC quotes IRS on terms of deductibility of prepaid property taxes
Replies: 79
Views: 6284

Re: IRS clarifies 2018 property tax prepayment

So if Buffetologist has a tax bill in hand, pays that bill prior to Jan 1 and his/her township accepts the payment as settlement of the tax liability and not a deposit, I think this fits the IRS guidance and should be deductible. After all, how is this taxpayer not liable for the tax imposed? The f...
by Buffetologist
Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CNBC quotes IRS on terms of deductibility of prepaid property taxes
Replies: 79
Views: 6284

Re: IRS clarifies 2018 property tax prepayment

So if Buffetologist has a tax bill in hand, pays that bill prior to Jan 1 and his/her township accepts the payment as settlement of the tax liability and not a deposit, I think this fits the IRS guidance and should be deductible. After all, how is this taxpayer not liable for the tax imposed? The f...
by Buffetologist
Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CNBC quotes IRS on terms of deductibility of prepaid property taxes
Replies: 79
Views: 6284

Re: IRS clarifies 2018 property tax prepayment

The rate isn't set until December 2018. The town collects preliminary bills for 8/1 and 11/1 which are just the previous year's tax divided by 4. They make it up in Q3 (2/1/19) and Q4 (5/1/19) once the December 2018 assessment is done. In other words, the town knows today exactly what the 8/1/18 an...
by Buffetologist
Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CNBC quotes IRS on terms of deductibility of prepaid property taxes
Replies: 79
Views: 6284

Re: IRS clarifies 2018 property tax prepayment

Still doesn't address my case in Massachusetts where the property assessments, which is the valuations, is done once a year in December. Though we have a fiscal year from July 1 to June 30, the amount of each of the 8/1/18 (Q1) and 11/1/18 (Q2) bill is exactly the total amount of the the December 2...
by Buffetologist
Wed Dec 27, 2017 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CNBC quotes IRS on terms of deductibility of prepaid property taxes
Replies: 79
Views: 6284

Re: IRS clarifies 2018 property tax prepayment

Still doesn't address my case in Massachusetts where the property assessments, which is the valuations, is done once a year in December. Though we have a fiscal year from July 1 to June 30, the amount of each of the 8/1/18 (Q1) and 11/1/18 (Q2) bill is exactly the total amount of the the December 20...
by Buffetologist
Thu Dec 21, 2017 9:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax-free alternatives to Vanguard GNMA fund
Replies: 5
Views: 657

Re: Tax-free alternatives to Vanguard GNMA fund

I'm in the top tax bracket, and it still looks like I'll never be able to itemize again. That makes prepaying the mortgage pretty attractive.
by Buffetologist
Thu Dec 21, 2017 9:21 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax-free alternatives to Vanguard GNMA fund
Replies: 5
Views: 657

Re: Tax-free alternatives to Vanguard GNMA fund

The obvious tax-free alternative is to pay down your mortgage.
by Buffetologist
Thu Dec 21, 2017 6:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Confusion about prepaying property taxes
Replies: 139
Views: 15142

Re: Confusion about prepaying property taxes

Thanks for the replies. I've been scouring articles http://www.nextavenue.org/year-end-tax-moves-tax-bill/ They quote Mark Luscombe, principal federal tax analyst for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting. “The IRS standard is that if you know what you owe, you can prepay,” says Luscombe This would agree ...
by Buffetologist
Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Confusion about prepaying property taxes
Replies: 139
Views: 15142

Re: Confusion about prepaying property taxes

I'm copying part of a post from the big "Omnibus" thread, which I think is very relevant here, and also very discouraging for many of us ... https://ustaxcourt.gov/InOpHistoric/HOFFMAN.TCM.WPD.pdf “ Section 164(a)(1) allows a deduction for real property taxes. Deduction of prepaid real property tax...
by Buffetologist
Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Confusion about prepaying property taxes
Replies: 139
Views: 15142

Re: Confusion about prepaying property taxes

I would say that 1 and 2 are deductible. 3 is not. There is a tax court case (or perhaps revenue ruling) where a property tax deduction wasn't allowed because the tax hadn't been assessed. Unfortunately I agree with you on (3). I didn't have time to get it straight before I paid it. So your opinion...
by Buffetologist
Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please Post Tax Bill Questions Here [was Tax Bill Omnibus Thread]
Replies: 886
Views: 58851

Re: Tax Bill Omnibus Thread

I'm happy to say that my county DOES allow prepayment of 2018 property taxes (I called and they said they'd been getting many calls about this). They've actually set up special "prepayment accounts". Naturally, they refuse to opine as the whether it's actually legit to deduct those 2018 prepayments...
by Buffetologist
Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Confusion about prepaying property taxes
Replies: 139
Views: 15142

Confusion about prepaying property taxes

I'm interested in continuing the discussion about prepaying property taxes. I'm getting mixed signals of what's allowed and what isn't. Pub 17 says "The following two tests must be met for you to deduct any tax. The tax must be imposed on you. You must pay the tax during your tax year." Consider the...
by Buffetologist
Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which of these 2 add-on IRA CD would you choose
Replies: 1
Views: 194

Which of these 2 add-on IRA CD would you choose

... to send the proceeds of maturing IRA CD My options: 1) Variable rate IRA CD at local bank paying 1% over 1 year constant maturity treasury, adjusts every three months, matures 3/19 (15 more months), currently paying 2.45% APR. Adjusts again in February. Current 1 year treasury rate is 1.69% 2) N...
by Buffetologist
Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:58 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Calculating the Option Value of Add On CDs
Replies: 0
Views: 161

Calculating the Option Value of Add On CDs

Navy Federal is offering two add-on CDs 15 months at 2.25% (max $50K) and 32 months in an IRA for 2.75% (max $250K). Minimum $50 Bank5 connect is offering an add on for 24 months at 2.1% (no Max). Minimum $500 Intuitively, it seems worthwhile to open these up just for the option to move money in lat...
by Buffetologist
Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maximizing 2017 Deduction, Re Property Tax
Replies: 5
Views: 1010

Re: Maximizing 2017 Deduction, Re Property Tax

I should read Pub 17 carefully. So my town's Fiscal year is June to June. They do the assessments in December and issue the bill due 2/1 in December. The amounts due in 2/1 and 5/1 are assessed. The bills due 8/1 and 11/1 are estimates based on the previous year and are usually paid by my mortgage c...
by Buffetologist
Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maximizing 2017 Deduction, Re Property Tax
Replies: 5
Views: 1010

Maximizing 2017 Deduction, Re Property Tax

Does anyone know of limits on how much property tax one can prepay? My town said that they would take as much as I am willing to pay. They will know the exact 2018 amount during the week between Christmas and New Year. In Massachusetts, because of proposition 2 1/2, there is zero chance it will ever...
by Buffetologist
Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rethinking I-bonds vs Tax Advantaged TIPS fund
Replies: 5
Views: 877

Re: Rethinking I-bonds vs Tax Advantaged TIPS fund

I have been buying the maximum I-bonds since 2011 in TreasuryDirect. I am in the 39.6% bracket now and expect to be in the 28% in retirement based on current tax rates. I also have access to and have been using the Fidelity Inflation Protected Index Fund (FSIYX) in my 401K. I have my new money put ...
by Buffetologist
Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rethinking I-bonds vs Tax Advantaged TIPS fund
Replies: 5
Views: 877

Rethinking I-bonds vs Tax Advantaged TIPS fund

I have been buying the maximum I-bonds since 2011 in TreasuryDirect. I am in the 39.6% bracket now and expect to be in the 28% in retirement based on current tax rates. I also have access to and have been using the Fidelity Inflation Protected Index Fund (FSIYX) in my 401K. I have my new money put i...
by Buffetologist
Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS Form 709 help; 529 super-funding mistake
Replies: 11
Views: 1207

Re: IRS Form 709 help; 529 super-funding mistake

Google "Obama Form 709" and download the former president's professionally prepared Form 709 as an exemplar. This helped me tremendously.
by Buffetologist
Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will we be house poor in Boston? Help us to set a budget limit
Replies: 36
Views: 3501

Re: Will we be house poor in Boston? Help us to set a budget limit

Hello everyone, I am a new comer to bogleheads and financial planning, rather starting late in age! I read through Panchilly’s post “we bought a house – are we housepoor now” and the responses made me rethink of our house budget. We are in the Boston market and have been trying to buy a house for a...
by Buffetologist
Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mercedes Benz E300 Navigation System
Replies: 35
Views: 2470

Re: Mercedes Benz E300 Navigation System

I have a CPO 2004 E320. During the whole 3 years it was under warranty (2008-2011), the dealership could never get the Nav to be reliable. They must have changed it 3 times. When the warranty expired I went to an independent mechanic who found a kink in a cable that was causing the intermittent rece...
by Buffetologist
Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I-Bonds?
Replies: 80
Views: 15068

Re: I-Bonds?

I've been meaning to ask. Does it bother anybody that I-bonds are guaranteed to have a negative real return due to the eventual taxes that must be paid on the interest unless we have deflation so bad that 0% is a positive real return. On the other hand, TIPS funds purchased in a tax-protected accou...
by Buffetologist
Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:04 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I-Bonds?
Replies: 80
Views: 15068

Re: I-Bonds?

I've been meaning to ask. Does it bother anybody that I-bonds are guaranteed to have a negative real return due to the eventual taxes that must be paid on the interest unless we have deflation so bad that 0% is a positive real return. On the other hand, TIPS funds purchased in a tax-protected accou...
by Buffetologist
Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I-Bonds?
Replies: 80
Views: 15068

Re: I-Bonds?

I've been meaning to ask. Does it bother anybody that I-bonds are guaranteed to have a negative real return due to the eventual taxes that must be paid on the interest unless we have deflation so bad that 0% is a positive real return. On the other hand, TIPS funds purchased in a tax-protected accoun...
by Buffetologist
Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate planning advice for young parents in Massachusetts
Replies: 33
Views: 3316

Re: Estate planning advice for young parents in Massachusetts

The typical approach is for the child to be a trustee together with a co-trustee, but for the child not to have any power over distributions. Thanks bsteiner. That may well be exactly what the attorney recommended. Perhaps we had fears of unnecessarily making this more complex than it needed to be....
by Buffetologist
Sat Sep 16, 2017 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate planning advice for young parents in Massachusetts
Replies: 33
Views: 3316

Re: Estate planning advice for young parents in Massachusetts

... Our net worth is in the 8-9 million range ... ... The trust gives the surviving spouse the option to "disclaim" the marital share and create a credit shelter trust for estate tax purposes. This allows maximum flexibility depending on what the estate tax situation is at the time. Our thinking is...
by Buffetologist
Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate planning advice for young parents in Massachusetts
Replies: 33
Views: 3316

Re: Estate planning advice for young parents in Massachusetts

We live in MA. I am not an attorney, but I feel like I gave this a lot of thought. 20 years ago when our children were small, we did a joint living trust whose main purpose was to be the beneficiary of our life insurance policies so that the guardian of our children, who would also be successor trus...
by Buffetologist
Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card with large cash (or cash-equivalent) sign-up bonus
Replies: 25
Views: 3557

Re: Credit card with large cash (or cash-equivalent) sign-up bonus

Not huge, but ELFCU has a $300 reward after only $1K of spend. Did this 2 months ago, no issues at all. Membership is easy ($5 Tru Direction membership fee). https://www.elements.org/credit-cards/ I'm a high net worth individual. I got rejected for membership in the credit union using TruDirection....
by Buffetologist
Fri Sep 08, 2017 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying 4 years tuition for college to get discount?
Replies: 22
Views: 2962

Re: Paying 4 years tuition for college to get discount?

A couple of key caveats. The money can't come from a 529 because only the expenses in the year of the payment will be qualified. I actually did this, and paid the lump sum with 529 money. 2 years later I got a letter from the IRS. My accountant sent a letter explaining the situation along with a co...
by Buffetologist
Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying 4 years tuition for college to get discount?
Replies: 22
Views: 2962

Re: Paying 4 years tuition for college to get discount?

A couple of key caveats. The money can't come from a 529 because only the expenses in the year of the payment will be qualified. Technically this is correct but there is a workaround if you have "extra money". And the workaround is that you use your own money to do the prepay, then withdraw from th...
by Buffetologist
Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need Advise On Getting to Patriots Game, Foxborough
Replies: 13
Views: 1500

Re: Need Advise On Getting to Patriots Game, Foxborough

I think getting advance tickets for the train is the way to go. By car, getting to the game is easy. Getting back - I've waited over 90 minutes to exit the parking lot after a concert. It was so late that the bars had closed so we had to go the the emergency room at a local hospital to find a rest r...
by Buffetologist
Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying 4 years tuition for college to get discount?
Replies: 22
Views: 2962

Re: Paying 4 years tuition for college to get discount?

I did this successfully and I think it was well worth it. I got tuition inflation after-tax (~3-4% per year) on money that would have otherwise been in cash or short-term bonds. A couple of key caveats. The money can't come from a 529 because only the expenses in the year of the payment will be qual...
by Buffetologist
Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to Model Variable Rate CD
Replies: 2
Views: 538

Re: How to Model Variable Rate CD

Any more ideas on how to model this CD within my fixed income portfolio?
by Buffetologist
Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:35 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to Model Variable Rate CD
Replies: 2
Views: 538

How to Model Variable Rate CD

There is a local bank near me offering an 18 month variable rate CD at 2.24%, and adjusts quarterly to be 1 year constant maturity treasury rate + 100 basis points. I'm trying to assess the merits of this CD vs a standard 2.00% fixed rate 2 year CD. It seems to me that the way to model it in a fixed...
by Buffetologist
Fri May 19, 2017 3:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice Needed: 81 Year Old Mother - Buying House to "Rent" to Her?
Replies: 23
Views: 3221

Re: Advice Needed: 81 Year Old Mother - Buying House to "Rent" to Her?

You should check out the following list of State Supervised Middle Income Housing for Seniors. http://www.nyshcr.org/Programs/Mitchell-Lama/Developments.htm These are often very affordable senior rentals. I'm more familiar with them in NYC, but they are statewide and often very good deals and very w...