US citizens renouncing citizenship in record numbers

Some food for thought as we continue to learn about the Presidential candidates:

Imagine paying U.S. taxes your entire life and then walking away from your right to collect Social Security benefits and Medicare, not to mention your rights to live and travel freely in your home country. Americans are doing that in record numbers.

U.S. tax rates have reached the tipping point where the burden now outweighs the benefits for many Americans. We’ve seen this happening for years with U.S. corporations moving their operations overseas. Its now becoming more common for individuals to give up their U.S. citizenship.

Here’s a link to a CNBC article on this issue:

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August is "Make a Will Month"

August is national “Make A Will Month.” Yes, “Make A Will Month” actually exists! The end of the summer, when many families vacation together, is the perfect time to plan for your family’s future.

Making a will can be easy with proper guidance. No one likes to think about the end of life, but without a solid plan, your loved ones can suffer the consequences. There can be serious pitfalls if you attempt to create your own will or use a cookie cutter software product. Unfortunately, by the time anyone realizes that a mistake has been made, it is often too late to make a correction. An experienced estate planning attorney, like me, can help you work through different scenarios and create a plan that will address your wishes and reduce the burden on your loved ones.

Nearly 75 percent of people do not have wills. The reasons vary: some think they are too young to need a will; others assume they don’t have enough money for it to matter. These are misconceptions. It is extremely important to have a legal document that clearly sets forth who will be the guardian of your children and to whom your assets will go. If this is not clear, it can lead to family conflicts and court action that can be costly, time consuming, and damaging to family relationships.

So, this “Make A Will Month,” do yourself and your loved ones a favor and create your will.

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ObamaCare and your 2014 tax returns

Below is a brief summary of the new filing requirements related to ObamaCare (the “Affordable Care Act”). These requirements apply to everyone, regardless of how you purchase your health insurance.

1. If you obtained healthcare coverage through the ObamaCare Marketplace last year, you will need Form 1095-A to file your 2014 tax returns. This form will be issued by the ObamaCare prior to January 31st.

2. If you didn’t have the “minimum essential coverage” or an exemption as required by ObamaCare, you will owe a penalty when you file your Federal income tax return. This penalty will be based on your modified adjusted gross income for each full month you didn’t have health insurance.

3. If you had private health insurance, you will need to indicate on your 2014 tax return whether your coverage met the minimum requirements set by ObamaCare.

Form 1095-A will report the total monthly health insurance premiums you paid to the insurance company you selected through the Marketplace. It will also detail the advance payments of the premium tax credit that were paid directly to your insurance company.

If Form 1095-A is lost, incorrect, or never shows up, taxpayers must contact their Marketplace directly. Taxpayers can get information on how to reach the Marketplace on and

Think of this new tax form, Form 1095-A, as similar to a W-2 that you’d get from an employer or a 1099 that you’d get from a bank. Much like those forms, the Marketplace reports the 1095-A information to the IRS. This means that your tax return must match the information reported on the 1095-A.

The IRS will begin accepting 2014 tax returns on January 20, 2015. Be sure to keep track of all of your W-2s, 1099s, year-end mortgage statements, and brokerage account statements as they arrive over the next few weeks.

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