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Taxes and investment planning to consider

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Mary Currie

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BY MARY CURRIE
Business Columnist

Monday, March 11, 2019

I am sure by now you or someone you know has gotten some not-so-good news in filing your 2018 tax returns.

If you are one of those receiving results with less refund or had to pay, go to your employer and update your W-4 Form to get your withholdings on track of where it should be. A few things you should keep in mind are:

■ The deduction for personal exemption for each person claimed on your tax return is no longer available.

■ Employee business expenses are no longer deductible. Two groups of employees this change has a huge impact on are traveling salespeople and long-distance truck drivers.

If you need help with getting your tax withholding in order, start by updating the withholding information, seek help with your HR department at work and ask your tax advisor after you have had your taxes returns completed.

Now is a good time to review your will to make sure it is up-to-date. If you don’t have a will, make it a high priority and get a will completed.

■ Bank accounts: make sure you have a “POD” in place, this is when you pass away your accounts will be payable on death to the person or persons you list. See your banker with help on this.

■ Investment accounts: make sure you have a “TOD” in place so when you pass away your investment accounts will be automatically transferred to whoever you list. See your investment advisor with help with this.

■ Retirement accounts: make sure you have a beneficiary listed so when you pass away your retirement accounts will automatically be available to the ones you wish to receive these funds. See the person who is holding your retirement accounts for this step, this maybe your HR department at work, investment advisor, banker, etc.

These four steps above are vital for you to take care of. It will save your loved ones time, money and some stress when you pass away. If you don’t take care of these steps, the ones that apply to you, no will, no beneficiary or person listed to receive funds then an estate will have to be setup to handle your assets. This will cost in additional fees, time and your assets may not be transferred to the people you wanted to receive them.

The information in this article is general in nature and should not be acted upon without first checking to determine its applicability to your situation.

Mary Currie is a certified public accountant practicing in Rocky Mount.

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