In most cases, an inheritance is not taxable to you, but there are exceptions

At some point, you may inherit money or property that, in most cases, is not taxable to you. Life insurance proceeds are included in the deceased person's estate, but are not taxable to the beneficiaries. Bank accounts and other income-producing assets such as stocks are not taxable to you when received, but the income these assets generate is taxable to you.

If you are not sure if something was included in the decedent's taxable income, you should check with the administrator or attorney handling the estate to advise you what portion of the income earned on these assets should be included on your personal tax return. You may get a Schedule K-1 for items that are allocated to you from the estate. Be sure to inform your tax preparer of any income you receive from an inheritance because, although in most cases there is no income tax liability, there are some exceptions. If you inherit a pension or IRA, you must pay tax on the amounts you receive just as the decedent would have been required to do during his life. If you inherit a pension plan or IRA, contact your tax professional as soon as possible to discuss your options regarding the withdrawal of the money. Savings bonds can also be treated in several different ways, so be sure to provide any information from the estate to you tax preparer.

Have you ever heard of the term "stepped-up basis?" This means that your investment in inherited property is considered to be the value as of the date of death. When you sell property that you inherit, you only pay tax on the difference between the amount you sold it for and the value of the property as of the date of death (or six months thereafter, as determined by the administrator of the estate). There can also be a loss if you sell the property for less than this date-of-death value. Your tax professional will need to know the date-of-death value to determine the gain or loss. The administrator or the attorney should be able to provide you with the value of the property so that you can correctly report the sale.

Tax Tips Small Business

  • Turning Interest Payments Into Tax Deductions

    Make interest payments work for you, not against you

    You can deduct business-related interest on your business return if you used the borrowed funds to purchase business supplies, equipment, services, etc. Co-mingling business and personal expenses makes it difficult to determine what amount of the interest is business versus personal. If this happens, the IRS may consider the entire amount as nondeductible personal interest and disallow the deduction. Therefore, keep all business purchases made with loans and credit cards clearly separate from your personal expenses. Use a separate credit card for your business to make it easier.

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Small Business Quick Tip

  • Like Kind Exchange

    If you are disposing of property used in your business, you may want to consider a like-kind exchange to defer the taxable gain on the sale.
Saturday, 15th December 2018

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Tax Tips Personal

  • Interest on Summer Recreation May Be Deductible

    Your motor home or boat could yield a deduction

    If you own a boat or motor home that is fully equipped with kitchen and sanitary facilities and you use it as a "second" home, the interest you pay on it is probably deductible on your tax return. Although a fishing boat without facilities won't qualify, most motor homes and campers do. If you're looking to buy a boat that doesn't qualify as a second home, you may want to consider paying for it with a home equity loan. That way, the interest is generally deductible. As with most tax rules, there are exceptions and limits so check with a tax expert before you sign on the dotted line.

Personal Quick Tip

  • Mutual Fund Cost Basis

    If you own mutual funds, it is important to keep track of your reinvested dividends. These dividends increase your cost basis resulting in a lower capital gain when you sell the fund.