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E-Mail is Binding

In law, as in society at large, signing contracts on paper in ink (and maybe in triplicate) now seems to 20th century. If your reflex is still to regard e-mail communications as only informal give and take, think again. A recent case demonstrates that if the necessary terms for an agreement are present in e-mails, […]

What is a Real Estate Investment Trust?

If investing in real estate appeals to you but you are not so well-heeled that you can go shopping for investment properties like they were appliances, you may want to give some thought to investing in one or more real estate investment trusts (REIT). As you would with shares of common stocks, you can buy […]

Limited Liability Companies: The Best of All Worlds?

A limited liability company (LLC) is a business structure that combines some of the best features of sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations. LLC owners, like their counterparts for partnerships or sole proprietorships, report profits or losses on their personal income tax returns. Like a corporation, however, the owners of an LLC have “limited liability,” that […]

Estate Planning – Powers of Appointment

 A power of appointment is the power given to someone to allow that person to designate who will receive property or an interest in property. The creator of the power is called the donor, the individual having the power is the powerholder, and the possible recipients of the property are the permissible appointees. Powers of […]

Tax-Free Gains from Home Sales

One of the most significant tax advantages to owning a home comes at the back end of ownership, when you decide to sell it for profit. A homeowner can exclude up to $250,00 of such profit from the federal capital gains tax. For married couples filing a joint return, the exclusion jumps up to $500,000. […]

Before You Start a Business…

Both heart and mind must be working well if the owners of a new small business are to experience success. While it is only human nature—not to mention fun—to indulge one’s imagination about what a new business started from scratch could be like, would-be entrepreneurs need to engage in some cold, hard thinking and planning […]

Taxes on Gambling Winnings

Hitting the jackpot while gambling may feel a lot more like manna from heaven than remuneration for a good day’s work, but as far as the government is concerned, those winnings might as well be wages as the results of wagering. In short, the proceeds are ordinary income on which the winner owes income tax. […]

Take the Time to Update Your Will

By some accounts, 70 percent of adult Americans do not have a will. If you do have at least gone to the trouble of making a will, consider yourself ahead of the curve and pat yourself on the back. Then come back down to earth and understand that your work is not completely done. A […]

Deducting the Business Use of Your Home

The federal income tax deduction for the business use of a home has a good dollars-and-cents upside for those who qualify. Some detailed questions have to be answered correctly to get to that point, however. Not surprisingly the IRS publication on the subject makes use of a complex flowchart filled with “yes or no” questions […]

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