Sontag Advisory Blog

CEO Note: 2018 Priorities

Posted by Michael Delgass on 02 Feb 2018

CEO Note: 2018 Priorities

Dear Clients and Friends of the Firm:

I am pleased to report that our firm grew at a healthy, consistent pace in 2017. This was partially driven by the markets, but mainly thanks to a steady stream of client referrals.  We appreciate your trust in us, and there is truly no higher compliment than a referral, so:  Thank You!

Estate Planning in Light of Tax Reform: Your Questions and Our Answers

Posted by Nicole Hart on 02 Feb 2018

This post will help you unpack some of the estate and gift tax provisions of the 2017 Tax Reform Act, as well as answer some of the most pressing questions raised by the changes.

In a nutshell, what stayed the same and what changed?
One major item that stayed the same is the simple existence of an estate tax. The initial tax reform bill from the…

2017 Year-End Investment Letter

Posted by Michael Moriarty on 02 Feb 2018

2017 saw a remarkable juxtaposition between 1) headlines around the globe and here in the US presaging very significant political, social and geopolitical risks and 2) investment markets which were universally positive. The schematic in the Appendix provides a nice trip down memory lane for just the political headlines.

Yet despite the above, 2017 marks the first year in memory that the S&P 500 (total return) was…

A Look at the New 20% Pass-Through Income Deduction in Action

Posted by Natalie Truty on 01 Feb 2018

Imagine a successful paper sales company, Dunder Mifflin, Inc. (a C corporation). In 2017, Dunder Mifflin had taxable income of $3MM, resulting in an effective federal corporate tax rate of 34%. In addition, since corporations are double-taxed, distributions will be subject to another layer of tax in the hands of individual shareholders.

Dunder Mifflin’s local competitor, Prince Paper LLC, is a family business owned equally by Mr….

After Tax Reform: What Will Your 1040 Look Like?

Posted by Eric Dostal & Jonathan Berhane on 01 Feb 2018

One of the most extensive tax code overhauls in decades is now law. Below is a brief outline of some of the major changes you may see on your Form 1040 for 2018 (remember these changes have almost no impact on your 2017 return):

Income Tax Rates and Brackets:

The number of income tax brackets remains steady at seven, although some income shifted into…

Tax Reform Update - Considerations Before Year End

Posted by Nicole Hart on 20 Dec 2017

On December 15th, the House and Senate Conference Committee released a Conference Agreement that lays out the final terms of the tax reform bill. The Senate passed a final version of the bill on December 19th, and the House is expected to approve the updated terms sometime today. Once the bill has been finalized, President Trump will sign the bill into law – a move that is expected to happen…

2017 Year-End Tax Planning and Reporting Call

Posted by Nicole Hart on 16 Nov 2017

During our annual year-end tax call, Michael Delgass, CEO, and Nicole Hart, Director of Trusts and Estates, cover a number of important topics, including:

  • Income tax planning, specifically noting that this year so far has presented fewer opportunities for tax-loss harvesting than 2016
  • Retirement planning, including Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs), Roth IRA conversions, and the establishment of other qualified plans
  • Charitable giving…

Tax Reform Proposals – Updated

Posted by Nicole Hart on 06 Nov 2017

Back in April, the White House unveiled its highly anticipated tax plan which, as expected, proposed steep tax cuts across the board. At the end of September, the Trump Administration, in conjunction with the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee, released a tax reform framework that included many of the same cuts. On November 2nd, the House released a detailed tax reform bill, titled “Tax Cuts…

Tax Implications of Investing in the U.S. as a Non-Resident Alien

Posted by Natalie Truty on 26 Oct 2017

In an increasingly globalized society, it is not uncommon for families to have cross-border ties.  Additionally, particularly since the 2008 global financial crisis, U.S. equity markets have meaningfully outperformed global equity indices– making the U.S. an attractive place to put capital to work.

However, non-resident aliens (NRA) may be surprised to learn of the tax implications of investing in U.S.-based securities.  A non-resident alien is someone…

IRS Announces 2018 Inflation Adjustments

Posted by Nicole Hart on 25 Oct 2017

Last week, the IRS announced its 2018 annual inflation adjustments. Below are the highlights for items that changed:

  • Standard deductions:
    • For married filing jointly, increases to $13,000 (up from $12,700 in 2017).
    • For single taxpayers and married individuals filing separately, increases to $6,500 (up from $6,350 in 2017)
    • For heads of households, rises to $9,550 (up from…