Tax Warrior Chronicles

Taxation at Birth/Taxation at Death – The Circle of Life

Posted on Thu, Sep 19, 2019

By: Matt Lebo


As Disney’s live-action The Lion King plays in theaters all around the world, we are reminded of the fable’s signature song, “The Circle of Life.” Taxes are certainly a part of our lives at the beginning and at the end of life. Contemplating this truism, I thought I’d share six (6) tax considerations for those who have welcomed a newborn in 2019, as well as six (6) tax considerations for those who may have regrettably lost a loved one. 


The Circle of Life Starts with Birth…


  1. Obtain a Social Security Number ASAP

Apply for a Social Security card and birth certificate simultaneously for your new bundle of joy while at the hospital. It is much easier than having to apply

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Back to School – Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses

Posted on Wed, Aug 21, 2019

By: Steven Rossman, CPA, MT


You’re buying tablets, notebooks, and writing big checks for tuition. That can mean only one thing…it’s back-to-school time!  Keeping track of these expenses is important to take advantage of certain tax credits and substantiating payments made from education savings plans. Today, we’ll talk about the IRS form that reports these expenses and some of the tax credits available for students and their parents.


Form 1098-T (Tuition Statement) is issued annually by educational institutions and it reports the payments received for qualified tuition and related expenses, as well as scholarships and grants given to the student.  According to the instructions, the

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Talking Taxes with Kids – 529 Plans, IRAs and 401(k)s

Posted on Thu, Aug 15, 2019

By: Stacie L. Court, CPA, MST


There are many benefits to contributing early to education plans, IRAs, and 401k’s – the largest benefit being the advantage of time to compound funds in tax-advantaged accounts.   Children have many years to grow the earnings in these funds, but how do you talk to your kids about the complex world of investing in these types of funds and encourage them to start early? 


Let’s begin by discussing these different types of plans:   


Section 529 Plans

A 529 plan is a tax-advantaged savings plan used to make it easier to save money for college, post-secondary training and tuition for elementary or secondary schools. 


Originally, 529 plans were designed to

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529 Plans Expand in New Tax Law

Posted on Tue, Apr 03, 2018

By: Eric R. Elmore


Rising college tuition and related costs show no sign of slowing down. A tool designed to help you manage these costs is the tax-free 529 plan. However, with the signing of the new tax law last year, families can now use 529 plans to cover more than just college tuition.


Included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 is a provision extending 529 plans to cover primary and secondary private education (grades K-12).  Previously, this option was only offered through Coverdell Educational Savings Accounts (“ESA”). With this option now available through 529 plans, it’s easy to assume the plans are interchangeable, but key differences exist. For example, Coverdell ESAs have

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Millennial Series Part X: Saving for College - 529s vs. UTMAs

Posted on Tue, Nov 28, 2017

Planning for your child’s college education can be extremely stressful, especially with how much tuition seems to increase every year. We discussed several tax-saving options last week in a post. This blog post, however, will focus specifically on these popular options: 529 plans and accounts created under the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA).


While both 529 plans and UTMA accounts offer a way to save for a child’s educational expenses, differences exist among these two options. Some of the most significant differences are discussed below.


Tax Advantages


Growth of funds inside an UTMA account are subject to income taxes. Only 529 plans allow for the contributions to grow

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Tax Help with Planning for College

Posted on Tue, Nov 07, 2017

By: Stefanie Ostrich, CPA


Those of us with children worry about the rising costs of college. However, with the right planning, you can find tax savings while both saving and paying for college.  In fact, from the time your bundle of joy gets their social security number, you can start saving for their education with significant tax advantages. In this post, The Tax Warriors® show you how.


Qualified Tuition Program (QTP) otherwise known as a 529 Plan:  A 529 plan is a way to save for college or post-secondary school.  Accumulated earnings are not subject to federal and state tax when distributions are used for the qualified education expenses of the designated beneficiary. 

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529 Plans – A Precautionary Tale

Posted on Thu, Sep 01, 2016

By: Steve Rossman, CPA, MT


With Labor Day almost upon us, kids (and grown-ups) are focused on back to school festivities.  As we discussed in a recent blog, 529 Plans are a powerful tool for funding higher education costs, which allows your contributions to grow tax-free for future qualified use.  Along with the many benefits of 529 Plans, you should also be aware of some reporting requirements, specifically when a parent or student is reimbursed directly from the 529 Plan.


When distributions are taken from a 529 Plan to reimburse higher education costs, the Plan will issue IRS Form 1099-Q.  As long as all of the reimbursement is used for qualified costs, there is no taxable income to

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