It’s tax time again, and as you look over your tax payments for calendar 2016, you’re undoubtedly wondering where those dollars are being spent.
Giving to a charity is easy, right? You write a check and send it off to your favorite 501(c)(3) organization, and get a full deduction for the amount on your tax return, up to 50% of your adjusted gross income.
By Charles Goldman, AssetMark
Published in Barron's Feb. 12, 2017
One of the persistent issues of the 2016 U.S. Presidential campaign was the wide (and growing) divide between the “haves” and the “have-nots”—variously expressed as a rising sentiment against the “one-percenters,” or as laments against the “hollowing out of the middle class.”
We hear all the time that medical costs are too high in the U.S., and that Medicare is going to go bankrupt in the future. The President-Elect recently told us in a press conference that drug companies are “getting away with murder.” So how high are drug prices, and are those prices contributing at all to the high medical costs in the U.S.?
Two economists and a cognitive psychologist at the University of Oregon conducted a study that found some people really don’t mind paying taxes. The study participants were given $100 each and told that they had to pay a portion of the money as a tax to a local food bank. A machine studied which of their brain regions were tapped as they did this.
Anybody who was surprised that the Federal Reserve Board decided to raise its benchmark interest rate this week probably wasn’t paying attention. The U.S. economy is humming along, the stock market is booming and the unemployment rate has fallen faster than anybody expected. The incoming administration has promised lower taxes and a stimulative $550 billion infrastructure investment.
Many of President-Elect Donald Trump’s policy proposals are too vague to analyze, but one area where he has been clear is on reforming our tax system. Here’s a quick primer on the changes that you can expect to be introduced to Congress in the coming year.
1) A shift from seven income tax brackets to three: