The Bottom Line

The amount of “noise” pouring in from the financial press can be overwhelming. My goal is to break past all of that noise and simplify the issues of the day as I see it.

From the blog

Equifax Data Breach Settlement

As you've no doubt heard, the 2017 data breach from Equifax resulted in nearly 150 million American's data being compromised.  This breach of data leaves the affected at risk of identity theft.  Recently courts have agreed to settlement for those affected.  I'm not sure the settlement is sufficient but it [...]

July 30, 2019|


July 12, 2019|

Just to break up the monotony of summer, it appears the so-called SECURE Act is working its way through Congress. The bill is meant to increase retirement savings and allow for longer deferral of those retirement funds.  But there is a downside to this potential law as well. First, some [...]

Education Costs and Student Loans

June 27, 2019|

Educational accessibility and the associated costs seem primed to be a benchmark issue in the 2020 presidential election.  Costs have skyrocketed over the last 30+ years and show no sign of slowing down (below from College   Note these are actual cost increases using 2018 dollars as a benchmark.  [...]

Technology Disruption is Everywhere

June 5, 2019|

Word leaked last week that Apple is in the process of breaking up it's (formerly) popular iTunes platform.  My first reaction to this was "WTH?"  After a few minutes of thinking about it, it dawned on me that I haven't downloaded anything from iTunes in probably 5 or 6 years.  [...]

RIP-Tax Filing Season 2019

May 9, 2019|

I have been through many tax filing seasons.  Some years were tougher than others; be it adjustments to the tax code, technology snafus, even poor weather.  But this past season was the most difficult I recall.  That was true of the work itself but also interactions with confused clients.  Try [...]

Tax Filing Season Observations

February 10, 2019|

We are now a few weeks into the filing seasons and a few trends are already observed: While the IRS seems to have caught up following the shutdown many states are still behind.  Many state forms are not released (particularly for partnerships and S Corporations) and this is slowing down [...]

When a Tax Cut is a Tax Increase

January 22, 2019|

I have been writing about the Tax Cut and Jobs Act (TCJA) since it was passed in December 2017.  I am confident that most clients will see a smaller tax burden in 2018 than under the old tax regulations.  However, due to a quirky rule in several states, some taxpayers [...]

2018 Tax Preparation

January 18, 2019|

Every year I sit to write this pre tax season letter, I feel like I just finished last year's version.  Yet here I sit and, incredibly, 2018 is over and now comes everyone's favorite task of complying with state and federal requirements.  This year's filings will look a bit different [...]

2018 Year In Review

January 7, 2019|

2018 was a good one for the Woods Advisory Services, LLC team.  We continue to have more frequent and meaningful planning discussions with all of our clients.  This has come via more correspondence and discussions of client's specific goals and objectives.  We started working with several of you last year [...]

Happy Holidays

December 20, 2018|

To all of our clients, vendors and everyone we interact with on a regular basis, I would like to wish you all a happy holiday season whatever it is that your family celebrates.  I also wish each of you a prosperous and healthy 2019 and look forward to our interactions [...]

Last Call for Year End Tax Planning

December 14, 2018|

As I say every year, tax planning can't be done retroactively.  Once the calendar reads January, planning opportunities for 2018 income taxes are gone (with some minor exceptions).  And 2018 being the first filing year under the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) makes planning more unusual than any [...]

Woods Financial Services, LLC

December 12, 2018|

What Has Changed You may soon notice that we are rebranding our firm as Woods Financial Services, LLC.  This is done to better reflect the totality of service offerings we provide our clients.  We often heard clients mention that "We didn't know you offered that service".  Our goal is to [...]

October Stock Market Blues

November 7, 2018|

There is no sugar coating it...October was the worst month for the S&P 500 since September 2011.  The results in the tech heavy NASDAQ were worse and resulted in that index's biggest loss since November 2008. In the midst of this October selloff, there was no shortage of media pundits [...]

Retirement Crisis

October 29, 2018|

The title of this post are not my words...they are the words of SEC Commissioner Kara Stein.  She compares current retirement income trends as a "tsunami...that is fast approaching". Retirement Crisis Tsunami In the not so distant past, retirement income was comprised of the so called "three-legged stool" of Social [...]

Year End Tax Planning 2018

October 22, 2018|

As everyone knows by now, the 2018 tax landscape is a marked shift from prior years.  Virtually every taxpayer's return will look different in some way come next tax filing season.  Here is a Money magazine chart displaying the impact of the tax change across differing income and filing statuses [...]

Taxes Paid Deduction

October 17, 2018|

Probably the provision from last December's Tax Cut and Jobs Act (TCJA) I hear the most questions about is the deductibility of taxes paid.  This issue has even been in the news quite a bit recently.  Several states (MD included) have sued over the perceive as an unfair reduction in [...]

Overlooked Tax Planning Opportunities

August 27, 2018|

I am frequently asked about various tax saving ideas and schemes.  Often these ideas are overheard at cocktail parties, read on Facebook or from a cousin's neighbors accountant.  The reality is that most of these schemes are not real and often are illegal.  There really are no magic bullets and [...]

Opportunity Zones–0% Capital Gains!

August 20, 2018|

I hesitate to even write this post because so much of the details are still unknown.  But I would be doing clients a disservice if I didn't at least broach the subject.  This post is a broad overview of designated Opportunity Zones and their associated benefits. What the heck are [...]

It’s not a Straight Ride Up

July 17, 2018|

Netflix (NFLX) reported it's Q2 numbers after Monday afternoon's close to much disappointment and hand wringing.  Immediately, in after hours trading, the stock plummeted ultimately opening this morning down about 15%.  The stock pared its losses as of mid day by more than half but this performance of NFLX today [...]

Passport Denial for Unpaid Tax

July 12, 2018|

Congress passed a new law in late 2015 that allows the State Department to deny passports to individuals that owe in excess of $51,000 in federal back taxes.  This law, implemented in February,  has already resulted in some passports being denied.  Roughly 400,000 US citizens are expected to be impacted. [...]

Phishing Scam

June 26, 2018|

I have read a number of articles about the current scam making it's way around the investment world.  The custodian I read being hit most consistently is Charles Schwab. But I suspect the same scheme could be run for TD Ameritrade where most of our client's assets are custodied as [...]

Tax Season Review

May 1, 2018|

As I sit to write this the calendar shows a May date, nearly two week removed from the end of tax filing season.  It was a tough year that seemed back-loaded with work in late March through the deadline.  But now that my head is clearer and my body is [...]

Tax Season Deadline 2018

March 19, 2018|

It's hard to believe but we are well on our way to the April 17 tax deadline.  While some days it seems to us like it will never end, my guess is that it will be here before we know it.  As always, if we have all of your tax [...]