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.

Blog2018-12-04T22:28:43-05:00
From the blog

Upcoming Tax Filing Season

After one of the more bizarre years ever, we now find ourselves in 2021.  Most notably to this office, that means the 2020 income tax filing season is coming fast. Below are my thoughts and a few warnings. Stimulus Round #2 As you likely know the second round of stimulus [...]

January 14, 2021|

Coronavirus Stimulus Bill #2

December 22, 2020|

As you may have heard, Congress overwhelmingly approved a $900 Billion relief bill on Monday.  It has been sent to the White House for the expected signature from the President. This is the second such bill this year passed in response to the pandemic. Many of the principles and programs [...]

A Holiday Message from Emily Woods

December 15, 2020|

Traditionally, this end-of-year greeting is written by Brian. But, as with everything else this year, things are a little different. At Woods Financial Services, we have been fortunate to stay healthy, keep the office open and provide uninterrupted service to our clients during this unprecedented time. We want to give [...]

How Will a New Administration Impact Taxes?

November 16, 2020|

I've gotten a few calls from clients concerned about rising tax rates in a Biden administration. There is no question that he and his administration have signaled taxes will be increasing (on some).  Below I highlight the items that seem most relevant to our clients. Ordinary Income Rates As of [...]

IRS Warns of New COVID Scam

November 4, 2020|

The IRS is warning of a new text message scam surrounding supposed COVID stimulus payments.  Basically, this is a run of the mill phishing scam where the thieves attempt to get victims to reveal bank account information under the guise of "accepting a payment". As I always warn, the IRS [...]

Returns in a Low Yield World

October 22, 2020|

Over 4 years ago, I wrote this blog post Chasing Yield. Basically, my admonition for clients and investors was to not take on more risk than you are comfortable with simply to earn more yield. At that time, rates on the 10-year Treasury Bond were hovering in the 1.50% range. [...]

Evidence Driven Decision Making

September 21, 2020|

As I sat watching the final round of the 2020 US Open on Sunday, I was struck by the reaction on social media to what we were collectively watching.  In case you didn't watch, Bryson DeChambeau won his first professional major.  The issue wasn't that he won (he was a [...]

Maryland Pass Through Entity SALT Workaround

September 15, 2020|

On May 7, 2020, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan allowed Senate Bill 523 to become law.  This Bill considerably changes the state tax landscape for Maryland entities (LLCs, Partnerships and S Corps primarily) and the individuals that pay tax on that income.  It goes into effect for tax years beginning after [...]

Unexpected Tax Refunds

August 24, 2020|

Several of our clients have received a check from the US Treasury that they did not expect.  Generally, these are interest payments on refunds triggered by filing a return with a refund in June or July 2020 for 2019 tax year.  Here's why. Basically, the  IRS is mandated to pay [...]

The Longest Tax Season

July 27, 2020|

First, I hope that you and all of your families have remained healthy through these unprecedented times. I have heard from a few clients that have gotten the COVID-19 virus and, fortunately, all seem to have come through it ok.  I'm pleased to report that our staff, office mates and [...]

CARES Act Provisions

March 31, 2020|

On Friday March 27, the President signed into law the CARES Act as the federal response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  We have, understandably, received many inquiries about the Act and it's impact on taxpayers and investors.  Rather than list out the features of the act, below [...]

COVID-19 and 2019 Taxes

March 19, 2020|

These are incredibly trying times for all of us. A month ago, the term "social distancing" meant nothing to me. I'm not sure I had ever even heard it before. Now it is a term used daily by us all. This virus has wreaked havoc on how we live our [...]

Coronavirus and the Markets

February 28, 2020|

As you have no doubt noticed, the equity markets have had their worst performance week since the housing crisis of 2008. This is, of course, largely the result of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) spread and the uncertainty of it’s impact on both global populations and businesses. Uncertainty is the biggest fear [...]

Tax Scams

February 11, 2020|

In the last several days over social media, I have seen two stories on current tax related scams.  I have seen neither myself but am not surprised at the sophistication. Fake IRS Notices The first and probably most concerning is the fake IRS notification.  I have long been surprised that [...]

2020 Tax Filing Season

January 21, 2020|

Happy 2020! We look forward to seeing and hearing from you all over the next few months.  This year SHOULD be less of a shocker to most clients.  Last year was a rough season with many conversations delivering bad tax news.  My hope is that the changes we recommended were [...]

SECURE Act-Passage

January 13, 2020|

Happy New Year to all! 2019 was a whirlwind of events, and 2020 seems headed in the same direction.   (Chart via Michael Kitces www.kitces.com)   I wrote about the SECURE Act last July, seen here: SECURE Act. At that point, the bill had passed the House and was looking for [...]

Tax Planning 2019

December 9, 2019|

I know that this year has posed challenges for many of our clients. For me, Spring 2019 represented the hardest tax filing season in my career.  All of the changes resulting from the 2017 TCJA were in full effect, and client’s tax results were a bit all over the place. [...]

The ABCs of Retirement Plans

November 25, 2019|

I often get questions about the best retirement platform to utilize for retirement savings.  All of the available types of plans have options and limitations which can be confusing.  I'll try to lay out, in understandable terms, the differences between each. To start, there are two types of plans: Employer [...]

State Tax Rankings

November 4, 2019|

The Tax Foundation is out with it's annual State Business Tax Climate Index.  This Index measures how well the states structure their tax systems.  It is not just a function of high tax rate states (though that is a factor) but also the ease of compliance, number and types of [...]

Year End Reviews

October 29, 2019|

As November approaches, we are performing year end reviews for client portfolios.  A lot has happened since I wrote this post nearly 1 year ago: October Stock Market Blues There were no shortage of commentators predicting that October 2018 was just the start of a market correction.  It appears, at [...]

Market Risks

October 22, 2019|

When speaking with clients of late I've sensed a lot of apprehension.  I've probably heard the same thought process for the last 10-ish years since this current bull market began.  And yet the financial markets and the economy in general, chug along producing favorable results.  Why is there so much [...]

WeWork Follow Up

October 3, 2019|

Since I wrote this piece last week WeWork, a heck of a lot has happened.  The company has shelved the IPO, the CEO (Neumann) has stepped down and a lot of employees may soon be without a job.  For a full reporting of the rapid and dramatic downfall, read this Business [...]

Private vs. Public Markets

September 23, 2019|

The unfolding mess that is WeWork should provide some pause for retail investors.  Private markets have long been considered a place to juice returns of giant institutional funds, the so-called "smart money".  What WeWork and several other high profile stock offerings have shown is that there is a lot of [...]

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