I-BONDS

Less Antman offers this quick correction to his item on I-Bonds: ‘The executor can include the interest earned on the final income tax return of the decedent or estate, in which case the beneficiary is only responsible on the growth after that point. But one way or another, the government is going to assess income tax on every dollar of interest.’

WASH SALES

Dan Pritts: ‘I’ve heard about ‘wash sales’ being prohibited when they are used to take a capital loss for a given tax year. Makes sense to me. Do you know if it works the other way? That is, if I sell a stock that I would take a gain on, but re-buy the stock elsewhere, am I able to defer the gain? I am considering switching brokers, and would like to take my holdings with me to the new broker since one motivation of this exercise is to concentrate all my holdings at one brokerage (to get better treatment based on my vast fortune ;).’

☞ No, only works against you, not for you. (What could be fairer than that?) But you can just transfer these shares from one account to the other without selling them. Your new broker will be happy to handle it for you.

FLAT TAX

David Jelinek: ‘When it comes to politics, you and I concur on almost nothing. But here’s a law I think we could agree on: All Senators and Congressmen must do their own income tax filings! And if they need any help, then instead of calling an accountant, they would have to call the IRS (much like many ordinary citizens) and get their not always accurate advice! I think we’d see a flat tax passed pretty damned fast after this law went into effect.’

☞ A good law. Except that we could still have three or four tax brackets. Believe me, that’s not the complicated part.

 

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