Mon05252015

Business & Real Estate

Local realtors seek international designation

Twenty-three realtors recently attended the National Association of Realtors Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) Institute offered by the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors (SILVAR).

Attendees included realtors from the local trade association and other realtor groups around the Bay Area. It was the third CIPS Institute offered to both members and nonmembers, providing them the opportunity to learn more about global real estate to serve their international clients more completely.

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IRS offers tips for year-end gifts to charity

Many people give to charity each year during the holiday season, however, there are several tax rules to be aware of before giving. Following are tips from the IRS to keep in mind.

• Qualified charities: You can only deduct gifts you donate to qualified charities. Use the IRS Select Check tool online to see if the group you contribute to is qualified. Remember that you can deduct donations to churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and government agencies. This is true even if Select Check does not list them in its database.

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IRS reports 2015 tax inflation adjustments

The IRS recently reported 2015 tax year inflation adjustments for more than 40 tax provisions of interest to most taxpayers.

• The tax rate of 39.6 percent affects singles whose income exceeds $413,200 ($464,850 for married taxpayers filing jointly), up from $406,750 and $457,600, respectively, in 2014. The other marginal rates – 10, 15, 25, 28, 33 and 35 percent – and the related income-tax thresholds are described in the revenue procedure.

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IRS Brief

State seeks to return $20 million in undelivered taxrefunds

The California Franchise Tax Board is holding more than $20 million in returned income tax refunds.

This year, the U.S. Postal Service returned nearly 47,500 refunds ranging from $1 to $50,000. Taxpayers who moved after they filed their returns and failed to update their addresses are the main reason refunds are returned.

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Transactions

Los Altos

101 Second Street No. 5, Tanczos-Szabo Trust to Chen Trust for $705,000

4388 El Camino Real No. 178, L. Sheflin to MacDonald Trust for $1,175,000

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How to diversify your company pension plan

If your company pension plan supports a lump-sum distribution when you retire, you will have to decide whether to roll over the pension into an IRA or take it as an annuity (i.e., guaranteed income for life).

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Ignoring the stock-market antics

As an investor in the stock market, the biggest surprise to grapple with during the holiday season is a hidden pattern that could put us in for an early correction in 2015.

On the positive side, we can look to continue the rally off the October lows and into the first quarter of 2015 before a correction presents itself. However, long-term investors looking for stocks to buy know that the key to successful investing lies in ignoring day-to-day market moves and focusing on longer periods. As we look forward, it’s the ideal time to explore the best stocks to buy for the long haul.

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