Most Clicked Financial Planning Digest Stories


1. Tips for helping clients pick beneficiaries

Financial Planning Digest | Feb 23, 2015

CPAs play a key role in making sure clients pick the right beneficiaries during the estate planning process. It's important to make sure beneficiaries are updated after major life events, to help clients understand the implications of their choices and to check tax apportionments. The CPA's Guide to Financial and Estate Planning from the AICPA PFP Section covers beneficiary considerations and other key estate planning issues in depth. Four free chapters are available to nonmembers. CPA Insider (02/23)


2. Taxpayers receive incorrect 1095-A forms

Financial Planning Digest | Feb 23, 2015

Up to 800,000 people who signed up for health insurance through the exchanges were sent incorrect 1095-A forms, the government says. Corrected forms are expected to be ready early next month, and taxpayers are advised to avoid filing until they have them. The situation is causing problems for accountants and advisers, who are rushing to get more details about the mix-up and to contact their clients. Journal of Accountancy online (02/20) InvestmentNews (free registration) (02/20)


3. Public employment can affect Social Security benefits

Financial Planning Digest | Feb 23, 2015

Two rules can cut or even eliminate clients' Social Security benefits if the client has worked for the government or, in certain circumstances, public schools. The Windfall Elimination Provision can reduce benefits by as much as $413 a month, whereas the Government Pension Offset can eliminate spousal or survivor benefits altogether. InvestmentNews (free registration) (02/19)


4. Legal pros share estate planning pitfalls

Financial Planning Digest | Feb 23, 2015

There are plenty of mistakes to watch out for in the estate planning process. The legal professionals quoted in this article share cautionary tales of pitfalls to have your clients avoid, including naming an executor with an ax to grind, failing to update beneficiaries, not having a valid will and not being clear about which family member will inherit which valuables. LearnVest (02/16)


5. A look at the unintended consequences of the kiddie tax

Financial Planning Digest | Feb 23, 2015

The expansion of the application of the kiddie tax to older and older children has led to unintended consequences and inequitable results. This article discusses the problems with the kiddie tax provisions and proposals for how those provisions could be reformed. Tax Adviser, The (02/2015)


6. Yellen: Interest rate hike isn't imminent

Financial Planning Digest | Feb 26, 2015

Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen delivered a generally encouraging economic outlook in testimony before the Senate banking committee this week but said the inflation rate is below the 2% target. A rate increase will depend on employment numbers, and Yellen said it was "unlikely that economic conditions will warrant an increase in the target range for the federal funds rate for at least the next couple of [Federal Open Market Committee] meetings." Advisor Perspectives (02/24) ThinkAdvisor (02/24)


7. New Repair Regs Resources

Financial Planning Digest | Feb 26, 2015

On Feb. 13, the IRS released Rev. Proc. 2015-20. The much-anticipated revision permits small businesses to change a method of accounting on a prospective basis and avoid completing and filing a Form 3115. To ensure that the AICPA is providing its members with the most reliable information, we have updated our Tangible Property Resources webpage, which contains sample 3115 resources (for applicable businesses) such as a repair regs flowchart, a sample client letter, an overview of the tangible property regulations, links to current and previous regulations, and more. Most resources on this page are open to all AICPA members.


8. The perks of cash-balance retirement plans

Financial Planning Digest | Feb 26, 2015

Cash-balance retirement plans are gaining popularity among advisers' high-earning clients, because there are no federal limits on pretax contributions when using these plans. In addition, a recent IRS ruling gave asset managers added flexibility in establishing targeted returns for these types of plans. However, cash-balance plans may also be riskier for business owners than 401(k) plans. Financial-Planning.com (02/24)


9. Think twice before making a trust the beneficiary of an annuity

Financial Planning Digest | Feb 26, 2015

So-called stretch rules generally allow beneficiaries of retirement accounts and annuities to ease their tax burdens by taking payments in small amounts. But a much less forgiving five-year rule is in place when the beneficiary of an annuity is a trust, writes Michael Kitces. For this reason, clients and advisers will have to weigh whether the other benefits a trust can confer will make up for adverse tax implications, he writes. Nerd's Eye View blog (02/25)


10. How a Social Security shortfall would affect Gen Xers

Financial Planning Digest | Feb 23, 2015

Members of Generation X would need between $27,000 and $79,000 in additional savings to cover the shortfall if dire predictions of the Social Security trust fund's eventual depletion prove to be accurate, according to one estimate. Single women would need to stock up the most money because they tend to live longer and generally have lower savings. Financial Advisor online (02/17)




Sign up for Financial Planning Digest



Designed specifically for CPA personal financial planners and others interested in financial planning, Financial Planning Digest is a FREE monthly e-mail newsletter from the AICPA. It provides the most important and timely news stories to support personal financial planners. Learn more