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Is There a New Way to Calculate My Home Office Deduction?

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From Stephen Clifford, Registered Investment Advisor Representative
The Winfield Group - Scottsdale, Arizona


Yes, but first it's important to understand what hasn't changed. To qualify for an income tax deduction for home office expenses, the IRS still requires that you meet two tests--the place of business test and the exclusive and regular use test.

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How Do I Figure the Tax on the Sale of My Home?

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From Stephen Clifford, Registered Investment Advisor Representative
The Winfield Group - Scottsdale, Arizona


In general, when you sell your home any amount you receive over your cost basis (what you paid for the home, plus capital improvements, plus the costs of selling the home) is subject to capital gains taxes. However, if you owned and used the home as your principal residence for a total of two out of the five years before the sale (the two years do not have to be consecutive), you may be able to exclude from federal income tax up to $250,000 (up to $500,000 if you're married and file a joint return) of the capital gain when you sell your home. You can use this exclusion only once every two years, and the exclusion does not apply to vacation homes and pure investment properties.

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Spring Cleaning Your Debt

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From Stephen Clifford, Registered Investment Advisor Representative
The Winfield Group - Scottsdale, Arizona


It's springtime--time for you to take stock of your surroundings and get rid of the dirt and clutter that you've accumulated during this past year.

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The Fed's Great Unwind and Your Portfolio

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From Stephen Clifford, Registered Investment Advisor Representative
The Winfield Group - Scottsdale, Arizona


After more than five years of unprecedented support for the economy, the Federal Reserve Board has begun to reduce its purchases of bonds. And though the Fed has said interest rates may stay low even after unemployment has fallen to 6.5%, higher rates increasingly seem to be a question of timing. Both of those actions can affect your portfolio.

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Will Rising Interest Rates Impact My Pension Benefits?

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From Stephen Clifford, Registered Investment Advisor Representative
The Winfield Group - Scottsdale, Arizona


If you're nearing retirement and plan to elect lifetime payments from your pension plan, rising interest rates won't have any impact on your benefits. But if you're considering a lump-sum payment, rising interest rates can be critical.

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