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I am not what one would describe as a “talented” man, but I do possess one time-tested, undeniable skill: Within mere minutes of arriving at a wedding, I can tell you with absolute certainty whether the couple will be divorced within three years.

My record is impeccable, but to be honest, it’s not all that difficult. Here are a couple of helpful tips:

  • If I learn that the bride insisted that she and her fiancé have a joint bachelor/bachelorette party, they ain’t making it.
  • If the best man spent the thirty minutes prior to the start of the ceremony repeating to the groom, “just leave, and I’ll cover for you,” that’s probably not a great sign.
  • If the bride, despite having no discernable singing ability, insists on sitting her new husband in a chair and belting out her favorite song, she’s probably far more interested in getting married than being married, and when the glow of the wedding wears off….look out.

Even those who survive beyond three years aren’t out of the woods, of course; after all, being married is hard. If there’s any advice I can offer young couples contemplating tying the knot, it’s this: the saying goes that life is too short. Well, I’ve got news for you: if you marry the wrong person, life is looong. You’ll wake up every morning,  look to the other side of the bed, and find yourself wishing that the whole thing would just speed up and get over with already.

Continue reading on Forbes.com

Authored by Tony Nitti, Withum Partner and writer for Forbes.com.

Today is my son’s eighth birthday, and naturally, I spent the morning thinking back to the countless ways he’s enriched my life.

There was that first dependency exemption in 2009. And then that much-needed dependent care credit in 2011. And who can forget the child tax credit of 2014? Great times, all.

In total, that kid has saved me over $10,000 in taxes, and all it’s cost me in return is a few hundred doughnuts and the occasional Lego set. Not a bad deal.

If you’re a little jealous, don’t be; YOU can have a sweet little tax break of your own, and if you plan accordingly, unlike me you can have one that doesn’t require all that annoying parenting.

But be warned, claiming a dependent — and all the ancillary tax benefits that come with it, from the $4,050 deduction to the head-of-household filing status to the earned income, child care, and dependent care credits — is not as easy as it sounds, and certainly not as easy as it should be. Heck, if it were up to me, you’d get a dependency exemption for every kid under a certain age, every parent OVER a certain age, and anyone who lives in your house but doesn’t pull their weight when the bills come due.

Continue reading on Forbes.com

Authored by Tony Nitti, Withum Partner and writer for Forbes.com.

A few summers ago, my wife and I marked our ten-year wedding anniversary with a three-day getaway to Block Island. Our first night on the island, we went out to dinner, and while we awaited the arrival of our food, my wife shared the story of friend who had recently gotten a new job, and when she and her husband arrived at the restaurant that night to celebrate with dinner, the husband had thoughtfully arranged to have a bottle of champagne waiting at the table with a note that read, “Congratulations!”

Maybe my wife meant that as a hint; maybe she didn’t. That’s when it dawned on me: Ten years is a big deal. There are expectations involved. I should probably live up to them.

In recent days, President Trump found himself in the same uncomfortable situation I endured at that table in Block Island. Soon to mark his 100th day in office, he realized that he had done nothing to fulfill his promise to deliver a “phenomenal tax plan.” So as I did during dinner with my wife, the President scrambled for the best solution he could: a rushed, half-hearted gesture meant merely to meet his minimum obligations. There was no plan. There were no details. There was, quite literally, a one-page release with a handful of bullet points, that only served to raise more questions than answers.

But before we get to those questions, let’s take a quick look at the “plan.”

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Authored by Tony Nitti, Withum Partner and writer for Forbes.com.

The flames had not yet cooled on the American Health Care Act — the GOP’s seven-years-in-the-making plan to repeal and replace Obamacare — before Republican leaders had moved on to its next top priority: tax reform. And from that emphatic pivot was born a golden moment for people like me; after all, it’s not often that tax law rises to the forefront of the public consciousness. But that’s where we’re heading…maybe for mere weeks, but possibly for months or — dare I say it? — years. A time where discussions of deductions and talk of tax brackets will dominate newspaper pages, Facebook timelines, and Twitter feeds.

Sure, these rare moments serve as career validation for people who have made the ill-advised choice to spend their lives in the bowels of the tax law, but debates over reform of those laws shouldn’t be preserved solely for us. Everyone should get in on the fun, and to that end, here’s a little primer for you: five headlines you’re sure to read about tax reform as the process unfolds.

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Authored by Tony Nitti, Withum Partner and writer for Forbes.com.

In early March, GOP leaders Kevin Brady and Paul Ryan unleashed their plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, publishing proposed legislation in the form of the American Health Care Act. Last week, the Congressional Budget Office released its score of the plan, and two of the primary criticisms that emerged from the report were as follows:

  1. The plan results in an $880 billion tax cut over the next decade, with at least $274 billion of the cuts going directly into the pockets of the richest 2%, and
    Medicaid would be cut by an equivalent $880 billion over the next decade, making it more difficult for low-income taxpayers to procure insurance.
  2. Last week, the GOP released amendments to its health care bill, and in response to the shortcomings highlighted by the CBO report, the changes to the bill would add more tax breaks for the rich and further slash Medicaid funding.

Continue reading on Forbes.com

 

Authored by Tony Nitti, Withum Partner and writer for Forbes.com.

Sometime in the past few days, the first two pages of President Trump’s 2005 Form 1040 mysteriously landed in the mailbox of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and tax professor David Cay Johnston. In the interest of full disclosure, the same two pages showed up at my house late last week, but they were shipped C.O.D., and I’d be damned if I was going to shell out the 49 cents.

Johnston shared the documents with Rachel Maddow and MSNBC, setting off BREAKING NEWS sirens that inspired millions of Americans to flip on the TV to watch Maddow unveil the President’s intimate — and private — financial information.

Now normally, the opportunity to ogle the President’s tax returns would not create a stir; after all, every sitting president since Nixon has published their returns as part of an unwritten agreement with the American people to be transparent and forthright. President Trump, quite famously, has deviated from that long-held practice, first refusing to release his returns during his campaign because he was “under constant IRS audit,” and then pointing to his subsequent election as a referendum that “no one other than journalists” cares about his taxes.

Of course, people DO care: over 1 million individuals signed an online petition insisting that Trump publish the missing returns, but to date, the President has resisted. This of course, has only added to the intrigue, and in today’s world, when there’s enough intrigue, there will eventually be a leak.

Continue reading on Forbes.com

 

Authored by Tony Nitti, Withum Partner and writer for Forbes.com.

Last week, GOP leadership revealed its long-awaited plan to repeal and replace Obamacare by publishing the American Health Care Act. Rather than representing a unifying piece of legislation for the Republican party, however, the proposed legislation created an immediate division within the GOP, with many leading Republicans derisively calling the plan “Obamacare Lite” and others questioning the impact it would have on the number of insured individuals, or stated more appropriately, the number of insured voters in advance of the 2018 mid-term elections.

Despite the lukewarm reception with which it was met, the American Health Care Act moved through the House Ways and Means Committee along party lines; though it did require 18 hours of debate, with Democratic committee members decrying the Committee’s willingness to move the bill forward without a complete measure of its cost or the lost insured.

Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office answered those questions, releasing its official scoring of the American Health Care Act, and the results are not pretty. An $883 billion tax cut, $274 billion of it going to the richest 2%. $880 billion stripped from Medicare. And 24 million fewer insured individuals over the next ten years.

Let’s take a look at how the CBO came up with the numbers it did. But first, we need to understand a bit about how Obamacare works.

Continue reading on Forbes.com.

 

Authored by Tony Nitti, Withum Partner and writer for Forbes.com.