Why can't I get this property tax break on my home?

Q. I’m inquiring about the property tax discount for veterans. Prior to 2015, I was eligible as a veteran received a $250 discount. In 2015, I entered into an agreement with my son and daughter. The home, which I’ve owned since 1979, was placed into an irrevocable living trust so I can continue to live there — it’s a life tenancy — while I pay all the expenses. I was told by my lawyer that with the transfer of the deed to my children, I would lose the veterans discount on my property taxes. But I’m still able to get the Homestead Rebate and the Senior Freeze with the life estate. Wouldn’t this apply to the veteran’s discount also? — Veteran A. Let’s go over the benefits available for veteran

I can’t fund the IRA I put on my tax return. What can I do?

Q. On my 2019 tax return, I took the tax credit for a traditional IRA contribution in advance of making the contribution. My intention was to make the $6,000 contribution by April 15, 2020. Then COVID-19 hit. I lost my job. I'm on unemployment with an uncertain financial situation. With the new July 15 tax filing deadline looming, I don't have the money for the contribution. Is the IRS making exceptions for this situation in light of these uncertain times? If not, what penalties will I face? — Unemployed A. We understand how times have changed for so many people since the coronavirus pandemic began. And while we’re always supportive of saving for retirement, paying the bills today is more im

When can I deduct mortgage interest and property taxes?

Q. If I own my primary residence with no mortgage and then purchase a second home for personal enjoyment using a mortgage — not to rent — may I deduct the new mortgage? Can I deduct property taxes from both, one or none? — Homeowner A. Congrats on the possible vacation home. You can deduct mortgage interest on up to two homes. Previously there was a limit of the interest on up to $1 million of mortgage debt, said Bernie Kiely, a certified financial planner and certified public accountant with Kiely Capital Management in Morristown. “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 lowered this limit to $750,000 of mortgage debt,” Kiely said. “If you took out your mortgage prior to Dec. 16, 2017, your $1 mi

Now that I’m working from home, can I deduct a home office?

Q. My wife and I live and work in N.J. When COVID-19 hit, my wife’s office physically closed and she worked from home. Her supplies and equipment were provided by her employer. Our home is small so we had to convert one of our main living spaces into her new office. This did not require any physical changes but the area can no longer be used as anything other than her work space. She also got a work cell but has to use her personal cell also to do her job. Can we her new “home office” and use of her personal cell phone for business on our 2020 taxes? — Looking for savings A. There have been several changes to what and how you can deduct for a home office. Prior to The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act o

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Kiely Capital Management offers financial planning and investment advice. Serving Central and Northern New Jersey, Yvonne and Bernard (Bernie) Kiely provide over 25 years of experience offering discretionary asset management, retirement planning and income tax preparation. KCM is registered with the State of New Jersey as a Registered Investment Advisor.

 

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