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Podcast #14: Upcoming tax deadline, storing documents, the spending bill, and recyling

March 04, 2021

Listen to the podcast below to hear Jill talk about

  • The upcoming tax deadline
  • Documents you should store and keep
  • Jerome Powell of the Federal Reserve’s recent comments
  • Innovations in recycling

 

Script:

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are doing well and, on your way, to being vaccinated. I had my first one at Rite Aid, waiting for my second. For our clients under 65, please be patient. It is a relief just to know you’ve started the process.

We’re approaching the tax deadline of April 15th so I want to offer a few reminders. Don’t forget to fund your retirement plans. Even if you don’t qualify for a tax-deductible IRA, you can always contribute to a non-deductible IRA or maybe a Roth IRA. For the non-deductible IRA, your tax professional needs to know because they file form 8606 to let the IRS know you already paid taxes on the contribution of $6,000 if you are under 50 or $7,000 if you are over 50.

Once your tax return is complete, please upload a copy to your portal so we have a record. It helps for us to know your tax situation when making investment decisions. Please don’t upload to the “private” tab because that is private even from Financial Connections. Instead upload it to the Shared files. Thanks.

Since tax time requires us to organize our files and paperwork, I want to mention some of the items to keep. A Wall Street Journal article titled “How to Get Your Files In Order” had some insights I wanted to share.

While technically you only need to keep tax returns 3 years from the filing date, there are many exceptions. Ask your own tax professional for her or his recommendation.

If you made improvements to your home, keep those receipts to prove it for when you sell the home. Digital is okay.

If you have investments outside a custodian like TD Ameritrade, such as a limited partnership, keep your paperwork to provide documentation until the investment is sold.

One I didn’t realize deals with estate documents. Most of us have a digital version either on a computer, flash drive or DVD. Stephanie Kriegel, an attorney quoted in the article says you need a signed paper copy of your will. Otherwise there maybe hoops you have to go through in court to prove it is the most recent version. Most of our clients have trusts. I’m making the assumption we should also have an original, signed version.

Your attorney may have a signed original. It wouldn’t hurt to check.

Make sure you destroy old versions. We suggest keeping one on the cloud – Financial Connections clients should use their personal portal, one on your computer or hard drive. It provides back up in case of file corruption or lost flash drives.

It is also recommended keeping car maintenance records until it is sold. A home buyer can request utility invoices up to a year, so make sure you have access to statements.

Next I want to mention the $1.9 trillion spending bill. There has been a lot written about its impact on inflation. I briefly want to touch on a quote from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s recent comments to Congress.

“We’ve been living in a world for a quarter of a century where the pressures were disinflationary,” he said. I’m inserting disinflationary means inflation has been declining. Back to Chair Powell. “Inflation dynamics do change over time, but they don’t turn on a dime. If it turns out unwanted inflation pressures arise, and they’re persistent, we have the tools to deal with that.” Since he is the leader of monetary policy, it’s helpful to hear his thoughts.

Now for some different news. The non-profit organization, XPRIZE was created by Elon Musk. Its objective is to restore Earth’s carbon balance by 2050. The prize to develop and scale the carbon removal product is $100 million. The largest prize ever offered.

While I haven’t seen a plastic replacement yet, innovation is ramping up. In 2020 alone, plastic bags made from minerals were created, they dissolve in boiling water. Another creation was biodegradable flip-flops made from algae. I don’t however, believe they will be on a store shelf near you anytime soon.

New recycling methods are in the works. There an additive being tested that turns regular plastic to harmless bio-wax in less than a year. A newly discovered enzyme that breaks down plastic like dead leaves and something called thermoplastic recycling.

I always enjoy reading about the creative people who think outside the box and have the ability to innovate.

Until next time, please stay safe.

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