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The Impact Mutual Funds Have On Tax Bills

New Jersey 101.5 - 12/30/2015

The best way to estimate what the year-end distributions may be is to look at individual mutual fund web sites. Patricia Daquila, a certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. said the custodians will post the income and the short-term and long-term capital gains that are paid during the year, and some may provide an estimate of what the distributions are anticipated to be. read more »

njMoneyHelp-thumb.jpg Your Mutual Funds And Your Tax Bill

NJMoneyHelp - 12/30/2015

You’re right that your mutual fund’s distributions could impact your tax bill. That’s because mutual funds are required by law to pass their earnings on to the shareholders. Otherwise, those gains would be subject to corporate income and excise taxes, said Patricia Daquila, a certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. read more »

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How To Ensure You Save On Taxes When Selling A Home

New Jersey 101.5 - 12/17/2015

Laurie Wolfe, a certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley in New Providence said there are certain instances where you won’t lose the exclusion if you don’t meet the ownership and use requirements.read more »

njMoneyHelp-thumb.jpg Saving Taxes When You Sell A Home

NJMoneyHelp - 12/17/2015

There are a couple of other rules you need to follow to make sure you qualify, said Laurie Wolfe, a certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley in New Providence."read more »

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How To Properly Prepare For Tax Losses

New Jersey 101.5 - 12/14/2015

Cynthia Fusillo, a certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley in New Providence, said IRS regulations allow taxpayers to offset capital losses dollar-for-dollar against capital gains. “Many say that the tax tail should not wag the investment dog, however, if you are already thinking about selling securities with loss positions, doing so when you have already realized capital gains for the year is going to save you some tax dollars at the same time,” Fusillo said. read more »

njMoneyHelp-thumb.jpg How To Use Tax Loss Harvesting

NJMoneyHelp - 12/14/2015

Once again we find ourselves at year-end with yet another opportunity to make some last-minute tax planning moves in an effort to lower the bite next April. One such tactic is to take a look at opportunities to offset possible capital losses against capital gains already realized in your investment portfolio, said Cynthia Fusillo, a certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley in New Providence.This is sometimes referred to as “tax loss harvesting."read more »

njbiz2014-thumb.pngCouples Fight More About Money As Retirement Draws Close

HuffingtonPost - 12/4/2015

"Many couples fight about money — and those disagreements may increase and intensify as you get older, particularly when it comes to saving and planning for retirement."read more »

njbiz2014-thumb.pngHow To Avoid Money Fights

CNBC - 12/3/2015

"There may be differences in where they want to spend their money in retirement in terms of entertainment or travel, how much they can afford to spend and how much risk they take with investments," said financial advisor Diahann Lassus, a certified financial planner and president and chief investment officer of Lassus Wherley. "There may also be increasing financial needs from adult children with children of their own. read more »

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Drowning In Credit Card Debt? How To Survive

wn.com - 11/23/2015

“What's the best way to manage credit card debt? First-time cardholders should think of their new card as a vehicle for building a positive credit history, said Diahann Lassus, president and CIO of Lassus Wherley. Make short-term purchases, and pay those charges off over several months.” read more »

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The Benefits To Having A Financial Planner

New Jersey 101.5 - 11/20/2015

“Using these skills you must select investments, determine an allocation mix and assess the timing and factors which will lead to the various purchases and dispositions of your holdings,” said Diahann Lassus, a certified financial planner and certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. “A professional planner utilizes significant resources, computers and software applications to perform these tasks.” read more »

njMoneyHelp-thumb.jpg Letting Someone Else Manage Your Money

NJMoneyHelp - 11/20/2015

The key to getting comfortable with the idea of using a financial planner is in getting a good handle on what you need, said Diahann Lassus, a certified financial planner and certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. read more »

njMoneyHelp-thumb.jpg Retired Widow, 54, To Sell Properties, Generate Income

NJMoneyHelp - 11/19/2015

Lisa McKnight, a certified financial planner with Lassus Wherley in New Providence, reviewed Carrie’s finances for NJMoneyHelp.com.” read more »

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How You Can Create Missing Receipts For Tax Deductions

New Jersey 101.5 - 11/18/2015

“For donations of $250 or more each, recipient organizations are required to acknowledge the gift by letter,” Cynthia Fusillo, a certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley in New Providence said. “You could call those organizations in this category, explain your situation and request a duplicate acknowledgment letter.” read more »

njMoneyHelp-thumb.jpg Recreating Tax Documents Lost In A Fire

NJMoneyHelp - 11/18/2015

We’re glad that you’re safe, and you’re smart to be cautious. It is true that the IRS requires that you maintain proper documentation for tax deductions claimed, said Cynthia Fusillo, a certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. “You’ve probably heard that you should not throw away such documentation for a number of years following the filing of a particular tax return,” Fusillo said. “However, sometimes real life gets in the way and retaining records is just not possible.” read more »

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Mortgage Payoff? Freedom vs The Math

Squared Away Blog​ - 11/12/2015

Financial planner Diahann Lassus views as misguided the “obsession” some baby boomers have with paying off their mortgage before they retire. Lassus urges that those who are driven to pay it off should consider that “their money is just getting stuck” in an illiquid asset – the house. If it needs a new roof, where will they find the money to fix it? Having more savings provides financial flexibility, including the ability to eliminate the mortgage later.  read more »

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Think Before You Finish

SavvyMoney​ Blog- 11/12/2015

If you’re nearing retirement and are preparing to finally pay off your mortgage, you might want to think twice before doing so. “What you can do is invest those dollars and your earnings could be significantly higher, which means you’re using someone else’s money to earn more so that you’re able to build your retirement assets over time,” Diahann Lassus, president and chief investment officer of wealth-management firm Lassus Wherley, explained to NBC News. read more »

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What Type Of Tax Filing Works Best For You And Your Spouse?

New Jersey 101.5 - 11/12/2015

Many credits and deductions are more fully allowed if you file jointly instead of separately, and would be limited or lost if you filed separately, said Cynthia Fusillo, a certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley in New Providence.read more »

njMoneyHelp-thumb.jpg Should Couples File Taxes Jointly Or Separately?

NJMoneyHelp - 11/12/2015

Many credits and deductions are more fully allowed if you file jointly instead of separately, and would be limited or lost if you filed separately, said Cynthia Fusillo, a certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley in New Providence.read more »

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Am I Getting Hoodwinked By My CFP?

NJMoneyHelp - 10/29/2015

“This rule aims to reduce conflicts of interest as it relates to investment advice provided to employee benefit plan officials and participants, as well as to IRA account owners,” Pawlik said. “An advisor acting in a fiduciary capacity is required to act in your best interests and avoid conflicts of interest when providing investment advice.” read more »

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Is Your CFP Doing Right By You?

New Jersey 101.5 - 10/29/2015

You’re not getting hoodwinked. RIN: 1210-AB32 has to do with the Department of Labor’s proposal to amend the definition of the term “fiduciary,” said Charles Pawlik, a certified financial planner with Lassus Wherley in New Providence.  read more »

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The Tax Deductions You May Qualify For After A Divorce​

Credit.com - 10/28/2015

There are many tax aspects associated with a divorce. First, there’s your filing status. The IRS says that if you are divorced under a final decree by Dec. 31, then you are considered to be unmarried for the entire year, said Cynthia Fusillo, a certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley in New Providence, N.J.  read more »

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Understanding Health Savings Accounts

NJMoneyHelp - 10/23/2015

Health savings accounts (HSAs) can be a great tool for consumers who have high deductible health plans. The accounts were created to be a companion to such plans, said Laurie Wolfe, a certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. “The benefit of these accounts is the ability to put away tax-free dollars with which to pay the deductible and co-pays of these types of plans,” Wolfe said. read more »

njMoneyHelp-thumb.jpg A Teen Driver And Your Car Insurance

NJMoneyHelp - 10/14/2015

There are a few things you and your new driver can do in order to make sure your premiums don’t go up more than they absolutely have to, said Cynthia Fusillo, a certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. read more »

njMoneyHelp-thumb.jpgThe Two Things You Must Do To Keep Your Nest Egg Safe

Money - 10/13/2015

Such stock-heavy allocation can do serious damage if a bear market hits in the years leading up to your retirement, or just after. That’s because you have less time to ride out losses or replenish savings with earnings, explains New Providence, N.J., financial planner Diahann Lassus. Instead, you may be selling investments to cover living expenses, so you benefit less if stocks later rebound. If nothing else, you may feel painfully constrained in the first years after quitting.read more »

njbiz2014-thumb.pngShould You Pay Off That Mortgage Before Retiring?

Yahoo! Finance - 10/13/2015

Conventional wisdom holds that retirees should not enter their golden years still holding a mortgage. However, Diahann Lassus , president and chief investment officer of wealth-management firm Lassus Wherley, claims "that's not a one-size-fits-all answer today, because there are many other factors you have to think about." read more »

njbiz2014-thumb.pngWhat To Do If You're 50 And Haven't Saved For Retirement

Fidelity Investments- 9/19/2015

"They have to refocus," Diahann Lassus, president and chief investment officer of wealth-management firm Lassus Wherley says. "People plan their vacations a lot better than they plan their lives. We know when we are going, when we are coming back. They have a budget. They have all this wonderful planning around vacations. We have to apply the same kind of thing to our financial life, and certainly planning for retirement. read more »

What To Do If You’re 50 And Haven’t Saved For Retirement

Washington Post - 9/19/2015

“You actually see it often,” says Diahann Lassus, chief investment officer of wealth-management firm Lassus Wherley. “Some people are living day-to-day and not focused on anything down the road. Time sneaks up on them.read more »

njMoneyHelp-thumb.jpg Should I Fire My CPA?

NJMoneyHelp - 9/17/2015

Before you look for a new CPA, carefully review the reasons why you are thinking of taking this step, said Clare Wherley, a certified financial planner and certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. read more »

njMoneyHelp-thumb.jpg Tax Deductions After A Divorce

NJMoneyHelp - 9/14/2015

The IRS says that if you are divorced under a final decree by Dec. 31, then you are considered to be unmarried for the entire year, said Cynthia Fusillo, a certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. read more »

nbr-logo.pngDon't Panic In Stormy Market Experts Say--Focus on Fundamentals

NBR - 8/31/2015

“Look at history. As painful as the negative markets are there is always the other side,” said Diahann Lassus, partner at financial planning firm Lassus Wherley, in an interview. “After 2008 the markets made back much of the losses experienced in a very short period of time.” read more »

njbiz2014-thumb.pngAdvisors To Clients: Stay Calm And Carry On

CNBC - 8/24/2015

Diahann Lassus, CFP and president of Lassus Wherley, said her clients are asking her what is actually driving all this market volatility and the fast sell-off. "My top piece of advice is to take a deep breath and stop watching the markets too closely," she said. "If they are long-term investors, this short-term volatility is just that —a short-term issue. read more »

njMoneyHelp-thumb.jpg How Much Do I Really Need To Save For College?

NJMoneyHelp - 8/18/2015

"It’s important to start saving early and to invest your savings for a rate of return that can help you keep pace with increases in annual college costs,” said Charles Pawlik, a certified financial planner with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. At the same time, you have to consider your other goals, such as retirement.read more »

njMoneyHelp-thumb.jpgLooking For Low-Risk Investments

NJMoneyHelp - 8/10/2015

“The majority of investors require some level of stock exposure in order to grow their assets over time,” said Chadderdon O’Brien, a certified financial planner with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. “Tailoring your stock exposures to your risk and return objectives is an important step in structuring your portfolio.”read more »

njMoneyHelp-thumb.jpgI Missed A Tax Deduction. Help!

NJMoneyHelp - 8/10/2015

It can be painful to realize you’ve overlooked a tax deduction, but whether or not it’s worth amending a tax return will depend. When you itemize your deductions on your tax return, you can lump lots of different types of expenses as miscellaneous itemized deductions on line 23 of Schedule A, said Cynthia Fusillo, a certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. read more »

njMoneyHelp-thumb.jpgShould This Inheritance Skip A Generation?

NJMoneyHelp - 8/5/2015

Planning ahead for an estate is always a smart move. The federal exemption for estate taxes is $5.43 million in 2015, said Patricia Daquila, a certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. In New Jersey, the estate tax exemption is $675,000. read more »

njMoneyHelp-thumb.jpgBond Breakdowns In Today’s Market

NJMoneyHelp - 7/23/2015

The risk around an eventual “rate hike” has been a topic of discussion for many years now, with the latest expectations for a rate hike coming sometime in late 2015 or early 2016, said Chadderdon O’Brien, a certified financial planner with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. Bonds and interest rates have an inverse relationship. When interest rates rise, the value of an existing bond will fall, O’Brien said. read more »

njMoneyHelp-thumb.jpgCan I Deduct Family Dinner As A Business Expense?

NJMoneyHelp - 7/23/2015

The IRS has very specific guidelines and tests that need to be met if the entertainment expenses can be deducted as a business expense, said Pat Daquila, a certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. read more »

njMoneyHelp-thumb.jpgShould I Pay For College With A 401(k) Or Home Equity Loan?

Money - 7/20/2015

Although it can be tempting to borrow against your home or your 401(k) to help pay for college costs, you may want to think twice before doing so, said Charles Pawlik, a certified financial planner with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. read more »

njMoneyHelp-thumb.jpgWhat Deductions You Can Take On Home Sale

NJMoneyHelp - 7/17/2015

Items that you take into account when selling your home fall into two major categories: — expenses of sale and adjusted cost basis — said Cynthia Fusillo, a certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. Both have the same net effect which is to reduce the amount of gain realized on the sale. read more »

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Borrow From Home Equity Or 401(k) For College?

NJMoneyHelp - 7/14/2015

Although it can be tempting to borrow against your home or your 401(k) to help pay for college costs, you may want to think twice before doing so, said Charles Pawlik, a certified financial planner with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. read more »

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When A Joint Account Isn't Needed Anymore

NJMoneyHelp - 6/23/2015

“Now that your adult daughter has a job and no longer relies on you for financial support, there may not be a justifiable reason to maintain a joint checking account," said Lisa McKnight, a certified financial planner with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. read more »

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Can I Deduct Costs From My Kids' Charity Work?

NJMoneyHelp - 6/22/2015

The answer is a plain old “no,” said Cynthia Fusillo, a certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. “The IRS says in its Publication 526 (Charitable Contributions) that you cannot deduct expenses paid for another person who provided services to a qualified organization," she said. read more »

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Keeping Separate Your Business And Personal Finances

NJMoneyHelp - 6/19/2015

When it comes to bank accounts, the most important consideration is that you have a business account from which you conduct all your business, said Clare Wherley, a certified financial planner and certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. read more »

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A Guide To Your Mid-Year Financial Checkup

Forbes - 6/11/2015

“The first questions to ask is whether your portfolio is broadly diversified enough and if it’s doing what you expect it to do,” says Diahann Lassus, a CPA and certified financial planner with Lassus Wherley. “If the answer is ‘yes,’ then you want to look at your original allocation target and make sure you are still in alignment.”If not, you may want to consider rebalancing. read more »

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The Problem With College Tax Breaks And 529 Plans

NJMoneyHelp - 6/4/2015

For starters, it’s important to be efficient as you pay all your higher education costs, said Chadderdon O’Brien, a certified financial planner with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. read more »

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What To Do With A $5 Million Estate

NJMoneyHelp - 5/12/2015

"New Jersey also may impose a transfer inheritance tax on the estate as well, depending upon the amount that is received and the relationship between the decedent and the beneficiary," Daquila said. "However, you would only pay the higher of the two either the New Jersey estate tax or the New Jersey inheritance tax, but not both." read more »

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Deductions When You Shut Down A Business

NJMoneyHelp - 5/4/2015

"If they exceed any income you've received in that year you could take a net loss for the business, which would offset your other ordinary income," said Clare Wherley, a certified financial planner and certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. read more »

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How Social Security Benefits Are Taxed If You Work

NJMoneyHelp - 4/27/2015

It used to be simple: Social Security benefits were tax-free, period, said Lisa McKnight, a certified financial planner with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. But then, as part of a "Save Social Security" plan, Congress decided to tax up to 50 percent of benefits. Later, that number was boosted to up to 85 percent, with the extra revenue going to shore up Medicare, she said. read more »

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Retirement Distribuions And Financial Aid Don't Mix Well

NJMoneyHelp - 4/24/2015

"The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) considers both the income and assets of the parents and child in terms of the amount of financial aid a student may be eligible for," said Charles Pawlik, a certified financial planner with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. "Although assets in qualified retirement accounts are not counted on the FAFSA in the calculation of the expected family contribution (EFC) towards college costs, distributions from retirement accounts are counted as income." read more »

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Bamboozled: You Think Tax Refund Fraud Can't Happen To You? Think Again

NJ.com - 4/16/2015

"It's not a matter of whether. It's a matter of when," said Clare Wherley, a certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. read more »

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How Should I Spend My Tax Refund?

NJMoneyHelp - 4/7/2015

Debt is the first thing to consider. You should prioritize loans that are the most costly to carry, said Chadderon O'Brien, a certified financial planner with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. read more »

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An Unpleasant Surprise For A Parent's Taxes

NJMoneyHelp - 3/26/2015

The loss of an exemption for a child is a difficult event to predict, she said. "Only if a child is a full-time student can the exemption be claimed through the child's age 23," Wherley said. "However, if the child remains in the parent's house-hold and doesn't have gross income greater than the exemption amount, that child may still be claimed by a parent. There is also the assumption the parents are paying for more than half of the child's support." read more »

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Selling A Home After You've Rented It Out

NJMoneyHelp - 3/16/2015

As you probably know, federal law allows an exclusion of gain on the sale of your principal residence of $250,000 if you are single and $500,000 if you are married, said Laurie Wolfe, a certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. "Gain is the excess of what you sell the house for over what you paid for it — your basis," she said. "To qualify for the exclusion you must meet a few tests." read more »

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Countdown To The NJBIZ Best 50 Women Event: A Look Back At The Class Of 2010

NJBIZ - 3/16/2015

Open-ended question: What would you tell your 15-year-old self? Clare Wherley, CEO, Lassus Wherley & Associates P.C.: It's going to turn out a whole lot better than you could ever imagine! read more »

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What Will I Owe In Taxes On A Stock Sale?

NJMoneyHelp - 3/16/2015

"Primarily you'll need to know how long you've held the stock for, your marginal tax bracket, the level of gains or losses you may have from other capital assets and if you have any unused carry forward losses from previous years," said Chadderon O'Brien, a certified financial planner with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. read more »

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Oops! I Forgot The Health Insurance Box On My Tax Return

NJMoneyHelp - 3/11/2015

"I have no doubt that when your return is processed you will receive a notice," said Cynthia Fusillo, a certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. "This is because by not checking the box indicating full year health coverage, you would generally have to complete and attach form 8965, indicating why you are exempt from coverage." read more »

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Confusion Over Pre- And After-Tax Contributions

NJMoneyHelp - 3/5/2015

If the contributions were in fact made on a pre-tax basis, they should not have been included in your taxable federal income, said Charles Pawlik, a certified financial planner with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. However, New Jersey generally does not allow for 403(b) contributions to be excluded from taxable state income. read more »

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How Often Should I Take Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)?

NJMoneyHelp - 3/2/2015

Generally, RMDs are minimum amounts that a retirement plan owner must take out of the account every year starting with the year that he turns 70 ½ years of age, said Diahann Lassus, a certified financial planner and certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. read more »

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Best Places To Work In New Jersey

NJBIZ - 2/26/2015

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2015 BEST PLACES TO WORK IN NJ! The Best Places to Work in New Jersey awards program recognizes and honors the state's top employers who show a dedication to their employees' growth and quality of life. The 2015 Best Places to Work in New Jersey Awards recognize companies in the Garden State that show a sincere dedication to their employees personal life and professional growth. read more »

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What Does My Fiancée's Bankruptcy Mean To My Money?

NJMoneyHelp - 2/16/2015

Until your soon-to-be wife's credit history is repaired, it may be wise to keep your finances separate, said Lisa McKnight, a certified financial planner with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. She recommends your fiancée build her credit post-bankruptcy with a secured credit card that is paid off every month. read more »

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How To Take Tax Deductions For Your Volunteer Time

NJMoneyHelp - 2/12/2015

As a volunteer, you can take a deduction for your costs associated with your travel to and from your volunteer position if it is a qualified organization, said Patricia Daquila, a certified public accountant with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. "You can deduct the actual cost of gas and oil that is directly related to getting to the place that you volunteered," she said. "You cannot deduct the general repair expenses, the cost of tires or insurance, or registration fees for your car." read more »

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Using A Donor Advised Fund For Charitable Giving

NJMoneyHelp - 1/28/2015

"A donor advised fund is a charitable gifting vehicle wherein individuals or institutions can make irrevocable charitable contributions to an account, to be used for the benefit of an unnamed charitable organization at a later date," said Chadderdon O'Brien, a certified financial planner with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. "The benefit to the owner of a donor advised fund is that the contribution is tax deductible immediately, while the gift to the charity does not have to be made until some future point in time." read more »

favicon.jpgSending Your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) Directly To Charity

NJMoneyHelp - 1/13/2015

"This includes some big tax extenders for individuals — items that were set to expire at the end of 2013 which have been give a one-year extension, said Cynthia Fusillo, a certified public account with Lassus Wherley in New Providence. read more »

wsj-thumb.jpgAdvisers' Forecasts For Stocks, Bonds And More

The Wall Street Journal - 1/5/2015

"The bottom line is that you have to be in equities if you want good returns over the long term," says Diahann Lassus, co-founder of Lassus Wherley & Associates, in New Providence, N.J. For a client who can handle moderate risk, Ms. Lassus allocates 23% of the portfolio to large-company U.S. stocks, and 12% to small-company stocks. read more »

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