April is the Cruelest Month

“April is the cruelest month,
breeding lilacs out of the dead land,
mixing memory and desire,
stirring dull roots with spring rain.”

― T.S. EliotThe Waste Land

I am often reminded of this quotation by renowned poet T.S. Eliot around tax filing time. These lines talk about the expectations and disillusionments that can befall the investment decisions that are revealed in your tax returns.

snow irisSome of your investments unexpectedly become “lilacs out of the dead land…” Whether by your efforts or those of your financial partner they yield the positive results your desire. Your tax return can also revive memories of poor decisions and lost opportunities… “mixing memory and desire”

Whether you were pleased with your investment returns this year or not, you know that tax laws continually change. However, there remains one constant — charitable giving. Giving always yields positive results! Your giving affects the bottom line of the charities you support, and it changes lives of real people in ways most of us will never know. The way you give can also affect your financial health. For example:

  • If you bought or sold property this past year but did not go through the Stewardship Foundation, you might have missed some important tax benefits.
  • If you are holding onto property or a business because the market does not favor selling, you might benefit from alternative options the Stewardship Foundation can suggest.
  • If you tried to support a charity or non-profit using non-cash assets, but your preferred charity or non-profit was not in a position to receive it, you should contact the Stewardship Foundation for our assistance.

The Stewardship Foundation can work with donors and investors of most charities and non-profits. We are experienced at stirring dull roots with spring rain. Now is the time to plan and to explore your investment options for the 2104 tax year. Now is the time that your charities and non-profits need your financial support.

Mickelson Wins – Loses Over Half to Taxes

st. andrewsIn July, Phil Mickelson won the British Open, and before that the Scottish Open. I hope you enjoyed his performances as much as I did. If you’re not a golf fan, there’s a story here that you still might find interesting.

After winning these prestigious trophies, Mickelson lightened his trip home from the lovely British Isles by forking over 44% of his winnings to the United Kingdom. Back in the U.S., the IRS took their share of self-employment tax and Medicare surtax, and his home state of California took another 13% or so leaving our golf hero with about 39% of his winnings. And that’s before he paid his travel expenses, agent fees and his caddie, leaving him with a meager 30% of earnings.

Forbes ranks Mickelson as the 7th highest paid athlete in the world. Last January, Phil was so mad about taxes he admitted he was going to make some “drastic changes” because he was in the “zone” that was being targeted both federally and by the state.

No one whom I know personally has a net worth of $180 million, but I do know most of us would do well to take a look at our own rising tax burden and think about making some changes. A couple of places to start are to

  1. review our investment strategy for these changing times, and
  2. consider how we can lower our estate tax risk (and do some good for a deserving charity in the process).

The Stewardship Foundation is always willing to help you assess your situation, examine your goals, and help you meet your financial needs. Unfortunately, we can’t help you read greens or improve your golf swing, but we can help you drive your passions and approach achieving your dreams, resulting in the financial birdie or even the eagle you desire. Give us a call. If you prefer to have a chat after the 18th hole, we’re open to that too.