#76: Top 3 Parent Tax Strategies

In this episode of the Teaching Tax Flow podcast, hosted by Chris Piccurrio and John Tripolsky, they dive into the nuances of parental tax strategies. With a focus on empowering parents to legally and ethically minimize the taxes they will pay over their lifetimes, episode 76 is a must-listen for parents eager to optimize their tax planning. The hosts meticulously break down complex tax strategies that capitalize on the benefits of parenthood, offering a wealth of knowledge for the layman and experienced tax professional alike.

In this episode, Chris and John outline three pivotal tax strategies designed to benefit both parents and children. Starting with the benefits of contributing to a Roth IRA for your children, they delineate how such contributions can grow tax-free, providing a nest egg for future needs. The hosts move on to discussing 529 plans, emphasizing their tax advantages and flexibility for educational expenses. As they explore nuances like gift tax exclusions and the implications of gifting assets, the potential tax savings for family estates come into focus. Through these discussions, the podcast ensures listeners are equipped with the tools they need to undertake informed tax planning.

Key Takeaways:

  • Contributing to a child’s Roth IRA can secure future tax-free income and growth, provided the child has earned income.
  • Investments in a 529 plan grow tax-deferred and can be used tax-free for a beneficiary’s educational expenses, with added benefits like potential larger contributions.
  • Parents and grandparents can gift up to $18,000 per year to a child without incurring gift taxes, which can also facilitate income shift and estate planning.

Notable Quotes:

  • “Roth contributions could be very powerful.” – Chris Piccurrio
  • “The [529] expansion of what we consider an educational cost could include technology.” – Chris Piccurrio
  • “It’s easier for laws to pass to tax people that have passed away than people that are living.” – Chris Piccurrio
  • “Not too many people are running around with that amount that they’re concerned about hitting that estate tax exemption.” – Chris Piccurrio
  • “Unfortunately, just financial and tax education and literacy is just not taught as much as it should be.” – Chris Piccurrio

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WEBVTT

00:00:04.160 –> 00:00:13.195
Welcome to the Teaching Tax Flow podcast, where the goal is to empower and educate you to legally and ethically minimize taxes paid over your lifetime.

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Welcome back to the podcast, everybody. Today on episode 76, we are gonna look at those top three parental tax strategies. So before we do that, as always, let’s take a brief moment and thank our episode sponsor.

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00:01:19.325 –> 00:01:45.330
Welcome back to the podcast, everybody. Exactly as I said here in that intro. But as always, we have a great topic we are gonna look at today, especially related to those who are parents. So it’s about time those kids start paying you back a little bit, you know, as, they always make you feed them and take care of them. And, frankly, you gotta keep those little buggers alive, you know, from from birth till, well, some of us, until you get much, much older.

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But without further ado, let’s dive into this very, very interesting topic to me because I have a toddler, of course. So, Chris Pacquero, welcome back, man. How you doing?

00:01:56.665 –> 00:01:59.940
I am amazing. How are you doing, mister Johnny t?

00:02:00.320 –> 00:02:10.835
Hey. I’m doing good, man. I got you know, my little toddler’s at daycare right now, probably, you know, finger painting all over herself. So it’s a it’s a good topic I think we’re gonna touch on today.

00:02:10.835 –> 00:02:33.220
Well, John John, interestingly enough, we’ve had many conversations about the day care situation and how you absolutely love all the notifications of everything that your daughter does. And you could love when your phone goes off every time she sneezes and the daycare is letting you know that she ate 4 of her 6 apple slices and kindly threw the other 2 away in a napkin.

00:02:33.220 –> 00:02:51.900
Hey. It’s better than, you know, she ate 4 out of 6 of her boogers. So let’s although I’m sure though you know what? I this is awful to admit this, you know, that. Usually, those notifications are off only because, again, we know that our wives do not listen to this show, or at least let’s hope they don’t because I will be in trouble after this one.

00:02:51.900 –> 00:03:03.985
I always know my wife babysits that app, and she loves every notification that goes off. So if it’s, you know, an urgent thing, like, you know, she fell off a swing or, you know, she ate a rock or something like that, my wife will call me and then

00:03:03.985 –> 00:03:09.770
I can say, oh, yeah. I see that. I’m right on it. So kinda play into it. But Exactly.

00:03:09.770 –> 00:03:20.800
We know we know that usually there’s one parent that’s a that’s a little more tuned in to the to the micro activities of the toddlers. That you

00:03:20.800 –> 00:03:38.165
know what? I think we mentioned this in our, our event that we did last week. So it was the, you know, the q and a with the CPA, which thank you everybody that chimed in for that, all of our premium members. Great, great, event again as always. And, Chris, I think we refer to a lot of things as situationally dependent.

00:03:38.840 –> 00:03:46.460
Right? Correct. So instead of saying, oh, well, it depends. Right? So, you know, now that I get in these conversations, it’s like, well, you know, situationally dependent.

00:03:46.760 –> 00:04:04.490
Let’s talk about those little, I I was gonna say something else. But the little people that are dependent on us for their well-being. So let’s let’s tie this in. Obviously, this is a tax related podcast. So let’s talk about, we’ll call it tax benefits, tax opportunities, etcetera in here.

00:04:04.490 –> 00:04:13.080
But I know we got 3 of them. Them. So I’ll let you get us kicked off with this one. I know you got a couple, that one’s definitely not toddlers. I remember when they were on your end.

00:04:13.320 –> 00:04:33.310
But let’s talk about this. Some people may not know. Some people, you know, they may have 1, 2, or or multiple children, and they think that the only thing they can do is check that box, you know, when it comes time for tax preparation saying that they have dependents. So let’s talk about some of these top 3 or not say some of them. Let’s talk about the top three tax strategies for parents.

00:04:33.610 –> 00:04:59.205
Yes. So there are many tax strategies for parents. We’re gonna focus on parents of younger children, at this point. You know, some of these could actually could be used for older children, but these are gonna be parents of younger children, let’s say, age 20 and and and younger. So the first one, John, in no particular order, of course, would be con contributing to a Roth IRA.

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Now we know oh, shameless plug. There’s an episode about Roth IRA conversions. There’s an episode about difference between tax free income and growth and tax deferred. So if you are scratching your head right now thinking, dang. I missed those episodes.

00:05:17.505 –> 00:05:36.985
Pause and go download those and throw a 5 star review in. But let’s move forward. On the Roth Roth contribution, you might be thinking, that’s an odd one. Well, I want you guys to think about this. You know, we know that that it’s very important for tax free money to grow tax free and tax deferred.

00:05:37.420 –> 00:05:47.765
So let me paint a picture. Let’s say your child works you know, I I have my oldest child. He’s 5th just turned 15. He just applied for a job at Kroger. Okay?

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Oh, I shouldn’t have said that name because they’re not a sponsor of this podcast, although they should deeply consider that. That being said, there’s something, and I mentioned this before, called the rule of 72. And that means that you take your average rate of return divided that or 72 by that number and you get the amount of time it takes money to double. So if the average rate returns 8%, every 9 years, money will double. So if my son’s 15 years old, that money will double 5 times before he’s 60.

00:06:26.325 –> 00:06:39.685
Right? So now at 5 times let’s say he worked at Kroger, made 3 grand. And I say, alright. I’m gonna put $2,000 into a Roth IRA for in his behalf. Now this works because he has something called earned income.

00:06:39.685 –> 00:07:20.100
So if he’s self employed or has w two wages, now he can contribute that much to a Roth. There’s no tax benefit today for contributing to $2,000, but he’s not paying any federal tax on that anyway. But that $2,000 doubled 5 times would be 4, 8, 16, 32, $64,000 in a Roth account tax free for him just for that contribution now. So contributing to a Roth IRA for your child is the first of 3 parent tax strategies that I would deeply consider. Now there’s there’s another aspect to this.

00:07:20.100 –> 00:07:57.800
A sub a a sub strategy would be if yourself if you own a business or you’re self employed, many people have children that work in the business, and assuming the child is doing a a job that and they they’re paid fairly, there’s income shifting to that child, which could help your tax situation, meaning taking it from your marginal tax rate, that income, into the child’s marginal tax rate. That paired with contributing to a Roth can also be very powerful. So remember that Roth IRA, you have to make sure you have earned income, but it grows tax free and tax deferred until a qualified distribution.

00:07:57.940 –> 00:08:11.760
And, Chris, too, I could be wrong on this one, but there is no age minimum for a Roth. Correct? So it could be 1 year, 6 months, 19 years. Correct? Absolutely.

00:08:11.760 –> 00:08:37.795
You are correct, John. As long as the the child has earned income. And the so this could really be one of those that, you could start earlier on in things. Because obviously, like you had mentioned, kind of a, a sub benefit or however you referenced it as, you know, paying a, paying a a child for working within your business isn’t really feasible if you own a auto repair shop and you have a a 1 year old. Right?

00:08:37.795 –> 00:08:46.180
The 1 year old’s probably not doing legitimate work in there, so you don’t wanna poke the bear. But doing the Roth, obviously, that’s a legitimate legitimate strategy.

00:08:46.960 –> 00:09:15.835
Absolutely. I mean, you could have a child, I would say, probably as early as, you know, 10, 11, and up if you had an auto repair shop that could could potentially help out. Now they might not be doing the repairs, but they could they could be bringing you know, being there in the office with you when you’re there. Maybe they’re bringing you, you know, when you’re out of the vehicle, bringing you some tools, learning, helping out with some basic oil changes, little stuff like that. It’s it’s absolutely possible that you would you could have legitimate employment for those those children.

00:09:15.895 –> 00:09:20.300
Or it’s paybacks. Right? When those kids were always like, I want milk. I want a bottle. I want this.

00:09:20.300 –> 00:09:30.095
It’s you know, you go grab me a beverage from the fridge. Not legit. I didn’t say that, did I? That’s awful. Awful parenting tip.

00:09:30.395 –> 00:09:56.630
Well, that so that for Roth contributions could be very, very powerful. So that is that is a great strategy, and essentially that tax free income and growth could be amazing. So the second one pertains to education. We have a lot of content out there. We get a ton of questions on, college savings plans, and those are referred to as 529 plans.

00:09:56.925 –> 00:11:12.605
So a 529 plan is a tax advantage savings plan designed to encourage saving for your future educational costs. Now it used to be where those educational costs had to be higher educational costs, meaning college or trade school, but now you could actually take 5 29 plain distributions, I believe, up to $10,000 per year for private school tuition. Now like a Roth, contributions in the 5 29 plain grow tax deferred, and as long as you withdraw it for qualified expenses, they’re tax free. So you don’t have to have earned income for the 5 29 plan contribution, and anyone can contribute to someone’s 529 plan. So once your child once you have a child, creating a 529 plan account is a is a good tax planning tool, and especially when they’re really young, John, and you know they don’t have any concept, 1, 2, 3 years old of maybe at 3 they realize they’re getting a toy for their toy or, Opus stuffed animal, when family members give them birthday gifts or holiday gifts or whatever type of gift, it’s really nice when you can slap that into a 5 29 plan and allow it to grow tax deferred and this and then, essentially, tax free.

00:11:13.065 –> 00:11:15.540
Awesome. Awesome. And that’s another good one, you know, that

00:11:15.540 –> 00:11:39.560
I think a lot of people, you know, probably don’t think about. Really, it’s you know, maybe they see it mentioned in a publication or on a podcast like this. And really, like everything else we do here, our goal is really just get it out, you know, get this information in people’s hand or I should say in their hands and their ears, and get the get the wheels turning. Right? Because this all falls into, you know, what we always talk about at teaching tax law and that’s tax planning and strategy.

00:11:39.865 –> 00:11:56.050
So part of that plan is obviously knowing what you can and what you can’t do and when you can do it and when you can’t do it. And all this really say, marries into a bigger picture, but it does. Right? It’s all it’s all a cog in the tax planning wheel, if we will.

00:11:56.050 –> 00:12:14.460
So Yes. And with 5 29 plans, it’s important to remember that typically the parent is the account owner. The child is the beneficiary. So if you have 3 children, you could have, like, we my wife and I do have 3529 plans. It’s also important to remember that you can change the beneficiary without tax implications.

00:12:15.285 –> 00:12:53.875
So let’s say your child is is, you know, doesn’t doesn’t utilize the money or let’s say they’re, you know, baseball star and they get a full scholarship. You could you could just change the beneficiary on that or you can you know, if they end up having a family, you can move one of their children into the beneficiary role. And, actually, there’s a there’s a a new rule that came out, and that’s a little restricted. You have to have the assets in the 5 29 plan for at least 15 years. So the we we might dive into that on another episode, where where you can actually convert the 529 plan assets into a Roth IRA.

00:12:54.655 –> 00:13:46.545
Again, these are this is some new there’s there’s a very new rule and there’s some guidance still coming out on that, But the the theme is this with the 529 plan contributions is there’s much more flexibility now than there was before. When those plans first came out, they were designated for typically tuition and fees, and and now the expansion of what we consider an educational cost could include technology. You know, college kids don’t really buy books anymore. A lot of times, they just buy an ebook or they buy the course, materials online, but also the ability to take some of that money out of 5 29 plans and use it for private high school, private middle school, or elementary school. Now there’s some limitations, but that’s a huge, that’s a huge win, I think, for 5 29 plan owners.

00:13:47.085 –> 00:14:07.070
And, honestly, what I found in working with clients for way too many years is that when when someone establishes a 5 29 plan for their child, typically grandma, grandpa, maybe the great uncle, is a little more generous during the holidays if they know the money is going towards an educational plan.

00:14:07.070 –> 00:14:27.810
And, you know, it’s not like they’re gonna run into the bank with a couple 100 pennies, but they might. You know? So you bring up a good point too, Chris. I think just the, you know, from the beneficiary, aka the the child standpoint, but also the the, I guess, you say that I don’t even know what the term is. What is called grandparents or parents?

00:14:27.810 –> 00:14:29.330
No. They’re the beneficiary with the

00:14:29.810 –> 00:14:43.870
So who’s who’s the one that actually gives it then, actually? So if there’s a this is a really dumb question that either I’m having a complete brain freeze on or what, but there’s a beneficiary. But then who’s the person that’s giving it? It’s like a not a beneficial or, obviously, isn’t the right term.

00:14:43.930 –> 00:14:46.830
It’d be a, I guess, a a contributor.

00:14:46.970 –> 00:14:47.610
There you go. Really?

00:14:47.610 –> 00:15:16.180
So So you would contribute to the plan. There’s another special rule, John, because there are some rules with gift taxing. We’re gonna actually talk about that in a moment. But there’s a so, typically, you can only gift someone approximately 15,000, $16,000 per year without having any type of gift tax implications. That being said, if someone was to contribute $50,000, let’s say, right, that would be over the gift tax exclusion for a given year.

00:15:16.640 –> 00:15:37.695
That being said, there’s a special rule with 529 plans, that you can take that gift and average it over 5 years. And so in that case, you would say it’s the $50,000 gift, It’d be $10,000 per year, and now you’ve you haven’t gone over that gift tax exemption, which we’re gonna talk about next. Good segue.

00:15:37.695 –> 00:15:58.235
And that’s a great piece of advice, and we yeah. We won’t dive into that. We’ll talk about that in our in our next little segment here, but that’s also something I think that, you know, people myself included a while ago. Right? Like, we didn’t if you don’t know that there is a limit on that, right, you you could go way over, but then it’s almost until it’s too late.

00:15:58.235 –> 00:16:37.825
And then you’re you know, obviously, there’s tax involved in that, which, again, moral of the story is to keep the taxes or keep the dollars in your pocket, not shelling them out or making it rain obviously on the Internal Revenue Service. So let’s let’s dive into that one. So so number 3, I know we talked about it before we jumped on this recording, is very interesting because it is something that is utilized a lot. Sometimes, I wouldn’t say unintentionally, but I think there’s a lot of questions on this one specifically. People know it’s know it exists, but they might not know a lot of the information limitations, etcetera, around it.

00:16:37.825 –> 00:16:39.410
So I look forward to this one.

00:16:39.410 –> 00:16:55.195
Right. Right. So the final one might seem odd, but it’s not, is gift, gifting assets to a child. So that has potentially positive implications on on both parties. Let’s talk about the person giving the gift.

00:16:55.480 –> 00:17:24.385
Each year, someone can give, and this is in for 2014, up to $18,000 per year. Now this is always this changes each year. It’s indexed for inflation, but it’s in general indexed for inflation, not officially, but it’s it’s in the tax law that it goes up each year and it gets adjusted. But $18,000 per year could be gifted to a, to anyone. So a grandparent, a parent could gift 18,000 without having to report anything tax wise.

00:17:24.385 –> 00:17:38.210
It’s just under what we call the annual exemption amount. Okay? So that’s so that could be a strategy. Then there’s a lifetime, estate tax. Right?

00:17:38.210 –> 00:18:04.445
There’s an estate tax exemption. And if you go over the $18,000 a year of gifting, then you start eating at your lifetime estate tax exemption. Now that estate tax exemption is at the highest it’s ever been. It’s about 13 and a half $1,000,000. So not too many people are running around with that amount, that they’re concerned about hitting that state tax exemption.

00:18:05.200 –> 00:18:22.185
That being said, as early as 2011, the estate tax exemption was $5,000,000. So once the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed, it doubled. And there’s a chance it goes down. Right? Because we know the the government is is, is in debt quite a bit.

00:18:22.450 –> 00:18:49.125
And when they look at how to tax people, it’s a lot easier for laws to pass to tax people that have passed away than people that are living. It’s just just easier to pass those laws. Right? It’s easier to get support out of those. So the point is if you have a significant amount of assets in your estate and you don’t want and you’re trying to get under that estate tax exemption, because if you’re over it when you pass away, you’re gonna pay, depending on what state you live in, up to a 50% tax.

00:18:50.545 –> 00:19:14.320
Then gifting those assets to a to a a child starts making sense. So you’re getting you’re you’re taking that out of your state tax exposure. Even though that limit’s over 13,000,000 now, we have an there’s an election year, It could be a third of that next year. Reasonably. I mean, and so that’s why gifting could work for the person giving the gift.

00:19:15.280 –> 00:19:29.375
Now there’s other advantages too. The person getting the gift does not have a negative consequence. They just inherit the prop. They just have the prop. Now remember when we did our episode on step up in basis, we talked about some positives and minuses of assets.

00:19:29.435 –> 00:20:07.450
Typically, you’re gonna wanna do this with cash, potentially appreciated assets, and I’m gonna explain that in a moment. So gifting strategy number 3. The another advantage for the child would be that they are in general in a lower marginal tax bracket than the than the parent giving the gift. So if the child is paying tax, on a capital gain, for instance, instead of the parent, that tax could be significantly less. So that’s where there’s a couple things.

00:20:07.450 –> 00:20:22.555
There’s that estate tax. You know, we see legally and ethically reduce the tax you pay in your lifetime. It’s not all about income tax. It could be about estate tax as well. So this is a good estate tax planning strategy, then potentially shifting the capital gains.

00:20:22.555 –> 00:20:59.340
Because let’s say I bought a stock for $10 and it’s worth a $100 per share, and now I gift it to my child and my child sells it. My child actually reports the $90,000 worth of income, not me. So there’s some advantages as far as maybe shifting capital gains to a child or creating something called a custodial account, something called an UGMA or ATMAA, which stands for universe gift uniform gifts to minors act or uniform transfers to minors act. So those are the those type of are the types of accounts that are typically used when assets are gifted to a child. Now the one thing I’m gonna say, there’s a funny word, John.

00:20:59.340 –> 00:21:23.950
When I told you about this, you chuckled. There is something called a kiddie tax. There are special kiddie tax rules that could have a negative consequence with the strategy that they they that goes beyond the scope of this podcast, but gifting could have a positive estate and income tax, effect on someone’s situation.

00:21:25.515 –> 00:21:36.390
Awesome. Awesome. Well, I’m glad we hit on these 3. Honestly, again, you know, as I mentioned a little bit earlier on too, it’s it’s very important, I think, for people to understand these. Even if it’s something that you say, you know what?

00:21:36.610 –> 00:21:58.420
I’m not gonna do this right now, but I’m gonna do it next year. I’m gonna do it in 2 years. Chris, you made a really, really good point of, you know, these could change, especially during an election year that these could change significantly. Right? So, again, I I know we mentioned this in a lot of episodes, you know, when when you consider tax planning as, you know, a a task, if you will.

00:21:58.420 –> 00:22:26.140
So, I mean, it’s very important. The the out the outcome of it is tremendous if done right, but it’s not something that you can just kinda set it and forget it. You can’t say, you know what? I’m gonna do this for my child, with my child in 5 years from now, but then you don’t pay attention to it for 5 years because heck in 2, 3 years, even 1 year, it may almost become irrelevant to the bigger picture for your situation. So I I really appreciate diving into these 3, you know, as a as a parent of my little toddler.

00:22:27.400 –> 00:22:29.500
There’s always something fun in that mix.

00:22:30.280 –> 00:22:56.795
Oh, my my pleasure, John. And I just want you to think about this. You know, we could probably post in the show notes some information about the estate tax. John, as early as 20 years ago, the estate tax was $1,000,000, estate tax exemption, with the estate top estate tax rate at 50%. And I want you to think about these are real stories where imagine a couple a a mature aged couple lives in San Diego, California.

00:22:57.335 –> 00:23:06.550
They don’t have much as far as assets. Right? Maybe they got they have a couple $100,000. They’re on Social Security. They bought a home for 300,000 30, 40 years ago.

00:23:06.550 –> 00:23:20.980
Right? Well, now that house is worth 2 and a half $1,000,000. They pass away. Okay? Their estate owes tax on $1,500,000 well, it actually more than that if they have 200,000.

00:23:21.360 –> 00:23:48.045
So let’s say it’s in an IRA, so now they’ve got 2 $700,000 of assets. They’re gonna owe a 50% tax on $1,700,000. Half of 1,700,000 is a lot of money. So 6, 6 1.7 a lot of them, $850,000 And if they take any money out of their IRA, it’s their the state’s gonna pay tax on it. That’s where it gets scary.

00:23:48.045 –> 00:24:14.980
Right? Even though that state tax exemption maximum is high right now, it can go down in a hurry. Now and that’s why I’m gonna not to plug another episode, but a lot of times when you have a situation like that, you can hedge against the estate tax by by purchasing life insurance, and that life insurance policy now secures that family property and and it is really there to pay the estate tax. So I can’t stress more. If you have questions, we are here to help.

00:24:14.980 –> 00:24:35.505
We don’t we love doing this podcast, but we’re we’re doing it as a service, as a giving back to people, our listeners and our teaching tax law community because, unfortunately, just financial and and tax education and literacy is just not taught as much as it should be. Spot on. Spot on. And Chris to

00:24:35.505 –> 00:24:49.370
that point too as we wrap up here, a little birdie told me that teaching tax flow may have just created a LinkedIn private group. So I don’t know where that I I have no idea where that news came from. It just fell from a tree. Right?

00:24:49.975 –> 00:24:55.115
We’ll have to put that in the show notes, John, and get that out. I I think that would be a great idea to do.

00:24:55.575 –> 00:25:00.450
Absolutely. Absolutely. And we literally just did it, folks. So there you go. Like, within a matter of an hour of now.

00:25:00.450 –> 00:25:22.060
So by the time you listen to this tomorrow morning, it won’t even be 24 years old. Unlike this, being episode 76, I don’t you can’t even really calculate dog years if something’s 76 because what’s the dog? Like, a 1000 years old? I think most dog year calculators stop at, like, 20 or something. So all joking aside, I know we’re talking about dependence.

00:25:22.840 –> 00:25:41.680
You should be very dependent on the next couple episodes. We got a couple great ones coming up. Everybody be on the lookout for those. As always, we will see you back here next week, same time, different topic here on the Teaching Tax Flow podcast. Hey, everybody.

00:25:41.680 –> 00:26:03.645
John Tripolsky here from Teaching Tax Flow team. Thanks for hanging out with Chris and myself here again on episode 76 as we really, you know, dove into those top three strategies for parents. So, you know, all joking aside, as as I mentioned earlier, you know, we I will say we always poke fun at our little ones. Right? But, you know, they are they are very dependent on us, and, you know, we could do a lot for them.

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So go back and share this episode if you will, but listen to it a couple times, you know, the the topics we touched on it, obviously, we just skimmed the service. There’s a lot of detail we could go in on each and every one of those and stressing it one more time before we let you go. Things change, they could change often, and they could change very, very drastically. So be sure to consult your tax professional on any questions you have or drop us a line on social media, that private Facebook group. And as mentioned, if you look below or to the side, usually to the right or right below us, here, that link to that new LinkedIn group.

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So be sure to join either of those, and always, the only dumb question is the question that goes unasked. So we will see you next week.

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