Individual Tax Issues
                                                                  Personal income tax issues

 The new tax law passed in December of 2017, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,  has many provisions which will affect almost all taxpayers beginning in 2018.  Individuals should pay close attention to these provisions and look for planning opportunities.  Follow the link to the Act for more information.
Required Minimum Distributions (RMDS)

Required minimum distributions relate to all types of qualified retirement plans.   Essentially this provision of the tax code requires that a specified amount must be taken from your retirement accounts after you reach age 70 1/2.  Exactly when the required distribution is to be made depends upon the month in which you turn 70 1/2.   The amount that needs to be distributed is calculated based upon all of the balances in your retirement plans.  Failure to distribute these funds would create a possible penalty of 50% of the excess RMD not distributed.

Those persons which have retirement accounts need to be aware of this requirement so a penalty is not incurred.  A good tax plan may also help to reduce the tax burden this may cause. 
New York State Residency

As people make plans for retirement, or for a vacation home in another state, many look to take advantage of the tax laws in these states, which may be more tax friendly than in New York.  New York State has taken a hardline, at times, on who is actually a resident of the State for taxing purposes.   The tax laws pertaining to NYS residency are not as clear as many tax practioners, and taxpayers, would like.  So if you purchase a home in a tax friendly place, and expect that by getting a driver's license there, and voter's registration, it automatically makes you a nonresident of New York State, call us first.   Many times persons believing they were not New York residents were found to be Statutory Residents, and ended up paying not only NYS income taxes, but penalties and interest.
NEW YORK STATE OPTS OUT OF FEDERAL TCJA
 The State of New York will not follow the provisions of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act legislation passed by Congress in December 2017.   This means that you may still benefit from itemizing your deductions for New York State taxes.  Starting in 2018 the State law has changed which now allows a taxpayer to itemize for State purposes even if they don't for federal tax return purposes.  Additionally, for 2018 and after tax years individuals can itemize their deductions on the New York State return even if they take the standard deduction on their federal return.   This may very well prove to be a tax savings for many NYS residents.  So even if you plan to take the higher federal standard deduction this year you should look at the itemized deductions for New York State.
The information presented here is in summary form and is not to be considered complete.  Before taking any action on tax planning or your tax situation you should consult a tax specialist.