Your Money: Ready to think about tax time and changes ahead?

Posted: November 15, 2013

Dozens of temporary tax provisions are scheduled to expire at the end of 2013 - for individuals, businesses, the charitable sector, energy, community assistance, and disaster relief - and the IRS has already announced that the tax-filing season in 2014 will be delayed by one to two weeks.

Among individual provisions scheduled to expire Dec. 31 are deductions for teachers' out-of-pocket expenses, state and local general sales taxes, qualified tuition, and mortgage insurance premiums. On the business side, under current law, the R&D (research and development) tax credit, the work opportunity tax credit, and increased expensing and bonus depreciation allowances will no longer be available effective Jan. 1.

The American Institute of CPAs, based in Washington, will host a conference call for tax experts for a look at expiring provisions, a discussion of prospects for their extension, and the outlook for the 2014 tax-filing season. If you want to listen in Friday at 10 a.m., the discussion will take place at the conference-call phone number 866-446-9850, pass code 9923085.

Seeds of a pullback?

Scott Armiger, chief investment officer of Christiana Trust, a division of WSFS Bank, contends that the stock market's record-setting momentum is delaying the start of a "much-needed pullback to bring valuations more in line with economic conditions."

Based in Wilmington, Christiana Trust's Armiger says the Federal Reserve's third round of quantitative easing has served to "inflate the market and constrains it from properly adjusting to weaker employment data, flat GDP expectations, downward-adjusted earnings estimates, disappointing retail sales, and Capitol Hill's failure to resolve serious fiscal issues."

This week Fed Chair nominee Janet Yellen starts confirmation hearings, but she is likely to continue postponing tapering. That increases the prospect of a stock sell-off similar to - but of greater magnitude than - the post-QE1 and QE2 sell-offs, Armiger believes.

"This time around the natural sell-off may be exacerbated by investors who still bear the scars" of sell-offs in 2000-02 and 2008 and will jump ship at the first signs of market weakness, he adds. With many stocks overpriced, he says, "late in 2013, the seeds of a pullback are in plain sight."


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