Joe Ramos, CEO & Sr. Wealth Advisor
Joe Ramos, CEO

Letter from the CEO

Tax Planning Update



In response to the decline in the housing market and the struggles of many American homeowners, Congress recently passed a housing rescue package. The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, which became law on July30, is intended to provide relief to homeowners facing foreclosure, to stabilize government-sponsored mortgage enterprises, and to revive the slumping real estate market by offering tax incentives to certain homeowners and homebuyers. However, the legislation also may increase the tax liabilities of other groups of taxpayers. We detail the new provisions in "Congress Approves Sweeping Housing Rescue Package."

When it comes to planning your tax strategies and saving money, reducing your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is a great place to start. Your AGI is calculated by subtracting your allowable credits and deductions from your gross income. In "Maximize Your Credits, Deductions, and Exemptions," we explain the basics you need to know in order to lower your next tax bill.

Finally, in "Items of Interest," we review the provisions of another new piece of tax legislation, the HEART Act, which seeks to ease the tax burden for active duty military service members and their families, while closing certain loopholes for wealthy expatriates and federal contractors with operations abroad. Also, we highlight the changes in the standard mileage rates, which were increased for the second half of 2008 as a result of rising gas prices.

Best regards,

C. Joseph Ramos