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  • Writer's pictureCharlsie Pecoraro

Holiday Prep! Things to do this Week on the Coast! New on YouTube, Tax Tips & in the Book Corner!


Holidays mean wonderful scents wafting from the kitchen permeating my entire home. I have been finding new little nuggets of heaven to bake and this Pecan Puff is a new favorite. Check out the link below to my video. We can cook together for Christmas.


I've notice car loads of people touring our neighborhood to see the Christmas lights. My friend, Daniel, has outdone everyone with his fantastic light show and accompanying music. Plenty of folks are strolling down with their children to enjoy his display. He has given our cul-de-sac such a wonderful gift! If you have time, take a tour of Carrington Place in West Mobile. You will be delighted with the efforts of so many families to commemorate the season. (I will try to video Daniel's spectacular display and post on my channel).

 

Things to Do on the Coast



Head downtown Mobile tonight, December 8th, for the monthly LODA Artwalk! This Free Event is the perfect occasion to wear your ugly Santa sweater and get into the holiday season with friends and family!


Magic Christmas in Lights at Bellingrath Garden is a "don't miss". I suggest you make this a family tradition if you are on the Gulf Coast. Click here for ticket information.


There are concerts, light events, and so much more happening in our area. Search events on social media for more ideas! I did a quick search and found a Christmas Parade in Semmes, Wicked at the Saenger Theater and a Holiday Market at the Mobile Museum of Art. There is always something to do on the Gulf Coast!


 

New on YouTube


I wish I could cut a slice of this amazing Broccoli, Cheese & Ham Quiche and serve you! I realize it appears almost overcooked in this picture however it was PERFECT! It is by far the BEST quiche I have ever baked. Click here to learn how to make one in your kitchen!


If you are searching for a hearty soup to make on these cooler evening we are having on the Gulf Coast, here it is! This 12 Bean Soup is packed with protein and will certainly fill up your hungriest family member! Click here to watch the video! Please note: you will need to soak your beans overnight before cooking!


Here it is, the one you've been waiting for! Pecan Puffs or little nuggets of heaven! This wonderful dessert is not too sweet and perfect with your favorite coffee or cocktail! Click here to watch the video and definitely try this over the holidays! I am already planning to make another batch!


Thank you to everyone who has subscribed to my channel! I just reached my first milestone!!!

Remember the channel is FREE, so click here to join the cooking fun!


 

Tax Tips with Richard Lindsey

Richard Lindsey

End of the year means last minute tax tips from my friend, Richard Lindsey!


Richard Lindsey's "Real World" Personal Strategy Note 5 Year End Tax Strategies to Lower Your 2023 Taxes

"Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago." - Warren Buffet

As the year winds down, let’s make sure you’re positioned well for filing in 2024. Despite uncertainties in Congress regarding the extension of various tax provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, there are strategic moves you can make now to optimize your tax situation. So, in that vein, here's your own little personalized guide to making the most of 2023:

#1: Smart charitable giving

First, before you set yourself to spread a little holiday cheer with a donation, make sure you do it right. Protect yourself against charity scams and fraudulent organizations by verifying the organization with the IRS's Tax-Exempt Organization Search. That includes international causes as well. For those, make sure you choose an IRS-approved U.S. organization with tax-exempt status and a specific fund for overseas relief (see the IRS search tool mentioned above). 

Now, as far as year-end tax strategies, charitable giving is one you should be considering, but only if you itemize for it. Some smart strategies include:

  • Bunching Strategies: Bunch your charitable contributions to surpass the standard deduction threshold in certain years, using strategies like donor-advised funds or donating appreciated stock. 

  • Qualified Charitable Distributions: If you're 70 ½ or older, think about making qualified charitable distributions from your IRA, which can be up to $100,000 per year and won't count towards your adjusted gross income. This year, you can also distribute up to $50,000 to a charitable remainder trust. 

#2: Plan your RMDs

As you plan your retirement distributions, remember that the SECURE 2.0 Act, part of the year-end Appropriations Act of 2022, brought several changes, including extending the RMD age to 73 for 2023 and reducing penalties for non-compliance.

The good news is: The IRS has waived penalties for failing to take RMDs from inherited IRAs for 2021, 2022, and 2023, for IRA owners who passed away in 2020, 2021, or 2022. 

And don’t forget… Starting in 2024, automatic enrollment in retirement plans will be mandatory for business owners. For you that means that if you’re eligible, you’ll be automatically enrolled in your employer's retirement plan, making it easier for you to start saving for retirement unless you actively choose not to participate.

#3: Digital assets as gifts

With the rise of digital assets like cryptocurrencies, giving digital gifts of this sort is becoming more common. Maybe you’re gifting some crypto assets to your kids or investing in crypto for your and your spouse’s future. Just remember, the IRS is keeping a closer eye on these kinds of transactions. If you’re giving or receiving digital assets, make sure you answer the digital asset question on your tax return correctly and report all transactions. The IRS treats these as property, so capital gains taxes could apply.

#4: Estate planning

With potential changes to the unified credit looming, consider making significant gifts this year (and before the end of 2025). The current exemption of 12.92 million per individual is a significant opportunity for estate planning. (Note: The IRS has confirmed that gifts made under the current credit will not be clawed back into the estate in case of a future reduction.)

#5: Energy-efficient home improvements

Not that you have lots of extra money sitting around this time of year, but if you want to give a gift to yourself and your future taxes, do some things to make your home more eco-friendly and tax-efficient. The enhanced Energy Efficient Home Improvement Credit now offers up to $1,200 annually. That’s a nice little encouragement to make some sustainable home upgrades. 


Richard A. Lindsey, CPA

Your Small Business Tax Expert

Author of Fairness or Folly, Crazy Little Shorts for These Taxing Times, and

Co-author of the Best-Seller, Breaking the Tax Code


Lindsey & Waldo, LLC

"You see the numbers, we look for the opportunities"

(251) 633-4070


 

In the Book Corner


I tend to stick with inspirational, spiritual or marketing books for my daily reading. I do remind myself that fiction has its place and can open up a world of delight. The Art of the Short Story is packed with short story fiction and insight from each of the 52 authors. I am working my way through it picking out works that inspire me. There are contributions from Margaret Atwood, Raymond Carver, Edgar Allan Poe and so many diverse writers.


If you have ever considered writing something for publication you understand the trepidation that authors experience. Will anyone ever read what I write? Will they enjoy it? This book exposes the reader to countless authors and allows you to explore their work without having to wade through a novel. It has certainly introduced me to well know authors that I had never had the time to explore. Excellent book and available at your local library and on Amazon!


 

I am going to close this blog for now and enjoy a bowl of homemade Chicken Noodle soup with my love. Have a wonderful week! Take a walk in the sunshine and spread love wherever you go!

~ Charlsie


Lil Jack watching Poirot!

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