Tax Planning for Life's Major Events

As your life changes, so does the set of tax rules that affect you.

Benjamin Franklin was ruminating on the future of our fledgling democracy — not griping about the IRS — when he wrote the oft-quoted phrase that nothing is certain except death and taxes. As wise as he was, though, there's no way Franklin could have foreseen how thoroughly, as well as certainly, the federal income tax would affect future generations of citizens.

The voluminous Internal Revenue Code now reaches into nearly every nook and cranny of our lives, from cradle to grave. A newborn brings tax breaks to his or her parents; death brings a series of tax repercussions; and the IRS has something to say about almost everything in between. The tax bill you owe each spring is based on the working, saving, investing, spending, business and other personal decisions you make during the year.

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