Innovative Investment Incentive: Qualified Opportunity Funds

A new tax-saving vehicle called Qualified Opportunity Funds was created by the Tax Cut & Jobs Act to spur investment in distressed communities. The objective is to leverage some of the $6.1 trillion of unrealized gains in the marketplace today by allowing a deferral of gain recognition to allow funds to be put to work in the targeted communities. There are 33 opportunity funds identified in the great Baton Rouge Area, 44 in the New Orleans area, and a total of 150 in the state of Louisiana that provide opportunity for investment. To see the complete list of Qualified Opportunity Zones approved, visit the CDFI fund website.

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Carley Cryer
IRS Warns of New Phishing Scams

here has been an outbreak of two new variations on phishing scams targeting taxpayers. In one, scammers use phone calls to try to convince you that your SSN is at risk of being “deactivated” and may state that this is due to overdue taxes or just generic “illegal activity.” In another, scammers are sending letters in the mail warning of delinquent taxes owed to non-existent agencies, such as the “Bureau for Tax Enforcement.” In each, scam artists are attempting to get you to provide your SSN, bank account numbers, and other personal information. If you receive any suspicious notifications, you should NOT engage in any communication with the sender.

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Carley Cryer
Recap on Tax Law Changes to 529 plans

Recent federal and state laws have added flexibility to Section 529 savings plans. For background, 529 plans are tax-advantaged savings plans created for a beneficiary, usually a child. When the beneficiary goes to college, he or she can withdraw those funds for qualified education expenses. If funds are used in another way or refunded expenses are not recontributed in 60 days, then taxes and penalties apply. We have put together the following recap of recent developments in case you missed something that could be helpful to you and your family.

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Carley Cryer
New Louisiana Sales Tax Rate

During the 2018 Third Extraordinary Session of the Louisiana Legislature, the overall state sales tax rate was decreased from 5% to 4.45%. The effective date of the new tax rate is July 1, 2018. 

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Carley Cryer