Ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft have become increasingly popular both as a means for transportation and as a way to earn extra money. In June Garrett Camp, co-founder of Uber, estimated that there were 2 million Uber drivers providing rides to 65 million riders across the globe. The United States is one of the biggest markets for ridesharing, gaining a foothold several years ago in larger cities and eventually finding its way to small-medium metropolitan areas. In San Francisco alone there are 45,000 registered Uber and Lyft drivers, 12-percent of whom are active on a regular basis. These drivers account for 20-percent of the city’s traffic (about 570,000 average miles driven per day), leaving the area’s 1,800 licensed taxi drivers in the dust.
In this election year, one of the most important decisions will be made on your 2015 tax return. You must determine whether it is better to deduct state and local income taxes paid last year or to claim a deduction for state and local sales taxes. What’s at stake? Tax dollars.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg made news recently by promising to give away 99% of his net worth, including his Facebook shares, to charity. The arrangement takes advantage of a unique tax break for charitable gifts of appreciated property, such as stock.
Background: If you have held property long enough for it to qualify for a long-term capital gain if you had sold it—in other words, more than one year—you can deduct an amount equal to the property’s fair market value (FMV). On the other hand, if the property would not qualify for long-term capital gain treatment on a sale, your deduction is limited to your basis in the property, which is often its original cost.
Despite its off-putting name, a “Crummey trust” can provide favorable results for individuals who have a significant amount of assets. This device might be incorporated into a comprehensive estate plan.