Finance Blog

Stay financially savvy with the Equifax Advisor.

Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter


Thank you for signing up for the FREE Equifax monthly newsletter

In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.

Understand your credit. Help protect your identity.

Equifax Complete™ Premier Plan

  • Know What May Influence Your Credit Score and Be Alerted of Changes
    Credit score monitoring with custom alerts
    Important Disclosure: The Equifax credit score and 3-Bureau credit scores are based on an Equifax credit score model and are not the same scores used by 3rd parties to assess your creditworthiness.¹
  • Help Protect Your Identity
    Automatic fraud alerts encourages lenders to take extra steps to verify your identity²
  • Lock Your Credit
    The ability to lock and unlock your Equifax Credit Report³
Save 75% your first 30 days with the purchase of Equifax Complete™ Premier

$4.95 for the first 30 days, then $19.95 per month thereafter. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.4

¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.

²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.

³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.

4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.

Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.

Three Important Tax Facts Wealthy People Need to Know

Written by Eva Rosenberg on July 3, 2014 in Tax  |   No comments

Did you go into shock when you saw how the 2014 tax laws affect you? I couldn’t believe how much of a marriage penalty Congress created. We’re back to the bad old days, when my best advice for folks in the top tax brackets was…

three-important-tax-facts-wealthy-people-need-to-knowDid you go into shock when you saw how the 2014 tax laws affect you? I couldn’t believe how much of a marriage penalty Congress created. We’re back to the bad old days, when my best advice for folks in the top tax brackets was to get a divorce.

Divorce can be good for your taxes

I’m only half-joking when I say divorce is a good way to cut down what you owe in taxes. Consider a couple where each person earns $200,000 and together they have mortgage interest and property taxes totaling $40,000. Their federal taxes would exceed $96,000, including that nasty extra 0.9 percent Medicare tax of $1,350.

If the same people were single, however, their separate taxes would not include that extra Medicare hit. Their federal taxes would be about $42,000 each, or $84,000 combined. Voilà—a divorce means an instant federal tax cut of over $12,000.

A divorce for tax purposes doesn’t mean you have to live separately or can no longer enjoy a wonderful relationship. Unfortunately, it does mean that you lose two important estate tax benefits in the event of death: portability and the marital deduction.

Your estate tax exclusion is portable

Portability is a provision in the estate tax law, and it allows a surviving spouse to preserve the unused portion of the estate tax credit and add it to his or her estate. In 2014, the exclusion from estate taxes is $5.34 million.

For instance, if Sally’s husband Joe dies in 2014 with an estate worth $3 million, no estate taxes are due. Sally’s net worth is also $3 million when Joe dies, but after his estate is settled, Sally will be worth $6 million. This means that when Sally dies, she (or her estate) would have to pay taxes on $660,000 at a tax rate of about 37 percent.

However, when Joe passes his $3 million to Sally, he also leaves behind $2.34 million in estate tax exemptions. Sally can add this to her own $5.34 million estate tax exemption amount, which will allow her heirs to exclude over $7.6 million from taxation. In other words, they will probably avoid estate taxes altogether.

To get this benefit, heirs must file Form 706 within nine months of death, even if the estate doesn’t owe any estate taxes.

(Tax facts: How to figure out your tax bracket)

Your marital deduction doesn’t matter to your heirs

Spouses may make unlimited gifts to one another without incurring any gift or estate taxes—even after death. This is a useful way for one spouse to avoid estate taxes when the other spouse dies with an estate worth far more than $5.34 million. To get this benefit, you must use a valid trust or will to transfer everything you own, in excess of the estate tax exclusion limit, to your spouse.

For example, if Joe dies with a $10 million estate, he would use up his $5.34 estate tax exemption, and Sally would not be able to add it to her own estate tax exemption. Her heirs would be forced to pay a lot in taxes when she dies, unless she could dramatically reduce the size of her estate.

But she can’t simply gift away millions of dollars to family and friends because she has to report all large gifts over $14,000 per person. So, what can she do?

Sally could set up a variety of trusts, give gifts with imperfect title, or donate money and assets to charity. She could even set up a charity or foundation that she or her family can control—and, if she chooses, she can even have some real fun with her decisions about those donations. (Where do you think all those foundations that donate to PBS come from?)

Eva Rosenberg, EA is the publisher of TaxMama.com ®, where your tax questions are answered. She is the author of several books and ebooks, including Small Business Taxes Made Easy. Eva teaches a tax pro course at IRSExams.com and tax courses you might enjoy at http://www.cpelink.com/teamtaxmama.

The information contained in this blog post is designed to generally educate and inform visitors to the Equifax Finance Blog. The blog posts do not give, and should not be assumed to provide, personalized tax, investment, real estate, legal, retirement, credit, personal financial, or other professional advice. Before making any financial decision, you should always consult with the appropriate professionals who can explain your options, rights, and legal responsibilities, and advise you on any tax, legal, credit, or business implications that may result from those decisions. The views and opinions expressed by the authors of blog posts are their own views and may not be the views or opinions of Equifax, Inc. and/or its affiliates.

No comments yet

Leave a Comment

Name :

Commenting guidelines

We welcome your interest and participation on this forum, but be aware that comments will be published at Equifax's sole discretion. Please don't use this blog to submit questions or concerns about your Equifax credit report or raise customer service issues. Instead, you should contact Equifax directly for all such matters and any attempts to do so in this forum will be promptly re-directed.

Some other factors to consider when commenting:
  1. Registration and privacy. While no registration is required to visit our forum, participants wishing to post a message must register by creating an account. All personal information provided by forum members incident to registration is governed by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
  2. All comments are anonymous. We'll delete your name, e-mail address, and any other identifying information, including details about your investments.
  3. We can't post or respond to every comment - As much as we'd like to, we can't post every comment, nor can we guarantee that we will respond to each individual message. All questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or similar customer service issues should be handled by contacting Equifax directly.
  4. Don't offer specific legal, tax or financial advice. All of the materials on this Site are for information, education, and noncommercial purposes only and this forum is not intended as a means of expressing views or ideas regarding any specific legal, tax, or investment advice. While offering general rules of thumb is both permitted and encouraged, recommending specific ideas or strategies regarding investments, taxes, and related matters is prohibited.
  5. Credit Repair. This blog is not intended as a venue for the discussion or exchange of ideas regarding credit repair or other strategies intended to assist visitors and community members improve or otherwise modify their credit histories, ratings or scores.
  6. Stay on topic. Your comment should be concise and pertain to the specific post in question.
  7. Be respectful of the community. The use of profanity, offensive language, spam, and personal attacks will not be tolerated and egregious or repeat offenders will be banned from future participation. We encourage disagreement and healthy debate, but please refrain from personal attacks on our WordPresss and contributors.
  8. Finally: Participation in this forum may be terminated by Equifax immediately and without notice for failure to comply with any guidelines or Terms of Use. As such, you should familiarize yourself with all pertinent requirements prior to submitting any response through the blog or otherwise. All opinions expressed in this forum are solely those of the individual submitting the comment, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Tax Archive