Top 5 Questions from Tax Season


We wanted to take a moment to express our gratitude for your continued trust and partnership with Capstone. We are grateful for the opportunity to continue serving your needs and are pleased to have a steady stream of work ahead, thanks to your ongoing support.

During this tax season, we received numerous questions regarding financial planning and taxes. To keep everyone informed, we’ve compiled the top five topics that were frequently discussed.

Below are the Top 5 Hot Topics:

Topic 1: Inflation & Investing

Our firm has evaluated inflation and we have determined that normal basket of goods purchased by people have gone up 25% to 35% in the past four years. This comes as no surprise to anyone, but financial planning and understanding the consequences are important.

For example, many people invested in Certificates of Deposits and money market funds in 2023 to receive income from higher interest rates. On average, if you invested in a CD that made 5% interest for a year on $100,000, the result is you will have $105,000 after one year. If inflation is 5% and you had to pay taxes on the interest income you earned on the 5,000, the result is that you lost money to inflation when the dust settles.

It was still a very good idea to invest cash and get a return on the money to try to keep up with inflation. However, in the long run, you must invest in assets that grow in value, including the stock market, real estate, and other investments that can appreciate. Everyone needs a financial plan for investing. Let us know if you need help with financial planning.

Topic 2: Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) — New Compliance Requirement

The FinCEN division of the Treasury Department now mandates reporting requirements for most small businesses, including various entity types. All Single-Member LLCs, Partnerships, Corporations, and other entities must evaluate their compliance with the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) for this year. Here are some examples:

  • If you set up an LLC for estate planning, you need to comply with this standard and report.
  • If you have a business, you need to comply with this standard.
  • If you have an LLC for your rentals, sole proprietorship, or asset protection, you will need to comply.

We are already assisting clients with this new requirement. All qualifying entities must report this year. We will send out detailed emails on this subject this week. Please click the button below to request assistance.

Topic 3: Do I need a will or trust for my estate?

Yes — we strongly suggest that everyone have a will, regardless of their circumstances. We have seen firsthand how difficult and stressful probate can be for all parties involved when someone passes away without a will or trust. Even with a will, your estate might have to go through probate.

If you have a net worth of over $1 million, multiple properties, complex business activities, or if you want to avoid probate for your beneficiaries, creating a living trust is highly advisable. A properly funded trust will avoid probate and ensure that your affairs are in order.

Topic 4: Will Tax Rates Increase in the Future?

The current tax brackets for income and estate taxes are likely the lowest we will see in our lifetime. In two years, significant tax rates and deductions will likely be phased out. It is anticipated that taxes paid by taxpayers will increase by 4% over the next three years.

Topic 5: What Will Happen to Mortgage Interest Rates, and Should I Buy Real Estate?

It is unlikely that mortgage interest rates will return to 3% or 4% within the next twenty years. We recommend reading the article “Rate: A Four-Letter Word” by Randy Vance, President of Boss Mortgage, LLC, in Cascade Business News for insightful perspectives on interest rates. Here is an excerpt from the article:

“Ask any loan officer or any mortgage professional for that matter, what four-letter word causes them to lose sleep, what makes their skin crawl and their blood pressure spike? Rates. Ok, so it’s five letters in the plural form but let’s not get too wrapped up in the minutia. The point is, not an hour in any workday goes by when we are not thinking about rates, talking about rates, or whining about them.

The number one question I am asked by an overwhelming margin is: ‘When do you think rates will come down?’ I will try to answer that question in less than a thousand words, but let’s give it some context first…”

You can read the full article here: Rate: A Four-Letter Word.

For more insights, you can also visit the Boss Mortgage website at


About Author

Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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