Nelson Couto and Anthony DeFranco have been chosen as FIVE STAR Wealth Managers for the sixth consecutive year!

Nelson Couto, CPA, CFP®, and Anthony DeFranco, CPA, CFP®, MS (Taxation) of Couto DeFranco, P.A. have been named as 2019 Five Star Wealth Managers and will be featured in the Wall Street Journal, February 27th issue. Out of the 6,097 wealth managers in New Jersey who were seriously considered for the award, 477 were named.  This is their sixth time winning this prestigious award. Nelson and Anthony were previous recipients of the award beginning in 2013.

“We are thrilled to be chosen as a Five Star Wealth Manager by New Jersey Monthly, and extremely proud that the work we have done for our clients has been recognized,” says Anthony DeFranco.

Couto and DeFranco are regarded as leaders in the field of wealth management. They combine their knowledge of financial services with over 25 years as CPAs, helping their clients with their wealth management and tax planning needs, along with assisting them with their financial goals and aspirations.

They believe the best way to help clients reach their financial goals is simple: to listen. “It is important to listen to where they are today and where they want to be tomorrow,” says Nelson Couto. The partners feel that clients are paying them for their knowledge—both as NJ Certified Public Accountants and as Certified Financial Planner™ professionals—so it is their responsibility to develop a financial strategy that is sound, objective and honest. This model has been their secret to success.

Nelson Couto and Anthony DeFranco, established the NJ CPA firm of Couto DeFranco, P.A. in 1992 and are located in West Orange, N.J.  The firm serves individuals, businesses, estates and trusts. For more information on their full suite of accounting, wealth management, tax preparation and planning services, please call 973-325-3370 or visit the company’s website at

Individual Retirement Accounts Are An Important Way to Save for Retirement.

If you have an IRA or may open one soon, there are some key year-end rules that you should know. Here are the top four reminders on IRAs from the IRS:

  1. Know the limits.  You can contribute up to a maximum of $5,500 ($6,500 if you are age 50 or older) to a traditional or Roth IRA. If you file a joint return, you and your spouse can each contribute to an IRA even if only one of you has taxable compensation. In some cases, you may need to reduce your deduction for traditional IRA contributions. This rule applies if you or your spouse has a retirement plan at work and your income is above a certain level. You have until April 15, 2015, to make an IRA contribution for 2014.
  2. Avoid excess contributions.  If you contribute more than the IRA limits for 2014, you are subject to a six percent tax on the excess amount. The tax applies each year that the excess amounts remain in your account. You can avoid the tax if you withdraw the excess amounts from your account by the due date of your 2014 tax return (including extensions).
  3. Take required distributions.  If you’re at least age 70½, you must take a required minimum distribution, or RMD, from your traditional IRA. You are not required to take a RMD from your Roth IRA. You normally must take your RMD by Dec. 31, 2014. That deadline is April 1, 2015, if you turned 70½ in 2014. If you have more than one traditional IRA, you figure the RMD separately for each IRA. However, you can withdraw the total amount from one or more of them. If you don’t take your RMD on time you face a 50 percent excise tax on the RMD amount you failed to take out.
  4. Claim the saver’s credit.  The formal name of the saver’s credit is the retirement savings contributions credit. You may qualify for this credit if you contribute to an IRA or retirement plan. The saver’s credit can increase your refund or reduce the tax you owe. The maximum credit is $1,000, or $2,000 for married couples. The credit you receive is often much less, due in part because of the deductions and other credits you may claim.