VNFA Tax Department
Please know that VNFA operates as a TEAM.

While anyone in our offices will be able to help you, our Tax Department staff is specifically trained to manage the tax filing season process. The VNFA Tax Department is a group of service specialists and CPAs who all work in direct communication with your financial advisor and supporting team. To contact the Tax Department, e-mail

Starting in early February, members of our Tax Department will be available in our Bethlehem headquarters on a rotating schedule, and remotely during normal business hours. Please let us know when you call to make an appointment for document delivery if you will need to speak with one of our tax professionals, or if we need to arrange for someone from your financial advisory service team to be available via phone or video conference.

Our tax preparation process for clients is unchanged, and we encourage you to complete your Tax Questionnaire as soon as possible in advance of providing us with your complete package of supporting tax documents. Digital delivery is preferred as we maintain the safety of our team and clients as our #1 goal. Forms and instructions can be found on our website:

Did You Know? TAX TIP

April 15 is the tax deadline, and it will not be extended. Our Tax Department recommends that clients don’t delay based on rumors or predictions of another extended filing deadline as it was in 2020. The decision by the IRS to postpone acceptance of tax returns until February 12 will have no affect on the final filing deadlines. Read more from a recent MSN Money article – IRS Delays Opening of Tax Season, but What About the April 15 Deadline? (

For instructions, access to online forms and answers about how to securely deliver your tax documents to us, please visit our website at or send inquiries to

Current Market Observations

by William Henderson, Vice President / Head of Investments
Uncertainty from Washington and continued sloppy and inefficient roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine put pressure on the markets last week and all three major averages posted negative returns for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average returned -3.3%, the S&P 500 Index -3.3% and the NASDAQ -3.5%. The returns from last week moved the averages into mixed territory year to date. With the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 Index both with negative year-to-date returns at -2.0% and -1.0% respectively, while the NASDAQ remains positive for the year at +1.4%. The 10-year U.S. Treasury note moved down two basis points to close the week at 1.07%.

President Biden’s latest stimulus plan calls for a $1.9 trillion package. The counter-offer stimulus plan from Senate Republicans called for a smaller $600 billion package. Whichever is the outcome, the result is clear, more government stimulus money is on the way to consumers and the economy.    

Economic data released last week was mixed with 4Q real GDP rising only 4.0%, which was less than the 5.5% some economists had predicted. However, capex was a strong +13.5% and housing up a stunning +33.5% for the quarter. Clearly, investment is driving the economy, and everyone is looking ahead to the successful widespread distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. Last week, Fed Chairman Jay Powell was quoted stating the obvious to the investment community: “the key to growth will be the vaccine rollout.”   

Last week we saw some interesting trading in the markets as retail investors handed the hedge fund community losses in a few widely traded short sells. Tailwinds of consumer reserves, Fed liquidity, further government stimulus, and a successful vaccine from at least four pharmaceutical firms outweigh the economic headwinds. Stay diversified and stick to your long-term financial plan. 

The Numbers & “Heat Map”

Sources: Index Returns: Morningstar Workstation. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Three, five and ten year returns are annualized. Interest Rates: Federal Reserve, Mortgage Bankers Association.

The health of the economy is a key driver of long-term returns in the stock market. Below, we assess the key economic conditions that we believe are of particular importance to investors.




U.S. GDP increased at a 4% annualized rate in Q4. For the full-year 2020, the U.S. economy contracted by 3.5%, its worst performance since 1946. GDP is expected to improve meaningfully in 2021 as the American population gets vaccinated.



Q4 earnings season is underway. Consensus estimates were that S&P 500 earnings would be down 7% year-over-year, however, companies are beating expectations – oftentimes by a wide margin – thus far.



The unemployment rate was stagnant in December at 6.7%. This is the first month since April in which the unemployment rate did not improve.



The Fed plans to allow inflation to temporarily overshoot its 2% target such that the long-term average is 2%. Inflation has been tame since the Great Financial Crisis, less than 2%.



President Biden unveiled a $1.9 trillion stimulus package last week. If the bill passes through Congress, the U.S. economy will have received a total of approximately $4 trillion in stimulus over the trailing twelve months.



The Federal Reserve supported asset markets with unprecedented speed and magnitude in response to COVID-19.




There are few, if any, looming geopolitical risks that could upset the economic recovery.



Although economic activity mostly remains below 2019’s levels, improvement has occurred across nearly every measure since the April 2020 nadir. With multiple vaccines in distribution, a second fiscal package in place, and interest rates low, 2021 is positioning to be a strong economic year.

The “Heat Map” is a subjective analysis based upon metrics that VNFA’s investment committee believes are important to financial markets and the economy. The “Heat Map” is designed for informational purposes only and is not intended for use as a basis for investment decisions.