Archives for Tax Planning

Congress Looks to Provide More Options for Retirement Savers

While changes to traditional IRAs, RMDs offer some benefits, there are tradeoffs.   Broad proposals are in the works in the retirement savings arena to ease rules on tax-deferred savings vehicles, make it easier for employers to offer 401(k)-type savings plans and also convert balances into annuities for lifetime income. In late May, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (SECURE). Key provisions within the SECURE Act offer more flexibility for when distributions would have to be taken out of tax-deferred accounts. On the flip side, the Act takes direct
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Categories: Retirement and Tax Planning.

Are your Social Security benefits taxable?

The answer is: Yes, sometimes. If you don’t have significant income in retirement besides Social Security benefits, then you probably won’t owe taxes on your benefits. But if you have large amounts saved up in tax-deferred vehicles like 401(k)s, you could be in for a surprise later. AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) versus Combined Income. You are probably familiar with what AGI, or adjusted gross income, means. To find it, you take your gross income from wages, self-employed earnings, interest, dividends, required minimum distributions from qualified retirement accounts and other taxable income, like unearned income, that must be reported on tax returns. (Unearned, taxable income can
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Categories: Tax Planning.

It’s Tax Season for Your 2018 Returns – Will You Owe More?

This year, the deadline to file your income tax returns is April 15, 2019. As of early February of 2019, Time Magazine1 reported that many Americans who had already filed their 2018 taxes were shocked by their lower refunds this year likely stemming from the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” law that passed in December 2017, which significantly overhauled the tax code in the U.S. “The initial batch of tax refunds in the first two weeks of the season declined an average of 8.7% from last year as of Feb. 8, according to a report from the Internal Revenue Service.
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Categories: Tax Planning.

Top 5 Things Baby Boomers Should Know

The Social Security COLA (cost of living adjustment) in 2019 will be 2.8%. This is the largest COLA increase from the Social Security Administration since 2012.1 Social Security benefits are often taxed. If you work and are at full retirement age or older, you can earn as much as you want and your benefits will not be reduced; however, you may have to pay taxes on them. If your annual combined income is from $32-$44,000 filing jointly, you may have to pay taxes on 50% of your benefits. If your income is more than $44,000 filing jointly, then you may
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Categories: Estate Planning, Medicare, Retirement, Social Security, and Tax Planning.

Tax Reform Highlights

Here are some brief updates about the tax bill that was recently passed. Keep in mind that the industry is still working through the ramifications of the legislation; there will be much more in-depth information coming throughout the year.   New Income Tax Rates The tax brackets for individuals have been lowered for everyone except the lowest bracket, until 2026, when they revert back to 2017 rates. (Employees will see the lowered withholding on their February 2018 paychecks.) The bracket income levels will rise each year with inflation, because they are now tied to the chained consumer price index. Over
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Categories: Tax Planning.