Taxes

  1. Paying Uncle Sam: From Tobacco To $1 Trillion

    The services we rely on, like education, law and security, were built on taxes.
  2. How can I easily get ready for next year's tax season?

    You may one of the lucky ones to come out on top this tax season, but as you will likely agree, it does not mean that you should rest on your laurels. Instead, use the experience gained during this tax season as a guide for the things that you can do better for next tax season.
  3. The Simple Tax Math Of Roth Conversions

    Roth conversions will be available to affluent taxpayers in 2010. Will you benefit?
  4. Can I, without tax penalties, use the IRA I inherited from my father to buy a home ...

    If you inherited an IRA from someone who was not your spouse at the time he/she died, the amounts that you receive as a distribution from the IRA will never be subject to any early-distribution penalties. However, amounts you receive will be treated as ordinary income (for you) and may be subject to ...
  5. How do I get credit for my retirement plan contributions?

    There is an added incentive for adding to your retirement nest egg, if your income falls within certain limits. Under this incentive program, you are eligible for a non-refundable tax credit of up to $1,000 for contributions you make to an individual retirement account (IRA), or salary deferral contributions ...
  6. After receiving a required distribution when and how are my taxes affected?

    Any taxable amount of the distribution will represent ordinary income for the year that the distribution occurs and will be subject to income tax at your regular/ordinary income tax rate.If the amount is significant, it could put your income in a higher tax bracket.
  7. What are the "certain requirements" that must be met for substantially equal periodic ...

    For substantially equal periodic payments (SEPPs), the distributions would occur from your IRA after you rollover the assets. (SEPPs are also allowed from qualified plans after the participant has separated from service - this does not apply to you at this time.) There are no mandatory withholding requirements ...
  8. How can I tell if I'm eligible for an EITC?

    According to the IRS, over 22 million taxpayers received $41.4 billion dollars in earned income tax credit (EITC) for tax year 2005. On the other hand, it was not claimed by approximately 20 to 25% of eligible taxpayers.The EITC goes toward reducing eligible taxpayers federal taxes, or increase the amount ...
  9. Can high-income earners deduct yearly defined-benefit plan contributions of over ...

    At a very high income level (say from $300,000 plus per year), you may be able to contribute and deduct the $100,000 contribution each year, or possibly more. However, as you may already know, defined-benefit plans involve complex calculations and usually require the assistance of a competent plan administrator ...
  10. It Is Better To Give AND Receive

    You give to benefit others, but there can be perks for you too.
  11. An Introduction To Canadian Income Trusts

    Yields in excess of 10% aren't rare, but these unique investments need to be chosen very carefully.
  12. As a temporary resident of the US, can I withdraw funds from my Traditional IRA without ...

    Should you decide to invest in a Traditional IRA and receive a tax deduction for your contribution, the amounts that you later withdraw will be subject to income tax and an additional 10% early-withdrawal penalty. The penalty will be waived if you meet an exception.Given that you ...
  13. If I take a severance package from my employer, how will it be taxed?

    It depends on your tax bracket. For instance, if your employer offers you a payout of $100,000, you will owe federal tax of $35,000. You may also owe estate tax.It may be best to check with your tax professional; he or she may be familiar with your tax rate and know whether any other taxes will apply.For ...
  14. I am 52 years old and wish to make a withdrawal from my 401(k) plan. Is there any ...

    Most distributions from qualified retirement plans made to you before you reach the age of 59.5 are subject to an additional tax of 10%. The IRS may waive this tax under certain circumstances; however, there is no broad definition of "hardship" for the purposes of exemption from the 10% penalty.
  15. Are there special benefits for U.S. armed forces personnel?

    If you are a member of the military, you may be afforded special tax benefits that might not be available to other taxpayers. These include the following:Automatic ExtensionIf you are serving in a combat zone, you receive an automatic extension for filing your tax return, paying taxes, filing claims ...
  16. Downsize Your Home To Downsize Expenses

    Learn how to cut your mortgage, tax, gas and utilities bills.
  17. Upon my death, will the beneficiaries of my IRA be compelled to take the entire amount ...

    It depends. If the beneficiary of your IRA is your spouse, he or she will be eligible to transfer the amount to his or her own IRA, from which distributions are not required until age 70.5. If the beneficiary is not your spouse, then the options available may be determined by the provisions in the IRA ...
  18. Earnings within a Roth IRA are tax free, so are these earnings included in the modified ...

    There are two possible answers to this question, depending on whether or not the distribution from the Roth IRA is qualified.Earnings on investments within a Roth IRA are neither subject to income tax nor are they included in the IRA owner's income. Instead, they accumulate on a tax-deferred basis and ...
  19. How does the American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008 affect ...

    The passage of the American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008 at the end of July 2008 made about $15 billion of tax incentives available to Americans impacted by the mortgage crisis. (See our feature Subprime Mortgages for more on the subprime meltdown.)The largest implication of ...
  20. How can I make sure I get all my eligible deductions?

    Most tax preparation software does a good job. However, like any recipe, the end results are only as good as what goes into it. As such, whether you use tax preparation software or the services of a tax professional, you will want to ensure that you provide all the information and data necessary to ensure ...
  21. What are unrealized gains and losses?

    An unrealized loss occurs when a stock decreases after an investor buys it, but he or she has yet to sell it. If a large loss remains unrealized, the investor is probably hoping the stock's fortunes will turn around and the stock's worth will increase past the price at which it was purchased.
  22. I've heard that workers who don't roll over their 401(k)s after retiring face some ...

    I am not sure to which government regulation your contact was referring. However, here is what I can tell you. In 2002, the IRS issued final required minimum distribution (RMD) regulations affecting the options available to beneficiaries of retirement plan assets.
  23. How do I sign up for the saver's tax credit?

    The saver's tax credit is a non-refundable tax credit available to eligible taxpayers in the U.S. who make contributions to their employer-sponsored 401(k), 403(b), SIMPLE, SEP or governmental 457 plan and/or make contributions to their Traditional and/or Roth IRAs.
  24. When am I considered "married" for tax purposes?

    You are generally considered married for tax purposes as long as you were married as of the last day of the year, regardless of whether your marriage license has been issued. Your last name is a non-issue, as many married couples file jointly even when they have different last names.
  25. What procedure applies to a taxpayer who made excess contributions for 2001, 2002, ...

    If the IRA owner filed his/her 2004 tax return by the due date, including any extensions, he/she receives an automatic six-month extension to correct the 2004 excess contribution. The six-month extension begins on the due date of the return, excluding extensions.
  26. How do I figure out my cost basis on a stock investment?

    The cost basis of any investment is the original value of an asset adjusted for stock splits, dividends and capital distributions. It is used to calculate the capital gain or loss on an investment for tax purposes. At the most basic level, the cost basis of an investment is just the total amount invested ...
  27. How can I reduce the taxes on my inherited retirement assets?

    Many beneficiaries miss out on one of the most significant tax deductions for inherited retirement-plan assets; the income with respect to decedent (IRD) deduction. If you inherited retirement plans assets, check with the person who filed the decedent's estate return, to determine whether the decedent's ...
  28. Should I put money into a retirement account even if it isn't tax deductible?

    One of the biggest and most often-touted advantages of putting money into a retirement account is the tax savings that come from income deferral. There is no doubt that this is a major benefit, but it is not the only factor you should consider when thinking about saving for your post-work years.
  29. How do I use the IRS Free File tax forms?

    Free File is a way for taxpayers to prepare and file their federal taxes online for free. The service is available to individuals with adjusted gross incomes below a certain level - $56,000 in 2008. Firms that offer the service are part of the Free File Alliance, in partnership with the Internal Revenue ...
  30. What are the tax consequences of a Roth IRA distribution if the IRA holder is younger ...

    The tax treatment of a Roth IRA distribution depends on whether the distribution is qualified. Qualified distributions from Roth IRAs are tax and penalty free, but non-qualified distributions may be subject to tax and an early-distribution penalty (known as an excise tax).
  31. 9 Tips For Growing A Successful Business

    Give your business what it needs to thrive and it will reward you for years to come.
  32. New Retirement Plan Limits For 2011

    New changes to the law can have a huge impact on your nest egg.
  33. Seek Out Past Losses To Uncover Future Gains

    Tax loss carry-forwards can help reduce the tax burden of owning a profitable fund.
  34. Is it true that you can sell your home and not pay capital gains tax?

    It is true in most cases. When you sell your home, the capital gains on the sale are exempt from capital gains tax. Based on the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, if you are single, you will pay no capital gains tax on the first $250,000 you make when you sell your home.
  35. Dividends Still Look Good After All These Years

    Find out how this "first love" still holds its bloom as it ages.
  36. Get A Step Up With Credit Shelter Trusts

    Don't let unexpected taxes eat away at your inheritance or burden your heirs.
  37. How can a trust lower federal transfer tax liability?

    A trust is an arrangement in which an individual or entity controls property or funds on behalf of someone else without actually owning them. This can be done for tax purposes or to ensure the depositor's wishes are carried out. For example, a deceased grandparent can give a gift to a favorite grandchild ...
  38. How does the marginal tax rate system work?

    The marginal tax rate is the rate of tax that income earners incur on each additional dollar of income. As the marginal tax rate increases, the taxpayer ends up with less money per dollar earned than he or she had retained on previous earned dollars. Tax systems that employ marginal tax rates apply different ...
  39. I will be receiving monies from a QDRO executed pursuant to my divorce. I would like ...

    There are several issues to consider: The early distribution penalty - Assets distributed from a qualified plan in accordance with a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) are exempted from the 10% early-distribution penalty. If you will be using any portion of the assets immediately, it may ...
  40. 5 Things To Consider Before Late-In-Life Marriage

    Waiting to marry has become the norm, but do you know what to consider before saying "I do"?
  41. Are the deferred earnings in a SIMPLE IRA subject to FICA taxes?

    While salary deferral contributions to a savings incentive match plan for employees of small employers (SIMPLE) IRAs and SIMPLE 401(k)s are not subject to income tax withholding, they are subject to tax under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA), the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) and ...
  42. Update Your Variable Annuity With Section 1035

    Thanks to a special tax code clause, you can surrender a variable annuity without paying income tax.
  43. How can unethical executives use options backdating to evade taxes?

    The practice of options backdating has landed many companies into the hotseat. The SEC constantly investigates possible instances where high level executives have been issued options at a past point in time (or backdating) where the underlying stock's price was at a low.This way the executive would be ...
  44. A Multipurpose Future Planning Tool

    Overfunded variable universal life insurance policies can be an all-in-one financial solution.
  45. What is estate planning?

    Estate planning involves making plans for the transfer of your estate after death. Your estate is all the property that you own. It can include cash, clothes, jewelry, cars, houses, land, retirement, investment and savings accounts, etc. Estate planning usually has several objectives and goals.
  46. I am a non-U.S. citizen living outside the U.S. and trading stocks through a U.S. ...

    The tax implications for a foreign investor will depend on whether that person is classified as a resident alien or a non-resident alien. To be considered a non-resident alien, a person must meet several guidelines. First of all, the person cannot have had a green card at any time during the relevant ...
  47. How are realized profits different from unrealized or so-called "paper" profits?

    When buying and selling assets for profit, it is important for investors to differentiate between realized profits and gains, and unrealized or so-called "paper profits".Simply put, realized profits are gains that have been converted into cash. In order words, for you to realize profits from an investment ...
  48. Can a corporation deduct dividend payments to shareholders before taxes are calculated?

    Corporations may not legally deduct the dividend payments before taxes but there is another approach - a corporate structure called an income trust. Income trusts allow a firm to deduct dividends, or trust payments, before taxes are calculated. The essence of an income trust is to pay all of the earnings ...
  49. Pension Protection Act Of 2006 Becomes Law

    Learn how the passed bill can help you save more for retirement.
  50. Saving Money With A Private Annuity Trust

    Learn about a strategy that could help you reduce taxes, diversify your portfolio and generate income.
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