The importance of income tax treaties should not be underestimated when considering the U.S. tax implications of living abroad. U.S. and foreign tax laws often fall short of ensuring that U.S. expats are on equal tax footing with their non-expat counterparts. In such case, a relevant tax treaty may be available to pick up the slack. Read more
Tag Archive for Roth IRA
You probably know that a Roth IRA can provide tax-free retirement income, but did you know the account must be “aged” before its earnings can be withdrawn tax-free? Unlike traditional IRA accounts, contributions to Roth IRAs provide no tax deduction when they are made, and unlike traditional IRAs, earnings from Roths are tax-free if a distribution is what the IRS refers to as a “qualified distribution.” A qualified distribution is one for which 1)The account has satisfied a five-year aging rule AND 2) Meets one of the following conditions:
The distribution is made after the IRA owner reaches the age of 59.5, The distribution is made after the death of the IRA owner,The distribution is made on account of the IRA owner becoming disabled, OR
The 15 Best Year End Tax Tips To Activate Before Midnight December 31st are as follows:
1. You may want to pay contested taxes to be able to deduct them this year while continuing to contest them.
2. You may want to settle an insurance or damage claim in order to maximize your casualty loss deduction.
3. Give generously to both family and friends. Rich families stay rich by aggressively giving their money away to members in their clan. Remember you cannot take it with you when you go.
4. Make gifts sheltered by the annual gift tax exclusion before the end of the year to save gift and estate taxes. The exclusion applies to gifts of up to $14,000 made in 2015 to each of an unlimited number of individuals. Read more
For the past few years, year-end tax planning has been challenging due to the lateness of action by Congress. This year is no different because of uncertainty over whether Congress will extend any of the many expired or expiring tax provisions. However, regardless of what Congress does later this year, solid tax savings can still be realized by taking advantage of tax breaks that are still on the books for 2015. For individuals and small businesses, these include:
• Capital Gains and Losses – You can employ several strategies to suit your particular tax circumstances. If your income is low this year and your tax bracket is 15% or lower, you can take advantage of the zero percent capital gains bracket benefit, resulting in no tax for part or all of your long-term gains. Others, affected by the market downturn earlier this year, should review their portfolio with an eye to offsetting gains Read more
It’s November! I am always surprised by it’s arrival and the realization that it’s year-end tax planning time. The shortened day-light hours seem to make that certain without a doubt. So let’s roll-up our sleeves, get down to work and fine-tune possible last-minute strategies for lowering your 2015 tax bill.
Tax Brackets: Let’s take a quick look at the 2015 tax brackets, you will see from the table below that the top tax rate of 39.6% will apply to incomes over $$413,200 (single), $464,851 (married filing jointly and surviving spouse), $232,426 (married filing separately), and $439,000 (heads of households):
The 3.8% net investment income tax and/or the 0.9% Medicare surtax will also apply if you Read more
Saving for retirement is one of the most important things you should do. Even though retirement may seem far away now, that time will eventually arrive and you will want to be prepared for it with adequate savings. Contributing to tax-advantaged retirement plans while you are working is one of the best ways to build up a nest egg for your retirement years. That said, the tax law doesn’t allow unlimited annual contributions to these plans.
If you have been wondering how much you can contribute to your retirement plans in 2016, the IRS has released the inflation-adjusted limits for next year’s contributions. Since inflation has been low this past year (at least according to the government’s calculation), most limits won’t increase over what they were in 2015, but some of the AGI phaseout thresholds that work to reduce allowable contributions will change. Here’s a review of the 2016 numbers: Read more
Why do so many people choose them over traditional IRAs?
The IRA that changed the whole retirement savings perspective. Since the Roth IRA was introduced, it has become a fixture in many retirement planning strategies.
The key argument for going Roth can be summed up in a sentence: Paying taxes on your retirement contributions today is better than paying taxes on your retirement savings tomorrow.
Here is a closer look at the trade-off you make when you open and contribute to a Roth IRA – a trade-off many savers are happy to make. Read more
If you haven’t contributed funds to an Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) for tax year 2014, or if you’ve put in less than the maximum allowed, you still have time to do so. You can contribute to either a traditional or Roth IRA until the April 15 due date, not including extensions.
Be sure to tell the IRA trustee that the contribution is for 2014. Otherwise, the trustee may report the contribution as being for 2015 when they get your funds.
Generally, you can contribute up to $5,500 of your earnings for tax year 2014 (up to $6,500 if you are age 50 or older in 2014). You can fund a traditional IRA, a Roth IRA (if you qualify), or both, but your total contributions cannot be more than these amounts. Read more
IRS Clarifies Application of One-Per-Year Limit On IRA Rollovers, Allows Owners of Multiple IRA’s A Fresh Start In 2015
If you have an IRA beware of this new rule that limits the number of IRA Rollovers that are not “trustee to trustee” to one per year.
When you receive a distribution from a traditional IRA or your employer’s plan, you would normally report it as income unless you rollover that distribution to another IRA no later than 60 days after the day you receive the distribution from your traditional IRA or your employer’s plan. In the absence of a waiver or an extension, amounts not rolled over within the 60-day period do not qualify for tax-free rollover treatment. You must treat them as a taxable distribution from either your IRA or your employer’s plan. These amounts are taxable in the year distributed, even if the 60-day period expires in the next year. You may also have to pay a 10% additional tax on early distributions as discussed later under Early Distributions. Read more
Who was William Victor “Bill” Roth, Jr? He was the legislative sponsor of the Individual Retirement Account plan that now bears his name, he was also famous for his toupee, he supposedly had “the grace of a stick figure”, and most importantly, he had a succession of Saint Bernard dogs throughout his 34 years of politics and it sort of became his trademark.
Besides his obvious love of St. Bernards, he was a lawyer by profession and started his political career in the late 1960s in Delaware. He was elected to the United States House of Representatives and was known to be fiscally conservative. He was the co-author of the Kemp-Roth Tax Cut. The Roth IRA has been in existence since 1998. And the Roth 401(k) since 2006. Read more
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a nest egg is a natural or artificial egg left in a nest especially to induce a hen to continue to lay there. Apparently this nest egg could be expanded to include teenagers still in bed at noon…but I digress! Well, we all know that a nest egg is a fund of money accumulated as a reserve and for most of us, that means a retirement account.
One general trend I saw this tax season was, as more and more median incomes rose shifting people into the next higher tax bracket, more often than not, retirement savings schemes such as the 401(k), the Individual Retirement Account (aka IRA) seemed to be the salaried man’s (or woman’s) major or only avenue to tax savings. This is what I tell my clients, if the government gives you an opportunity to avoid income taxes, you should grab Read more
Employees should consider making contributions to a Roth 401(K) if their employer allows them to do so. The account is funded by after tax contributions. Since there are no income limitations on making contributions to a Roth 401(K), these provide a good way for high income taxpayers to invest in a Roth IRA without converting a traditional IRA. For 2014, you may contribute up to $17,500 to a Roth 401(K) a traditional 401(K), or a combination of the two. If you are 50 or older, the contribution limit is $23,000 annually If the employer matches the employee contribution, it goes into the traditional 401(K) as a pretax contribution.
Both withdrawals from a Roth IRA and a Roth 401(K) are tax-free if the account has been Read more