As an American living and working abroad you better be fully armed with a knowledge regarding IRA for US expats, its’ opportunities and tax savings you can achieve. For example, do you know that depending on your foreign income you may or may not contribute to your regular or Roth IRA as an American abroad?
A lot of US expats qualify for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion and they choose it to exclude the first $102,100 (as of the 2017 tax year) of foreign wages or self-employed income from the US federal income taxes. But not so many people know that if you are using the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, then you signed yourself to its restrictions on your contributions to an IRA. Read further to find out more about it.
Roth IRA accounts provide the benefits of tax-free accumulation and, once you reach retirement age, tax-free distributions. This is the reason why so many taxpayers are converting their traditional IRA account to a Roth IRA. However, to do so, you must generally pay tax on the on the converted amount. After making a conversion, your circumstances may change, and you may find yourself wishing you had not made the conversion. In the past, you could change your mind later and undo the conversion. But that option is no longer available under tax reform. So, be careful: once a conversion is made, there is no going back.
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today reminded taxpayers who turned age 70½ during 2017 that, in most cases, they must start receiving required minimum distributions (RMDs) from Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and workplace retirement plans by Sunday, April 1, 2018.
The April 1 deadline applies to all employer-sponsored retirement plans, including profit-sharing plans, 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans and 457(b) plans. The RMD rules also apply to traditional IRAs and IRA-based plans such as SEPs, SARSEPs, and SIMPLE IRAs, however, they do not apply to ROTH IRAs. Read More
A recent interview style Q and A session appeared in Accounting Today featuring the expertise of author Iralma Pozo. In this series of questions, Pozo tackles some important aspects of the most significant change to the U.S. tax code since 1986. With such historic changes underway, it’s critical that you understand how the Tax Cuts and Job Act will affect cash flow issues for clients.
What’s particularly insightful is Pozo’s advice regarding parents and what they need to know about 529 plans. Her observations about developing a new strategy for charitable deductions and nonprofit organizations are also highlights:
With So Many Changes And Factors, Where Do Advisors Start? Read More
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
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