Potentially higher tax rates during retirement pose risks


For many years, defined contribution plans, such as a 401k or 403b, have flourished based on the as­sumption that pre-tax savings would result in substantial tax benefits in retirement.  The assumption in this case is that participants would make pre-tax contributions while working, reducing their income taxes in a period of presumably higher marginal tax […]

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Required minimum distributions from IRAs


Severe penalties may apply if you don’t take IRA distributions when required You are probably familiar with the tax benefits of putting money into a traditional IRA. And you may know about the 10% penalty for taking an early withdrawal. But did you know about the enormous penalty for not taking out required amounts? Generally, […]

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For some, ‘AGI’ means ‘AGH!’


There’s a little number at the bottom of Page 1 of the federal 1040 tax form that we’re obsessed with this time of year. It’s AGI (adjusted gross income), and it seems inno­cuous, just sitting there – it doesn’t really even determine tax liability. But it can be as dangerous as a cobra waiting to […]

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Do you know about the EFTPS?


The Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), created by the U.S. Treasury, provides an easy way for individuals and businesses to make virtually all federal tax payments.  EFTPS accepts tax payments for any IRS tax form, online or by phone, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.  Tax payments are debited from your […]

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How tax planning can put more $ in your pocket


Judging from some of the tax returns we see, many people seem to be of the opinion that it’s a good idea to give the government an interest-free loan every year. They withhold more from their wages than they need to, then get a big refund in April. No law requires wage-earners to withhold more […]

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