Taking Distributions From Your Traditional IRA

Revisor

If you’re like many people, you’ve worked hard to accumulate a large nest egg in your traditional IRA (including a SEP-IRA). It’s even more critical to carefully plan for withdrawals from these retirement-savings vehicles. Knowing the fine points of the IRA distribution rules can make a significant difference in how much you and your family will get to keep after …

“Innocent spouses” May Get Relief From Tax Liability

Revisor

When a married couple files a joint tax return, each spouse is “jointly and severally” liable for the full amount of tax on the couple’s combined income. Therefore, the IRS can come after either spouse to collect the entire tax — not just the part that’s attributed to one spouse or the other. This includes any tax deficiency that the …

The Tax Implications of Being a Winner

Revisor

If you’re lucky enough to be a winner at gambling or the lottery, congratulations! After you celebrate, be ready to deal with the tax consequences of your good fortune. Winning at gambling Whether you win at the casino, a bingo hall, or elsewhere, you must report 100% of your winnings as taxable income. They’re reported on the “Other income” line …

The “Kiddie Tax” Hurts Families More Than Ever

Revisor

Years ago, Congress enacted the “kiddie tax” rules to prevent parents and grandparents in high tax brackets from shifting income (especially from investments) to children in lower tax brackets. And while the tax caused some families pain in the past, it has gotten worse today. That’s because the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) made changes to the kiddie tax …

A Good Time to Review Your Investments

Revisor

You may have heard about a proposal in Washington to cut the taxes paid on investments by indexing capital gains to inflation. Under the proposal, the purchase price of assets would be adjusted so that no tax is paid on the appreciation due to inflation. While the fate of such a proposal is unknown, the long-term capital gains tax rate …

The “Nanny Tax” Must be Paid for More Than Just Nannies

Revisor

You may have heard of the “nanny tax.” But even if you don’t employ a nanny, it may apply to you. Hiring a housekeeper, gardener or other household employee (who isn’t an independent contractor) may make you liable for federal income and other taxes. You may also have state tax obligations. If you employ a household worker, you aren’t required …

Volunteering for Charity: Do you Get a Tax Break?

Revisor

If you’re a volunteer who works for charity, you may be entitled to some tax breaks if you itemize deductions on your tax return. Unfortunately, they may not amount to as much as you think your generosity is worth. Because donations to charity of cash or property generally are tax deductible for itemizers, it may seem like donations of something …

You May Have to Pay Tax on Social Security Benefits

Revisor

During your working days, you pay Social Security tax in the form of withholding from your salary or self-employment tax. And when you start receiving Social Security benefits, you may be surprised to learn that some of the payments may be taxed. If you’re getting close to retirement age, you may be wondering if your benefits are going to be …

If Your Kids Are Off to Day Camp, You May be Eligible For a Tax Break

Revisor

Now that most schools are out for the summer, you might be sending your children to day camp. It’s often a significant expense. The good news: You might be eligible for a tax break for the cost. The value of a credit Day camp is a qualified expense under the child and dependent care credit, which is worth 20% to …

Is an HSA Right for You?

Revisor

To help defray health care costs, many people now contribute to, or are thinking about setting up, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). With these accounts, individuals can pay for certain medical expenses on a tax advantaged basis. The basics With HSAs, you take more responsibility for your health care costs. If you’re covered by a qualified high-deductible health plan, you can …