Our weekly roundup of tax-related investment strategies and news your clients may be thinking about.
IRS adds video chat option for tax appeals
Beginning Aug. 1, taxpayers, and their accountants, will be able to video chat with the Internal Revenue Service's office of appeals via WebEx, a web-based screen-sharing platform that also has a text chat feature and allows sharing of documents, according to this CBS MoneyWatch article. The agency hopes that the videoconferencing option would benefit individuals living in rural areas or far from IRS offices. Donna Hansberry, chief of IRS appeals, said the technology could enable them to serve taxpayers virtually via computers or mobile devices.
Health savings accounts: How thin can clients slice payroll deductions?
Investors find it difficult to save the maximum annual contribution to their health savings accounts because many individuals with insurance coverage lack enough financial resources to pay for their deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses, according to the Huffington Post. Research also showed that HSA holders often use these accounts as specialized checking accounts than as investment accounts, while most use them for their basic expenses. Meanwhile, almost four in 10 workers on employer-sponsored health plans know someone or are personally experiencing financial difficulty because of their medical bills, Securian Financial Group stated.
When you’re allowed a tax-free do-over with your IRA
Returning money into an IRA could be possible and tax-free depending on certain situations, according to MarketWatch. If you withdrew money from your IRA, you have a 60-day window to roll over the withdrawal into the same IRA or a different IRA and face no tax consequences. Reverting a Roth IRA back into a traditional IRA can be done by Oct. 15 of the conversion year without paying any taxes. The article also discusses returning withdrawals from inherited IRA and withdrawals for home purchases.
Switching jobs? Don't forget that 401(k) plan
Clients seeking to maximize old 401(k) from previous jobs to save for their retirement can move it to an individual retirement account, according to CNBC. Upon movement from 401(k)s no tax is paid because both 401(k)s and IRAs are paid with pre-tax money. They can also choose to cash out the 401(k) but if one is younger than 59 ½, additional taxes on the proceeds are due plus a 10% early withdrawal penalty.
Retirement income strategies for our next bear market
Clients looking to survive in a bear market during their retirement should be aware that annuities on their assets could be an option; however these are tax-deferred investments so they will be taxed as ordinary income, according to Kiplinger. Additionally, withdrawals before age 59 ½ will have a 10% IRS penalty tax.
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