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Tax and Tax Information * Income Tax

Tax Issues for Retirement Planning   
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<p>
The 401(k), 403(b), or 457 Plan<p>
A pre-tax retirement plan offered by your employer is one of the best ways to save for retirement. That's because your contributions to the plan are deducted from your paycheck before taxes are taken out, and the earnings in your account accumulate on a tax-deferred basis. You don't pay taxes until you make a withdrawal. Plus, if your employer contributes to the account, you're essentially being given a bonus every pay period.<p>
For 2008, the maximum employee contribution is $15,500, but eligible employees age 50 and older may be able to contribute an additional $5,000.<p>
Under all but a few circumstances, a withdrawal from your account before age 59 1/2 will result in a 10 percent early withdrawal penalty and taxes on the distribution at your current income tax rate.<p>
Traditional and Roth IRAs<p>
Like a 401(k), 403(b), or 457 plan, an individual retirement account (IRA) allows you to accumulate earnings on a tax-advantaged basis (up to $5,000 per year in 2008, or $6,000 if you're age 50 or older).<p>
With a traditional IRA, your contributions may be tax-deductible, depending on your income and what access you (or your spouse) might have to a retirement plan through work. Contributions and earnings grow tax-deferred until you make a withdrawal. In the majority of cases, you'll incur a 10 percent early withdrawal penalty if you take funds out of the account before age 59 1/2, plus you'll have to pay taxes on the withdrawal at your current income tax rate.<p>
You must begin making withdrawals from a traditional IRA after you reach age 70 1/2. Check with a tax advisor if you're not sure about the amount you must withdraw, because a 50 percent penalty applies on mandatory distributions not taken.<p>
Contributions to a Roth IRA are made with after-tax dollars, so no income tax deduction is available. But qualified withdrawals from a Roth IRA in retirement are federal tax-free (if made once you've reached 59 1/2 and the account has been open for at least five years). And with a Roth, you can keep your money in the account longer -- you're not required to make withdrawals after age 70 1/2. The Roth offers some outstanding tax benefits and many savers have converted their traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. Before you rush out and do that yourself, however, be aware that generally you will have to declare the IRA balance as taxable income and pay taxes on it in the year you convert. Income limits apply both to Roth IRA contributions and conversions.<p>
Annuities<p>
An annuity is a long-term savings contract between you and an insurance company and it too, gives you the advantage of tax-deferred savings. You can establish one with either a lump-sum payment or periodic payments, and you can choose when and how you begin receiving distributions and for how long. In addition, your annuity can have a fixed interest rate (fixed annuity) or it can grow based on the performance of underlying investments (variable annuity). As with other accounts designed for retirement, there is generally a 10 percent penalty charged on earnings withdrawn prior to age 59 1/2. Be aware that if you die before making withdrawals, your estate or beneficiaries will pay the taxes on your earnings.<p>
Don't Forget Social Security Benefits<p>
Your Social Security benefits must be reported on your tax return and may, in fact, be treated as taxable income. (IRS Publication 915, Social Security and Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits, has more information on when your Social Security benefits are taxed.) Since you have some control over how much income you get from sources like your employer retirement plans, IRAs and annuities, the key to tax planning in retirement is doing some calculations based on the income that you don't have much (or any) control over. Adjust your income where possible so that you can avoid paying taxes on excess income. If you need help doing the projections, consult a tax advisor<p>
Learn who's eligible
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N.Y.âs Paterson Shuns Wall Street Stock Transfer Tax (Update2) (BusinessWeek)
New York Governor David Paterson, facing at least a $9 billion budget deficit, rejected a call for a stock transfer tax on Wall Street.

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Article to continue below----------------------------------------------

NARUC Asks For Clarification On Broadband Grant Tax Status (Broadcasting And Cable)
Association says money should be tax...

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Who are the CPA Moms?      Your Tax Professional Forever!!!!

“CPA Moms - Tax Moms - EA Moms" are trade names given to Accounting and Tax Professionals who chose to work in an “relaxed” environment. Some "Moms" work from home, other work from personal offices. Not all are Moms, there are some Dads. We call them Mr. Tax Moms. CPA Dads or Enrolled Agents Dads.
Each Mom is independent. Once a client starts working with a Mom, the client will keep the same “Mom” year after year regardless of where the client moves or relocates. Being in a “relaxed” environment has many advantages. Lower overhead, faster response time, more availability, etc.
To be a member a CPA Mom, Tax Moms, or an Erolled Moms the Tax Professional must ALWAYS be in good standing with their state licensing agency, experienced, and must demonstrate a high level of ethics, professionalism and proficiency.
Tax Net Inc, the parent company for all CPA Moms, Tax Moms and Enrolled Moms, developed the marketing and on-line systems to help qualified Tax Professionals who "choose" work from their “relaxed” environment and offer better service at a lower price to the consumer.
Since the “Moms” do taxes and accounting of all complexities, there is always a Mom available for every level of work. Since each Mom has a private 800 number, you are just a phone call away, regardless of where you live.
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Index of Articles about Taxes

What Other Authors say about Taxes

Tax Tips for IT Consultants and Contractors by Stephen L. Nelson, CPA

I live and work, quite literally, down the road from the main Microsoft campus. No surprise, then, that I'm commonly asked by freelance consultants for the best ways that these self-employed independent...

How Will You Spend Your Tax Refund? by Carl LaFresnaye

Taxes – everybody hates them. The government takes from your paycheck every weekIt can be frustrating to see how much they get right off the top. Some of that youll never see again, but your federal and...

Tax Breaks Make Homeownership Affordable by admin

<p>How Does Buying Beat Renting?<p>Melissa is single with no dependents and earns $50,000 a year. As a renter, she doesn't itemize deductions. Melissa eventually purchases a home and ends up...

Gambling Income and Expenses - Taxes by Richard A. Chapo

Hit a big one? With more and more gambling establishments, keep in mind the IRS requires people to report all gambling winnings as income on their tax return.Gambling income includes, but is not limited...

How to Deal with C Corporation Tax by Nick Braun EA PhD

<p>The difference between C corporations and all the other entities is that C corps pay their own tax â€" they are not pass-through entities. <p>The corporation pays corporate income...

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Taxes are expensive! And though we don't mind paying “our fair share,” everyone is happy when they find a way to reduce their taxes. One of the simplest ways to reduce the taxes you will owe is to have...

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If your like many, you don't always understand what people are talking about when it comes to Taxes. It's important to know the main tax terminology, especially when tax season comes around. Knowing the...

Income Tax Season by Tony Robinson

The tax season for most all individual tax payers falls during January, February, and March each year. It's the time of year that most citizens look forward to receiving a refund or they dread because...

IRS Reports Tax Gap of $300 Billion by Richard A. Chapo

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