fbpx

How Long Can I Carry Forward My Capital Gain Losses?

We are almost two-thirds done with 2013 and some of you haven’t even completed your tax returns.  For those of you who filed and finished your tax returns in April, most of that paperwork is neatly tucked away in your home filing cabinet.   Since the stock market has run up over the past year most investors have made gains in their stock and stock mutual fund positions.   However, the majority of tax payers never look at their capital losses from prior years to do effective tax planning.  So just how long can you carry forward your capital gain losses? First, you should be aware that you can sponge up capital gains year to year against any capital losses or carry forward losses that you have on your tax return.   This means if you have a carry forward loss of $30,000 from a prior year and had $30,000 of long-term capital gains here in 2013, you would essentially have a wash.   ...

Read More →

IRS Rules: .9% Additional Medicare Tax In 2013

With Obamacare kicking into to full speed here in 2013, last week I blogged about the 0% long-term capital gains tax. With so many different tax law changes happening, my fear is some tax-payers aren’t planning correctly and will get stung with an extra bill come tax time. For those individual filers who make more than $200,000 modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) and married couples making more than $250,000 MAGI, it is really important to understand how the additional .9% Medicare Tax will be collected here in 2013. Will your payroll company do this for you? Will you have to do it yourself? Is there a special form to fill out this year? Here it is straight from the IRS Website- BTW, this was about 46 different questions and answers, but I trimmed down the key items for you. (Source for all questions: www.irs.gov) When does Additional Medicare Tax start? Additional Medicare Tax applies to wages and compensation above a ...

Read More →

4 Tax Law Changes We Need To Make Permanent

With the presidential election beginning to heat up in America over the next several months, we are all going to hear a lot about income taxes.  We all know that with thousands of pages of tax code, it is impossible for the average citizen to really understand all of the different ways they can save money in taxes.  There are many tax law changes set to take effect in 2013.   If I had the opportunity to set the wheels in motion to make some tax law changes that would be permanent and easy to understand, here are four of them that I would recommend we change to become permanent. 1. Social Security Taxation –   From the day you begin working and earning waged income, 6.2% of your paycheck (the last couple of years 4.2%) goes toward your future social security benefits.    This is also known as your Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax.     You only see the 6.2% that comes ...

Read More →

5 Potential IRA Mistakes

Look out IRA investors because the IRS looks like it will be turning its attention to taxpayers who make mistakes with their IRA accounts. (source: www.wsj.com)    This includes matching distributions to your tax returns, stepped up audits, and tighter reporting overall when it comes to scrutinizing IRA accounts.    As I have shared for the last couple of years on Your Smart Money Moves, the Government is in dire need to increase revenue to balance the budget and pay off our voluminous debt.    One way to do this is to crack down on the mistakes that we make as taxpayers.   Nobody likes coming home and getting a letter in the mail from the IRS.  So here are five mistakes you might be making for the IRS to take a closer look at your tax return. Contributions To Roth IRA Accounts –   While some of you did Roth IRA conversions back in 2010 (and some are still converting), a Roth ‘conversion’ and ...

Read More →

The Home Office Deduction: Is This Really An IRS Red Flag?

During this time of tax season, we often find last minute filers asking questions about what deductions they can or cannot take based upon whether they think they’ll owe money or get a tax refund.   People will ask about charitable deductions, mileage expenses, and other miscellaneous items that they can write off.    With so many people having  jobs involving telecommuting, jobs that are part time businesses, or simply people who have become freelancers, the big question that is often asked is, “Is claiming a home office deduction really an IRS red flag?” This was a tax tip offered on the IRS website on March 16th, 2011 (source: www.irs.gov) Whether you are self-employed or an employee, if you use a portion of your home for business, you may be able to take a home office deduction. Here are six things the IRS wants you to know about the Home Office deduction. 1. Generally, in order to claim a business deduction for ...

Read More →

What will you do with 2% more in your paycheck?

If Santa Clause didn’t come down your chimney with anything good this year, Congress has decided to give you a stocking stuffer for the New Year.   With nearly 160 million workers that will benefit from the extension of the reduced payroll tax that passed just before Christmas, it’s time to figure out whether you’ll be naughty or nice with your gift.   The Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act temporarily extends the two percentage point payroll tax cut for employees, continuing the reduction of your Social Security withholding rate from 6.2% to 4.2% of wages paid through February 29th, 2012.  (source: www.irs.gov) Of course, this is supposed to have no effect on your future Social Security benefits.  Yeah, right! If you weren’t aware, this payroll tax cut was in effect for all of 2011.   This means that for those who earned W-2 income last year up to your first $106,800 of waged income, you actually got a 2% pay raise in ...

Read More →

Personal Finance 101 – 5 Deductions Taxpayers Overlook

Part of putting together an effective tax management strategy is gaining an understanding of what you can and cannot deduct from your tax return.  Every CPA or accountant seems to have a slightly different slant on the tax code, but here are a few that may be able to help you increase your bottom line. Charitable Mileage – Most taxpayers are very good at keeping receipts of their cash donations that they make to the organizations they donate to during the course of the year.   One of the deductions few taxpayers pay attention to is the charitable mileage deduction.  For 2011, you can deduct .14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.  Don’t forget fees and tolls as well (www.irs.gov)  Think about the time that you give gratuitously during the course of the year for your religious organizations, charitable causes you support, or possibly coaching a one of your kid’s teams. Non-Cash Charitable Contributions – Most taxpayers literally ...

Read More →

Can I Convert My 401(k) To A Roth 401(k)?

This past week Congress passed the Small Business Jobs Act Of 2010. While there were many interesting parts to the bill including changes to how employee cell phones are viewed and accelerated write offs for business owners, one of the very intriguing parts to the bill is the conversion of your existing 401(k), 403(b), or 457 retirement plan. If your employer has a Roth 401(k) provision, (which if they do not currently you should really complain to your HR or Benefits person) you may be eligible for a potentially good long term tax management idea. Generally your employer must have a Roth 401(k) source in the plan, allow in-service withdrawals, allow rollovers, and have the Roth provision in the plan to be able to take advantage of a conversion. 2010 is an especially meaningful year because no matter what level your income is this year, you can convert some or all of your 401(k) (403(b), 457) over to a Roth ...

Read More →