Andy Ives | Ed Slott and Company, LLC

Andy Ives

No IRA Contributions After Death

As we inch toward the extended 2020 tax deadline of May 17, many filers are still laboring over their returns. Some are completing the final return for a loved one lost in what was a brutal year. As is human nature, most taxpayers try to squeeze every last deduction and income-reducing item into their prior-year numbers. While maximizing all available and legal tax-cutting strategies is the proper way to file a return, be aware that not all tax benefits are available to all tax filers, especially after a person has passed away.

The Roth Conversion Conversation: A Must-Have!

When visiting the doctor, does he or she ask foundational questions to help determine your medical condition? Of course. “How are you feeling?” “Are you a smoker?” “What hurts?” Does the doctor take some basic measurements – height, weight, blood pressure? Does he listen to your heart and lungs? Most assuredly. The doctor is establishing an overall picture of health so as to make informed medical decisions. Without such elemental knowledge, how could a proper diagnosis be made? How could “next steps” be recommended with any confidence? It is not possible to provide appropriate care or guidance simply by looking at a person. Assumptions could be a death sentence.

60-Day Rollovers and Roth Conversions: Today's Slott Report Mailbag

Question: I was wondering if, after a person leaves employment and they are sent a required minimum distribution (RMD) from their plan (sent as a check, taxes withheld), would it be considered a rollover if the ex-employee wants to open up an IRA on her own to put the money in within the 60-day timeline to avoid the taxes? Thank you Steve

Active Participation and IRA Deductibility

This question (or a derivation of it) has been popular as of late: “I only participated in my 401(k) for a couple of months in 2020 before I was laid off. Does that still make me a ‘covered’ employee, and can I contribute to my Traditional IRA?” It seems innocent enough, but there is a heck of lot going on in this little question.

IRA Rumors and Conspiracy Theories

With all the recent changes to IRAs under the SECURE Act [i.e., required minimum distribution (RMD) age raised to 72, new rules for beneficiaries, etc.], combined with the CARES Act waiver of RMDs last year, it comes as no surprise that we are hearing rumors and conspiracy theories about what will happen next. Here are a couple of the more popular speculations: Will RMDs be waived again in 2021?

Inherited IRA & 401(k) Accounts: Today's Slott Report Mailbag

Question: Hi, I inherited my husband's 401(k) when he died last year. I kept the assets with the 401(k) administrator, believing I had to do that to take distributions without 10% penalty. (I am under 59 ½ years old). If I roll over the 401(k) to an inherited IRA, will I still be able to take penalty-free distributions? Thank you Donna

Falling Within the Phaseout, Part 2 - Determining Your Reduced IRA Deduction for 2020

In my blog entry from March 22, I discussed the formula for calculating the amount of a direct Roth IRA contribution when your income falls within the Roth phaseout limits. Another common phaseout covers how much of a Traditional IRA contribution can be deducted. As with the Roth contribution phaseout, this income level cutoff is not a “cliff,” meaning if you go one dollar over the level, you do not immediately become ineligible to deduct your Traditional IRA contribution. There is a phaseout range which gradually decreases the amount of the allowed deduction.

Falling Within the Phaseout, Part 1 - Determining Your Reduced Roth IRA Contribution Limit

When it comes to contributing directly to a Roth IRA, an individual must have modified adjusted gross income below a certain level. This income level cutoff is not a “cliff,” meaning if you go one dollar over the level, you do not immediately become ineligible for a Roth IRA. There is a phaseout range where the amount of the direct Roth IRA contribution is gradually decreased. For 2021, the Roth phaseout limits for contributions are $198,000 - $208,000 for those married/filing joint, and $125,000 - $140,000 for single filers.

SIMPLE IRAs and IRA Contributions: Today's Slott Report Mailbag

Question: Hi, I found you by searching to find out if we can offer two SIMPLE IRA options for our employees. I don't know if that is something permitted. The idea is to have a cryptocurrency option set up as a SIMPLE in addition to the SIMPLE we already have in place. I'm reaching out in the hopes someone can help me with a definitive answer. I have spoken with our CPA, however, he was not sure. Thank you for any help you can provide.

House Rules

Casinos have house rules. These rules dictate what patrons can and cannot do. They are often written down, posted, and there is no debating the validity of said guidelines. House rules govern all those under the purview of management. I have house rules of my own when it comes to card games, darts, boardgames and any other source of competition. House rules can also apply to non-competitive situations. No swearing. Take your shoes off. Don’t sit on the good furniture in the living room.

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