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Tax Planning

6 IRA Actions in 2018 Guided by Your 2017 Tax Return

As you prepare your 2017 tax return, use the information you collect both to make the best IRA contribution choices for 2017, and to plan IRA strategies for 2018. Here are six ways to consider:

Tips for a Successful Tax Season

The IRS says it will start accepting and processing 2017 tax returns on January 29 and expects to issue nine of 10 refunds within 21 days. To get the fastest refund possible, file electronically and request direct deposit of the refund amount. The IRS says it won't start processing paper returns until mid-February, and requesting a mailed paper check adds more time to processing and delivery. The due date for 2017 returns is April 17, 2018, since April 15th is a Sunday and the 16th is Emancipation Day, a legal holiday in the District of Columbia.

Liability for Tax Underpayments, Penalties, and Interest: Relief for the “Innocent” Spouse

In many households, married couples divvy up the responsibilities; one will handle the bills and banking while the other cooks and does the grocery shopping, or one will do the laundry while the other manages the yardwork and house. This split often extends to annual income tax responsibilities, even in couples who use a professional preparer. However, when couples submit joint returns, both are jointly and severally liable for the information included in the return. That means if there’s an underpayment, both spouses are going to be liable for the debt.

Tax Guidance: What Can You Depend On?

Guidance on the tax code takes many forms. Some are universal and apply to everyone. Other forms of guidance apply only to the taxpayer who asked for the guidance. Following is the hierarchy of tax guidance and how it interacts with retirement plans.

3 Year-End Tax Planning Strategies to Consider

Year-end means busy. Chaotic, time-strapped busy with family obligations, festive celebrations and closing the books on 2015. "Closing the books" includes year-end tax planning - and to assist with that endeavor - I've detailed three tax planning strategies you should consider at year-end. So, if you are self-employed, own your own business or just want to take advantage of tax-saving strategies, read on for my list of key year-end maneuvers.

Ruling to Remember: The Funds Are Still Taxable to You

This month's Ruling to Remember examines the case of a former plan administrator with the United Public Workers (UPW) Mutual Aid Trust Fund who was convicted of multiple crimes and used funds in a rollover IRA to pay the fine and restitution. What comes next is several judgments and disagreement over tax liability.

How to Reduce The Tax Bill on Your IRA to $0 (or Close to)

What if you could avoid 100% of the income tax on your IRA? Or at least reduce the tax to as close to $0 as possible? While a totally tax-free IRA may seem like something that only exists in your dreams, there are some circumstances in which it may be possible. Here's how to make your IRA dreams come true.

Tax Reporting for 2014 Qualified Charitable Distributions: What You Need to Know

We still get many questions on how a taxpayer should report a QCD (qualified charitable distribution) on their tax return. Jeffrey Levine takes you through the IRS Forms to use and what you should write on certain key lines.

5 SMART Ideas For Your Tax Refund

The 2015 tax season is now in full swing. As you finish preparing your own return for this year, maybe you were too generous with Uncle Sam last year, and he owes you a refund. If that’s the case, here are 5 ways you might consider using this year’s tax refund other than heading off to the Caribbean or buying a new flat-screen TV.

Don't Forget to Report Rollovers to IRS

It's tax season. Every year, many people get lost in the numbers, the deductions, the credits, and the refunds. They forget to report rollovers to the IRS, especially tax-free rollovers. We examine the process, where you should be looking for these numbers and how to report them.

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