The Slott Report | Ed Slott and Company, LLC

The Slott Report

Summer IRA Season: Contributing to an IRA for Your Child

Now that we are in the middle of the summer of 2013, have you ever thought about contributing to an IRA for your child or grandchild this year? It’s possible as long as certain rules are followed. We explain these rules below.

How the Supreme Court's DOMA Decision Creates More of the Same

On June 26, 2013 the United States Supreme Court struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act, commonly known as DOMA, as unconstitutional. In particular, the Supreme Court decided that if same-sex marriages are recognized under state law, the federal government must recognize those marriages as valid too. This has obvious implications for a virtually infinite list of financial items including federal tax issues, Social Security benefits, healthcare benefits and various rights with regard to retirement assets afforded under ERISA.

Supreme Court Rules Defense of Marriage Act is Unconstitutional: IRAs are Affected

On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional. The ruling opens the door for same-sex couples who are married under state law to enjoy the same tax benefits that opposite-sex married couples have.

July Ruling to Remember: Private Letter Ruling Tackles 60-Day IRA Rollover Rule

This month's IRA Updates looks like Private Letter Ruling 201324022, in which IRS waived the rollover requirement due to a fraudulent withdrawal by the husband in this case. We look at the case and the ruling below.

Cross Collateralization IRA Agreements: Do You Have One?

Many IRA custodians are using cross collateralization language in the account opening agreements used in their financial services companies. What the agreement contains is language stating that if you or any of your accounts owe money to the financial service company, which you do not pay, then the company can take the amount owed out of any of the accounts that you have with them. This language is there for the sole purpose of protecting the financial service company from deadbeats.

Slott Report Mailbag: What Does the Tax Code Deem a Personal Exemption?

This week's Slott Report Mailbag discusses several topics dealing with the 2013 tax laws, including limits on personal exemptions and the gift tax exemption. Several of these questions require complete understanding of NEW tax laws, so make sure your financial advisor is verse in the latest tax law updates.

Hardship Distributions from 401(k)s Carry a Hefty Cost

If you have a retirement plan where you work, that plan might allow you to take a distribution from it if you are experiencing financial hardship. Employer retirement plans are not required to provide for hardship distributions, so make sure to check with the plan administrator. Here is IRS FAQs regarding retirement plan hardship distributions.

Spousal Waivers and IRAs

You are married and have an IRA. You know you need to name a beneficiary for those funds. But what if you do not want to name your spouse as the beneficiary? Are you required to name him or her? Find the answer below.

Slott Report Mailbag: Can IRA Distributions Make Me Susceptible to 3.8% Healthcare Surtax?

IRA, tax and retirement planning questions
This week's Slott Report Mailbag looks into two tricky areas of IRA planning. The first is how IRA distributions affect an individual's income, and in turn, their susceptibility to the 3.8% health care surtax. We then answered a question about the equally problematic Roth IRA 5-year rules.

Be Careful When Using Your IRA Money During the 60-Day Rollover Period

If you have an IRA, you have access to your money at any time and for any reason (unless the IRA custodian has limits on your access). Unlike an employer retirement plan, such as a 401(k) or pension plan, you don’t have to ask anyone if you can take money out of your IRA to pay some bills. Your IRA is completely under your control, and no one can stop you from taking a distribution. But there are risks when you use your IRA funds for personal expenses during the 60-day rollover period.

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