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The Slott Report

Increased Long-Term Care Insurance Tax Deduction

Phase-outs apply to many items on your income tax return. This means that if your adjusted gross income (AGI) exceeds specified limits, your eligibility to deduct certain items will be cut back or curtailed altogether, including deductions for contributions you make to traditional IRAs. When your income increases, you could lose lots of otherwise allowable itemized deductions as well as personal exemptions.

Inherited IRAs and Bankruptcy

The area of creditor protection and inherited IRAs has been a murky one. On one hand, IRAs are intended to provide for the account owner in his or her retirement not for the retirement of their children. On the other hand, the Tax Code allows inherited IRAs to remain tax deferred (when certain conditions are met) until distributions are taken from the account.

IRS Proposes Regulations for Qualified Longevity Annuity Contracts

IRS released proposed regulations regarding the establishment of "qualified longevity annuity contracts" (QLACs) on Friday February 3, 2012. The new QLAC rules will allow you to purchase certain annuity contracts with a portion of your retirement assets that you will be able to exclude from your required minimum distribution (RMD) calculations.

Ed Slott Video: Stretch IRA Elimination Proposal

Ed Slott, America's IRA Expert, talks about a once-proposed (and recently dropped) provision in the Highway Investment Job Creation and Economic Growth Act of 2012 that would have destroyed the Stretch (inherited) IRA. This provision would have killed a financial legacy for beneficiaries. Ed Slott discusses the provision and how it indicates Congress' line of thinking with IRAs, and more specifically, Stretch IRAs. He also mentions proactive planning strategies to simulate the benefits of a Stretch IRA.

Ed Slott Video: President Obama's Budget Proposal to Eliminate RMDs for Certain Seniors

Ed Slott discusses a provision in President Barack Obama's budget proposal that would eliminate required minimum distributions (RMDs) for certain seniors. Ed discusses the makeup of this provision, who it would benefit and how it would be enforced in this video

Ed Slott Video: Naming a Trust as an IRA Beneficiary

Sometimes, you want to leave your IRA to a minor beneficiary but don't trust him or her to leave the inheritance alone once they turn legal age. One way around this is to use a trust. Ed Slott, America's IRA Expert, answers a listener's question about this very topic and provides some information on how to go through the process properly as well as the pros and cons.

IRA Contribution Questions at Tax Time

It is becoming more and more evident that in order to have an adequate income in retirement, at least some of your income is going to have to come from your savings. Don’t overlook the ability to make IRA contributions to supplement other retirement savings you might have. You have until April 17, 2012 to make a contribution for 2011. Below are some frequently asked questions and our answers.

IRA Contribution Limits, Roth IRA Distribution Rules Highlight Mailbag

This week's Slott Report Mailbag includes your questions (and our answers) on IRA contribution limits, Roth IRA distribution rules and using the pro-rata rule.

Contributing to Retirement Accounts Can Reduce Your Tax Bill

One of the best ways to legally avoid current income taxes is by contributing to an employer-sponsored retirement plan. While it’s too late to make any contributions to 401(k)s and 403(b)s for last year, you actually have until April 17, 2012 to set up and fund a new IRA or add money to an existing one and have the contribution count for 2011. The last day to contribute for the prior year is generally April 15, but in 2012 the 15th falls on a Sunday and the 16th is Emancipation Day, a holiday in the District of Columbia that affects tax filing deadlines the same way federal holidays do.

Age 59 1/2: A Day Early or Day Late Is a 10% Difference

For many who have IRAs, they are looking to use those funds in a down economy. But IRA distributions come with strings attached. There is income tax due on most IRA distributions since IRA funds are generally pre-tax funds.
 

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