The Slott Report | Ed Slott and Company, LLC

The Slott Report

Using the Disclaimer as an Estate Planning Tool

If you’re like me, when you first read the qualified disclaimer rules, the phrase comes “must be nice” comes to mind. And while it’s true these rules are used more often by wealthier Americans, anyone can incorporate them into their estate planning as a tool to make last minute changes. In fact, disclaimers can be a valuable postmortem planning tool giving beneficiaries one last opportunity to divert a bequest to accomplish family goals, such as tax savings.

Still-Working Exception and Indirect Transfers: Today’s Q&A Mailbag

This week's Slott Report Mailbag answers readers' questions about the still-working exception and indirect transfers.

What Retirement Documents Do You Need to File Your 2017 Tax Return?

There are certain events that will require the filing of special forms or tax documents when you file your income tax return. If you have received a distribution from any retirement account, real or deemed, during the year, or if you have done a Roth IRA conversion - even if you did a total recharacterization - or if you have incurred a penalty or additional taxes in a retirement account during the year, you will have to tell IRS about any of these events.

Is 2018 the Year for Your Roth IRA Conversion?

Roth IRAs have been around for 20 years now. Lots of taxpayers have taken advantage of the tax-free benefits of these accounts by converting their traditional IRAs or employer plans to Roth IRAs. But many have hesitated. Maybe you are among those who held back. The year 2018 may be the year to change your mind.

Converting After-Tax Contributions and Aggregating RMDs: Today’s Q&A Mailbag

This week's Slott Report Mailbag answers readers' questions about avoiding converting after-tax contributions to a Roth IRA and aggregating RMDs.

Fix Beneficiary Forms to Get the Most Financial Payoff for the Least Planning Effort

What is the simplest mistake you can make to cause major harm to your intended estate plan - and to the people you wish to provide for through that plan? It is having outdated (or missing entirely) beneficiary designation forms for your IRAs, employer-provided retirement savings plans, life insurance policies and other valuable financial accounts.

Retirement-related Provisions in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018

On Friday February 9, 2018, President Trump signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (the “Act”). While the Act is best known for ending the nine-hour government shut down that took place on February 9, 2018, it also contained some tax-related provisions.

401(k) Hardship Distributions for Casualty Losses: Another Unintended "Victim" of Tax Reform?

A few weeks ago, I discussed the seemingly unintended impact the Tax Cut and Jobs Act (TCJA) had on the repayment of overpayments from employer plans. In essence, by eliminating the deduction of itemized miscellaneous expenses subject to 2% of adjusted gross income, the new law negatively impacted some repayments to employer plans - namely, repayments that are $3,000 or less. Similarly, by amending the tax code section on casualty losses, Congress has limited the ability of some plan participants to qualify for a casualty loss hardship distribution.

This Week's Q&A Mailbag: Two RMD Questions

This week's Q&A mailbag answers two reader questions about RMDs.

What Tax Reforms Means for Your "Back-Door" Roth IRA Conversion

You may be interested in contributing to a Roth IRA but think your income is too high. You are probably aware that there are income limits that apply to Roth IRA contributions. For 2018, if you are married, your ability to make Roth IRA contributions phases out when your Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) is between $189,000 - $199,000 and between $120,000 - $ 135,000 if you are single. Are you out of luck if you are a high earner? The answer is "no" and tax reform makes this clearer than ever.

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