The Slott Report | Ed Slott and Company, LLC

The Slott Report

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.

Happy 20th Birthday Roth IRA! – Here Are 20 Roth IRA Facts You Need to Know

The year 1998 seems like a long time ago. In January 1998, Bill Clinton was in the White House and about to be impeached. The Unabomber was in the news and the Spice Girls were winning music awards. January 1, 1998 also brought us the launch of Roth IRA. However, unlike other ‘90’s memories, the Roth IRA is still going, stronger than ever. You may already be reaping the tax benefits of your own Roth IRA. Or, maybe you’ve hesitated to open one. The 20th anniversary may be the time for you to take the plunge. To celebrate the occasion, here are 20 Roth facts you need to know.

SEPP, SPIA, Rollovers, and 72(t): Today’s Q&A Mailbag

This week's Slott Report Mailbag answers readers' questions about the tax consequences of substantially equal period payments and rolling a 401(k) into a single premium immediate annuity IRA.

Creditor Protection for IRAs

One of the greatest benefits offered under ERISA are the anti-alienation provisions, which provide that benefits under a pension plan cannot be assigned or alienated. While there are some statutory exceptions, ERISA essentially prevents retirement assets from being joined in any legal process to collect a commercial debt. These actions include garnishment, attachments, and other similar legal devices. There are some exceptions to this rule, the most obvious being divorce or legal separation.

Make the Most of the New Tax Law by Planning Now

An early start on tax planning is always good, but this year it is essential. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act fully rewrites the tax code effective January 1, 2018. To get the most benefit from the changes, while avoiding mistakes under them, update your tax and financial strategies right away.

QCDs and RMDs: Today’s Q&A Mailbag

This week's Slott Report Mailbag answers readers' questions about qualified charitable distributions and required minimum distributions.

Are You and Your Retirement Plan Ready for the New Year?

2018 is right around the corner. We will be dealing with massive changes to the tax code due to the enactment into law of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Some of those changes are going to apply to you and some of those changes will affect your retirement and assets that you hope will go to your heirs. Are you ready?

Happy Holidays

We at the Slott Report would like to wish all our readers and their families a very happy holiday season! We thank all of you for taking your valuable time to read the Slott Report over the past year. We have heard from many of you and welcome your comments and feedback. Keep it coming!

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: Today’s Q&A Mailbag

This week's Slott Report Mailbag answers readers' questions about changes in QCDs, Roth Recharacterization, Roth conversions, and NUA stemming from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

What is a Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plan?

Now that it looks like they’ve been spared from elimination in the most recent version of tax reform, it’s worth taking a look at nonqualified deferred compensation plans (“NQDC plans”). NQDC plans take different forms, including salary reduction arrangements, bonus deferral plans, excess benefit plans, and supplemental executive retirement plans. For some clients, this may be a way to defer a greater percentage of income than under traditional qualified plans. It is also a way to attract and retain key employees. These types of plans will be paired with traditional qualified plans to maximize tax savings.

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