DiSabatino CPA Blog

DiSabatino CPA Blog

A blog by Michael DiSabatino CPA with topics on Tax Savings, Business, Management and more...

Roth IRAs: A smart tax idea for children

Roth IRAs: A smart tax idea for children

Persuading your working children to make retirement contributions may not be easy, but investments in Roth IRAs may be the wisest possible use of their earnings. The nature of Roth IRAs, coupled with the effects of long-term compounding, can create exceptional returns on such early investments.

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New myRA program now available

New myRA program now available

A new simplified Roth IRA is the newest retirement plan. The account is called a myRA (short for "my retirement account"). It's funded by...

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Oops. An IRA Contribution Error

 Oops. An IRA Contribution Error 

In a recent review of IRS practices, The Treasury Inspector General of Tax Administration (TIGTA) released a new report on the problem of excess contributions into IRA accounts. The report recommends better taxpayer education and:

“Identifying a more complete and accurate universe of individuals who potentially made excess contributions from which to select potentially productive cases.”

“Potentially productive cases” means selection for an IRS audit. Given this renewed focus on the problem of contributing too much into IRAs, here is what you need to know...

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December Tips....

December Tips....

The Social Security Administration announced that the maximum earnings subject to social security tax in 2015 will be $118,500.

The "nanny tax" limit for 2015 remains at the 2014 limit of $1,900.

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Update your beneficiary designations

Update your beneficiary designations

Who have you designated as beneficiaries for your insurance policies and retirement accounts? If you can't remember, you're not alone. But it's worth checking. If you make the wrong decision, it could affect who inherits those assets. In some cases, it could also change the taxes your beneficiaries will pay and the value they'll receive. Here are some key facts about beneficiary designations.

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Supreme Court denies bankruptcy protection for inherited IRAs

Supreme Court denies bankruptcy protection for inherited IRAs

Your retirement funds are protected from creditors even if you file for bankruptcy, with only a few limitations. This protection extends to funds in all government-qualified pension plans, including IRAs (traditional and Roth), 401(k)s, 403(b)s, Keoghs, profit sharing, money purchase, and defined benefit plans. A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision has held, however, that an inherited IRA is not a "retirement fund" and therefore doesn't qualify for bankruptcy protection.

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Don't forget to take your RMD

Don't forget to take your RMD

Did you celebrate your 70½th birthday in 2014? Do you have a traditional or rollover IRA? If both answers are yes, the deadline for taking the initial required minimum distribution from your retirement account is April 1, 2015.

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Kids Summer Jobs... Good for IRA / Roth IRA

Kids Summer Jobs... Good for IRA / Roth IRA

If your children have earnings from summer or after-school jobs, encourage them to open IRA accounts.

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New limit on IRA rollovers

WARNING!!   New limit on IRA rollovers

For years, the IRS interpreted the IRA rules to allow taxpayers to do one rollover per year in each IRA he or she owned. In doing a rollover, the taxpayer is not taxed on the funds taken from the IRA so long as the funds are redeposited into an IRA within 60 days of the withdrawal.

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Indirect IRA Rollovers. Change is Coming

Indirect IRA Rollovers. Change is Coming

Topline: When rolling over funds from one IRA to another (typically Traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, SEP IRAs and Simple IRAs), it is best to use a direct rollover versus an indirect rollover. As confirmed in a recent tax court ruling, taxpayers are limited to ONE INDIRECT rollover per 12 months. This limit applies no matter how many IRA accounts you own.

Background

Many taxpayers have numerous Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). You can move funds from one qualifying account to another without paying taxes on the rollover as long as you follow the rollover rules. If the rules are not followed, the funds are deemed a distribution and taxes plus a potential early withdrawal penalty may be owed. There are two primary methods for rolling over the funds from one account to another:

Direct Rollover. Using this method, the taxpayer never takes possession of the rollover funds. Instead, one institution transfers the funds out of one account and sends them directly to the institution that has the receiving account. Since the taxpayer never takes possession of the funds, there is little chance the IRS would see the transfer as a distribution.

Indirect Rollover. In this case, the funds are withdrawn from the IRA and sent to the account holder. The account holder then deposits the same amount into the new account. As long as the transfer takes place within 60 days, it is a valid transfer and no taxes are owed. The taxpayer bears the burden of proof that the transfer was completed within the required timeframe.

Aggregate once per year rule

In a recent court case, the IRS put their foot down on unlimited INDIRECT transfers of funds.* In their ruling they stated that a taxpayer is entitled to make one indirect transfer per 12-month period regardless of the number of IRA accounts. Any additional transfers are not valid and will be deemed a distribution from your IRA.

Why the rule?

Some taxpayers were using a number of rollovers of the same dollar amount from account to account to give themselves a short-term loan. In the tax case, the defendant removed funds from one IRA. He used the money for a couple of months. He then took the same amount from a second IRA and replaced the money originally removed from the first IRA. He then took the same amount from a third IRA to replace the funds in the second IRA. Finally, the last IRA had its funds replaced. Effectively giving him use of the funds for up to 120 days. The court ruling effectively eliminated the ability to make these kinds of transfers.

Effective change

The court ruling creates a change in the IRA indirect rollover rules beginning on January 1, 2015. Effective that date, you may only conduct one indirect IRA rollover per 12 month period. IRS publications will be revised to reflect this change.

Because of this, it is best to employ a direct rollover of funds from one IRA to another using a qualified financial trustee to avoid any potential problems. This ruling does not apply to all conversions and rollovers. Please contact the financial institution receiving the rolled over funds for details on their process to ensure it is handled correctly.

*Source: T.C. Memo 2014-21 Bobrow vs Commissioner IRS

Please give us a call to discuss these and other profit-boosting ideas for your business.

DiSabatino CPA
Michael DiSabatino
651 Via Alondra Suite 715
Camarillo, CA 93012
Phone: 805-389-7300
ww.sharpcpa.com

This publication provides summary information regarding the subject matter at time of publishing. Please call with any questions on how this information may impact your situation. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission, except as noted here.  All rights reserved.

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Tax-Free Roth IRA Withdrawal Options

Tax-Free Roth IRA Withdrawal Options

What every Roth IRA account holder should know

You must take care to plan your retirement plan withdrawals to avoid a potential 10% early withdrawal penalty. Unfortunately, each retirement account type has different rules. Here are some tips for Roth IRAs.

Roth IRA basics

Roth IRA accounts differ from other IRAs in that your contributions are made in after-tax dollars. If you follow the Roth IRA rules, your withdrawals of any earnings in the account can be tax-free. Generally, to take advantage of the tax-free distribution from a Roth IRA:

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Take a penalty-free IRA withdrawal for medical expenses

Take a penalty-free IRA withdrawal for medical expenses

Are you considering withdrawing funds from your traditional IRA to pay unexpected medical costs?

You may be hesitating because of the 10% penalty imposed on withdrawals made when you're under age 59½. Since the 10% is calculated on the total you withdraw, the tax hit could be substantial. Worse, the penalty typically is not withheld from the cash you receive, so you'll need to come up with the money when you file your tax return.

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Use Your Tax Refund to Fund Your IRA

If you're short on cash to fund an IRA contribution this year, Uncle Sam may effectively lend you the money.

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Can I Defer My RMD if I'm Still Working?

time-2-retire

Can a Self-Emplyed person, who is still working full-time skip thier Pension/IRA RMD (Required Minimum Distribution)?

No. Generally, you must begin taking "required minimum distributions" (RMDs) from your qualified retirement plans and IRAs after you turn age 70 1/2. Then you must continue taking RMDs for each succeeding tax year.
However, you can delay RMDs from qualified plans if you're still working full time and you don't own 5% or more of the company.  There is no such exception for IRAs. Because your Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) is treated as an IRA rather than a qualified plan, you must start taking RMDs after you turn 701/2 whether you are still working or not.

So, remeber: In any event, full-time workers can't postpone RMDs from an IRA.

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Plan Your 2014 Retirement Contributions

As part of your planning for next year, now is the time to review funding your retirement accounts. By establishing your contribution amounts at the beginning of each year, the financial impact of saving for your future should be more manageable. Here are annual contribution limits for the more popular programs:

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