by Kristin P. Sinclair - A Accu Tax - March 21, 2018 The IRS describes taxable compensation in general terms as what you earn from working. This specifically includes wages, salaries, tips, professional fees, bonuses, and other amounts you receive for personal services rendered. The IRS considers as taxable compensation all amounts properly shown on your W-2 in Box 1, provided that amount is not reduced by any amount entered in Box 11. This does not include unearned income, which may also be taxable. For IRS purposes, scholarship and fellowship payments are taxable compensation only if shown on Form W-2 in Box 1. Consult your tax advisor and/or www.IRS.gov for more information. Updated in Rock Hill SC and Charlotte NC by Kristin P. Sinclair A Accu Tax (803)329-0609 December 5, 2017 KPS: More information is available at IRS.gov. See Publication 590-A and Publication 590-B.
by Donn J. Sinclair, MBA - February 18, 2018
A few words about risks and expenses. You should carefully consider any mutual fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. Not all mutual funds may be appropriate for everyone. Every individual has their own unique investment objective that may or may not match any particular mutual fund. Also, prior to any decisions or investing in any fund, you should carefully read the prospectus as this will outline the specifics of the mutual fund. The information nor any opinion expressed herein constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities, and should not be relied on as financial advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.Updated in Rock Hill SC and Charleston SC by Donn J. Sinclair, MBA (803)329-0609 December 15, 2017 Note: More information is available at IRS.gov. See Publication 590-A and Publication 590-B.
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by Kristin P. Sinclair – A Accu Tax- January 11, 2018
An IRA is an Individual Retirement Account that you set-up with a financial institution, often with the help of a financial professional. One of the first and most popular IRAs is the Traditional IRA; which is also known as the Original IRA. The Traditional IRA is a tax-deferred retirement savings account. That means you normally do not pay current income taxes on your contributions, and only pay taxes on your money later when you make withdrawals in retirement. By deferring taxes, any dividends, interest payments, and capital gains can compound each year without being hindered by taxes. Thus the Traditional IRA has the opportunity to grow much faster than a taxable account. Often retirees find themselves in a lower tax bracket than during their pre-retirement working years. Then the Traditional IRA funds should be withdrawn and taxed at a lower rate.
Traditional IRAs come in two varieties: deductible and nondeductible. Qualifying for a full or partial tax deduction typically depends on your income, and whether you or your spouse have access to an employer sponsored retirement account like a 401k.
The Traditional IRA has promising advantages for those qualified:
· Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to deduct some or all of your IRA contributions from current income.
· Funds in your IRA, including earnings and gains, are normally not taxed until they are distributed.
In 2017 Susan is single, and she is covered by a retirement plan at work in Charlotte NC. With a Traditional IRA, she is able to figure out that her adjusted gross income should be less than $50,000, and she should receive the full 2017 Traditional IRA deduction. In May 2018 Susan plans to marry George. He is also covered by a retirement plan at his Winthrop University position in Rock Hill SC. George earns a considerably higher income than Susan. As a result of their upcoming marriage, George and Martha will need to determine with their tax advisor if they will qualify for a partial or full deduction for their Traditional IRAs in 2018.
Updated by Kristin P. Sinclair: A Accu Tax
in Charlotte NC and Rock Hill SC
January 11, 2018 (803)329-0609
KPS: More information is available at IRS.gov.
See Publication 590-A and Publication 590-B.
by Kristin P. Sinclair – A Accu Tax – January 25, 2018
You have decided to pursue a Traditional IRA. That is an Excellent Decision ! So what is your next step ? First check to make certain that you are eligible to open a Traditional IRA for 2017 or 2018. Normally you should qualify to open and make contributions to a Traditional IRA if:
Whether or not you are covered by another retirement plan you can start your Traditional IRA. If either you or your spouse is covered by an employer retirement plan; however, then it is important to note that your deductible contributions may be limited.
by Kristin P. Sinclair – A Accu Tax – March 22, 2018
Which is best for you ? Maybe both should be part of your 2017 and 2018 retirement savings plans. With Traditional IRAs and other pre-tax retirement plans the contributions may be tax deductible in 2017 and 2018. Your earnings grow tax-deferred until you withdraw them. Normally it should be best to withdraw Traditional IRA funds in retirement when you may have less income, and therefore pay less in taxes.
by Kristin P. Sinclair – A Accu Tax – February 6, 2018
These new cards will be mailed between April 2018 and April 2019 . You may have had concerns about your Medicare Number being linked to a Social Security Number. Well the government has realized that yes it is time to change the way the card numbers and letters look on your Medicare Card. You will be getting a new Medicare card! Between April 2018 and April 2019. The government is removing Social Security numbers from Medicare cards and mailing each person a new card. This will help keep your information more secure and help protect your identity. You will get a new Medicare Number that is unique to you, and it will only be used for your Medicare coverage. The new card will not change your coverage or any of your benefits. You will receive more information from Medicare when your new card is mailed to you.
Here is how you can get ready:
■ Make sure your mailing address is up to date. If your address needs to be corrected, contact Social Security at ssa.gov/myaccount or 1-800-772-1213. TTY users can call 1-800-325-0778.
■ Beware of anyone who contacts you about your new Medicare Card. Medicare will not phone or write you for personal or private information in order to mail you your new Medicare Card with your new Medicare Number.
■ Remember that mailing everyone a new Medicare Card will take some time. Your card most likely will arrive at a different time than your friends or neighbors receive their ne Medicare Card.
Updated by Kristin P. Sinclair: A Accu Tax
in Charleston SC and Rock Hill SC
December 5, 2017 (803)329-0615
by Kristin P. Sinclair – Charleston SC – April 5, 2018
The very best time to buy your Medicare supplement is during your Open Enrollment Period (OEP). Normally this period lasts for six months starting with the first day of the month you are 65 or older and are also enrolled in Medicare Part B. For those under age 65* there may be additional Open Enrollment Periods in certain states.
by Kristin P. Sinclair – A Accu Tax – February 1, 2018
Medicare Supplements are policies sold by private insurance companies designed to pay many of the health care costs not covered by Original Medicare. Some Medicare Supplements will feature additional benefits; these are value added features. Gym memberships, fitness opportunities at the local gym, or training at home with self directed memberships, plus optical and pharmacy discounts. Some Medicare Supplement plan designs have coverage for Foreign Travel emergencies. Emergency foreign travel expenses may be covered with certain plan designs.
by Donn J. Sinclair, MBA – February 9, 2018
This is the most basic form of life insurance, and term life insurance is normally the best value for your life insurance dollar. Term life insurance provides life insurance coverage for a specific period of time or term. This term period can be a 1-year term, 5-year term, and as long as a 30-year term.
The policy owner pays a premium normally monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. As long as the premium is paid on time, then the life insurance policy is in effect until at least the end of the term.
The term life insurance period selected should be long enough to provide life insurance coverage for the years when the insurance proceeds would be needed to replace money or income lost due to the insured’s death. If the insured(s) dies during the term life insurance period, then the insurance amount or beneficial proceeds are paid to the beneficiaries. After the term period expires, if the term life insurance was not extended, then there is no longer any insurance, and no beneficial proceeds to be paid. Most term life insurance policies have maximum issue ages. If you are in your sixties or early seventies, then plan ahead with a term life insurance period to match or exceed your insurance needs.
There are three basic types of term life insurance. Annual renewable term insurance premium rise as you age; however, these policies normally have the lowest early year premiums. These policies are best suited to provide a large amount of insurance coverage at low premiums in the early years; with the expectation that you will have increased income or lower other expenses in the years ahead. Another consideration is that you purchase a 20-year annual renewable term life insurance policy, expecting to need the coverage for less than the full term. Should the insurance need continue longer than expected, then you still have coverage years remaining.
The second type is level premium term life insurance. Here both the insurance amount and the premium are locked in for the life of the term life insurance period. You have the peace of mind of the term life insurance and guaranteed not to rise premiums.
The third type is decreasing term life insurance. This type is quite popular for providing mortgage protection for a surviving spouse. The premiums stay level, and the insurance amount decreases to reflect a decreasing mortgage balance. If the insured dies during the term life insurance period, then the beneficiary receives insurance proceeds which should be sufficient to payoff the mortgage balance.
Decreasing term life insurance may also be beneficial for those with no mortgage, yet child(ren) responsibilities. As children grow and the accompanying financial responsibility decreases, the term life insurance coverage decreases to reflect lower financial responsibilities.
Donn J. Sinclair, MBA (803)329-0609
Charlotte NC/Rock Hill SC and Charleston SC
April 26, 2018
by Donn J. Sinclair – Charlotte NC – April 5, 2018
You select beneficiaries to receive the insurance proceeds of your term life insurance policy should you die during the term period. Normally you designate beneficiaries on your insurance application, and you also normally retain the right to update that designation as you desire. Designating and keeping current your term life insurance beneficiary designations provides you the final say in whom receives your insurance proceeds. Please note that your insurance carrier and state may have limitations on your beneficiary designations with special considerations for spouses and minors.
by Kristin P. Sinclair – A Accu Tax – March 22, 2018
If you donated money or items to a charity in 2017, then you may be able to claim a deduction on your federal tax return. You should consider the following about charitable deductions.
A.) Qualified Charities: You must donate to a qualified charity. Gifts to individuals, political organizations or candidates are not deductible.
B.) Itemize Deductions: To deduct charitable contributions normally you must itemize deductions on Schedule A of your form 1040.
C.) Return Value: When you receive a thank you gift or most any item of value in return for your donation, then you must reduce your charitable deduction by the return value you received. Examples of return value include merchandise, meals, tickets to events or other goods and services.