Author Archives: David

Social Security Benefit Basics

Sure, you get a periodic statement from the SSA indicating what your benefit will be if you continue working to 62, to your full retirement age (might be as high as 67) or to 70. And they tell you those benefits in today’s dollars.

But how did they come up with those numbers?

Can My Former Employer Force Me To Take My 401k Balance Out?

When you leave an employer, you typically have three choices as to what to do with money in the (now) former employer’s retirement plan. Note that there are actually many many types of employer-based retirement plans (including defined benefits/pensions, annuities, etc) and we are mainly addressing the most common, the 401k plan here. You may […]

(Coronavirus) CARES Act and RMDs

A quick note about annual Required Minimum Distributions from IRAs and 401ks and other retirement accounts — The CARES act, which passed last week and was signed into law on Friday has made a lot of headlines, especially for the “stimulus checks” — the $1200/person which is simply being sent to most Americans.  (It phases […]

SECURE Act changes retirement savings rules

Of course, these are subject to change… But for most folks the main planning challenges/opportunities are going to be around the new 72 age for Required Minimum Distributions, and the elimination of the “stretch” distributions for inherited IRAs. (These, specifically, affect nearly everyone with any retirement account. The rest of the changes affect much smaller […]

Your Social Security number isn’t suspended. Ever.

Scammers have been working overtime lately. Don’t fall for it. Don’t call them back. Don’t give them money. Don’t give them information.   If you want to confirm that your SSN is okay — call the Social Security Administration directly, visit an office, or just start by logging on to your SS account online directly. […]

What Happened to my Tax Exemptions?

Or: The TCJA giveth, the TCJA taketh away. One huge change in the tax code as a result of the 2017 TCJA (“Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”) was that there are no longer “personal exemptions”. Previously, each exemption worked — in addition to either the standard deduction or itemized deductions — to effectively lower one’s […]

Did You or Did You NOT Lose The Home Office Deduction?

There’s been a lot of confusion regarding the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (Also known as TCJA, or as the “Trump Tax Cuts”). One particular source of such confusion is regarding the loss of certain itemized deductions — previously included as part of the “Job Expenses and Certain Miscellaneous Deductions” […]

If you get a random e-mail from IRS concerning a tax refund… delete it.

“If you get a random e-mail from IRS concerning a tax refund… delete it. It’s a scam, the Service warns. The e-mail tricks people into opening a link by saying that incorrect information was detected on their tax refund account. The link goes to a fake page where scammers try ot steal your personal information. […]

Beware of Erroneous Tax Refunds!

The IRS has issued some warnings recently about a new scam which seems especially on the rise with more tax professionals having more client data online than ever before. The scammers file a fraudulent tax return – but include the taxpayers’ real bank account information (or if they don’t file for electronic deposit of their […]

Kiddie Tax and the 2017 Tax Reform

What’s the Kiddie Tax? Under the Tax Reform Act of 1986, a new “Kiddie Tax” was introduced in order to close a loophole through which wealthy folks were getting investment income taxed at lower rates by transferring assets to their children. Under the ’86 rule, unearned income (mainly investment income like stock dividends, interest, and […]