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Splitting retirement plan assets in divorce can get complicated if one spouse dies

April 15, 2016

Splitting a company retirement account in a divorce generally involves a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO), where the non-participant spouse will end up with an agreed upon portion of the other spouse's plan funds. But what happens when...

Strategies for delaying required minimum distributions for working clients

March 22, 2016

Clients who turned 70 ½ in 2015 must generally begin required minimum distributions by April 1, 2016. That's the required beginning date for most employees, but some people who have a company retirement plan can delay RMDs using the “still...

Tax-time Roth IRA strategies

February 19, 2016

Tax time is a good time to review Roth IRA tax strategies with your clients. One of the best deals in the tax code is a Roth recharacterization because it provides a second chance for clients to change their minds about their 2015 Roth conversions....

Track dates to save clients from new, big IRS fees

January 31, 2016

The IRS has increased its fees to request private-letter rulings (PLRs) for extensions upon missing two common retirement deadlines: 60-day rollovers and Roth recharacterizations. Effective Feb. 1, 2016, fees for requesting PLRs to extend the...

Newly improved retirement tax rules

December 30, 2015

The so-called “tax extenders package” enacted on Dec. 18 improves on some existing retirement tax rules. Advisers should be aware of these changes and notify clients who might benefit from them early in the year. Qualified charitable distributions...

Beware the early distribution penalty

December 20, 2015

Withdrawals before age 591/2 from plans and IRAs that are used to pay medical bills are generally exempt from the 10% early distribution penalty. But not all medical expenses qualify. In a recent tax case, early IRA withdrawals used to pay medical...

Attorney learns the wrong way to deduct IRA losses

November 20, 2015

Given the recent market volatility, advisers have questioned whether you can deduct losses incurred within an IRA. The answer is no. Losses as well as gains are never recognized within an IRA. That was always the case, but that didn't stop an...

How to avoid year-end RMD errors

October 25, 2015

Advisers will soon be receiving calls from clients about taking year-end required minimum distributions from IRAs and other retirement accounts. Avoid these common errors: 1. Not taking into account all retirement accounts subject to RMDs. Clients...

Law expands 10% penalty exception for public safety workers

September 18, 2015

The Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015, signed into law on June 29, included a provision that will allow more public safety officials to take early distributions without penalty from more of their government-sponsored retirement...

Roth IRAs: Supersaving for college

July 26, 2015

Roth IRAs for college? Why would anyone use a retirement account to save for education expenses when there are accounts specifically designed for that? Roth IRAs add several different education savings dimensions. Here are three of them to consider....

Clearing up adviser confusion on the new once-per-year IRA rollover rule

May 15, 2015

Advisers are still not up to speed on the new, more strict interpretation of the once-per-year IRA rollover rule. It's been in effect since Jan. 1, yet advisers are still asking questions about it. Even worse, about 30% of advisers we have polled...

Tax season is over, but IRA fixes can still be made

April 20, 2015

Tax season is over, but now post-tax season fixes must be made, especially in the IRA area. Roth IRA conversions or contributions can be undone (technically called a “recharacterization”) up to Oct. 15 of the following year. But when that...

Untimely IRA rollover leads to trouble

March 25, 2015

The IRS denied a taxpayer's request to waive the 60-day rollover rule when he couldn't prove that his medical condition affected his ability to make timely IRA rollover distributions. The taxpayer tried to buy real estate as an investment in...

Help clients avoid first-time RMD errors

February 25, 2015

Each year an increasing crop of IRA owners begins taking their required minimum distributions from their individual retirement accounts and company plans. RMDs must generally begin once an IRA owner (or plan participant) reaches their required...

2010 Roth conversions are now penalty-free

February 1, 2015

This year marks an important milestone for 2010 Roth IRA conversions. Back in 2010, the Roth IRA conversion rules changed. Before then, there was an income limit for Roth conversions. If your income exceeded $100,000, you could not convert to...

2015 resolution: Avoid 60-day rollovers

January 4, 2015

As of Jan. 1, owners of individual retirement accounts can do only one 60-day rollover a year, for all their IRAs. The rule no longer applies separately to each IRA. In this case, IRAs include traditional and Roth IRAs, as well as SEP and Simple...

What qualifies as compensation?

December 7, 2014

A recent tax case highlights the confusion over what counts as compensation for contributing to an individual retirement account. In the case (Alex Halo v. Commissioner; T.C. Summ. Op. 2014-92; No. 23774-12S, Sept. 11, 2014), the court ruled...

IRA funds protected in bankruptcy

November 9, 2014

An Ohio bankruptcy court recently ruled that funds withdrawn from an individual retirement account and deposited in an individual's business account were protected in bankruptcy. Despite the fact that the IRA distribution was not rolled over...

Distribution error wipes out IRA

October 12, 2014

An entire IRA was lost to a distribution error after death. This is a textbook case of what not to do when a trust is named as the IRA beneficiary. Trusts are set up to protect assets, such as individual retirement accounts, after death, but...

Sometimes the IRS loses in court

September 14, 2014

Shocked by what it called unfair arguments by the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit reversed a Tax Court decision that a taxpayer did not make a timely rollover to his individual retirement account from...

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