Taxes on Early Retirement Plan Withdrawals

Tax

Taking money out early from your retirement plan may trigger an additional tax. Here are six things you should know about early withdrawals from retirement plans:

1. An early withdrawal normally means taking money from your plan before you reach age 59½.

2. If you made a withdrawal from a plan last year, you must report the amount you withdrew to the IRS. You may have to pay income tax as well as an additional 10 percent tax on the amount you withdrew.

3. The additional 10 percent tax does not apply to nontaxable withdrawals. Nontaxable withdrawals include withdrawals of your cost to participate in the plan. Your cost includes contributions that you paid tax on before you put them into the plan.

4. A rollover is a type of nontaxable withdrawal. Generally, a rollover is a distribution to you of cash or other assets from one retirement plan that you contribute to another retirement plan. You usually have 60 days to complete a rollover to make it tax-free.

5. There are many exceptions to the additional 10 percent tax. Some of the exceptions for retirement plans are different from the rules for IRAs.

6. If you make an early withdrawal, you may need to file Form 5329, Additional Taxes on Qualified Plans (Including IRAs) and Other Tax-Favored Accounts, with your federal tax return.

Additional IRS Resources:

  • Tax Topic 557 – Additional Tax on Early Distributions from Traditional and ROTH IRAs
  • Tax Topic 558 – Additional Tax on Early Distributions from Retirement Plans, Other Than IRAs
  • IRA FAQs – Distributions (Withdrawals)
  • Publication 590, Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs)
  • Publication 575, Pension and Annuity Income

Required Retirement Plan Distribution Deadline – April 1st

RMD To Do List Reminder

Reminder for taxpayers who turned 70½ during 2013 – in most cases, they must start receiving required minimum distributions (RMDs) from Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and workplace retirement plans by Tuesday, April 1, 2014. The April 1 deadline applies to owners of traditional IRAs, but not Roth IRAs. Normally, it also applies to participants in various workplace retirement plans, including 401(k), 403(b) and 457 plans.

The April 1 deadline only applies to the required distribution for the first year. For all subsequent years, the RMD must be made by Dec. 31. So, for example, a taxpayer who turned 70½ in 2013 and receives the first required payment on April 1, 2014 must still receive the second RMD by Dec. 31, 2014. Affected taxpayers who turned 70½ during 2013 must figure the RMD for the first year using their life expectancy on Dec. 31, 2013 and their account balance on Dec. 31, 2012. The trustee reports the year-end account value to the IRA owner on Form 5498 in Box 5. Worksheets and life expectancy tables for making this computation can be found in the Appendices to Publication 590.

Most taxpayers use Table III (Uniform Lifetime) to figure their RMD. For a taxpayer who turned 71 in 2013, for example, the first required distribution would be based on a life expectancy of 26.5 years. A separate table, Table II, applies to a taxpayer married to a spouse who is more than 10 years younger and is the taxpayer’s only beneficiary. Though the April 1 deadline is mandatory for all owners of traditional IRAs and most participants in workplace retirement plans, some people with workplace plans can wait longer to receive their RMD. Usually, employees who are still working can, if their plan allows, wait until April 1 of the year after they retire to start receiving these distributions. See Tax on Excess Accumulations in Publication 575. Employees of public schools and certain tax-exempt organizations with 403(b) plan accruals before 1987 should check with their employer, plan administrator or provider to see how to treat these accruals.

All taxpayers are encouraged to begin planning now, for any distributions required during 2014. An IRA trustee must either report the amount of the RMD to the IRA owner or offer to calculate it for the owner. Often, the trustee shows the RMD amount in Box 12b on Form 5498. For a 2014 RMD, this amount would be on the 2013 Form 5498 that is normally issued in January 2014.

More information on RMDs, including answers to frequently asked questions, can be found on IRS.gov.

 

 

 

Child and Dependent Care Tax Credits

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Many people pay for the care of their child or other dependent while they’re at work. The Child and Dependent Care Credit can reduce that cost. Here are 10 facts about this important tax credit:

1. You may qualify for the credit if you paid someone to care for your child, dependent or spouse last year.

2. The care you paid for must have been necessary so you could work or look for work. This also applies to your spouse if you are married and filing jointly.

3. The care must have been for ‘qualifying persons.’ A qualifying person can be your child under age 13. They may also be a spouse or dependent who is physically or mentally incapable of self-care. They must also have lived with you for more than half the year.

4. You, and your spouse if you file jointly, must have earned income, such as wages from a job. Special rules apply to a spouse who is a student or disabled.

5. The payments for care can’t go to your spouse, the parent of your qualifying person or to someone you can claim as a dependent on your return. Care payments also can’t go to your child under the age of 19, even if the child isn’t your dependent.

6. The credit is worth up to 35 percent of the qualifying costs for care, depending on your income. The limit is $3,000 of your total cost for the care of one qualifying person. If you pay for the care of two or more qualifying persons, you can claim up to $6,000 of your costs.

7. If your employer provides dependent care benefits, special rules apply. For more see Form 2441, Child and Dependent Care Expenses.

8. You must include the Social Security number of each qualifying person to claim the credit.

9. You must include the name, address and identifying number of your care provider to claim the credit. This is usually the Social Security number of an individual or the Employer Identification Number of a business.

10. To claim the credit, attach Form 2441 to your tax return. If you use IRS e-file to prepare and file your return, the software will do this for you.

For more on this topic see Publication 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses. You can get it and Form 2441 on IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
Additional IRS Resources:

Social Security Wage Base – Future Estimates

Social SecurityThe Social Security wage base is projected to be $118,800 in 2015, increasing $1,800 from 2014. This is based on the data from the Social Security Administration from the President’s budget forecast. The tax rates for employees and employers are expected to remain the same. This represents extra tax of $112 each for high paid employees and their employers. Long range projections for the wage base are estimated to be $122,100 for 2016, $126,300 for 2017 and $131,700  for 2018.

Health Insurance Coverage for Individuals

health-insurance1

Starting January 2014, you and your family must either have health insurance coverage throughout the year, qualify for an exemption from coverage, or make a payment when you file your 2014 federal income tax return in 2015. Many people already have qualifying health insurance coverage and do not need to do anything more than maintain that coverage in 2014.

Qualifying coverage includes coverage provided by your employer, health insurance you purchase in the Health Insurance Marketplace, most government-sponsored coverage, and coverage you purchase directly from an insurance company. However, qualifying coverage does not include coverage that may provide limited benefits, such as coverage only for vision care or dental care, workers’ compensation, or coverage that only covers a specific disease or condition.

You may be exempt from the requirement to maintain qualified coverage if you:

  • Have no affordable coverage options because the minimum amount you must pay for the annual premiums is more than eight percent of your household income,
  • Have a gap in coverage for less than three consecutive months, or
  • Qualify for an exemption for one of several other reasons, including having a hardship that prevents you from obtaining coverage, or belonging to a group explicitly exempt from the requirement.

A special hardship exemption applies to individuals who purchase their insurance through the Marketplace during the initial enrollment period for 2014 but due to the enrollment process have a coverage gap at the beginning of 2014.

For any month in 2014 that you or any of your dependents don’t maintain coverage and don’t qualify for an exemption, you will need to make an individual shared responsibility payment with your 2014 tax return filed in 2015.

However, if you went without coverage for less than three consecutive months during the year you may qualify for the short coverage gap exemption and will not have to make a payment for those months. If you have more than one short coverage gap during a year, the short coverage gap exemption only applies to the first.

If you (or any of your dependents) do not maintain coverage and do not qualify for an exemption, you will need to make an individual shared responsibility payment with your return. In general, the payment amount is either a percentage of your income or a flat dollar amount, whichever is greater. You will owe 1/12th of the annual payment for each month you (or your dependents) do not have coverage and are not exempt. The annual payment amount for 2014 is the greater of:

  • 1 percent of your household income that is above the tax return threshold for your filing status, such as Married Filing Jointly or single, or
  • Your family’s flat dollar amount, which is $95 per adult and $47.50 per child, limited to a maximum of $285.

The individual shared responsibility payment is capped at the cost of the national average premium for the bronze level health plan available through the Marketplace in 2014. You will make the payment when you file your 2014 federal income tax return in 2015.

For example, a single adult under age 65 with household income less than $19,650 (but more than $10,150) would pay the $95 flat rate.  However, a single adult under age 65 with household income greater than $19,650 would pay an annual payment based on the 1 percent rate.

More Information

Find out more about the individual shared responsibility provision, as well as other tax-related provisions of the health care law at www.irs.gov/aca.

For more information about your coverage options, financial assistance and the Marketplace, visit HealthCare.gov.

Taxes on Children with Investment Income

taxes made from money

You normally must pay income tax on your investment income. That is also true for a child who must file a federal tax return. If a child can’t file his or her own return, their parent or guardian is normally responsible for filing their tax return. Special tax rules apply to certain children with investment income. Those rules may affect the tax rate and the way you report the income.

Here are four facts you should know about your child’s investment income:

1. Investment income normally includes interest, dividends and capital gains. It also includes other unearned income, such as from a trust.

2. Special rules apply if your child’s total investment income is more than $2,000. Your tax rate may apply to part of that income instead of your child’s tax rate.

3. If your child’s total interest and dividend income was less than $10,000 in 2013, you may be able to include the income on your tax return. If you make this choice, the child does not file a return. See Form 8814, Parents’ Election to Report Child’s Interest and Dividends.

4. Children whose investment income was $10,000 or more in 2013 must file their own tax return. File Form 8615, Tax for Certain Children Who Have Investment Income, along with the child’s federal tax return.

Starting in 2013, a child whose tax is figured on Form 8615 may be subject to the Net Investment Income Tax. NIIT is a 3.8% tax on the lesser of either net investment income or the excess of the child’s modified adjusted gross income that is over a threshold amount. Use Form 8960, Net Investment Income Tax, to figure this tax. For more on this topic, visit IRS.gov.

For more on this topic, see Publication 929, Tax Rules for Children and Dependents. Visit IRS.gov to get this booklet and IRS forms. You may also have them mailed to you by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
Additional IRS Resources:

Tax Credits to Save You Money

Tax Credit

Tax credits help reduce the taxes you owe. Some credits are also refundable. That means that, even if you owe no tax, you may still get a refund.

Here are five tax credits you shouldn’t overlook when filing your 2013 federal tax return:

1. The Earned Income Tax Credit is a refundable credit for people who work but don’t earn a lot of money. It can boost your refund by as much as $6,044. You may be eligible for the credit based on the amount of your income, your filing status and the number of children in your family. Single workers with no dependents may also qualify for EITC. Visit IRS.gov and use the EITC Assistant tool to see if you can claim this credit. For more see Publication 596, Earned Income Credit.

2. The Child and Dependent Care Credit can help you offset the cost of daycare or day camp for children under age 13. You may also be able to claim it for costs paid to care for a disabled spouse or dependent. For details, see Publication 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses.

3. The Child Tax Credit can reduce the taxes you pay by as much as $1,000 for each qualified child you claim on your tax return. The child must be under age 17 in 2013 and meet other requirements. Use the Interactive Tax Assistant tool on IRS.gov to see if you can claim the credit. See Publication 972, Child Tax Credit, for more about the rules.

4. The Saver’s Credit helps workers save for retirement. You may qualify if your income is $59,000 or less in 2013 and you contribute to an IRA or a retirement plan at work. Check out Publication 590, Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs).

5. The American Opportunity Tax Credit can help you offset college costs. The credit is available for four years of post-secondary education. It’s worth up to $2,500 per eligible student enrolled at least half time for at least one academic period. Even if you don’t owe any taxes, you still may qualify. However, you must complete Form 8863, Education Credits, and file a tax return to claim the credit. Use the Interactive Tax Assistant tool on IRS.gov to see if you can claim the credit. Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education, has the details.

Before you claim any tax credit, be sure you qualify for it. Find out more about these credits on IRS.gov. You can also get free IRS forms and publications on IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
Additional IRS Resources:

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