April 15th, this is the date that all Americans associate with the IRS. For many it is a stressful situation to try and figure out what exactly needs to go on their return. This is where a Certified Public Accountant or other tax professionals can help by pointing out useful tax adjustments now for next year’s return.
The regulations and codes for taxes are constantly changing and that is truer for this year because the Bush tax cuts are set to expire December 31. These cuts are projected to change how deductions can be made for retirement plans like the traditional IRA and Roth IRAs. Contributing more to a 401k through work can also be a good way to lower the taxable income one acquires within a fiscal year.
For the more affluent individuals it might make sense to roll over any traditional IRAs they own into Roth IRAs if they are projecting that their income after the age of 59 and half will be higher than it currently is. This would allow them to draw the payments from the Roth IRA as non-taxable income when they retire because they have already paid the taxes on the interest returns from those accounts.
Again, it is imperative to talk to tax professionals in order to gain the advice needed to plan for the changes coming in the next year. Seeking the advice of the benefits office within one’s company can help and is where the necessary adjustments need to be requested for changes in the 401k and the withholding forms. Also, the customer service representatives of the financial institutions that the retirement portfolios are being managed can also offer some guidance to tax adjustments now.
Are not all retirement accounts the same, they just hold money for you while you are waiting to retire correct? This is not true and most retirement accounts differ in many ways and these differences can make or break the account for you. Below is listed a few differences between a Traditional IRA and a Roth IRA.
A Roth IRA is a retirement account that requires for the holder to pay taxes on the money that is contributed to the fund in the year it was earned. This is not true of a Traditional IRA which allows for the holder to wait until the funds are withdrawn in order to pay taxes on the money. Also there are Roth contribution limits and income limits which narrow the pool of people who can contribute to the fund.
When you contribute money to a Traditional IRA your adjusted gross income (AGI) is reduced. This means that when you file your taxes the amount of money you have made in the year is reduced by what you have contributed to the fund, and this is not the case when contributing to a Roth IRA. The lowering of your AGI has the potential to place you in a lower tax bracket and thus you can receive tax breaks and benefits.
It can also be argued for both a Traditional IRA and a Roth IRA that depending on which state you retire to one account can be better than the other. If you currently live in a higher income tax state than the one you wish to retire to then it is possible that by using a Traditional IRA you can save money because your income will be taxed later. The opposite is true of a Roth IRA because if you live in a lower income tax state and plan to move to a higher taxed state then you can save money.
There are benefits and disadvantages to both retirement accounts and depending on your financial situation one could be better suited for you.
The online environment has led to some of the best investing opportunities in recent history, and while the actual ventures are nothing new, the approaches and technologies used with them are. It is no different with Roth IRA accounts, and the online resources have allowed investors to take advantage of more options and compare the rates and services of many providers to get the best plan for any given situation.
One of the most attractive features of the Roth IRA is its flexibility, and while the program itself is structured to be as versatile as possible, when the power of the Internet and global communications are added, the possibilities of the even the best Roth IRA accounts increase dramatically. The web also allows users to compare the best Roth IRA providers as well, just as would be done if one were investing anywhere else from penny stock brokers online to gold scrap dealers.
Funding and Investment Options
The best Roth IRA account fits the needs of those investing into it, and this is another of the defining features of this great program, and from the funding options to the various outlets that can be invested in, these are truly some of the most versatile retirement options there are. Outlets like E-Trade and Fidelity both have some of the best Roth IRA rates and options, as well as the most trustworthy reputations, some particularly important aspects when investing for retirement.
Taxation and Fees
Another very alluring feature of the Roth IRA strategy is the tax incentives they bring to the table, and unlike most other retirement plans, 401-K and traditional IRA plans included, the withdrawals are not taxed, as these are taken care of when the contributions are made. This, and the fact the only real fees are for early withdrawal and just about anyone in the middle-class income bracket can use them, are some of the best Roth IRA features.
- When can you Take Advantage of a Roth IRA Account Online? (2009tax.org)
- How do you Choose the Right Roth IRA Account Online? (2009taxes.org)
A 401k rollover to Individual Retirement Account (IRA) situation usually denotes a movement from one employer to another. Instead of en-cashing the 401k account, the recommended choice when you decide to switch employers is to rollover your 401k to your IRA. The IRA is an account which helps you to lower your investment related expense and can give you more choice in investment opportunities.
Having an IRA can be advantageous in many different ways. It is a good option to manage your investment portfolio and saving on administrative and management cost. With an IRA, you can develop your investment portfolio according to your own risk appetite levels. In addition to that you can also choose your own administration and custodian for the account.
However, having a 401k rollover to IRA does have its own disadvantageous as well. One of the biggest negative for this is that the account can be used to pay off your debts should you get into a bankruptcy situation and the amount is higher than 1 million. A traditional 401k account cannot be touched in such a scenario. Another big disadvantage is the IRA mandates that you take periodic distributions when you reach 70 years old even if you are working whereas the normal 401k does not have such stipulations.
The 401k rollover to IRA does have some guidelines which must to be clarified. The first is that the 401k rollover can be put into any of the three different accounts rollover account, roth IRA or traditional IRA. The second rule is that the account can be cashed out anytime but with the accompanying fines and fees. The third rules states that any loans due must be settled within 60 days to the 401k rollover to IRA.
It is very easy to do a 40k rollover to IRA. You just need to open an IRA account with a financial institution and inform your employer about the change so that the check can be made out to the financial institution. Once the fund is transfer, you can start investing with the IRA.
A Roth IRA is a retirement plan with great flexibility, this accounts for its popularity. Along with flexibility comes a few Roth IRA rules, advantages, and disadvantages. To obtain money from an account tax free a few rules apply. The account must be at least five years old currently, and for amounts drawn on growth over principal the owner must be 59.5 years old. The only other rules apply to income levels, regarding how much money can be contributed.
If you have an existing IRA converting to a Roth IRA is easy, and the funds transferred can be withdrawn penalty free. The transferred funds must be at least five year’s old to be penalty free. Assets in a Roth IRA can be passed to heirs unlike social security.
A Roth IRA does not require distribution based on an owners age. All other tax deferral retirement accounts assign a specific age when withdrawals have to start. Since a Roth IRA has no begin date on withdrawals the total amount of funds can be passed to a beneficiary, irregardless if the owner dies or if the funds are just not needed.
One of the draw backs to owning a Roth IRA is that at certain income levels the ability to contribute to the fund is restricted. Basically if a person makes to much money according to the guidelines only so much money can be contributed to the fund if any at all. Also placing money into a Roth IRA does not change a persons adjusted gross income (AGI).
When contributing money to a traditional IRA a persons AGI can change. This can lower an individuals taxable income, allow tax credits, and deductions. The amount of tax credits and deductions can increase as a person slides down in income level. As with all retirement plans research should be done to decide which plan works best for each persons individual needs.