By topic: Retirement

Updated 2021 Tax Resource Guide; Download Now

Download this newly updated two-page guide so that you have a handy desktop reference with the 2021 corporate and individual tax rates, estate tax rates, self-employed tax rates, Social Security and Medicare tax rates, capital gain rates, standard mileage rates, standard deductions, luxury auto depreciation limits, and select retirement and IRA limits.

NUA Choice: A Tax Strategy to Consider If You Own Company Stock

If you are an employee with company stock in your retirement plan, you can use the net unrealized appreciation tax treatment to save money on your taxes.

You Took Coronavirus-Related IRA Money Last Year: What Now?

If you took the coronavirus-related IRA distribution of up to $100,000 during 2020, here are your options for avoiding taxes on that money.

2021 Retirement Plans Desktop Reference for One-Person Businesses

Download your PDF copy of the 2021 retirement plans desktop reference for one-person businesses.

SEP IRA vs Solo 401(k): Which Should You Choose?

A small business retirement plan can be a great way to defer income taxes and build net worth. But knowing the right plan for your small business and which plan will allow you to save the most requires some understanding of the tax laws. Choosing the wrong plan can cost you more than just taxes—it can cost you an opportunity to retire early.

2020 Retirement Plans Desktop Reference for One-Person Businesses

Download your PDF copy of the 2020 retirement plans desktop reference for one-person businesses.

2020 Last-Minute Year-End Retirement Deductions

Does your business have a retirement plan for you and your employees, if any? It should. You have more new reasons in 2020 to get your retirement plan in place and perhaps make changes in existing plans.

New Law Kneecaps Stretch IRA—Here’s What You Can Do About It

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (SECURE Act) passed last December makes a big change in the stretch IRA—an estate planning device favored by well-off IRA holders. To cope with the downside of this new law, you need to do some planning, as we explain.

PPP Update: Two New Rules for Owners of S and C Corporations

The Payroll Protection Program (PPP) rules—they keep a-changin’. In this article, you find new rules that likely increase PPP loan forgiveness for S and C corporation owner-employees with compensation of $100,000 or more.

IRS Enables Millions to Qualify for the $100,000 IRA Grab and Repay

New IRS guidance expands the possibilities for what is an adverse COVID-19 impact on you for purposes of taking money out of your retirement accounts and repaying it without penalties. We’ll explain whether you qualify, what your repayment options are, and how you can structure it for the best tax outcome.

Act Now: IRS Creates New Path for Undoing RMDs

In the CARES Act, Congress decided to waive all 2020 required minimum distributions (RMDs). What if you already took out your annual RMD before Congress changed the law? The IRS just granted you brand-new mercy to fix the issue, but you need to take action before August 31, 2020.

COVID-19: Two New Retirement Account Strategies You Need to Know

The CARES Act changed several retirement account–related rules. The changes opened up some time-limited windows for tax year 2020 strategies that can save you tax dollars. In this article, we discuss (a) how you might be able to undo an RMD you already took and (b) how to get a special tax benefit for a Roth IRA conversion.

COVID-19 Crisis Creates Silver Lining for Roth IRA Conversions

The COVID-19 pandemic has a possible silver lining for converting some or all of your traditional taxable IRA into a Roth IRA. For example, if your IRA declined in value, using the Roth for the recovery of value avoids future taxation. That’s just one example from this article.

COVID-19: New SBA Loans for Small Businesses—Maybe a Great Deal

COVID-19 has hit American businesses hard, to say the least. You may be eligible for up to $10 million to help pay workers and keep your doors open under a brand-new SBA program. And with this program, you may qualify to obtain some loan relief.

Eight Answers to Questions About the SECURE Act

The SECURE Act changed many tax law provisions related to retirement and savings. We wrote about the new law last month and have since received many questions. In this article, we give you the answers to eight questions.

Top Eight Changes in the SECURE Act You Need to Know

Our lawmakers did it again. They made more last-minute tax law changes, which the president signed into law on December 20, 2019. One such new law is called the SECURE Act. This new law made a lot of changes to how you save for retirement and spend money in retirement. Don’t worry, though. We’ll give you the most important provisions you need to know, and how they impact you regardless of age.

Retirement Plans Desktop Reference for One-Person Businesses

Download your PDF copy of the retirement plans desktop reference for one-person businesses.

Solo 401(k) Could Be Your Best Retirement Plan Option

If you operate as a sole proprietor or are the sole owner of an S or C corporation, the solo 401(k) can create the ideal retirement plan if you don’t have employees who work more than 1,000 hours a year for your business. This article provides you with great insights into the solo 401(k).

Why a SIMPLE-IRA Could Be Your Best Retirement Plan Alternative

Talk to a business owner who has been in business for a while, and he or she will tell you to make sure that you put a retirement plan in place. When you are starting out and have modest income, the SIMPLE-IRA can be the perfect plan, as explained in this article.

Self-Employed Senior? Collect Your Rightful Tax Breaks

If you are self-employed, you have much to think about as you enter your senior years, and that includes retirement savings, Medicare, and grandchildren, as explained in this article.

2019 Last-Minute Section 199A Strategies That Reduce Taxes, Too

Remember to consider your Section 199A deduction in your year-end tax planning. If you don’t, you could end up with a big fat $0 for your deduction amount. We’ll review three year-end moves that (a) reduce your income taxes and (b) boost your Section 199A deduction at the same time.

2019 Last-Minute Year-End Medical and Retirement Deductions

When you get busy with your business, it’s easy to forget about your retirement accounts and medical coverages and plans. But year-end is approaching, and now’s the time to take action. This article gives you six action steps for 2019 that can help you reduce your taxes and pocket extra money.

Make the RMD from Your Traditional IRA Tax-Free

Once you turn age 70 1/2, the tax code mandates that you withdraw a tax code–defined required minimum distribution (RMD) from your traditional IRA. But by using the RMD or other IRA distribution with a qualified charitable distribution (QCD), you can eliminate the RMD tax bite, possibly reduce your Medicare premiums and income taxes on your Social Security benefits, and more.

Check Your Beneficiary Designations Now, Before Disaster Strikes

Surprise! You have an agreement in place that says your retirement account goes to person 1. But you have a beneficiary designation that says the account goes to person 2. Read this article to see which wins and why the winner is likely a big surprise.

Roth IRA versus Traditional IRA: Which Is Better for You?

Traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs both offer tax advantages when saving for retirement. But is one universally better than the other? If not, how can you decide which is right for you?

Roth IRA After TCJA: The Backdoor Is Still Open

The Roth IRA is an excellent way to grow your retirement savings, but the ability to make contributions to a Roth is phased out beyond certain income limits. A backdoor Roth allows you to make an end run around the limits.

2018 Last-Minute Year-End Medical and Retirement Deductions

When you get busy with your business, it’s easy to forget about your retirement accounts and medical coverages and plans. But year-end is approaching, and now’s the time to take action. This article gives you six action steps for 2018 that can help you reduce your taxes and pocket extra money.

2018 Last-Minute Section 199A Strategies

Starting now, this year (2018), you have to consider your Section 199A deduction in your year-end tax planning. If you don’t, you could end up with a big fat $0 for your deduction amount. We’ll review four year-end moves that (a) reduce your income taxes and (b) boost your Section 199A deduction at the same time.

Five Strategies for Your Business Loss after Tax Reform

Tax reform eliminated your ability to get immediate cash in your pocket from a net operating loss. Don’t sit back and let the IRS keep that cash! Examine five strategies you can use right now to get an immediate tax benefit from your business loss.

Three Ways to Take Money out of Your IRA at Any Age Penalty-Free

You could be like most taxpayers and think your IRA accounts have locked away your money until age 59 1/2 unless you are willing to pay a 10 percent penalty to access the monies. But that’s not correct: we’ll show you three ways you can take your money out of your IRAs tax-free or penalty-free, or both, regardless of age or reason.

Retirement Plan and IRA Rollover Advice

When moving your retirement money to an IRA, you should follow this one rule of thumb. If you fail to follow it, you can face two big problems. First, your check will be shorted by 20 percent. Second, you will be on the search for replacement money.

Be Alert to the TCJA Tax Reform Attack on IRA Recharacterizations

The TCJA eliminates your ability to unwind a traditional IRA or other retirement plan transfer to a Roth IRA. This requires a change in your decision making for such transfers.

Q&A: 33 Last-Minute Tips to Save on Your 2017 Taxes

If you are looking for some last-minute tips to save on your 2017 federal income taxes, this article has what you need.

Q&A: S Corporation Distributions in Retirement

A business owner accumulates earnings in an S corporation and takes no distributions or salary. The business owner then retires and wants to draw the funds out tax-free over multiple years. Are there any issues with this strategy?

Child’s College: Use a 529 Plan or Tap Your Roth IRA?

Conventional wisdom says that it’s best to (1) fund your retirement before your child’s college, and (2) use your retirement savings for your retirement and not your child’s college expenses. But conventional wisdom is like a general tax rule. There are exceptions.

Turbocharge Your Retirement Savings with an HSA

Looking for that extra boost to your retirement savings? Your first thought may have been to contribute to a traditional IRA. But before you do that, we have something else to show you. Consider a health savings account (HSA). That’s right. An HSA can be more than just funds you set aside to cover those copays. This is one surprisingly powerful savings tool that provides a much-needed boost to your retirement savings. See why an HSA provides some big benefits you won’t get with a traditional IRA.

Use a Tax-Advantaged SEP or 401(k) to Retire Early and in Comfort

When you operate your own business, don’t pay yourself last. Pay yourself first. That’s a wealth-building strategy. And if you can combine the pay-yourself-first strategy with a retirement plan, you supercharge your wealth strategy.

Dangerous Waters of Inherited Non-Spousal IRAs—Navigate Carefully

Special rules apply to inherited traditional IRAs. In this article, we look at non-spousal IRA inheritances that have their own sets of special rules. For the most part, you will like the rules. And in setting up your IRA for your beneficiaries, you should consider the stretch strategy.

2016 Last-Minute Year-End Retirement and Medical Tax Deductions

When you get busy with your business, it’s easy to forget about your retirement accounts and medical coverages and plans. But year-end is approaching, and now’s the time to take action to cut your 2016 taxes. This article gives you six action steps for 2016 that can help you reduce your taxes and pocket extra money.

Want to Leave the U.S.? You May Have to Pay These Taxes

Planning on leaving the U.S.? If so, you have two choices from a tax perspective, but neither is painless. The tax law that applies to foreign living and expatriation can be tricky, so it’s essential that you depart the country correctly.

Earn Big Returns with Self-Directed IRAs, but Tread Carefully

As a successful entrepreneur, you’re used to managing every aspect of your business. So it makes sense to pick a retirement plan like a self-directed IRA that gives you virtually unlimited discretion in your investment choices. But when you take this route, be very careful! You need to know the rules of the road, or you could trigger the collapse of your IRA and incur a retirement-ruining tax bill.

Age 70 1/2 or Older? Make Your IRA Donate Directly to Charity

When you turn age 70 1/2, the IRS wants a piece of those IRA accounts that you built up all those years. You’re required to make mandatory withdrawals each year just so the IRS can tax you on those amounts. But what if you can limit, perhaps even eliminate, these required withdrawals? Not only that, what if you could benefit a local charity in the process as well? Find out how donating to charity directly from your IRA accounts can make a huge impact on your bottom line.

Beyond the FBAR: Discover Little-Known Traps in Foreign Reporting

The IRS is pursuing taxpayers with foreign accounts and activities. You are likely aware of the FBAR and Form 8939 filing requirements, but the tax code has many other lesser-known required filings that carry large penalties for non-filing. Get onboard now. Learn the tax code’s requirements and how you might fix noncompliance and avoid huge penalties.

2015 Last-Minute Year-End Retirement and Medical Tax Deductions

When you get busy with your business, it’s easy to forget about your retirement accounts and medical coverages and plans. But year-end is approaching, and now’s the time to take action to cut your 2015 taxes. This article gives you six action steps for 2015 that can help you reduce your taxes and pocket extra money.

Three Traps to Avoid when Tapping Your IRA for Medical Expenses

You might want to tap your IRA penalty-free for medical expenses. If so, avoid the three traps that we explain in this article. Don’t be a victim. You suffer first because you incurred medical expenses, then you have to pay income taxes on the withdrawal of money from your traditional IRA, so the last thing you want is to pay a 10 percent penalty on top of all that.

How Many $15,000 Penalties Do You Face for Not Filing Form 5500-EZ?

Do you have a solo 401(k) plan with more than $250,000 in it? Did you, your tax preparer, or the plan administrator file your 5500-EZ? Are you sure? The penalty for not filing the required 5500-EZ for a plan year is $25 a day, capped at $15,000. That’s for one plan year. If you failed for 10 years, that’s $150,000.

Use These Strategies to Avoid Getting Slammed with Taxes When You Roll Over a Traditional IRA to a Roth

A Roth IRA is an extremely attractive option for retirement savings, since you can grow those earnings completely tax-free. You can convert your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA no matter how high your income. But you could get slammed with a hefty tax bill when you make the switch without a plan. In this article, you find three surefire strategies that will not only minimize your tax bill when you roll over those funds to a Roth IRA, but in some cases also eliminate the additional taxes completely!

Tap Your Roth IRA the Right Way—Tax-Free and Penalty-Free

A Roth IRA is not your average retirement plan. It’s a retirement savings, boondoggle savings, down payment savings, college savings, and emergency savings plan all wrapped into one. But to realize the benefits, you need to know how to avoid taxes and penalties when you take the money out. The good news: do this right and you can tap that Roth IRA and pay ZERO taxes and ZERO penalties.

Don’t Let Income Limits Block Your Roth IRA Contributions: Build an Even Larger Retirement Stash

Would you like to use a Roth IRA for your retirement investments, even though you make too much money to contribute to the account directly? You can. Congress has “accidentally on purpose” created loopholes to allow even high-income earners to contribute to Roth retirement accounts. But you can’t contribute directly. You have to bring your money in through the back door.

Slash Taxes When Rolling Over Your 401(k) Funds: Use This IRA Double-Win Strategy

The IRA double-win strategy allows you to get a tax benefit when you first contribute to your retirement plan and then again when you withdraw the money. This article reviews how the strategy works and answers some member questions we received regarding the process.

IRA Double-Win Strategy: Minimize Your Taxes Further by Rolling Them Forward and Backward

Your traditional IRA comes with a looming tax bill. Sure, you deduct your contributions, but you have to pay tax on 100 percent of the money you eventually withdraw. Fortunately, the tax code gives you a great year-end planning technique that you can use to minimize this future tax. You can strategically roll your traditional IRAs forward (and backward) to Roth IRAs, which allow you to withdraw qualified distributions tax-free.

Year-End Retirement and Medical Tax-Deduction Strategies: 7 Ways to Pocket More Money

When you get busy with your business, it’s easy to forget about your retirement accounts and medical coverages and plans. But year-end is approaching, and now’s the time to take action. This article gives you seven action steps that help you reduce your taxes, pocket extra money, and get ready for 2015.

Beware: Court Makes New Dangerous Law on IRA Rollovers

IRA rollovers are dangerous. In a recent court case, a judge overturned a long-standing rule on IRAs, subjecting the taxpayer to income taxes, a 10 percent penalty, and an additional 20 percent penalty! Learn how the court made a new rule that you want to avoid, and then discover an alternative method for your retirement funds that completely eliminates the danger.

Creating Year-End Medical and Retirement Plan Tax Deductions

In this article, you’ll learn how to create and/or ensure medical and retirement deductions before December 31. Of course, you need to get busy now. There’s not much time left. And if you are one of the targets who’s now subject to the new, higher tax rates that apply in 2013, you will find year-end planning more beneficial than ever.

Make Your Section 105 Plan Work in Retirement

Let’s say that you have the Section 105 medical reimbursement plan in place that benefits you and your family. What happens if you or your employee-spouse retires? Here’s good news. With planning, your Section 105 plan can continue into retirement.

Impact of Death, Retirement, and Disability on the 179 Deduction

Have you purchased vehicles for use in your business? Did you take a 179 deduction for them? What happens to your deduction if you retire or become disabled before the end of the vehicle’s useful life? What if you die? This article gives you what you need to know.

Mom Dies: Daughter Inherits and Fixes Five Inferior Annuities

Say you inherit an annuity. That’s nice. But when you examine the annuity you find that it’s a bad investment; what can you do about it? Answer: plenty! This article shows you how a Section 1035 tax-free exchange can work to your benefit. Note the words “tax free.” That’s lovely, a tax-free fix for a bad annuity.

Oops! Loan Guarantee Sinks Self-Directed IRA

Taxpayers get into a self-directed IRA to achieve investment returns larger than they can achieve with conventional IRAs. Whether that works out or not is the investment side, but another big issue is the tax side. In this court case, the taxpayers learned that they destroyed their self-directed IRA on the first day. Thus, during the six years this self-directed IRA operated it did not exist under the law. This put the IRA owners on the hook for taxes and penalties.

Fatal Error Makes Management Service Firm Fail as a Tax Strategy

Would you like to find more tax deductions for your business? This taxpayer created an ESOP as one way to gain more tax benefits from his business. He also created a management services corporation to provide services for his existing corporation. But he made one common and most tragic error. He just did not do the work.

Cut the Spouse’s Tax Cost of Inherited IRAs

Inheriting an IRA used to mean a heavy estate tax and federal income tax burden. But recent changes to the estate tax have significantly reduced this burden. Further, spouses have special income-tax planning techniques available that can make inheriting an IRA today a much happier experience.

Retirement Plan Design When You Have Employees

Employees complicate your retirement plan design, but you have many design options. This article takes you through six plan designs that open your eyes to the many possibilities you have to ensure that you get from your retirement plan the maximum retirement benefits you want.

Choosing the Right Retirement Plan Design

Have you considered the options that are available to you in designing your retirement plan? In this article, you will see how you might put away as much as $214,404 when you earn only $140,000. On the other hand, you might not want to put anything into retirement this year, and this article explains how your plan design can enable a zero contribution.

6 Year-End Medical and Retirement Tax Tips

In this article, you’ll learn four tax-planning strategies for your medical deductions and two strategies for your retirement. If you want to implement the strategies for 2012, you need to get busy now. There’s not much time left, and one of these strategies requires action before December 1.

Is the S Corporation the Best Tax-Deduction Entity for Your Business?

To know if the S corporation is the best choice of entity for your business, first you need to consider three advantages and nine disadvantages. Next, you need to take the S corporation advantages and disadvantages that apply to you and get a bottom-line number comparison with your second choice for an operating entity. In this way, you can make a logical choice, knowing that your best choice will stay with you for a number of years and let you pocket more after-tax cash while you sleep better at night.

Last-Minute Year-End Tax Planning for Your Business Tax Deductions

Are you looking for more tax deductions this year? It’s not too late. Learn 12 last-minute tax-planning ideas that you can implement to create or push more deductions into this year so you can pay less in taxes this year.

How to Find Your Best Tax-Deduction Business Entity

Is your business entity the best tax-deduction business entity for you? Do you need liability protection? How do the different entities produce different tax deductions? If you are looking for answers to these questions, this article is for you. Also, the article contains one sure way to select the best business entity for you.

Use Business Tax Deductions to Build Your Child’s College Fund

Your business ownership creates an opportunity for a tax plan that can give you tax deductions for hiring your children and can give your children tax-free income. But your tax plan does not stop there. Your children might start Roth IRAs where they can invest their tax-free income in a college fund. Done right, as described in this article, the government pays you for your help with this plan.

Roth IRA Owns Foreign Sales Corporation

The Roth IRA is tax advantaged. The foreign sales corporation also is tax advantaged. Imagine putting the tax-advantaged foreign sales corporation inside a tax-advantaged Roth IRA. That’s what happens in this article.

Best Small-Business Retirement Plans: Part 4, the Solo 401(k) Option

This is part 4 in our series of articles on retirement plans for the one-owner or husband-and-wife-owned business. Here we explain the solo 401(k), which permits the largest deductions of the defined contribution plans. The solo 401(k) has unique advantages when your income fits this profile.

Roth IRA Owns a Domestic International Sales Corporation (DISC)

The self-directed IRA is not a common sight, but it is even more uncommon, almost rare in fact, for the self-directed IRA to have an interest in a tax-advantaged domestic international sales corporation. This article gives insight into what’s possible with a self-directed IRA.

Best Small-Business Retirement Plans: Part 3, the SIMPLE-IRA Option

The SIMPLE-IRA may be the best retirement plan for the modest-income business owner. And, as you would expect from its name, the SIMPLE-IRA is easy to understand and implement. However, there is one very unusual exception. The SIMPLE-IRA has a current-year October 1 deadline for having the plan in place. That’s 12.5 months earlier than the deadline for a SEP.

The Best Small-Business Retirement Plans: Part 2, the Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) Option

This is the second article in our series on the best small-business retirement plans. Here we identify the four major advantages and three disadvantages to the SEP.

The Best Small-Business Retirement Plans: Part 1

This is the first in a series of articles on retirement plans for small-business owners. In this first article, you learn the basics. Why should you have a retirement plan? When should you start contributing to your plan? What types of plans are available to you? Regardless of the type of business entity—proprietorship, LLC, S corporation, or C corporation—this article gives you the basics you need for a quality retirement plan.

Tax Tips to Save Your Social Security Benefits

You might think that you are entitled to your Social Security benefits. In fact, that would be logical. Unfortunately, however, it’s not true. You need to plan your benefit collections, or you could lose a huge chunk to taxes.

12 Last-Minute Tax Tips Not Related to Vehicles for 2010

This issue contains 21 last-minute tax tips that you can use for 2010. We broke the tips into two articles: one for vehicles and one not related to vehicles. This article contains 12 last-minute tax tips that are not related to vehicles.

Social Security with Wages and Business Loss

If you draw Social Security retirement benefits before full retirement age, you face the loss of $1 in benefits for each $2 of earnings over $14,160. Further, when the provisional income on your tax return exceeds $25,000 (single) or $32,000 (married), you must include at least 50 and not more than 85 percent of your Social Security benefits in taxable income. Thus, your receipt of Social Security benefits triggers the need for planning.

IRS Releases Guidance on IRA Transfer to HSA

A new 2006 law allows a one-time transfer of money from your IRA to an HSA. If you do it right, you can avoid income taxes or penalties. We’ll show you how.

How Self-Directing Your Retirement Plan Can Work to Your Benefit

Don’t waste time and money in a bad retirement plan. Your IRA can accumulate great wealth for your retirement when done properly. A self-directed retirement might be the answer for you.

IRS Levies IRA for Back Taxes

Anti-alienation provisions prevent ordinary creditors from levying pension payments. The IRS does not suffer these provisions.

 

Solo 401(k) for Employee-Wife

This proprietor paid his employee-wife $12,000 in wages. Now, she wants to contribute the entire $12,000 as an elective deferral to her 401(k) account but she no longer has $12,000 because of payroll taxes. With some mechanical adjustments, the employee-wife may contribute the full $12,000.

Solo 401(k) with Your Employee-Spouse

The combination of a Section 105 medical plan and a $15,500 salary to the spouse generated a $32,875 tax deduction for the business, no taxable income for the spouse, and a cash contribution to the spouse’s 401(k) retirement account of $19,375.

 

Withhold Taxes?

If you must start taking minimum IRA distributions, you decide to have the IRA withhold the taxes or not. If you are not currently making any estimated tax payments, it might be a good idea to have them take care of that paperwork for you, but if you are currently paying estimated taxes, pay more with each estimate.

IRA Donation to 501(c)(3)

If you want to donate money from your IRA to charity, there are two ways to do it: you can have the IRA send the money directly to the charity, or you can do it an alternate way. We recommend sending the money directly to save money on taxes. There are important details, however, so read closely.

401(k) at Age 74

Although required to withdraw money beginning at age 70½, this age 74 taxpayer should continue to invest in his 401(k) to take advantage of tax-free compounding for an additional 12 plus years.

Solo 401(k)

The solo 401(k) is one great retirement vehicle for the independent contractor.

Solo 401(k) Could Be the Perfect Retirement Plan for You

Incorporated and unincorporated businesses can use the solo 401(k) to benefit the owner (including a husband and wife). In most cases, the solo 401(k) allows the one-owner or husband-and-wife owners to put away more than they could in other plans (up to $49,000 this year, depending on age and earnings—adjusted for inflation in future years).

New Law and New Times Require a Close Look at Your Retirement Funds

This new law requires that you look at your retirement plans through new eyes. Caution is one watchword here. You have much to consider, including how to obtain a strong rate of return on your retirement assets and factors outside your control like the pension bailout of the airline industry. With the new rules, the 401(k) looks better and better, especially if you have employees.

Death Taxes the IRA

At death, IRAs are not treated like homes, which pass to the heirs at fair market value with no income tax issues. Instead, the IRA faces both the estate tax and the income tax. In this court case, the combined estate and income taxes devoured $1.6 million and the heirs had $1.1 million left to spend.

Early Social Security

When you take early retirement and your income is greater than the thresholds, your Social Security benefits are subject to (1) recapture by the Social Security Administration and (2) taxation by the IRS. Tax planning to avoid both benefit recapture and taxation of benefits involves the possible use of an S or C corporation.

New $94,200 Base for Self-Employment Creates Need for Better Planning

In 1935, the self-employment tax topped out at $60. In 2006, the first part of the self-employment tax tops out at $14,413, but the 2.9 percent Medicare part continues after that without limits. Good tax planning for the self-employment tax is like an annuity. It gives you monetary returns—year after year—every year you are in business. So, plan now and consider everything from choice of entity to hiring your children.

Pension Coverage for Employees

You often have many alternatives when it comes to pension coverage for you and your employees. This is an area where you should speak with several individuals, including your tax advisor and life insurance agent, before making a decision.