Alpha’s Tax Tips

Convert Your Traditional IRA to a Roth? Now May Be a Good Time.

Want to convert a traditional IRA to a Roth? Now might be a good time to consider it. You’ll have to pay income tax on the converted funds for the year of the switch, but once the money is in the Roth IRA, future earnings and distributions that you take from the account are tax-free. […]

5 Tax Tips for Gig Economy

According to recent data from the Federal Reserve, nearly one out of every three Americans is involved in the gig economy (aka “sharing economy”). Strategy: Find out about the tax consequences. Workers in the gig economy have tax obligations and opportunities like those of other self-employed individuals. Notably, you must pay taxes on your earnings, […]

The Secure Act Brings Bevy of Changes

The Holiday season brought a multitude of changes to retirement planning, with President Trump signing the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act into law in December. Here are some of the most notable ways the Secure Act affects retirement savings so you can start adjusting your retirement strategy. (Unless noted, all changes apply […]

Withhold on RMD to Simplify Paying Taxes

For many retirees, paying taxes isn’t a one-time-a-year task. Instead, many must pay estimated taxes four times a year. The first quarterly payment is due in April, the same day as your tax return for the prior year. If you’re still working, you probably don’t need Form 1040-ES, which you use to figure estimated taxes. […]

Passing the Social Security Benefits Earnings Test

A big reason experts advise waiting until at least full retirement age to claim Social Security: You get to skip the benefits earnings test, which hits early claimers who are still working. But there are actually two earnings tests – and the second test can help early retirees leaving work midyear avoid the trap. The […]

Paying Capital Gains Tax Twice Isn’t Nice

If you’ve invested in mutual funds, you have probably realized capital gains and dividends from your investments over the years. Strategy: Don’t overpay your tax liability when you sell mutual fund shares. Despite improvements in digital record keeping, it’s still easy to inadvertently pay tax twice on mutual fund distributions when you’ve reinvested proceeds. For […]

Extend 529 Plan Tax Benefits

Did you set up your Section 529 account for a child who is graduating in May? It doesn’t mean that the good times have to end. Strategy: Roll over any unused funds into an account for another child. The rollover is completely exempt from tax. In other words, you don’t have to shut down the […]

Drive Up Biz Car Write-Offs

The tax code allows most business drivers to benefit from a convenient standard mileage rate. But the fastest and easiest way isn’t always the best way. Strategy: Compare the standard mileage rate results to your actual costs. Despite the extra recordkeeping hassles, the actual expense method may produce a much bigger annual deduction, if you […]

Tax Refund Direct Deposit

Having your refund deposited directly is the fastest way to get the money. The IRS pays most refunds within 21 days, but some refunds will be held up. Filers claiming the earned income tax credit or refundable child credit will have to wait until at least early March for their refunds, or even later if […]

Prepare to meet your tax ‘maker’

The days of you dropping a shoebox of receipts and records on the desk of your tax return preparer are hopefully long gone.  Not only can this cost you extra time and money, but it may also result in inaccuracies or omissions on your personal return. Strategy: Help your tax return preparer help you.  In […]