Tax rates Feed

April 15 was Tax Day for most of us. That included President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, as well as Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff. When Biden and Harris took office, they reinstated the annual tradition of our country's top elected officials voluntarily releasing their tax filings. The 2023 tax year returns of the Bidens and Harris/Emhoff earn this weekend's Saturday Shout Out. You can see the details at the White House's official Tax Returns online page. In addition to this year's filings, there are links to the returns filed by the president and... Read more →


Did you turn 73 last year? Belated happy birthday wishes. Now here's an important tax question about that septuagenarian celebration. Did you take your first required minimum distribution (RMD) from your tax-deferred retirement funds by the end of 2023? If the answer is no, then you've got to withdraw that mandated amount by next Monday, April 1. No fooling. Miss that RMD deadline date, and you'll owe Uncle Sam more money than just the tax due on your withdrawal amount. Ending tax deferral days: The Internal Revenue Code offers myriad tax benefits for retirement savers. Several of them provide tax-deferred... Read more →


Photo: President Joe Biden/White House Facebook page In his State of the Union address on March 7, President Joe Biden touched on how he wants to spend our money in the coming 2025 fiscal year. The Biden Administration followed up the next week with its formal budget proposal in the Treasury Department's General Explanations of the Administration's Fiscal Year 2025 Revenue Proposals. The Green Book, as it's popularly known, describes the tax proposals in the budget, along with associated revenue estimates. While a president is required by law to present a budget, what it includes — both in Biden's remarks... Read more →


President Joe Biden has targeted capital gains tax laws in his fiscal year 2025 budget. But don't freak out if you have some money in the markets. For the most part, Biden's looking to get more from really wealthy market mavens who typically pay lower capital gains tax rates on the long-term assets they sell. Collecting billionaires' unrealized capital gains: When you sell an asset for more than your paid for it, that profit is a capital gain. The tax rate for these gains typically is less than ordinary tax rates that apply to earnings like wages. In most cases,... Read more →


Is getting rich one of your 2024 New Year resolutions? It could happen tonight if you have the winning Powerball numbers. The Dec. 30, 2023, drawing didn't produce a winner of the multi-million dollar jackpot. So tonight's Powerball payout for a single winner is $810 million, or the more likely $408.9 million that's available in a single payment. The possible payout already is the fifth largest Powerball jackpot. And it will grow a bit more today, as wishful millionaires buy tickets up until the numbers are chosen at 10:59 p.m. Eastern Time tonight. UPDATE, Jan. 2, 2024: The New Year's... Read more →


Although hybrid work is still around, most companies returned mostly to pre-COVID-19 pandemic operations in 2023. That apparently includes bonuses for workers. These added employee payments came back in a big way this year, according to a survey last month by the national staffing firm Robert Half. The agency found that 96 percent of employers expect to award year-end bonuses, with 54 percent of those generous employers saying the amounts will be more than a year ago. If you're among those who got a little (or a lot of) extra cash from your boss, congratulations. Now let's talk taxes. Bonus... Read more →


To ensure you have the type of retirement you want, you must do some calculations, including figuring how your required minimum distributions fit in, financially and tax-wise. (Photo via Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images) Retirement savings can make a big difference in how enjoyable your post-work years will be. If you have tax-deferred retirement accounts, those savings also present new tax responsibilities once you reach a certain age. Some money in a traditional IRA that's been out of the Internal Revenue Service's reach for years must be taken out as a required minimum distribution, or RMD. Uncle Sam also... Read more →


UPDATED, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023, to add a couple of new links as I found as I caught up on my own weekend tax reading. Source: Monopoly Wiki An inheritance from a friend or relative can be a nice surprise and a way to fondly remember that person. Such gifts typically do not have any tax implications for either the estate or heirs, at least not immediately, at the federal level. As noted in Part 6 of the ol' blog's annual tax inflation series, the value of an estate that is exempt from Uncle Sam's clutches goes from $12.92 million... Read more →


Before law changes, the now inflation-indexed Alternative Minimum Tax, known as the AMT, seemed to work like an ATM for the U.S. Treasury. The AMT was created 54 years ago to ensure the rich paid at least some tax, but since it originally wasn't indexed for inflation, it increasingly affected a lot of less-wealthy taxpayers. (Photo by Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images) What's worse than figuring your tax bill? Having to figure a second, parallel amount you might owe. That's a situation that taxpayers who owe the Alternative Minimum Tax, or AMT, end up facing at filing time. The... Read more →


Plus, a look at how a higher cost of living affects gifts before you go, youngsters' investment earnings, and more. Photo by Lance Reis on Unsplash What we would do with our wealth may differ, but most of us want to be rich. And even if the Internal Revenue Service is successful in its recently announced effort to crack down on higher income tax evaders, having money is always preferable. In fact, if you've got beaucoup cash, you don't really have to try to slip one past Uncle Sam. Many of the current wealth-related provisions in the Internal Revenue Code... Read more →


Getting your tax ducks in a row takes on a different meaning, and bird, in November. But whatever fowl you choose for the metaphor, make some time this month to complete tasks that will prevent tax turkeys. (Photo by Mohan Nannapaneni) Hello, November! We welcome cooler (but not cold!) temperatures, holiday feasts (yes, I love pumpkin pie), and seeing family and friends for the first time in, well, months. This penultimate month of the year is also a good time to tackle some tax tasks. I know, you already have a lot on your November to-do list. But check out... Read more →


Photo by Nikola Knezevic on Unsplash The famous saying about all politics being local also applies to taxes, most notably property taxes. Property taxes are locally levied, usually by counties (or parishes if you're in Louisiana), meaning they vary widely across, and within, the 50 states. Local jurisdictions set the tax rate, but if real estate values increase, even a relatively low rate can mean a big tax bill on your home. Because of the complicated considerations involved in calculation property taxes, the Tax Foundation's latest analysis took a two-pronged approach. The Washington, D.C.-based tax policy nonprofit looked at median... Read more →


Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images When we watch streaming shows, the hubby and I get a kick out of the warnings that pop up before the programs start. The one that shows how things have changed the most is the alert that we will see people smoking. We both grew up in homes where both our parents smoked. So did their friends. And I smoked way to many cigarettes for almost a decade, before quitting as my wedding gift to the never inhaled any product hubby. While my smoking days ended because of love, money is a reason that... Read more →


America's elite billionaires club last week welcomed a new member. The person who has the sole winning ticket, purchased at a Publix grocery store in Neptune Beach, Florida, can claim the $1.58 billion Mega Millions jackpot. The Aug. 8 jackpot was the largest Mega Millions jackpot awarded, according to the national lottery. The winner, who has yet to come forward, has the option of taking the nearly $1.6 billion spread out over 30 years. Or the winner can slide into the millionaires' club by getting a single cash payment of $783.3 million. One vs. 30 payouts: Most people opt for... Read more →


Reviewed and updated Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024 The New Year's Day 2024 Powerball drawing was life-changing for the yet-to-be identified person who bought the lone winning ticket in Grand Blanc, Michigan. Congrats to the winner of the $842.4 million jackpot, which has a one-time cash payment value of $425.2 million. And better luck next time for the rest of us! Picking lucky numbers from a lottery game dispenser. Benjamin Franklin wasn't wrong, but he did live in pre-national lottery times. Today, joining death and taxes as life's constants is Americans' love of gambling. One of the most popular betting options... Read more →


Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden share a lighter moment. Last week, they also shared their 2022 federal and state tax returns with the American public. (Photo courtesy K. Harris/White House) The U.S. president's and vice president's tax returns were among the more than 117 million filings that the Internal Revenue Service has received through mid-April. We know this because, as is once again tradition, President Joe Biden and his wife, First Lady Jill Biden, made their 2022 tax return public. So did Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff. The Bidens' filing showed they paid... Read more →


Photo by Nicola Barts If you turned 72 last year and didn't take your first required minimum distribution (RMD) by Dec. 31, 2022, you have a few days to take the mandatory withdrawal. April 1 is your deadline to take out the specified amount from your tax-deferred retirement savings account(s). This year, however, is the last one for the age 72 RMD trigger. The latest retirement law changes in the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act 2.0 changed the RMD starting age to 73. However, there's been a bit of confusion about the change. Some people have... Read more →


Reviewed and updated Nov. 23, 2023 Photo by Mikkel Bergmann on Unsplash We're into the Thanksgiving weekend and still noshing on leftover turkey. (Or, in my case, pumpkin pie.) But here's a Tax Turkey you shouldn't let linger. Don't wait to look into converting, in full or partially, your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. Individual retirement savings options: IRAs, or individual retirement arrangements (although most of us read the A as account), have long been a popular way for individuals, with or without a workplace retirement plan, to save for their post-work year. The original version, now known as... Read more →


A single winning ticket for the record $2.04 billion Powerball lottery jackpot was sold in Altadena, California. The good news for the buyer, or buyers if it's a shared ticket, is that California is one of two states that don't tax lottery winnings. The other is Delaware. The bad news is that the U.S. Treasury still gets a big chuck of the huge payout when the winner(s) finally collect. Winnings are ordinary taxable income: Since lottery winnings are considered under the Internal Revenue Code as gambling proceeds, the Internal Revenue Service will get a cut. When winnings are more than... Read more →


Before law changes, the now inflation-indexed Alternative Minimum Tax, known as the AMT, seemed to work like an ATM for the Internal Revenue Service, allowing it to collect this parallel tax from more than the wealthy for whom it was created. (Photo by Erik Mclean) Calculating one tax bill is bad enough, but some people have to deal with a second one at tax filing time. The Alternative Minimum Tax, or AMT, is a separate tax system created to ensure that the wealthiest pay at least some tax. The parallel AMT was added to the Internal Revenue Code in 1969... Read more →