Thursday, October 21, 2021

Tax Tips After January 1, 2022

 If you think your tax bill is chiseled in stone at the end of the year, think again. Though it’s true that most money-saving options to defer income or accelerate deductions become much more limited after December 31, there is still a lot you can do to make the tax-filing season cheaper and easier. Here are 10 tax tips for the new year to help you lower your taxes, save money when preparing your tax return, and avoid tax penalties ...

Read more at TurboTax - 6 min. read

Thursday, October 7, 2021

What Is the Capital Gain Tax?

 Capital Gains Tax

Capital gains are the profits realized from the sale of capital assets such as stocks, bonds, and property. The capital gain tax is triggered only when an asset is sold, not while the asset is held by an investor. However, when a mutual fund sells shares of its holdings during the year, mutual fund investors could be charged capital gains. (A fund’s capital gains distribution is not taxable if the fund is held in a tax-deferred account.)

There are two types of capital gains: long term and short term; each is subject to different tax rates. Long-term gains are profits on assets held longer than 12 months before they are sold by the investor. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 instituted a long-term capital gains tax rate for taxpayers of up to 20%. Short-term gains (on assets held for 12 months or less) are taxed as ordinary income at the seller’s marginal income tax rate.

Social Security’s Uncertain Future: What You Should Know

Social Security is a pay-as-you-go system, which means today’s workers are paying taxes for the benefits received by today’s retirees. However, demographic trends such as lower birth rates, higher retirement rates, and longer life spans are causing long-run fiscal challenges. There are simply not enough U.S. workers to support the growing number of beneficiaries. Social Security is not in danger of collapsing, but the clock is ticking on the program’s ability to pay full benefits.

Photo of Social Security Administration building

Each year, the Trustees of the Social Security Trust Funds provide a detailed report to Congress that tracks the program’s current financial condition and projected financial outlook. In the latest report, released in August 2021, the Trustees estimate that the retirement program will have funds to pay full benefits only until 2033, unless Congress acts to shore up the program. This day of reckoning is expected to come one year sooner than previously projected because of the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.