Home » RETIREMENT PLAN
Category Archives: RETIREMENT PLAN
Taking money out early from your retirement plan can cost you an extra 10 percent in taxes. Here are five things you should know about early withdrawals from retirement plans.
1. An early withdrawal normally means taking money from your plan, such as a 401(k), before you reach age 59½.
2. You must report the amount you withdrew from your retirement plan to the IRS. You may have to pay an additional 10 percent tax on your withdrawal.
3. The additional 10 percent tax normally does not apply to nontaxable withdrawals. Nontaxable withdrawals include withdrawals of your cost in participating in the plan. Your cost includes contributions that you paid tax on before you put them into the plan.
4. If you transfer a withdrawal from one qualified retirement plan to another within 60 days, the transfer is a rollover. Rollovers are not subject to income tax. The added 10 percent tax also does not apply to a rollover.
5. There are several other exceptions to the additional 10 percent tax. These include withdrawals if you have certain medical expenses or if you are disabled. Some of the exceptions for retirement plans are different from the rules for IRAs.
For more information on early distributions from retirement plans, see IRS Publication 575, Pension and Annuity Income. Also, see IRS Publication 590, Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs). Both publications are available at IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
Additional IRS Resources:
Are you self-employed? Did you know you have many of the same options to save for retirement on a tax-deferred basis as employees participating in company plans?
Here are highlights of a few of your retirement plan options.
Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE IRA Plan)
- You can put all your net earnings from self-employment in the plan: up to $11,500 (plus an additional $2,500 if you’re 50 or older) in salary reduction contributions and either a 2% fixed contribution or a 3% matching contribution.
- Establish the plan:
- Form 5305-SIMPLE, Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees of Small Employers (SIMPLE) – for Use With a Designated Financial Institution,
- Form 5304-SIMPLE, Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees of Small Employers (SIMPLE) – Not for Use With a Designated Financial Institution, or
- an IRS-approved “prototype SIMPLE IRA plan” offered by many mutual funds, banks and other financial institutions, and by plan administration companies; and
- open a SIMPLE IRA through a bank or another financial institution.
- Set up a SIMPLE IRA plan at any time January 1 through October 1. If you became self-employed after October 1, you can set up a SIMPLE IRA plan for the year as soon as administratively feasible after your business starts.
Simplified Employee Pension (SEP)
Contribute as much as 25% of your net earnings from self-employment (not including contributions for yourself), up to $49,000.
- Establish the plan:
- Form 5305-SEP, Simplified Employee Pension – Individual Retirement Accounts Contribution Agreement, or
- an IRS-approved “prototype SEP plan” offered by many mutual funds, banks and other financial institutions, and by plan administration companies; and
- open a SEP-IRA through a bank or other financial institution.
Set up the SEP plan for a year as late as the due date (including extensions) of your income tax return for that year.
- Make salary deferrals up to $16,500 (plus an additional $5,500 if you’re 50 or older) of your compensation from the business either on a pre-tax basis or as a designated Roth contribution.
- Contribute up to an additional 25% of your net earnings from self-employment (not including contributions for yourself), up to $49,000 including salary deferrals.
- Tailor the plan to allow you access to the money in the plan through loans and hardship distributions.
- A one-participant 401(k) plan is sometimes referred to as a “solo-401(k),” “individual 401(k)” or “uni-401(k).” It is generally the same as other 401(k) plans, but because there are no other employees, other than the spouse, that work for the business, it is exempt from discrimination testing.
Other Defined Contribution Plans
- Profit-sharing plan: allows you to decide how much to contribute on an annual basis, up to 25% of compensation (not including contributions for yourself) or $49,000.
- Money purchase plan: requires you to contribute a fixed percentage of your income every year, up to 25% of compensation (not including contributions for yourself), according to a formula stated in the plan.
Traditional pension plan with a stated annual benefit you will receive at retirement, usually based on salary and years of service.
Benefit may also be defined based on a cash balance formula in a hypothetical individual account (a cash balance plan).
Maximum annual benefit can be up to $195,000.
Contributions are calculated by an actuary based on the benefit you set and other factors (your age, expected returns on plan investments, etc.); no other annual contribution limit applies.
Retirement plans for self-employed people were formerly referred to as “Keogh plans” after the law that first allowed unincorporated businesses to sponsor retirement plans. Since the law no longer distinguishes between corporate and other plan sponsors, the term is seldom used.
Dollar figures are for 2011 and are subject to annual cost-of-living adjustments.
- Self Directed Brokerage Accounts (401k-plan-blog.com)
- SBO 401K for Partnership Businesses: Easy Method of Making Retirement Contributions (401k-plan-blog.com)
- 100% Contributions with Solo 401k (401k-plan-blog.com)
Avoid a Compliance Examination of Your Retirement Plan by Completing Your 401(K) Compliance Check Questionnaire
By Stacie Clifford Kitts, CPA
Are you one of the lucky employers who will receive a letter from the IRS Employee Plans Compliance Unit (EPCU) ? Well, if you have a retirement plan and you are among the 1200 employers selected to complete the 401(k) Compliance Check Questionnaire you will receive your notice this week explaining how to complete it. The notice will direct you to a website asking you to respond to the following topics:
- Employer and employee contributions
- Top-heavy and nondiscrimination testing
- Distributions and plan loans
- Other plan operations
- Automatic contribution arrangements
- Designated Roth features
- IRS voluntary compliance and correction programs
- Plan administration
And what if you don’t respond – Well look forward to further action including a possible audit of your plan by the EPCU.
For more information, you can check out the “Retirement News For Employers” spring 2010 newsletter. I have included a copy of it at my Client Resource Center just look under the file named Pension Audit Resources.
If you have questions about completing the form, you should consult with your plan administrator for assistance.
If you make eligible contributions to an employer-sponsored retirement plan or to an individual retirement arrangement, you may be eligible for a tax credit. Here are six things you need to know about the Retirement Savings Contributions Credit:
1. Income Limits The Savers Credit, formally known as the Retirement Savings Contributions Credit, applies to individuals with a filing status and income of:
- Single, married filing separately, or qualifying widow(er), with income up to $27,750
- Head of Household, with income up to $41,625
- Married Filing Jointly, with income up to $55,500
2. Eligibility requirements To be eligible for the credit you must have been born before January 2, 1992, you cannot have been a full-time student during the calendar year and cannot be claimed as a dependent on another person’s return.
3. Credit amount If you make eligible contributions to a qualified IRA, 401(k) and certain other retirement plans, you may be able to take a credit of up to $1,000 or up to $2,000 if filing jointly. The credit is a percentage of the qualifying contribution amount, with the highest rate for taxpayers with the least income.
4. Distributions When figuring this credit, you generally must subtract the amount of distributions you have received from your retirement plans from the contributions you have made. This rule applies to distributions received in the two years before the year the credit is claimed, the year the credit is claimed, and the period after the end of the credit year but before the due date – including extensions – for filing the return for the credit year.
5. Other tax benefits The Retirement Savings Contributions Credit is in addition to other tax benefits which may result from the retirement contributions. For example, most workers at these income levels may deduct all or part of their contributions to a traditional IRA. Contributions to a regular 401(k) plan are not subject to income tax until withdrawn from the plan.
6. Forms to use To claim the credit use Form 8880, Credit for Qualified Retirement Savings Contributions.
For more information, review IRS Publication 590, Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs), Publication 4703, Retirement Savings Contributions Credit, and Form 8880. Publications and forms can be downloaded at IRS.gov or ordered by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
Some taxpayers may have needed to take an early distribution from their retirement plan last year. The IRS wants individuals who took an early distribution to know that there can be a tax impact to tapping your retirement fund. Here are ten facts about early distributions.
- Payments you receive from your Individual Retirement Arrangement before you reach age 59 ½ are generally considered early or premature distributions.
- Early distributions are usually subject to an additional 10 percent tax.
- Early distributions must also be reported to the IRS.
- Distributions you rollover to another IRA or qualified retirement plan are not subject to the additional 10 percent tax. You must complete the rollover within 60 days after the day you received the distribution.
- The amount you roll over is generally taxed when the new plan makes a distribution to you or your beneficiary.
- If you made nondeductible contributions to an IRA and later take early distributions from your IRA, the portion of the distribution attributable to those nondeductible contributions is not taxed.
- If you received an early distribution from a Roth IRA, the distribution attributable to your prior contributions is not taxed.
- If you received a distribution from any other qualified retirement plan, generally the entire distribution is taxable unless you made after-tax employee contributions to the plan.
- There are several exceptions to the additional 10 percent early distribution tax, such as when the distributions are used for the purchase of a first home, for certain medical or educational expenses, or if you are disabled.
- For more information about early distributions from retirement plans, the additional 10 percent tax and all the exceptions see IRS Publication 575, Pension and Annuity Income and Publication 590, Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs). Both publications are available at IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
As you get ready to prepare your 2009 tax return, the Internal Revenue Service wants to make sure you have all the details about tax law changes that may impact your tax return.
Here are the top five changes that may show up on your 2009 return.
1. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
ARRA provides several tax provisions that affect tax year 2009 individual tax returns due April 15, 2010. The recovery law provides tax incentives for first-time homebuyers, people who purchased new cars, those that made their homes more energy efficient, parents and students paying for college, and people who received unemployment compensation.
2. IRA Deduction Expanded
You may be able to take an IRA deduction if you were covered by a retirement plan and your 2009 modified adjusted gross income is less than $65,000 or $109,000 if you are married filing a joint return.
3. Standard Deduction Increased for Most Taxpayers
The 2009 basic standard deductions all increased. They are:
- $11,400 for married couples filing a joint return and qualifying widows and widowers
- $5,700 for singles and married individuals filing separate returns
- $8,350 for heads of household
Taxpayers can now claim an additional standard deduction based on the state or local sales or excise taxes paid on the purchase of most new motor vehicles purchased after February 16, 2009. You can also increase your standard deduction by the state or local real estate taxes paid during the year or net disaster losses suffered from a federally declared disaster.
4. 2009 Standard Mileage Rates
The standard mileage rates changed for 2009. The standard mileage rates for business use of a vehicle:
- 55 cents per mile
The standard mileage rates for the cost of operating a vehicle for medical reasons or a deductible move:
- 24 cents per mile
The standard mileage rate for using a car to provide services to charitable organizations remains at 14 cents per mile.
5. Kiddie Tax Change
The amount of taxable investment income a child can have without it being subject to tax at the parent’s rate has increased to $1,900 for 2009.
For more information about these and other changes for tax year 2009, visit IRS.gov.
- FS-2010-4, 2009 Tax Law Changes Provide Saving Opportunities for Nearly Everyone
- The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009: Information center
- 1040 Central
- Form 1040 instructions (PDF 941K)
IRS YouTube Videos:
- Tax Filing Season 2010 English | Spanish | ASL
- Earned Income Tax Credit English | Spanish | ASL
- Education Credits – Parents English| ASL
- Education Tax Credit-Claim it-Students English | Spanish | ASL
- Energy Tax Credits Claim It English | Spanish | ASL
- Haiti Earthquake Donations English | Spanish | ASL
- Making Work Pay – Claim It English | ASL
- New Homebuyer Credit-Claim It English | Spanish
- New Homebuyer Credit-Military English
- Split Refunds-Savings Bonds English | Spanish
- Unemployment Compensation English | Spanish
- Vehicle Tax Deduction – Claim It English | Spanish | ASL