When I filed my taxes for the first time, I didn’t have Turbotax or any other program to help me out. It was a very intimidating and scary process for me and I was constantly worried about messing up and having to pay a penalty to IRS. Filing for taxes is an easy job if you are aware of what you need to do. The following are some of the tips that you can use as a first time tax filer:
The first thing that you need to do is to organize all your files and documents. Have all these stored in one place, be it the forms, the receipts or other kinds of relevant documentation. By doing this you will be able to save a lot of time and also make the whole process more easy and convenient. Next, you should also check whether you qualify to file for free or not. If you have a W-2 along with very little bank interest then you would qualify.
Also, do not forget about filing for your state taxes with TurboTax 2015. When you have a tax filing program like TurboTax, you would be able to file for state taxes and federal taxes easily because all your information can be transferred automatically. Another top tip to keep in mind would be to file online using TurboTax 2015 instead of doing the process manually because the latter is a time consuming process and the scope for errors is also higher.
This article will focus on 401k plan participants expressed desire for help with asset allocation strategies; but, with a twist.
The author just finished reading a white paper prepared by ING Retirement Research Institute released on 3/31/2011. The title of the report is “Shedding Light on Retirement.” 2,600 401k plan participants were surveyed by the Boston Consulting Group on behalf of ING. One commentator took the report and proclaimed that the report indicated plan participants wanted help from their employers with asset allocation strategies. In fact 89% of the respondents said this was the help they wanted.
This is why I always prefer to read source material. Yes, the plan participants did say they wanted this help. However, in looking at the report, there were notable paradoxes in the responses. Specifically, 79% said they want control over how they invest; yet, over half stated they want more guidance, a roadmap, from their employer. In addition, 76% stated they want more investment choices; however, over half said they do not know how to achieve their retirement goals.
ING’s response to this survey was to create a website to help participants with education and offer personal contact, if they wish.
I suppose that is one solution. Perhaps another solution would be for employers to include professional 401k advisors for face-to-face, employee consultations. Survey participants seemed to suggest this is what they wanted; but, will such an offering by employers expose them to the Fiduciary Liability that they were so anxious to avoid when they terminated defined benefit plans?
Perhaps the responsibility is on the employee to realize they are truly on their own to find finance professional for themselves. Asset allocation strategies are not the only thing that 401k plan participants desire. Many said they need help determining how much money they will need to take them through their retirement years and they also wanted help with an annual checkup to see if they are on track. Perhaps 401k advisors are the answer. The real question is how to deliver the service.
As an employer, small business owner or self-employed individual, there are a lot of factors that you need to work out to keep the company and/or the business growing. You have to monitor employee’s performance, keep expenses within the budget, and many more more. Another possible source of problems and worry is which type of retirement plan to choose for yourself and for those under you. Of all plans tailored for small business owners and the self-employed, a SEP IRA is probably the best retirement plan you could choose. But does is suit your needs and preferences? Here are 3 common concerns of people choosing their retirement plan:
Do you want a plan that is easy to setup?
A SEP plan is very easy to set up. As an employer, you will be responsible for setting up the SEP by filling up Form 5305-SEP. Employees on the hand are the ones who will open their individual IRA accounts that will fall under the SEP. Both parties must agree to the terms of the SEP.
Are you concerned of contribution rules?
With a SEP, contribution rules are very flexible. In this plan, only employers are allowed to contribute to their employees’ IRAs. All contributions made by the employer cannot be deducted from the employee’s salaries. While this may seem like a loss for the employer, any contribution made is 100% tax deductible.
When I am at retiring age, how will the money be distributed?
In the SEP plan, withdrawals can be done starting age 59 ½ and required distributions start at 70 ½. Any withdrawal done before age 59 ½ is subject to penalties and taxes. Since required distributions start a later time (10 years) compared to other retirement plans, your money has more time to grow until the required distributions start.
even if your moving from one company to be self employed, you can do a rollover 401k into a sep ira.
So, is a SEP IRA what’s best for your needs?