Think You Missed the Boat on Roth Conversion?

Tara Thompson Popernik (pictured) and Paul Robertson

Not likely. As long as you don’t expect to spend down all of your IRA assets, our research suggests that converting your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA can save you plenty on taxes. Conversion would have saved you even more before the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) took effect in January, but that’s water under the bridge now.

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My, What Big Teeth You Have! Minimizing This Year’s Tax Bite

Tara Thompson Popernik (pictured) and Paul Robertson

Come April, some Americans will be shocked by their income tax bills, as new rates introduced by the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) of 2012 begin to bite. We estimate that the federal tax bill could rise 14% in 2013 versus 2012 for a hypothetical couple with the income summarized in the display below.

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What Uncle Sam Taketh Away, You Can Give Back (and Get a Tax Deduction)

By Kathleen Fisher (pictured) and Tara Thompson Popernik

The government shutdown, now in its second week, has temporarily stopped the flow of government funding for many worthy organizations and may strain the resources of others. Federal grant administration is being delayed. For example, the grant administration staff at the National Institutes of Health has been furloughed; that may stop or slow grants for medical research. Federally funded nutrition programs are facing interruptions, which may increase demand for local social-services charities. Any donations you make now will mean more than ever to charitable organizations. And with federal tax rates up this year, your gift can save you more on your tax bill. (more…)


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To Reduce Your US Tax Bill, Keep Dividends Qualified

Paul Robertson and Tuppence Russo

The recently passed American Tax Relief Act (ATRA) raised the top tax rate for qualified dividends, but it scarcely affected the benefit this rate provides to investors. That’s because ATRA also raised the top tax rate on ordinary income—the rate investors have to pay for nonqualified dividends—by nearly as much. (more…)


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New US Tax Law May Reduce Portfolio Trading

Daniel B. Eagan, Paul Robertson and Tara Thompson-Popernik

By raising capital-gains tax rates for some investors, the American Tax Relief Act alters the ground rules for tax-aware trading. If your taxable income exceeds $400,000 (single filer) or $450,000 (joint filer), there may now be less trading in your portfolio because each trade must clear a higher hurdle. (more…)


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