Which states are most tax-friendly for retirees? — Larry O.
There are a lot of things to think about when choosing a place to retire, and state taxes are definitely worth considering. It's particularly useful to look at how states tax Social Security, pensions and IRA distributions, says Liane Warcup of Geneva, Ill.-based Clarus Financial Planning.
For instance, Social Security benefits are federally taxed, but they are excluded at the state level in MOREDec 19, 2012 6:30 AM ET
My U.S. stock mutual fund has risen in value by 20% this year. I want to be sure to capture that 20% gain. Will the mutual fund's year-end capital gains distribution capture that 20% gain, or do I have to sell the mutual fund shares to do so? — Paul K.
You have to sell your fund shares to capture that gain. Your fund realizes its own capital gains and losses MOREDec 17, 2012 6:31 AM ET
Let's say I make a loan to my (or my wife's) business by borrowing from my 401(k) and using the money for business expenses. Is the interest the business pays back to my 401(k) plan tax deductible? — Michael R.
The short answer is no, according to Myrna Mitnick, a senior tax manager at Baltimore, Md.-based CPA firm Leonard J. Miller & Associates. The IRS typically does allow businesses to deduct MOREDec 14, 2012 6:30 AM ET
Should I purchase additional service credit to increase the final compensation for my pension plan? I'm currently 42 and plan to retire at 62. At that age, I will receive 81.5% of my $10,000-a-month income. I was told I could increase my final compensation by about 10% at the cost of $82,000 (which I plan to transfer from my 457 plan). Is this a good idea? – Name withheld
Given your MOREDec 12, 2012 6:30 AM ET
Can I invest both pre- and post-tax dollars in the same 401(k)? If so, how do I know what taxes I owe at withdrawal? — Kathy B.
Whether or not you can invest both pre-tax and after-tax dollars in the same 401(k) depends on the plan itself. It's a safe bet that your employer's 401(k) plan permits pre-tax contributions, according to Kaye Thomas, who spent two decades as a tax lawyer MOREDec 11, 2012 6:32 AM ET
After reading about Uniform Transfer to Minors Act (UTMA) accounts, I regret opening one for my 13-year-old daughter. As I understand it, her mutual fund UTMA will reduce her financial aid by a greater amount than if the money was in my name or in a 529 plan. My daughter has about $3,000 in the account. How can I transfer it into a 529 plan without being penalized on taxes? MOREDec 10, 2012 6:30 AM ET
My mom just passed away, and I'm the beneficiary of her $25,000 life insurance policy. Am I taxed on this? I plan to disperse the money to others in my family. Can I pay tax on it off the top so others don't have to pay tax on the money? –Jerry
In general, the face value of a life insurance policy is not subject to federal income tax, says Susan Growney, MOREDec 4, 2012 6:32 AM ET
Both of my daughters own Home Depot stock that my father gave them. With the pending tax changes in 2013, should I sell their stock now and place the money into their 529s? One starts college in the fall of 2014, and the other in 2016. —Kathi L.
Long-term capital gains rates are set to rise from 15% to 20% in 2013 (though President Obama and Congress may end up agreeing MORENov 27, 2012 6:30 AM ET
Are there any downsides to investing in a limited partnership, as opposed to stocks? — Mike Davis, California
In a nutshell, yes. Though master limited partnerships — which earn income chiefly from real estate, natural resources, and commodities — often yield more than shares of their plain-vanilla corporate cousins, they have their drawbacks.
Legal intricacies make filing your tax return confusing and time consuming. MLP income over $1,000 in a retirement account is MORENov 23, 2012 6:30 AM ET
Our daughter is building a new home with an in-law suite for us. I am 72 and my wife is 68. We plan to sell our present home and contribute $300,000 of the proceeds to live in this in-law suite. Is there a tax liability for our daughter or us? Also, since we plan to live out our lives in this arrangement, would this contribution be an estate asset for MORENov 19, 2012 6:30 AM ET
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