Tax savings for empty-nesters
Roll over an inherited 401(k), help your children earn a credit for retirement savings and rack up tax savings in the process.
Empty-nesters should make these moves throughout the year to keep their bill low at tax time. Here are the areas where you should look for savings:
Give yourself a raise. If you got a big tax refund this year, it meant that you’re having too much tax taken out of your paycheck every payday. Filing a new W-4 form with your employer (talk to your payroll office) will insure that you get more of your money when you earn it. If you’re just average, you deserve about $225 a month extra. Try our easy withholding calculator now to see if you deserve more allowances.
Go for a health tax break. Be aggressive if your employer offers a medical reimbursement account — sometimes called a flex plan. These plans let you divert part of your salary to an account which you can then tap to pay medical bills. The advantage? You avoid both income and Social Security tax on the money, and that can save you 20 percent to 35 percent or more compared with spending after-tax money. The maximum you can contribute to a health care flex plan is $2,500.
Stash cash in a self-employed retirement account. If you have your own business, you have several choices of tax-favored retirement accounts, including Keogh plans, Simplified Employee Pensions, or SEPs, and individual 401(k)s. Contributions cut your tax bill now while earnings grow tax-deferred for your retirement.continue reading »