Retirement

Managing Company Stock in a 401(k); IRA Rollover vs. Taxable Account

Employees who are approaching retirement or taking advantage of a buyout and who hold company stock in a 401(k) should consider potential tax savings from taking a lump-sum distribution of the stock into a taxable brokerage account rather than rolling it into an IRA, USAToday says. The employee pays tax at the time of the distribution, based on his or her normal tax rate (25 percent or more) on the cost basis in the stock, not on its fair market value.
A&A

Succession Plans for Family Owned Businesses

Successful transitions from the first to the second or third generations in family-owned businesses come from identifying the family member who is capable of running the business and then structuring the transition as a business transaction, says Christopher Hirschfeld, Vice President and Managing Director, Goelzer Investment Banking, according to insideindianbusiness.com.The business owner may assume that a child wants to run the business and is capable, but “this assumption needs to be validated well before the owner steps aside,” Hirschfeld says.

Funding Bill Changes Rules for Ex-Spouses; Military Accountants

Last week the Senate Armed Services Committee approved three adjustments to the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act as part of the 2007 defense authorization bill (S 2766).

Penalties for Missed Medicare Drug Deadline May be Eliminated

Lawmakers are pushing to eliminate penalties for seniors who failed to enroll in the new Medicare prescription drug benefit by the May 15 deadline.Tens of thousands of seniors hustled to call Medicare's customer service operators or enroll online before the midnight cut-off time, but many were so overwhelmed by the complexity of Medicare Part D and the variety of choices available, that they couldn't make a decision.
Tax

Tax Bill Includes “AMT Patch”, Changes Roth IRA Rules

The tax bill passed by the House and Senate last week extends the maximum 15 percent tax on dividends and capital gains for two more years, to 2010, but provides only a one-year freeze on incomes that trigger the alternative minimum tax (AMT). The law also contains revenue enhancers including elimination of the income limitation for converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA.
A&A

AICPA Partner Program with Paychex Extended Through 2011

The success of the Paychex Partner Program from American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Business Solutions has resulted in a five year extension of the contract. Initially named the preferred payroll services provider to CPA clients by CPA2Biz in 2003, under the extension Paychex will also be designated as the preferred provider of retirement plan services for CPA clients.

American Companies Can’t Continue Offering Adequate Pensions

A new survey from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) indicates that the vast majority of CPA’s in executive positions, such as corporate chief executive officers (CEOs), chief financial officers (CFOs) and Controllers, believe American companies can’t continue providing pensions that adequately cover their employees’ retirement years.

Boomers More Worried About Fuel and Medical Costs

What is keeping Baby Boomers up at night?
A&A

FASB Proposes Bringing Pension Obligations to Balance Sheet

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued a proposed statement on Friday that would require public companies to recognize the overfunded or underfunded position of defined benefit postretirement plans on their balance sheets, effective for fiscal years ending after December 31, 2006.
A&A

CFOs Sustain Optimism

The first quarter CFO Outlook Survey reveals that corporate America is showing sustained optimism for the economic and company-specific growth.
Technology

Medicare’s New Accounting System Improving Agency Performance

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have a new financial management system that has generated $9 million in interest for the Medicare trust fund in just seven months. Mark McClellan, CMS administrator told Government Health IT, the new system also allows for more accurate reimbursements and faster reporting.

GASB Seeks Comment on Medicare Part D Technical Bulletin

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB), in February, published a proposed staff Technical Bulletin intended to clarify the proper reporting of payments that an employer, or defined benefit other postemployment benefit (OPEB) plan, receives from the federal government under Medicare Part D.
A&A

Coalition Urges Retirement Solutions for All Americans

In a letter sent to Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao as she prepares to open the final SAVER Summit, members of Americans for Secure Retirement, a coalition of 34 organizations representing a broad cross section of interests, urged Chao and Summit attendees to explore solutions addressing often-overlooked elements of the retirement security debate.Advertisement

Health Spending Increases

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reports that total health care spending will grow from its current 16.2 percent of the economy to 20 percent by 2015. This translates to each person spending $12,320 annually, according to USA Today. Nationally projected, we will spend more than $4 trillion on health care by 2015.
Tax

Senior Marriage Penalty

“It’s galling that they have a marriage penalty for seniors, when they’ve addressed it for everyone else,” Lonell Spencer, a 77-year-old retiree from Arcadia, Connecticut, told the Hartford Courant.The penalty he’s referring to is the tax on Social Security income, which applies to every dollar of income over $32,000 for married couples, compared to $25,000 for a single taxpayer.
Community News

Helping Clients Keep Their Financial Resolutions

It’s a new year and many clients start it off right by organizing financial files and “cleaning house.” The benefits of this are twofold: 1) They will gain a clearer idea of their current financial situation, and 2) They can form financial goals for their future.

State and Local Governments to Report Future Health Care Benefits Costs

For years governments have promised retirees hefty health care benefits to control current labor costs, experts say, according to a Crain’s Chicago Business report. “No one has thought about it as a long term liability, says Fitch Ratings analyst Joseph D. Mason.
A&A

Proposed Pension Rules May Threaten Defined Benefit Plans

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) announced late last year that it planned to make significant changes in the way companies report pension liabilities, the Associated Press reports. The first step will be to require companies to show on their balance sheets the total assets of their plans in comparison to what is owed to workers.
A&A

CCH Issues Small Business Retirement Plan Guidance

During the last week of December, CCH, a Wolters Kluwer company and leading provider of tax, pension and human resource information and software, introduced Retirement Plans for Individuals and Small Business. This new resource was developed to help professionals advise their clients on choosing the right retirement vehicle, setting up and maintaining the plan and complying with relevant laws and regulations.“Retirement Plans for Individuals and Small Business is useful for both the novice and seasoned professional to help cut through the numerous options and related complex
A&A

Estate Planning is Important for Farmers, Too

Much has been said about the federal estate tax, but the myths are not especially the truth. Careful estate planning is the key to unraveling the myths and truths of the “death” tax. Dr. Marsha Goetting, professor and family-economics specialist in the Department of Agriculture and Economics at Montana State University, told the Missoula Independent that seven out of ten Americans die without a will. Goetting continued, “There’s almost a stick-the-head-in-the-sand approach.

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