12 IRS Tax Tools

IRS Tax ToolsDid you know there are free IRS Tax Tools that can help minimize your tax bill and manage your taxes all year round? Most taxpayers are unaware of them. The are located on their website.

Here are a 12 of the best IRS tax tools including links.

1.  IRS Audit Technique Guides

These are the same guides that IRS tax examiners use when conducting an audit. The Freedom of Information Act require the IRS to provide these audit guides

These guides can be very helpful in aligning your 2017 tax return with audit guidelines. It can also help you eliminate audit risk by having better knowledge of the law and IRS rules and procedures.

More than 50 audit guides are available on the IRS web site for free download. They cover topics including: Executive Compensation, Lawsuit Awards and Settlements, Business Consultants, Architects, Attorneys, Cash Intensive Businesses, Golden Parachutes, Split Dollar Life Insurance, Veterinary Medicine, the Wine Industry, and dozens more.

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Roth IRA Recharacterization: 11 Things You Need to Know at Tax Time

What is a recharacterization of a rollover or a conversion?

Roth IRA RecharacterizationA recharacterization allows you to “undo” or “reverse” a rollover or conversion to a Roth IRA. You generally tell the trustee of the financial institution holding your Roth IRA to transfer the amount to a traditional IRA (in a trustee-to-trustee or within the same trustee). If you do this by the due date for your tax return (including extensions), you can treat the contribution as made to the traditional IRA for that year (effectively ignoring the Roth IRA contribution).

1.  It is not too late to recharacterize a Roth IRA conversion done in 2016.

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2017 Tax Planning Chart

2017 Tax Planning ChartTaxes and retirement go hand in hand, and having a clear understanding of how your
retirement assets will be taxed plays a crucial role in your overall financial plan. Proactive tax planning can help structure your retirement income and investments to take advantage of current tax laws, while avoiding costly pitfalls. Download our 2017 Tax Planning Chart.

Thanks to low inflation, 2017 tax bracket adjustments aren’t dramatic, but they have changed.

2016 Tax Planning for Investment Income

What Will Be Considered Investment Income?

Investment IncomeInvestment Income

  • Interest, Dividends, Capital Gains (long and short) including the gain on the sale of investment real estate and second homes)
  • Annuities (but not annuities in IRAs or company plans)
  • Royalty Income
  • Passive Rental Income and Other Passive Activity Income
  • Above items from a child’s tax return that are reported on a parent’s return (the “Kiddie Tax”)

NOT Investment Income

  • Wages and Self-Employment Income
  • Active Trade or Business Income (including interest, dividends capital gains)
  • Distributions from IRAs, Roth IRAs, and Company Plans
  • Including Net Unrealized Appreciation
  • Excluded Gain from the Sale of a Principal Residence
  • Municipal Bond Interest
  • Proceeds of Life Insurance Policies
  • Social Security and Veterans’ Benefits
  • Gains on the Sale of an Active Interest in a Partnership or S Corporation
  • Taxable income from items that are NOT investment income can push taxpayers over the income threshold and cause investment income to be subject to the 3.8% surtax.

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