Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Health Care Act Gives Boost to Roth Conversions

From Fox News. Now you get to find out about the OTHER marriage penalty!

"Regardless how you file your taxes, if you legally tie-the-knot with another individual your “modified adjusted gross income” (MAGI: undefined, undefined, undefined%) threshold is a lot lower. Two individuals who simply live together could each earn up to $200,000- for a combined household income of $400,000- and still not be subject to this surtax.

See? A loophole created by Congress!

The impact of the surtax- which takes effect in 2013- will be especially significant on those in the top income tax brackets. Starting next year, dividends from stocks will again be taxed at the same rate as “ordinary income” and the highest rate reverts to 39.6%. Adding another 3.8% to that means your investment income could be subject to a tax rate of 43.4%!

CPA Bob Keebler, of the firm Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, points out that while withdrawals from a traditional IRA are not themselves subject to the surtax, they do add to your overall taxable income. As a result, they could increase your MAGI beyond the threshold and make your investment income subject to the surtax.

Although most folks who are still working tend to leave the money in their IRAs unless they absolutely need it, withdrawals become mandatory once you reach age 70½- but only from “traditional” IRAs."

People living together with incomes that meet or exceed the threshold don't get hit with the surcharge--it's only COMBINED incomes from joint filers. Yet another reason why senior citizens spend their retirement community and nursing home days sleeping around with each other--at higher income levels, it's less of a tax hit to stay single (as opposed to when you're young).

This is probably why Gene Simmons of Kiss won't marry the woman he's been living with for 20- or 30-some odd years, and had his 2 kids.


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