For questions that relate to the laws, practices, and products of the United States.

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7 views

How can I invest in USA mutual funds from Australia?

HI I wish to invest in top USA mutual funds (Vanguard, T-Rowe). I was told by the fund that as a foreign national I could not do so directly. Do you know how I could without excessive fees? I am an ...
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1answer
167 views

Would I qualify for the 2/5 year exclusion if I've only owned the property for 2 years?

I’ve owned a property for 2 years exactly. I’ve lived in it for just over 12 months and have rented it out for 12 months so far. I want to understand if I would pay taxes if my gain was under ...
2
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1answer
64 views

Building a new primary residence before selling the current one

Our current primary residence (in MD) is under contract to a property developer, and we expect to go to closing in about 24 months. If we build a new primary residence on property that we own in ...
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1answer
125 views

Sending money to Russia for family back home

I have a family member that needs a medical operation back home in Russia, the total cost of which is 30k. I have heard that I can give 10k as a gift in cash for my aunt to take on the plane. For ...
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1answer
192 views

How much total salary to allocate to defer $17,500 to 401(k)?

From my small business, I would like to contribute to my wife's retirement (which also reduces taxable income to the company). My question is about how much total salary should be allocated to her to ...
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1answer
13 views

Advice for someone who is a Primary Care Giver

TL;DR: What tax deductions, programs, monetary possibilities, etc are available for someone who's unemployed but with a full time job as an unpaid caregiver for a family member? ...
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1answer
84 views

Why is there a $398,351 – $400,000 tax bracket in the U.S.?

It seems as if anyone that's getting paid $398,351 – $400,000 would simply lower their salary to the $183,251 – $398,350 tax bracket and get 2% lower income taxes. Does the bracket serve any purpose, ...
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0answers
40 views

Lower-cost index funds vs. managed (higher-cost) tax-advantaged IRAs?

If having to choose between a non-retirement lower cost index fund and a managed higher cost IRA (both traditional and Roth), which is less impeded and likely to grow more long-term? Put another way, ...
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1answer
18 views

Social Security contribution of a J1 visa holder leaving U.S. permanently?

I was a J1 visa holder (post-doc) in the US for 18 months and contributed to Social Security. Since I am not going back to the U.S. again, am I eligible to get the money back? Thanks and regards JMV
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2answers
62 views

Should I pay off my 6% student loan using the income that I would normally put into my two IRAs?

Question says it all. I would fund 10k to two IRAs, or I can put that toward the student loan for the next couple of years until it's paid off. Which makes more sense?
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2answers
143 views

When a real-estate counter offer is made, and ignored, can the seller still accept the original offer?

Buyer makes an offer. Counter offer is made. Buyer has meantime seen another house they prefer, so choose to ignore the counter offer. Is the Seller then permitted to accept the original offer? Does ...
2
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1answer
182 views

How can you find out what life insurance a deceased person had?

So it seems like the way life insurance is supposed to work for a deceased person is that the beneficiary is supposed to somehow inform the insurance company of the insureds death (presumably by ...
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1answer
44 views

Does it make sense for me to start a 529 college plan for my kids

My kids are 11 and 15. I've neglected to save any money for college for them, but I want to start now. Given that I am starting out this late, does the 529 college make sense at this stage? If I ...
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2answers
68 views

Should a retail trader bother about reading SEC filings

What exactly is an SEC filing? Is it like a quarterly earnings report, a press release? I could not understand much from the wikipedia link. Can you give an example where reading SEC filings has ...
2
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3answers
23 views

Health Savings Account Distribution Maximums

I had foregone Dental Insurance this year because all previous years I had spent more paying for the insurance than any procedures cost. Naturally, I had to have a tooth removed and an implant put in ...
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1answer
86 views

Self employed, putting away tax money

I am starting to get behind on taxes for my business and in an effort to catch up I'm putting profit towards the taxes. Where can I store it other than my bank? I'm worried I will spend the money, I ...
1
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1answer
64 views

Take out a loan vs. sell bond investments

I am going to put solar panels on my roof. I can pay for those panels using some combination of the following Take out a HELOC at 3.75% variable interest rate with closing costs covered by the bank. ...
3
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1answer
67 views

How to decide for 401(k): Make Roth post-tax contributions, or traditional pre-tax contributions?

My company's plan will let me put funds into the 401k plan either pretax (traditional, with taxes taken at withdrawal) or Roth-style (post -tax nut no tax at withdrawal) or both. Any company match ...
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0answers
52 views

Does saving for retirement pre-tax make sense to stay in a lower tax bracket if I'll earn more later?

Does it make sense to save in a Regular IRA vs the Roth IRA in order to keep me in the 25% tax bracket? In reality career wise I will probably cap out at 150k in today's dollars. I've been able to get ...
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1answer
40 views

Foreign earned income exclusion / foreign tax credit when present in US

I'm a citizen of Norway as well as of the US by birth. I've never before 2014 resided in the US. I'm a PhD student in my native Norway, but we are here considered employees and paid a wage. I've ...
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0answers
50 views

Can a person who has Medicaid buy a discounted dental insurance plan?

We live in Arkansas. My dad has Medicaid. However, it turns out most dentists do not accept Medicaid, and those that do, provide a limited number of services . So, I tried to purchase a dental plan ...
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2answers
422 views

I am thinking of buying a property to split into 2. How do I determine the costs basis on the existing house?

This is a property on over 2 acres. I'd like to buy it, split the property and rent out the existing house. Then build myself a new house on the other portion of the property. How would I determine ...
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2answers
97 views

Are there any implications if I do not report an Indian bank account during U.S. tax filling?

I have an Indian savings account to which I send money from the U.S. Over the year the maximum amount I sent was less than $10,000. I would like to know whether there are any complications if I don't ...
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1answer
41 views

Income and taxes with subcontracting?

If I'm a 1099/independent contractor and I need to contract a sub portion of that work to another independent contractor, does that "income" get taxed twice? As in when I bill the work back to the ...
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1answer
31 views

Tax implications of transferring money to New Zealand from USA?

I want to transfer over $USD10K to New Zealand from the USA and am wondering if there is any tax implication? The money would be going from myself to myself.
2
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1answer
57 views

What is the best way to pay my American rent from Canada?

I need to pay rent to my landlord on or before the day I arrive in America. Right now I live in Canada, and I have the money to pay (in USD), I just do not know what the most efficient payment method ...
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8answers
5k views

Can I back out of a house purchase after the inspection if the offer stipulates “as is”?

I made an offer on a house in the state of Arkansas, and got a counter offer, and now I am about to accept it. However, there is one thing that bugs me: the counter offer requires me to buy the house ...
1
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1answer
66 views

Is there any instrument with real-estate-like returns?

I want to shift part of my portfolio away from stocks into real estate. I've found that if I bought real estate directly I could expect about 10% in yearly returns. The problem with buying physical ...
2
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2answers
56 views

estimated taxes and late penalties on highly “bursty” side income

I have a full time job where I get a W-2. In addition I occasionally freelance on the side as a contractor and receive a 1099-MISC. The freelance work is very irregular and hard to predict. It's ...
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0answers
45 views

What taxes do new subcontractors pay?

I started a job a few weeks ago and I was wondering how do I know how much to pay on my taxes if I'm a subcontractor. The contractor who got me on he said that I would get a 1099, but I just want to ...
0
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1answer
33 views

Day trading in USA from Australia

I am an Indian citizen living in the USA for the past 4 years on work visa. I do trading occasionally (not day trading though), and as should be clear, I do have a SSN and Bank Account. However, I ...
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2answers
130 views

Can I avoid capital gains taxes on a stock

So here is my dilemma. I have a really bad stock in the portfolio. To make it simple I'll say it's down $1000. I want to sell it and never buy it back. No wash rule applies here. However, I have a ...
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1answer
267 views

How to recover an inherited dormant account without paying a significant commission?

I settled my parents' estate in 2012. Now I am receiving records of a dormant account from Legal Claimant Services (Keane). They claim to have found $68,000 in a dormant account. I live in ...
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5answers
2k views

Can I preemptively pay my credit card bill before a charge is posted?

Today, I paid a $1000 bill with a credit card that has a $1500 credit limit. (Note, I have changed the numbers slightly here, but the ratios are roughly correct.) The bill has not yet been posted to ...
4
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1answer
77 views

Capital gains when selling in the US and buying in another country

I have owned my home for over 10 years. I would like to sell it and buy a new house, and I understand that if I do so, I can avoid paying capital gains. My question is, if I'm buying the new house ...
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0answers
31 views

Why are checks preferred to wire transfers in the US? [duplicate]

When moving to the US from Switzerland, I have been surprised by the difference in banking systems. One point that interests me particularly is the use of checks vs wire transfers. In Switzerland, ...
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0answers
44 views

Inheriting funds from a U.S. trust where you are not the trustee

I am a U.S. citizen trustee and executor of my mom's trust. My brother is a Canadian citizen and lives in Canada and not a trustee. I will be dividing the trust funds or investments between the two ...
2
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1answer
57 views

Owned house for less than 2 years - 1031 exchange?

My wife and I bought our first house about 8 months ago. It turns out it's not the right fit for us (for many reasons). Because of this, we want to sell it and move to the suburbs on the other side of ...
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1answer
32 views

Can I write off time spent learning my trade - Two-Man S-Corp

I am a full-time freelance copywriter for an ad agency, who is my sole source of income. I am in the process of forming an S Corp, wherein I will pay myself a salary and take the rest as a ...
1
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1answer
89 views

401k contributions explanation

I have a basic question on 401k investment. Below is what my company is matching: XYZCompany will match your contributions, up to 4% of your eligible compensation, to a maximum of $10,600. Now ...
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4answers
171 views

How to buy a house without being over-exposed to real estate

Buying a house can all-of-a-sudden make 90%+ of a person's portfolio be invested in real estate, actually one very specific piece of real estate! Which is against all the advice we're given to ...
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0answers
38 views

How does a tuition insurance payment affect 529 withdrawals?

Qualified college tuition and expenses were paid from a 529 plan in 2014. The school sent a 1098-T and the 529 plan sent a 1099-Q and everything was fine on my 2014 taxes. In 2015 my child has left ...
3
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2answers
71 views

Can I enroll in an FSA if my employer doesn't offer it?

I'm really REALLY interested in opening an FSA. I've asked my employer and they say they don't offer it. We have insurance through them with BCBSGA. It isn't a HSA qualified plan. So is there a way to ...
1
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1answer
107 views

Can large long-term capital gains be offset by not being employed?

If I understand correctly, you pay 0% long-term capital gains tax if you are in the 10% or 15% income tax brackets (i.e. if you make $37,450 or less). If I knew I had to sell my stock that had, ...
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1answer
44 views

Setting up a LLC for two partners in different states, what should we look into?

My friend and I are looking into starting our own design agency. The LLC would be based out of Texas, but the other employee would be based out of North Carolina. We would both be full time employees ...
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3answers
74 views

Can a custodian refuse prior-year IRA/HSA deposit postmarked April 15?

When switching from a bank to a credit union for an HSA. The old bank had the following text on the DEPOSIT SLIP, which was provided in the envelope together with their VISA debit card: Prior ...
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2answers
52 views

Can I deduct retirement plan contributions from my self-employment income?

I'm self-employed. I pay self-employment tax on ( income - business deductions ) * 92.35%. Can I make contributions to a retirement account that counts as a business deduction? More details: I'm ...
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0answers
41 views

Undo IRA conversion to an existing Roth IRA?

I have two retirement accounts at the same brokerage. One is a traditional IRA that was rolled over from a past company 401k plan, the second is a Roth IRA that I contribute to with taxable income. I ...
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2answers
40 views

How do I correct an HSA distribution when I was refunded by a health provider?

At work I'm covered by an HDHP with an HSA. My dentist has the policy of estimating the amount that my insurance will cover and asking for the remainder at the time of service. On my most recent ...
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1answer
49 views

Can my contribution to 529 plan vary monthly?

I want to start 529 plan for my son. I am not sure if monthly contribution has to fixed or I can increase/reduce my contribution as per my financial situation. Eg if I loose my job I may decide to ...