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Questions tagged [united-states]

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

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6
votes
4answers
9k views

Can I be my own administrator for an Individual/Solo 401k?

I'm interested in creating a company and rolling my 401K into a Solo or Individual 401k so that I can have more control over my investments. From what I've seen so far, it looks like you need an "...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a way to disclaim an inheritance and decide who gets the inheritance that you disclaim?

Is there a way to disclaim an inheritance but be able to decide who gets the inheritance that you disclaim? FYI, we are talking about a non-spousal inherited traditional IRA account. The original ...
6
votes
7answers
557 views

How smart is it really to take out a loan right now?

With the economy in its current state (i.e. horrific), interest rates on loans are very low right now. I have heard people say that right now is a 'good' time to take out a loan, and that it is a ...
6
votes
4answers
44k views

Are 401k Employer Match amounts subject to FICA or any other tax?

When my employer makes a contribution to an employee 401k account, are any taxes payed by the employee (e.g. FICA)? And does the employer match amount show anywhere on the employee's W-2 or 1040?
1
vote
1answer
96 views

Pay back the 2008 First-Time homebuyers credit with a certain amount?

I repaid 500 on 2010 Tax return for the 2008 First-Time Homebuyers credit, but do I have to pay 500 on each return or just make sure it is paid of within 15 years. For example, can I chose to pay 0 ...
3
votes
1answer
846 views

Collections - charge off

I had a debt on my Bank of America credit card (which I used to pay part of my tuition during grad school). I was unable to pay it, it went into collection and I settled with them. Now I have a charge ...
4
votes
2answers
197 views

Accidentally opened a year term CD account, then realized I need the money sooner. What to do?

I opened a year term CD account two business days ago and just found out that I would need that money this year. I searched around the web and it looks like there is a federal law saying that a bank ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the correct way to report incentive stock options (ISO) on federal taxes?

In 2011, I exercised incentive stock options and received a 3921 Form (I did not receive a 1099-B). However, judging by my W2, it looks like my exercised stock option income was included in Box 1 of ...
3
votes
2answers
98 views

How do I claim US Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency?

We bought a house last year and after the building was done my wife forced me to buy the blinds through the builder, claiming I wasn't going to buy any and put the up myself which I told her I would. ...
27
votes
4answers
4k views

How do I invest and buy/sell stocks? What does “use a broker” mean?

This is an embarrassingly basic question. I'm a college student and know very, very little about the world of investing and purchasing stocks. I realize that some Googling could find me the answer ...
1
vote
2answers
179 views

What are the fundamental levels that makes a Stock Ideal? (either to sell or buy)

During the analysis of a stock, you analyze a few technical, fundamentals as well as environmental points. For example the PE, or Volume, etc. for technical points and News and rumors for ...
4
votes
2answers
7k views

How is my 'Personal Investment Performance' on my 401(k) calculated?

My 401(k) shows the following: my starting value at the beginning of the year personal contributions employer contributions investment gains/losses Closing value from Yesterday Total Change Personal ...
4
votes
2answers
180 views

Improving credit score by taking on spouse debt, possible?

My wife and I recently purchased a car, during the process I was shocked to learn my credit score was below average (no debt, healthy credit limit and always paid balances in full, good income) while ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Withdrawing qualified HSA expenses many years later, to earn interest?

Say I have $2000 in my HSA account and have a $1000 medical bill in 2012. If I were to pay the $1000 bill out of pocket and let that $1k left earn interest in my HSA for a significant amount of time (...
9
votes
1answer
184 views

What types of nonprofit entities can be formed to raise money for someone's benefit?

Our family, along with some friends, have become acquainted with a family in our neighborhood whose young girl has a life-threatening illness. The required treatment is lengthy and expensive, so we ...
2
votes
2answers
184 views

What is a good credit or debit card that offers a reward with each transaction in the US?

I am looking for a rewards card (credit or debit) where you can earn some number of cents (I've seen 10 or 20) per purchase that you charge to the card regardless of the amount. Something similar to ...
9
votes
2answers
248 views

Are the AARP benefits and discounts worth the yearly membership cost?

When considering organizations like AARP, what are the factors that makes these types of organizations valuable to members? Our main interests is to obtain term life insurance. I am sure there are ...
9
votes
3answers
523 views

How to find a good third-party, 401k management/advice service?

I have a 401k with my employer that offers a pretty good contribution matching benefit. I am young and I've had the plan for about 5 years and my money is starting to grow into a pool that is big ...
6
votes
1answer
732 views

What are the potential penalties for filing an erroneous tax return, if I amend the return immediately?

In prior years, my school partnered with a certain accounting firm to provide us with 1098-Ts. Up until November of 2011, I was receiving emails from them mentioning this service. In January, their ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Protecting an elderly parent's assets / medicaid look-back

I've been asked by a senior to investigate: What are the things one needs to keep in mind with the issue of an elderly parent with some assets (house + some savings) who may need to enter into a ...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

MICR and self-printed check acceptance requirements at Federal Credit Unions?

I read that you can print your own checks, but many banks will not accept or place fines on checks which don't have the routing and account number not written in magnetic ink. My related questions ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Primary residence converted to a rental property & tax implications

In June this past year, we moved out of our condo in the Seattle, WA area that we initially purchased in December 2005 for $240K. We were able to purchase a new home and decided that we'd rent out ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

Recharacterizing a Roth IRA contribution made in 2010?

In 2010 I rollovered money from a 401(k) to a Roth IRA. At the time, I chose to defer the taxable income to 2011 and 2012. However, I am now just learning about recharacterization. Is it too late for ...
3
votes
1answer
58 views

What method of income tax filing is recommended for a first-time father?

My wife and I had our first child last year, and my question is, what is the preferred method of filing taxes since I have this addition to our family? Is it recommended to go to a paid tax ...
2
votes
4answers
273 views

What more can I do to improve my credit score?

The earliest history of any credit lines for me is roughly 5 years back. I have 1 credit card, and when I graduated from college I had 7 college loans. I rent my apartment, and pay for utilities/...
4
votes
1answer
351 views

High Student Debt - Will Mortgage Lenders Take Into Account Repayment Assistance Program?

I am a few years out of professional school, and am starting to think about buying a home. Based on my credit, income, and available down payment, I would be easily eligible for a good-size mortgage. ...
6
votes
3answers
799 views

Do ETF managers charge management fees on top of transaction fees?

I see that ETFs do work very similar to diversification of individual stocks following either an industry or an index. I am thinking of changing my strategy to reduce my cost of investing which at ...
0
votes
1answer
344 views

Can I get a tax deduction for PMI?

My yearly income is less than $80000 but my joint income goes 150000+. If i file married filing separately, will i be able to claim PMI? I think there is income limit to claim it but i am not sure of ...
5
votes
2answers
151 views

What's the best option if you can't deduct contributions to a traditional IRA?

Can't put in Roth and it seems wasteful to put it in a traditional after taxes if we can't deduct since it will be taxed again when we take it out. I've heard you can convert the traditional to a Roth....
2
votes
1answer
152 views

How do I fill out my FAFSA form if my mom has two jobs?

My mom gets two separate W-2 forms from two separate jobs. How do I take this into account when filling out my FAFSA form?
2
votes
1answer
81 views

How do IRA conversions actually work?

I understand what IRA conversions are and how they work in theory, but I would like someone who has actually done one (or a few) to explain how it works in practice. What is the process for the ...
7
votes
3answers
448 views

How should I be contributing to my 401(k), traditional or Roth?

My company just started offering an 401k plan in place of a Simple IRA. I am able to contribute into my 401k two different ways, traditional or roth. From the way I understand it, traditional ...
1
vote
1answer
481 views

What is the average cost of a portfolio on a trading site?

I will like to know the average cost of trading services for a portfolio of my size. Currently I am using Folio Financial and they have provided great service. However every year I end up paying ...
4
votes
3answers
251 views

Financing a vehicle a few months before I expect to apply for a mortgage?

My wife and I are planning to buy our first home together sometime around June/July time this year so we're mainly in 'piling up cash' mode and are trying to avoid any unnecessary expenses and ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Do I have to pay a bank to release funds to my account or should they deduct what they need from the amount?

My girlfriend wants to transfer her inheritance of 1,000,000.00 from her bank in the United Kingdom to my account in the United States. Her bank says I need to send $9,600.00 to them; they said that ...
8
votes
2answers
720 views

How to treat blog income for tax purposes & report PayPal income to the IRS?

I made a small amount of money for a blog I write, and I'm wondering how to enter it into my tax form. I was paid via PayPal so I have no W-2. (And not reporting it to the IRS is not a viable option.) ...
7
votes
2answers
315 views

Company buyout & I don't qualify for the new company's 401k (too young!). What are my options?

I participated in my company's 401K plan for my length of employment as they offered a match program. Now, with the company being bought out, I no longer qualify for the new company's 401K plan due to ...
2
votes
1answer
126 views

Are adoption expenses for an international adoption considered tax-deductible from income?

I am in the process of an international adoption. I do not qualify for the federal adoption credit because of my families income. However I am having a difficult time discovering whether or not I ...
3
votes
1answer
299 views

What are some good next steps for the HENRY?

HENRY (High Earning Not Rich Yet) I'm 37, single, and only in the last two years have I really gotten serious about saving. Current 401k balance is $28,000 I'll probably make about $125,000 Gross ...
5
votes
5answers
5k views

Can signing up at optoutprescreen.com improve my credit score?

I recently discovered optoutprescreen.com, the "official Credit Reporting Industry website" for consumers to opt-out of credit offers. A lot of people recommend signing up there, simply to reduce ...
1
vote
3answers
133 views

How to reconcile performance with dividends?

I have a Vanguard fund that returned -1.34% for the year, yet I earned dividends on the same investment of $106 for the same year. How do I reconcile negative performance with positive dividends? Is ...
2
votes
2answers
691 views

Cashing in stocks for house downpayment

I've got a handful of stocks that I'm planning on cashing in for a house down payment. I'm wondering if anyone knows if I will get hit with capital gains tax, if I'm immediately reinvesting the money ...
7
votes
2answers
276 views

Is building a corporation a good option?

In Robert Kiyosaki's "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" he talks about building a corporation and doing transaction through it instead of doing them yourself, directly. There seems to be a lot of advantages in ...
8
votes
2answers
746 views

How do 401(k) mutual fund expense ratios work?

Simple question - how do expense ratios work? Is there a fee that is calculated regularly, and the amount is taken out of my account? Is it subtracted from the funds earnings? Context: My work has ...
1
vote
2answers
575 views

Which brokers offer the largest selection of mutual funds?

I use Morningstar for mutual fund picks, but my broker (Merril Lynch) does not offer many of them. It's a pain because sometimes they don't offer good fund alternatives. Is my only option to move to ...
1
vote
1answer
821 views

Can a single-member LLC have a fiscal year not as the calendar year?

Well, the title pretty much is the question. I'm in California, and its a disregarded entity. It matters for the LLC tax, and a positive answer will save me $800 cash. With references please, though:-)...
12
votes
5answers
3k views

What strategies can I use to minimize international money transfer fees?

I would like my younger brother to start studying in a school here, and this requires frequent international money transfers: The primary source (sponsor) would be family funds that would be wired ...
8
votes
6answers
1k views

When should I start saving/investing for my retirement?

I just started out with my first job and I was curious, what is a good time when I should start with my long term saving plans? Update: Thanks for the advice and I was expecting that answer. So my ...
5
votes
1answer
296 views

What are the tax results of a 401k to Roth IRA rollover?

In 2011 I rolled over my (Traditional) 401(k) into a Roth IRA. I realize that I will need to pay taxes on the rollover, but I had a few questions. Do I pay taxes on the full amount, or only the ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

What is the significance of the Home Address on the 1040 US tax form?

I lived in two places last year, one inside the US and one outside the US (where I live now), but I wouldn't use either as a permanent mailing address. I've been looking for clarification about what ...