2012

2017 Pay Raise Approved for Federal Employees on GS Pay Scale

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[2017 Confirmed GS Pay Raise] The president has excised his executive power and given government employees on the GS pay scale and armed service members one of the largest raises in recent times. Civilian employees will receive a combined 1.6 percent raise (vs 1.3 percent last year) per the earlier update, which is made up of an […]

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2016 and 2017 401k, 403b Contribution Limits and Catch-up Amounts

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[Updated with 2016 contribution limits] The IRS has released 2016 employer sponsored retirement plan limits, which covers 401(k), 403(b), and Government Thrift Savings (TSP) plans.  The  annual contribution limit, which is indexed to inflation, remained unchanged. So like 2015, the maximum amount employees will be able to contribute on a pre-tax basis in 2016 will be $18,000. The catch-up pre-tax […]

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2014 vs. 2015 Savers Tax Credit Limits to Help Workers Save for Retirement

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[Updated with 2015 amounts] This IRS has released 2015 updates for the savers credit, which helps lower income earners save for retirement by providing an offset to retirement plan (401k and IRA) contributions. A lot of people don’t know about or take advantage of this little known credit, officially referred to as the retirement savings contributions credit.. The […]

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When Can I File My 2016 Taxes in 2017 and Other Key IRS Tax Return Filing, Deadline, Extension and Refund Dates

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[2017 Tax Filing Dates] The table below shows the proposed 2017 deadlines for filing 2016 tax returns and requesting extensions. The IRS will release final filing deadline dates later this year and I will update as soon as available. But the dates below are based on several years of data and multiple sources so should be rather accurate. An […]

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2012-2013 Winter Snowfall Forecasts Calling For Snow Blowers Rather Than Snow Shovels

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I live in the Washington D.C metro area and given the wild weather we had this summer, culminating with Hurricane Sandy, I fully expect a cold and snowy winter. In fact, major weather sites like AccuWeather are predicting above average snowfalls this winter for the North East region as shown in the images below.  NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (the primary […]

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2013 Roth IRA Contribution Limits Based on Filing Status and Income

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After several years the IRS has raised Roth IRA contribution levels, along with the annually indexed income qualification levels that allow eligible contributions. This is good news for those looking for tax effective ways to manage their retirement savings. Unlike 401(k) and Traditional IRA plans, you cannot deduct contributions to a Roth IRA from your taxable income. But […]

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Can I Make 401K or IRA to Roth IRA Conversions in 2012 and 2013? What Are The New Rules and Income Limits

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[2013 Update] With a deal to avert the fiscal cliff reached and legislated under the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) of 2012, a couple of significant employer sponsored retirement plan features have reappeared with some modifications. This includes the Roth 401(k) conversion and Charitable IRA contributions. You can read more about these updated provisions in this […]

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2012 Tax Refunds Smaller Than 2011 Payments

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The IRS recently published some statistics on 2011 tax returns (filed in 2012, excluding extensions) which revealed some interesting factoids, such as: – If you got a refund this year, chances are that it was lower than the one you received in 2011. The average tax refund amount paid by the IRS through the end […]

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College and University Tuition Rates Increasing

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As a part time MBA student, with a single income and young family, I am particularly sensitive to rising education costs. So I was dismayed to see that my university’s (already expensive) tuition costs were again rising. This is the third year in a row and my degree will end up costing roughly 10% more […]

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2012 Personal Exemption, Standard Deduction, EITC and Foreign Earnings Deduction Change

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With the 2011 tax filing deadline past (unless you filed for an extension) it’s a good time to remind yourself about some key 2012 tax changes. You can see the latest 2012 tax tables here which saw a widening of tax brackets and increases in personal exemptions and standard deductions due to inflation. Personal and […]

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