2017 COLA Increase Will Result in a Tax Hike For Over 12 Million American Workers


[2017 COLA update] Its been a few years with relatively minor COLA (cost-of-living-adjustment) increases but even with the marginal 2017 COLA increase of 0.3%, over 12 million Americans will pay higher taxes in 2017 as the maximum taxable earnings (wage base) subject to social security also increased from $106,800 to $110,100. You can see the previous update below for how this […]

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2017 Pay Raise Approved for Federal Employees on GS Pay Scale


[Updated Dec. 2016] – In a surprising move President Obama has reversed his previous August 2016 pay rise proposal of 1.6%, made up of a 1% across the board plus 0.6% locality pay adjustment (see prior update below). In his latest executive order he is proposing a “revised” alternative 2017 total pay raise of 2.1%. This is still […]

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


[Updated with 2016 and 2017 contribution limits] The IRS has released updated 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 over the last 2 years. So like 2015, the maximum amount employees will be able to contribute on a pre-tax basis in […]

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2016 vs. 2017 Savers Tax Credit and Income Limits to Help Workers Save for Retirement


The savers credit helps lower income earners save for retirement by providing an offset to retirement plan (401k and IRA) contributions. But a lot of people don’t know about or take advantage of this little known credit, officially referred to by the IRS as the retirement savings contributions credit. The savers credit was made a permanent part of […]

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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


[2016-2017 Tax Season Filing Dates] The table below shows the 2017 deadlines for filing 2016 tax returns and requesting extensions. The IRS has confirmed that they will start accepting electronic tax return filings (e-File) from Monday, January 23rd 2017.  Final tax returns are due by Tuesday, April 18th; unless a 6-month extension is approved. This is three days […]

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


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


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


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


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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