2015

2017 Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) Increase of 0.3% confirmed

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[2017 COLA Confirmed] Despite fears that there would not be a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) increase in 2017, the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that benefits will in fact increase by 0.3% in January 2017. Over 65 million Americans who receive Social Security benefits or Supplemental Security Income payments will benefit from this increase. This is following a year […]

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2017 Military Pay Charts Reflecting Latest Raise – Updated Monthly Basic Pay Tables

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[2017 update] Armed serviced members in 2017 will at minimum see a 2.1 percent increase in base pay following broad Congressional approval of the Defense Authorization bill. Both the House and Senate passed the bill that will be approved by the President. The 2017 raise is 0.5% higher than the original 1.6% approved by the House earlier in the […]

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2017 Pay Raise Approved for Federal Employees on GS Pay Scale

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[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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When Will I Get My Employer W2, Investments 1099, Mortgage 1098 and Other 2016 Tax Return Forms and Filing Documents

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[Updated for 2015-2016 tax season] Before we file our tax returns there are a number of forms we need to receive from our employers, financial institutions and other entities we make money from, conducted financial transactions or did business with. Below are estimated time frames for when we can expect to receive some of these common income tax forms. Employer W-2. This […]

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2017, 2016 and 2015 Earned Income Tax Credit (EIC) Qualification Income Limits

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[Updated] Below are the final IRS published 2016 and 2017 Earned Income Tax credit (EITC) figures. You can reference IRS publication 596 or use online tax providers like TurboTax or H&R Block to get a free estimate of the specific credit amount you would get. How to read the EITC tables: The maximum amount of the earned income credit allowed/payable is shown in line […]

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

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[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 Federal IRS Tax Brackets, Tax Rates, Standard Deduction and Personal Exemption Updates

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With the continued low inflation environment federal IRS tax brackets, standard deductions and personal exemptions have only moderately increased in the past few years. Federal income tax brackets and related tax items are adjusted annually, under the tax code, to provide for mandatory cost of living adjustments (COLA). The tables and changes below for 2016 and 2017 tax […]

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2016 Marketplace Health Insurance Plans & Prices Rising Under Obamacare (Affordable Care Act)

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[2016 updates] 2016 health insurance premiums under the state and federal health care system (Affordable Care Act) are rising. No doubt about that. The question is by how much. Recent reports and have a broad range (from 6% to 15%) as health insurance companies have started submitting requests to the regulator (insurance commissions) for big price increases in […]

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2015 IRS Average Tax Refund

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[Updated with latest refund details] As of April 13th, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has said it has received more than 115 million tax returns, with more than 95% of those returns filed electronically and over 80% of those returns resulting in refunds. The IRS generally receives over 140 million returns over the tax season. The IRS also […]

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A $2000 Paycheck Credit Bonus in 2015 and Other Middle Class Tax Breaks

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In a push to reengage their voting base Democrats have proposed a $2000 paycheck credit bonus as part of a wide ranging middle-class tax credits proposal. The paycheck credit proposal, architected by House Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), would only be available to middle class Americans, which are defined as couples earning less than $200,000 […]

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