I have made a number of updates to popular topics on this site and in case you missed them, here is a quick recap with a link to the detailed information.
2011 Tax Rates and Brackets Following Bush-era Tax Cut Extensions
With approval of a two-year extension to all the Bush-era tax cuts, the 2011 federal IRS tax rates will be the same as 2010 levels. However tax bracket ranges and standard deduction levels have increased slightly due to inflation. See more on these tax changes here.
2011 401K, IRA and Thrift Savings Plan (403b) limits
There was no change to the 2011 401k, 403b, IRA and other retirement plan contribution limits. With COLA remaining unchanged again this year, retirement plan limits have also remained unchanged for the third year in a row. The maximum amount an employee can contribute to a 401k in 2011 will remain at $16,500 and for individuals over the age of 50, their catch-up contribution will also remain unchanged at $5,500. The federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan and other retirement-savings plans – like 403(b) and 457(b) plans – are subject to the same limits. The Traditional IRA and Roth IRA contribution limits also remained unchanged, but phase-out income limits rose. More details here.
2011 Military Pay Scale Increase
Their will be a 1.4% pay rise for our armed forces members (Navy, Marines, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Guard) with additional compensation or incentives for service members to be made via one time special payments. Shown below are the 2011 military pay tables from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS). The first table is for Military staff with less than 20 yrs experience. The second is for those with over 20 years experience. More details and important notes here.
201 1 General Schedule (GS) remains at 2010 levels
Unfortunately there was no change in the pay scales for federal and state employees paid using the General Schedule (GS) rates. More details on why this happened and future outlook here.
Stimulus Payments and Credits
While there was no extension to the popular Home Buyer Tax Credit and a lack of action in Congress for another $250 SSI payment there were a number of stimulus like payments extended or approved as part of Obama’s Bush-era tax cuts extension. This is being dubbed the new 2011 Economic Stimulus package, estimated at around $858 billion. Get more details on the extension and updated tax credits here.
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This article was updated on January 12