News and Information
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"If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else."
Booker T. Washington
Supercharge Your Nest Egg With A Health Savings Account
More than 20 million Americans---double the number in 2010--are now enrolled in high deductible health insurance plans that qualify them for Health Savings Accounts. If you’re eligible for an HSA, you have a great way to save for retirement and you may not even realize it.
This year, you can put up to $6,750 for a family or $3,400 for a single into an HSA. That contribution is made pretax, meaning it reduces your taxable income. Withdrawals from an HSA are also tax free, provided the money is used for health expenses. (The contribution limits are set to go up to $3,450 and $6,900 for 2018, but they could double under the Republicans’ ACA repeal and replace legislation.) Read more.
Making the Most out of Miscellaneous Deductions
Miscellaneous deductions are tax breaks that generally don’t fit into a particular tax category. They can help reduce taxable income and the amount of taxes owed. For example, some employees can deduct certain work expenses like uniforms as miscellaneous deductions. To do that, they must itemize their deductions instead of taking the standard deduction on their tax return. Here are several tips from the IRS about miscellaneous deductions: Read more.
What are some tips for reviewing my Medicare coverage during Medicare Open Enrollment?
During the Medicare Open Enrollment Period that runs from October 15 through December 7, you can make changes to your Medicare coverage that will be effective on January 1, 2018. If you're satisfied with your current coverage, you don't need to make changes, but it's a good idea to review your options.
During Open Enrollment, you can: Read more.
IRS Issues Urgent Warning to Beware IRS FBI Themed Ransomware Scam
The Internal Revenue Service today warned people to avoid a new phishing scheme that impersonates the IRS and the FBI as part of a ransomware scam to take computer data hostage.
The scam email uses the emblems of both the IRS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It tries to entice users to select a “here” link to download a fake FBI questionnaire. Instead, the link downloads a certain type of malware called ransomware that prevents users from accessing data stored on their device unless they pay money to the scammers. Read more.
Wise giving in the wake of Hurricane Harvey
It’s heartbreaking to see people lose their lives, homes, and businesses to the ongoing flooding in Texas. But it’s despicable when scammers exploit such tragedies to appeal to your sense of generosity.
If you’re looking for a way to give, the FTC urges you to be cautious of potential charity scams. Do some research to ensure that your donation will go to a reputable organization that will use the money as promised.
Consider these tips when asked to give: Read more.
HSAs: Spend or Save It?
HSAs are available to workers who have high-deductible health insurance plans (HDHPs). The accounts can be used to meet deductible and other out-of-pocket health care costs. This year, plans can have a maximum out-of-pocket cost of $6,550 for individuals and $13,100 for families. Last year, 26 percent of employers helped offset those costs with contributions to the accounts averaging $868, according to Devenir, a consulting firm that works with HSA providers and employers. Workers also can make pretax contributions—this year, up to a combined total of $3,400 for individuals and $6,750 for workers with family insurance coverage.
HSA contributions are tax deductible, investment growth and interest are tax deferred, and withdrawals spent on qualified medical expenses also are tax free. The triple tax benefit increases buying power, especially when compared with the benefit of drawing down from a 401(k), which is subject to ordinary income tax on contributions and investment gains. Benway calculates that a worker earning $60,000 would need to save 25 percent less to meet medical expenses by splitting annual contributions to a 401(k) and HSA. Read more.
For more information or a confidential discussion of your charitable options, please email or call the Vice President of Resource Development, De Anna Sheffield Ward, at (813) 769-3604.