Physicians are warned to be alert to possible telephone scams targeting physicians, in which callers pose as agents or as investigators for the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) or for the state Board of Registration in Medicine (BORIM).
If you receive a suspicious call, do not provide any personal information or accede to requests for payment or bank account information. The resources below explain how to report a call to appropriate authorities and how to protect against identity theft.
It’s a rite of passage for teens to get their first summer job. Whether working in retail, hospitality, landscaping or another industry, make sure your child starts their employment off on the right foot using our tips below.
Completing your child’s Form W-4
When your child begins their summer job and will be paid as a W-2 employee, their new employer will require them to complete a Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Certificate. The purpose of the form is to instruct the employer how to withhold income taxes from your child’s weekly paycheck. However, if your child’s expected wages will be small (less than $13,850 in 2023), then he or she will be allowed to claim an exemption from federal tax withholdings from their wages. To claim this exemption, they must meet the following qualifications:
- Last year your child had no federal income tax liability, and
- This year your child expects to have no federal tax liability again.
To claim this special exemption on the Form W-4:
- Complete Step 1 (name and address).
- Leave blank Steps 2, 3 and 4.
- In the space below Step 4(c), your child will write “Exempt”. By claiming “Exempt” no federal income taxes will be withheld from your child’s pay.
To learn more about how our child should claim Exempt on their W2, please watch our 3-minute video: Andrew Schwartz CPA on Kids Claiming Exempt on Their W4 Form – YouTube.
Assuming your child has no significant investment income and their wages earned will be less than $13,850 (the standard deduction for 2023), then there will be no federal tax liability for your child for 2023. (Although there will be no federal income taxes withheld from the paycheck, your child will still be subject to social security and Medicare taxes being withheld from his or her paycheck.) Additionally, if no federal income taxes are withheld, your child’s wages are below $13,850 for 2023, and there is no other income received by your child; then no federal tax return will be required to be filed by your child.
E-filing your child’s federal income tax return is quick, easy and free
If your child’s employer does withhold income taxes from your child’s pay and he or she is due a refund of all or a portion of the withheld taxes, your child can easily file a tax return the following year in order to get the withheld taxes refunded back. The IRS offers a free e-file link on their website that taxpayers can use to easily e-file their tax return when income is below $73,000. The IRS link to this free e-filing option is https://www.irs.gov/filing/free-file-do-your-federal-taxes-for-free.
Learning financial responsibility
Earning a weekly paycheck is a great tool for children to learn about financial responsibility. Receiving a weekly paycheck presents parents with the opportunity to teach their children about money management and savings goals. Set up financial objectives with your child based upon their weekly wages. Consider opening a savings account at your bank for your child that will be funded each week with a set percentage or set dollar amount of each paycheck received. Teaching the importance of building a small “nest egg” to be used for college or other personal expenses at a later date (books for school, a first car, entertainment, school related trips, etc.) will teach your child the value and responsibility of earning a regular paycheck and saving a portion for future financial needs. Also consider adding a “parent matching component” to your child’s savings objective to entice your child to save more – for every dollar they add to their savings account, you add 50 cents to their savings account as well.
Getting an early to start on retirement planning
If your child has earned income from a summer job, he or she will be eligible to contribute to an IRA under their name, even if no tax return is required to be filed by your child. The maximum IRA contribution amount for 2023 is limited to the lesser of the child’s earned income or $6,500. In most cases, the income earned by your child will be free from income taxes, assuming total income for your child will be less than the standard deduction of $13,850; thus, in this situation there would be no tax benefit in contributing to a traditional deductible IRA. The long-term benefit would be to make the IRA contribution into a Roth IRA. The earnings in the Roth IRA grow tax free over your child’s lifetime. Additionally, the Roth IRA contribution can be funded by the parents (or grandparents) as a gift to your child, but must be funded into an IRA under the child’s name.
Most taxpayers will encounter a life-changing event at some point in their lifetime. Being proactive can result in significant long-term benefits, while avoiding the situation can result in missed opportunities.
Included below are common life-changing events and related taxpayer questions:
- Marriage or divorce: How should I adjust my W-4 or estimated tax payments, given my change in marital status?
- Buying a primary residence: How will my mortgage payments affect my taxes? We plan to make our prior residence a rental property – how will having a rental property impact our taxes, and what expenses can we claim as tax deductions for this new rental property?
- Buying a second residence: Are we allowed tax deductions on a second house? How do we treat this property on our tax return if we plan to use it part-time as our personal vacation home and part-time as a rental property to others?
- Selling your primary residence or a second residence: Will we be subject to income taxes from the capital gain from this house sale?
- Having a child: What are the tax benefits of having a child? Will we be able to claim a portion of our expenses for childcare costs as tax deductions? What are the tax benefits of opening a 529 College Savings Plan for our newborn child?
- Becoming self-employed: What expenses can be claimed as tax deductions? What are my retirement plan options now that I am no longer included in the retirement plan at my old job? What do I do with the retirement funds still held at my prior employer’s plan? How do I determine what to pay for quarterly estimated taxes?
- Loss of job and collecting unemployment: Are my unemployment benefits taxable?
- Receiving an inheritance or a significant financial gift: Will this income be taxable to me?
- Planning to retire in the coming year: How much of my retirement plan distributions (RMDs) and social security benefits received will be included as taxable income on my tax return? Can I request income taxes to be withheld on this income? At what age should I begin taking social security benefits?
These are just a sample of life-changing events taxpayers face and related questions that arise. Whether the impact of the life-changing event is large or small, planning accordingly should improve your chances for a beneficial outcome. As early as possible, communicate with your advisors for guidance in making prudent decisions. And with proper planning, you can strive to avoid large tax surprises and to benefit by maximizing your cash flow going forward.
SECURE 2.0 Act, enacted at the end of 2022, revises retirement planning opportunities for taxpayers.
Based on the 2019 Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (SECURE Act), the law helps individuals better prepare for retirement and saving.
The following is a summary of some key provisions impacting retirement planning in the coming years.
- The catch-up contribution limit for 401(k) and 403(b) plans is increased to $10,000 annually for employees ages 60 – 63 (age as of December 31) beginning in 2025.
- The catch-up contribution to a 401(k) or 403(b) plan for an employee with wages in excess of $145,000 the previous year is required to be made as a Roth contribution beginning in 2024.
- For 401(k) and 403(b) plans that allow Roth contributions, employees that are 100% vested can opt to have their employer matching and other non-elective contributions to their retirement plan be funded as a Roth contribution beginning in 2023. The employer contributions to an employee’s Roth retirement account will be taxable income to the employee at the time funded.
- SIMPLE plans will allow a Roth funding component beginning in 2023.
- SEP-IRAs will allow a Roth funding component beginning in 2023.
- With regard to “qualified student loan payments” made by employees, employers can make matching contributions to the employees’ 401(k) or 403(b) account with regard to those employee student loan payments (thus treating the loan payments as if they were salary deferrals), subject to limitations, beginning in 2024.
To learn more about the Secure 2.0 Act, the following articles give a great overview:
If we set up for you to pay quarterly estimated taxes, please make your Q2 payment by June 15th. Generally, taxpayers who are self-employed, are shareholders in S-Corporations that typically pay out distributions in addition to the wages paid to the owners, partners in profitable partnerships, and/or report a good amount of investment income should consider paying in estimated taxes during the year.
The IRS now recommends that individuals make their estimated tax payments electronically. Read more at: National Small Business Week: Making estimated tax payments electronically is fast and easy | Internal Revenue Service (irs.gov).
To pay your estimated taxes electronically, go to www.irs.gov, click on Make a Payment and then click on Pay Now with Direct Debit. Follow the prompts and make the payment by direct debit from your bank account. Other options are available to pay your estimated taxes including how pay them by credit card and the associated fees to do so.
Beginning in 2024 excess funds held in a 529 college savings plan will be eligible to be rolled over to a Roth IRA for the beneficiary.
For families who contributed to 529 college savings plans for their children and did not fully exhaust the accounts while paying for qualified education expenses, there is a new alternative for the remaining funds. Beginning in 2024, taxpayers can begin to “take a tax-free distribution in the form of a Roth Conversion” and the remaining 529 funds be moved to the Roth as a trustee-to-trustee transfer. The 529 owner can’t take a distribution from the account and then subsequently contribute that money to a Roth IRA for the 529 beneficiary.
Prior to the coming rule change, withdrawals made from the 529 plan not used for qualified education expenses resulted in taxpayers being assessed income taxes plus a 10% penalty on the earnings portion of the distribution from the plan.
This new law change comes with a few requirements that taxpayers need to be aware of.
- There is a $35,000 lifetime cap on the total amount of transfers.
- The beneficiary’s 529 plan must have been open for at least 15 years
- 529 plan contributions (and associated earnings) made in the prior five years are not eligible to be rolled over.
- Each year the maximum allowed transfer from the 529 plan to a Roth IRA is capped at the annual Roth IRA contribution limit and subject to Roth contribution rules such as meeting the earned income requirement and the phase-out for higher income earners.
- The transfer must be to the beneficiary’s Roth IRA and not to the parent’s Roth IRA.
With proper planning and familiarity with these qualifying rules, this new taxpayer friendly rule will allow the accumulated earnings on unused 529 plans to continue to grow tax-free for your child or other beneficiary within a Roth IRA over his or her lifetime.