If you’re like many people, you’ve worked hard to accumulate a large nest egg in your traditional IRA (including a SEP-IRA). It’s even more critical to carefully plan for withdrawals from these retirement-savings vehicles.

Knowing the fine points of the IRA distribution rules can make a significant difference in how much you and your family will get to keep after taxes. Here are three IRA areas to understand:


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Have staffers complained because their expense reimbursements are taxed? An accountable plan can address the issue. Here’s how accountable plans work and how they benefit employers and employees.

A photo of a folder, a journal and a stack of paper to make not-for-profit employees aware of reimbursement plans.

Be Reasonable
Under an accountable plan, reimbursement payments to employees will be free from federal income and employment taxes and aren’t subject to withholding from workers’ paychecks. Additionally, your organization benefits because the reimbursements aren’t subject to the employer’s portion of federal employment taxes.

The IRS stipulates that all expenses covered in an accountable plan have a business connection and be “reasonable.” Additionally, employers can’t reimburse employees more than what they paid for any business expense. And employees must account to you for their expenses and, if an expense allowance was provided, return any excess allowance within a reasonable time period.


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If you’re lucky enough to be winning at gambling or the lottery, congratulations! After you celebrate, be ready to deal with the tax consequences of your good fortune.

A photo of two slot machines to show the tax implications of winning the lottery or by gambling.

Winning at Gambling
Whether you win at the casino, a bingo hall, or elsewhere, you must report 100% of your winnings as taxable income. They’re reported on the “Other income” line on Schedule 1 of your 1040 tax return. To measure your winnings on a particular wager, use the net gain. For example, if a $30 bet at the race track turns into a $110 win, you’ve won $80, not $110.

You must separately keep track of losses. They’re deductible, but only as itemized deductions. Therefore, if you don’t itemize and take the standard deduction, you can’t deduct gambling losses. In addition, gambling losses are only deductible up to the amount of gambling winnings. So you can use losses to “wipe out” gambling income but you can’t show a gambling tax loss.


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Years ago, Congress enacted the “kiddie tax” rules to prevent parents and grandparents in high tax brackets from shifting income (especially from investments) to children in lower tax brackets. And while the tax caused some families pain in the past, it has gotten worse today. That’s because the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) made changes to the kiddie tax by revising the tax rate structure.

A photo of four children dressed in rain gear to show how families can be affected by the new kiddie tax laws.

History of the Tax
The kiddie tax used to apply only to children under age 14 — which provided families with plenty of opportunity to enjoy significant tax savings from income shifting.

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You may have heard of the “nanny tax.” But even if you don’t employ a nanny, it may apply to you. Hiring a housekeeper, gardener or other household worker (who isn’t an independent contractor) may make you liable for federal income and other taxes. You may also have state tax obligations.

A nanny is babysitting two little children. Your household may be eligible for nanny tax because she is a household worker.

If you employ a household worker, you aren’t required to withhold federal income taxes from pay.

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There’s good news about the Section 179 depreciation deduction for business property. The election has long provided a tax windfall to businesses, enabling them to claim immediate deductions for qualified assets, instead of taking depreciation deductions over time. And it was increased and expanded by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).

It would be smart to purchase items for your business now because of deprecation deductions with Section 179. This photo is of a person holding a leather wallet in one hand and pulling money out with the other.

Even better, the Sec. 179 deduction isn’t the only avenue for immediate tax write-offs for qualified assets.


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If you’re a volunteer who works for charity, you may be entitled to some tax breaks if you itemize deductions on your tax return. Unfortunately, they may not amount to as much as you think your generosity is worth.

Because donations to charity of cash or property generally are tax deductible for itemizers, it may seem like donations of something more valuable for many people — their time — would also be deductible. However, no tax deduction is allowed for the value of time you spend volunteering or the services you perform for a charitable organization.

A women with white nail polish on her nails is holding loose change in an effort to give back to charity through donation. She is standing on a curbside.

It doesn’t matter if the services you provide require significant skills and experience, such as construction, which a charity would have to pay dearly for if it went out and obtained itself. You still don’t get to deduct the value of your time.

However, you potentially can deduct out-of-pocket costs associated with your volunteer work.


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During your working days, you pay Social Security tax in the form of withholding from your salary or self-employment tax. And when you start receiving Social Security benefits, you may be surprised to learn that some of the payments may be taxed.

If you’re getting close to retirement age, you may be wondering if your benefits are going to be taxed. And if so, how much will you have to pay? The answer depends on your other income. If you are taxed, between 50% and 85% of your payments will be hit with federal income tax. (There could also be state tax.)

A photo of sheets of paper and a notebook being used to calculate the taxes from Social Security benefits.
Important: This doesn’t mean you pay 50% to 85% of your benefits back to the government in taxes. It means that you have to include 50% to 85% of them in your income subject to your regular tax rates.


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Here are some of the key tax-related deadlines affecting businesses and other employers during the third quarter of 2019. Keep in mind that this list isn’t all-inclusive, so there may be additional deadlines that apply to you.

picture of a calendar for deadlines

Contact your trusted advisor to ensure you’re meeting all applicable deadlines and to learn more about the filing