Search found 3359 matches

by dodecahedron
Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: <gulp> Expensive mistake
Replies: 19
Views: 2395

Re: <gulp> Expensive mistake

What is the TSP and F fund? Non-intuitive acronyms are ubiquitous on this forum. While that's often true, I don't think this is a good example. TSP and F fund are only slightly less commonly known than 401k and TBM, which I think are fair game. Blaugranamd, you have been a member since 2012, so I d...
by dodecahedron
Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you wear a wedding band? [at a job interview]
Replies: 134
Views: 7695

Re: Do you wear a wedding band? [at a job interview]

My husband and I picked out simple matching gold wedding bands at a venerable ancient little store in downtown Boston and had them engraved with our names inside. I still treasure the memory of shopping for those rings together. Many decades later when we were walking through Boston on a visit, we s...
by dodecahedron
Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax question - Deceased person's final social security payment
Replies: 10
Views: 848

Re: Tax question - Deceased person's final social security payment

Don't forget that you can deduct estate administration expenses (e.g., legal fees, probate filing fees, postage, etc.) on a Form 1041. These might not be deductible on anyone's personal income tax return, but they could be deductible on Form 1041. https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/26/20.2053-3 (T...
by dodecahedron
Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax question - Deceased person's final social security payment
Replies: 10
Views: 848

Re: Tax question - Deceased person's final social security payment

You're welcome. A natural followup question, to which I do not know the answer, is how much of the SS gross benefit is taxable income to the estate. I don't see definitive guidance in the 1041 instructions and tax pro discussion forums seem unclear. Does one use the percentage that would have been t...
by dodecahedron
Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax question - Deceased person's final social security payment
Replies: 10
Views: 848

Re: Tax question - Deceased person's final social security payment

It is a confusing topic, so your confusion is understandable. By the way, it appears that an estate receiving a final SS payment is relatively rare, because SSA claim form designates it as a last resort. Ordinarily an SS payment or Medicare premium refund due to a decedent after death goes to the wi...
by dodecahedron
Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax question - Deceased person's final social security payment
Replies: 10
Views: 848

Re: Tax question - Deceased person's final social security payment

By the way, technically even if the decedent had received the payment in December 2016 but after his date of death, it should not have gone on his final Form 1040. Final Form 1040 is supposed to report income received by decedent from January 1 through date of death. Income received by the decedent'...
by dodecahedron
Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax question - Deceased person's final social security payment
Replies: 10
Views: 848

Re: Tax question - Deceased person's final social security payment

Do I file another PERSONAL tax return for the deceased for tax year 2017, where I declare this income? He was not alive at all during the calendar year so it seems weird. But the SSA-1099 does show his personal SSN. Or would this be filed under the ESTATE tax return? Neither. It does not go on a 20...
by dodecahedron
Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I'm Cancelling My Home Insurance
Replies: 150
Views: 9705

Re: I'm Cancelling My Home Insurance

Has anyone on this board ever claimed home insurance when their house burn down? Anyone? Car Insurance and Home Insurance (as far as replacement cost) is stupid when your net worth far exceeds the replacement cost for your car and your house. Pay insurance for things that you can afford to lose. No...
by dodecahedron
Sat Feb 17, 2018 1:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bberg: bond bulls say they'll have the last laugh
Replies: 16
Views: 2119

Re: Bberg: bond bulls say they'll have the last laugh

Ah. The one environment where we all lose. TIPS don't provide full cover. They somehow forget to compensate you for taxes. And I would not be surprised if the Treasury stops issuing TIPS in a stagflation environment. If Treasury stops issuing new ones, won't that just make the TIPS that are already...
by dodecahedron
Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I-Bonds?
Replies: 80
Views: 12784

Re: I-Bonds?

Does it make sense to delay filing my tax return in order to find out what the fixed rate will be in May (for paper I bonds)? I have a question about this... if I file paper tax returns in mid April, I expect that my refund would not be processed for several weeks... well into the month of May. Wou...
by dodecahedron
Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes - H&R Block Software
Replies: 2
Views: 319

Re: Taxes - H&R Block Software

They claim available 2/16. I switched to HRB from taxact because of myfreetaxes.com and I am very happy with it. Easy importing of w2, 1099s, 1095A, last years tax form. No nagging for upgrades. Very happy to hear this! I didn't realize that the free version of HRB software allowed importing. Also ...
by dodecahedron
Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changing from SS Spousal to Survivor
Replies: 26
Views: 1585

Re: Changing from SS Spousal to Survivor

She effectively receives my father full SS and a percentage of her old. Are you sure? Nobody is supposed to receive more than one benefit. You are supposed to receive your own benefit or your deceased spouse's benefit, whichever is larger - not both. If the deceased spouse's benefit is $X and your ...
by dodecahedron
Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When can a married person file Single or Head of Household? [temporary absence question]
Replies: 28
Views: 1035

Re: When can a married person file Single or Head of Household? [temporary absence question]

Online, the underlined phrase "temporary absences" is a pdf hyperlink which takes you to the section I initially quoted. Perhaps the definition is the same for spouse and for qualifying child? Remember that IRS Pubs are advisory interpretations and do not have the authority of law. I vaguely recall...
by dodecahedron
Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When can a married person file Single or Head of Household? [temporary absence question]
Replies: 28
Views: 1035

Re: When can a married person file Single or Head of Household? [temporary absence question]

Since no one can tell for sure how their taxes were actually filed, we can only hope that their accountant did the community property allocation worksheet because CA is the most well known community property state. I suggest that Neuro stay out of their tax affairs. I second that emotion! Very comp...
by dodecahedron
Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changing from SS Spousal to Survivor
Replies: 26
Views: 1585

Re: Changing from SS Spousal to Survivor

Maybe her current benefit is so low because she is so old, and these are "ancient level" benefits. Would COLA's keep benefits for the very elderly at all comparable with current benefits? Obviously, wages many decades ago were so much lower. Oh, I hate the thought of even bringing this up. No, ever...
by dodecahedron
Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changing from SS Spousal to Survivor
Replies: 26
Views: 1585

Re: Changing from SS Spousal to Survivor

IF someone doesn't notify SS that they've been widowed, would SS automatically somehow switch them from spousal benefits to survivor benefits No. The survivor must request the change in benefits. The deceased person's check will stop automatically. JoeRetire, what is your source for this assertion?...
by dodecahedron
Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changing from SS Spousal to Survivor
Replies: 26
Views: 1585

Re: Changing from SS Spousal to Survivor

Do you have access to her SSA-1099? Look in Box 8 for the claim number. If Box 8 contains the husband's SSN followed by "D", then she is getting widow's benefits on his account. This should have happened automatically if she was at least FRA at the time her husband died. Our resident backchannel exp...
by dodecahedron
Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping Mom with Taxes
Replies: 43
Views: 2023

Re: Helping Mom with Taxes

It looks pretty straightforward to me, but I admit I don't know if the different income sources require additional schedules for the 1040. Even if they do, she can't owe any taxes, I would assume. If her non-SS income is below $11,950, then with the standard deduction for a senior citizen plus her ...
by dodecahedron
Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping Mom with Taxes
Replies: 43
Views: 2023

Re: Helping Mom with Taxes

How much is her SS? It will need to be reported but will not be subject to taxation or even included in AGI if you are correct that her total income is around $24K.
by dodecahedron
Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Expat tax question: How to be eligible for MFJ with non-resident spouse?
Replies: 14
Views: 869

Re: Expat tax question: How to be eligible for MFJ with non-resident spouse?

OTOH (possibly getting something wrong) - it is until age 18 (age 19 if in school?) - each child (US citizen) would be eligible for 75% - max family benefit of 200% So, if OP had 3 or more kids it wouldn't much matter. As for us we have 2 children. While we would get 150% instead of a max 200% if i...
by dodecahedron
Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors
Replies: 31
Views: 3108

Re: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors

OP, I am a Merrill Edge client and have been very happy with their service, fund selection, and costs, Hard to go wrong. Plus their are add-on benefits through BofA that are valuable Happy ME customer here, but all I currently do in my ME taxable account is hold Vanguard ETFs and direct dividends t...
by dodecahedron
Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors
Replies: 31
Views: 3108

Re: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors

OP, I am a Merrill Edge client and have been very happy with their service, fund selection, and costs, Hard to go wrong. Plus their are add-on benefits through BofA that are valuable Happy ME customer here, but all I currently do in my ME taxable account is hold Vanguard ETFs and direct dividends t...
by dodecahedron
Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What if you only live off dividends?
Replies: 80
Views: 7070

Re: What if you only live off dividends?

I don't think its the worst idea in the world, and its an approach that was more commonly used 30 years ago when yields were higher and dividends were more common. Another reason the practice was more common back in the old days was that commissions on selling securities were very high due to regul...
by dodecahedron
Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Expat tax question: How to be eligible for MFJ with non-resident spouse?
Replies: 14
Views: 869

Re: Expat tax question: How to be eligible for MFJ with non-resident spouse?

Not specific to the MFJ issue but more along the ideas of US residency is whether your spouse will qualifty for 50% of your social security benefits and 100% of the benefit if you predecease her. OTOH, I think 5 years of residency within the USA will qualify her. There are other ways to qualify bas...
by dodecahedron
Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spouse and "Spousal Refusal" in New York
Replies: 17
Views: 2629

Re: Spouse and "Spousal Refusal" in New York

... I don't understand why you think the monthly amount your father needs to pay out of his IRA will be limited to his RMDs. I would think that until his IRA is fully drained, your father will be expected to pay the entire monthly bill. So I would expect that his IRA distributions will be much grea...
by dodecahedron
Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spouse and "Spousal Refusal" in New York
Replies: 17
Views: 2629

Re: Spouse and "Spousal Refusal" in New York

Last question. The RMD will require state/federal income taxes to be paid. Will the income calculation reduce the RMD allocated to his care to cover taxes that are required? Not sure I'd be very worried about this as with the level of care your parents will have to finance, especially if they were ...
by dodecahedron
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I'm Lost Please Help Me :(
Replies: 20
Views: 2188

Re: I'm Lost Please Help Me :(

Welcome! You have certainly come to the right place.

A great way to get a bird's eye guidance is to read this short free PDF, If You Can, written by a highly respected Bogleheads author, Bill Bernstein.
by dodecahedron
Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax 2017 Residential Energy Credit Available?
Replies: 19
Views: 1054

Re: Tax 2017 Residential Energy Credit Available?

I’m pretty sure it will take another software update to capture these new additions. MichaelM....I think the update will happen on or about February 25. That will definitely help me. Question. Is this an above the line deduction? What benefit is that, really? Does the 500 credit just reduce your li...
by dodecahedron
Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to enter tax information for forms that I don't have?
Replies: 20
Views: 1304

Re: How to enter tax information for forms that I don't have?

For example, I earned $300 interest from a bank, but they did not provide a 1099-INT. Do I "pretend" that I received it, and fill out the form as if I did, or should I list the amount as "other income?" The IRS and tax law require you to report all your taxable interest on line 8(a), whether or not...
by dodecahedron
Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [US Budget deal Revives Expired Individual Tax Breaks for 2017]
Replies: 25
Views: 3147

Re: In a hurry to file, Senate drops stink bomb

I've seen 1099's be corrected as late as the end of February. That along with the potential retroactive tax changes means people should be in no hurry to file taxes. Unfortunately, there are low/moderate income folks expecting refundable credits who can't afford to wait to file. And if they all wai...
by dodecahedron
Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [US Budget deal Revives Expired Individual Tax Breaks for 2017]
Replies: 25
Views: 3147

[US Budget deal Revives Expired Individual Tax Breaks for 2017]

It is feeling like a moveable feast GroundHog Day movie: the late night/early morning budget legislation resurrected the zombie tax extenders from the dead (again!) The "extenders" are a motley grabbag of tax breaks including the tuition & fees deduction, residential energy credit, and deductibility...
by dodecahedron
Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax 2017 Residential Energy Credit Available?
Replies: 19
Views: 1054

Re: Tax 2017 Residential Energy Credit Available?

dodecahedron, Great info, very informative. What are those congressmen doing? Get busy and extend those extenders, they have till April 15! Michael MichaelM, apparently they were listening to you. Last night's crazily late legislation extended the extenders, including the residential energy credit....
by dodecahedron
Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Loss Harvesting Questions
Replies: 11
Views: 751

Re: Tax Loss Harvesting Questions

Bear in mind that if you are going to generate total net cap loss of <$3000, the amount you TLH will be offsetting ordinary income, which may be worth more to you than the loss of the preferential rate for the qualified dividend. Not to hijack the thread but what is the order of operations on apply...
by dodecahedron
Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Survivor Benefits Question related to Life Insurance Planning
Replies: 15
Views: 1024

Re: Social Security Survivor Benefits Question related to Life Insurance Planning

As for car insurance, it sounds like your marital status went to single. Check with the insurance company to make sure it's widowed. My rates actually went down when I went from married to widowed. My insurance went down after I was widowed and took my husband off the policy, but only by a ridiculo...
by dodecahedron
Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why should we care about inflation?
Replies: 58
Views: 5005

Re: Why should we care about inflation?

The taxation of nominal interest income is the best example of how indexing does not fully compensate taxpayers for the influence of inflation. Scenario 1: Nominal interest rate is 2% and inflation is 0%. Scenario 2: Nominal interest rate is 12% and inflation is 10%. Both scenarios have real pre-tax...
by dodecahedron
Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Survivor Benefits Question related to Life Insurance Planning
Replies: 15
Views: 1024

Re: Social Security Survivor Benefits Question related to Life Insurance Planning

JosephineP makes a lot of good points. Life insurance is definitely a good idea. A few corrections. in the 3rd year after the death of a spouse, you'll find yourself in the single tax bracket, which means you'll hit the upper limits of various rate brackets more easily, and may find yourself paying ...
by dodecahedron
Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Average dude with just W-2 and some 1099-INT income
Replies: 18
Views: 1675

Re: Average dude with just W-2 and some 1099-INT income

Another thought: if your only itemized deduction is your state income taxes, it may not be worth itemizing deductions on your 2018 tax return (the one you will file next year.) That is because starting with 2018, there will be a $10K cap on SALT (state and local tax) deductions, and your 2018 standa...
by dodecahedron
Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Average dude with just W-2 and some 1099-INT income
Replies: 18
Views: 1675

Re: Average dude with just W-2 and some 1099-INT income

In earlier posts, you said you are a dentist contemplating going to a self-employed arrangement, and that you have a large taxable account currently invested in a savings account but you are interested in ETFs. You are hardly a typical "average dude with just W-2 and some 1099-INT." Few such average...
by dodecahedron
Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Interesting Charitable Donation Question
Replies: 5
Views: 681

Re: Interesting Charitable Donation Question

Donations of a foreign currency to a 501(c)(3) are certainly tax deductible. Lots of charities solicit such donations from returning travelers. My understanding is that the IRS considers donations of foreign currency to be donations of property rather than "cash donations", which means that charitie...
by dodecahedron
Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Minimize Your Emergency Care Expenses
Replies: 163
Views: 17959

Re: How to Minimize Your Emergency Care Expenses

A few years ago, my previous Primary Care Physician pressed me for a Thallium stress test (on a treadmill). I thought it was nonsense and resisted. However before I could have some very minor eyelid surgery, I had to get her signoff - and she would not do it without this stress test. I had it (with...
by dodecahedron
Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help calculating 2018 kiddie tax
Replies: 32
Views: 1227

Re: Help calculating 2018 kiddie tax

It's certainly possible that he is no one's dependent but is still subject to kiddie tax. The test for kiddie tax is on earned income only. Absolutely correct! There are students under 24 who are completely financially independent of their parents and not even on speaking terms with them (let alone...
by dodecahedron
Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help calculating 2018 kiddie tax
Replies: 32
Views: 1227

Re: Help calculating 2018 kiddie tax

The worksheet I linked is the exact same worksheet as in IRS Publication 17 (page 30). It is worksheet 3.1 and it applies to the OP's situation. Best wishes. It does not actually apply to the OP's situation in any meaningful bottom line way, because the taxes calculated on Form 8615 effectively ove...
by dodecahedron
Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help calculating 2018 kiddie tax
Replies: 32
Views: 1227

Re: Help calculating 2018 kiddie tax

It's certainly possible that he is no one's dependent but is still subject to kiddie tax. The test for kiddie tax is on earned income only. Absolutely correct! There are students under 24 who are completely financially independent of their parents and not even on speaking terms with them (let alone...
by dodecahedron
Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help calculating 2018 kiddie tax
Replies: 32
Views: 1227

Re: Help calculating 2018 kiddie tax

It should be noted, however, that all of the foregoing discussion has been based on our extrapolation of how the IRS will interpret the lengthy and convoluted TCJA. The Pub 17 and VITA 4012 and Form 8615 instructions cited are for Tax Year 2017. As I noted above, we may not see updated instructions ...
by dodecahedron
Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help calculating 2018 kiddie tax
Replies: 32
Views: 1227

Re: Help calculating 2018 kiddie tax

Wagnerjb wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:09 pm
The worksheet I linked is the exact same worksheet as in IRS Publication 17 (page 30). It is worksheet 3.1 and it applies to the OP's situation.

Best wishes.
Deleted previous remarks--no longer sure about this.
by dodecahedron
Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Software Recommendations
Replies: 28
Views: 1788

Re: Tax Software Recommendations

Both TaxAct and HRB refuse to calculate state use tax My HRB (Fed/State Deluxe download purchased for $22) correctly and automatically calculated my use tax. (I just checked my 2016 to be sure. I am waiting for more documents before doing my 2017.) Specifically, there has been an error known to HRB...
by dodecahedron
Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help calculating 2018 kiddie tax
Replies: 32
Views: 1227

Re: Help calculating 2018 kiddie tax

All income(earned and unearned) is used for the support test to determine if the standard deduction can be taken. So for my son, the standard deduction can be used but the kiddie tax will apply. Yes, you are correct that the dependency test does not strictly used earned income. It also uses amounts...
by dodecahedron
Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Software Recommendations
Replies: 28
Views: 1788

Re: Tax Software Recommendations

I was a long-time TurboTax user until 2014 when I could not get it to handle a complicated education credit/deduction situation properly with two household members in higher ed. Its so-called "Optimizer" was overriding another option that I knew was both legal and more tax efficient. (I wanted to us...
by dodecahedron
Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Receiving trust money: tax issue
Replies: 4
Views: 675

Re: Receiving trust money: tax issue

In about a year and a half I will be receiving a low-six-figure disbursement that is currently being held in a trust. I have this fear that I'm going to end up owing a bunch of money to either the IRS or the state (Oregon) somehow by not taking some measure that an informed person would have. The m...
by dodecahedron
Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help calculating 2018 kiddie tax
Replies: 32
Views: 1227

Re: Help calculating 2018 kiddie tax

$0 + $1,515 + $1,487.50 = $3,002.50. I'm not sure if the full $2,500 AOC applies. Yes, I was wondering that too, but careful reading of the instructions for Form 8863 indicates that since the tax liability exceeds $2,500 per your computation, the full $2,500 will apply, so the bottom line tax due w...