Personal Financial Planning

The Bush administration’s FY2008 budget proposal includes several measures intended to simplify and encourage retirement savings. A Retirement Savings Account would consolidate the current three types of individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and eliminate qualified purposes for early withdrawals. It would restrict annual contributions, which must be made in cash, to the lesser of $5,000 or earnings included in income; there would be no income limits. Contributions would be nondeductible, but distributions made after age 58 or in the event of death or disability would be tax-free, as with current-law Roth IRAs. Also, there would be no minimum-distribution requirement. Existing Roth IRAs would automatically convert to RSAs, whereas traditional IRAs could be converted by taking the conversion amount into gross income, as is currently done for Roth conversions (but no income limit would apply to RSA conversions).

A separate Lifetime Savings Account could be used for any purpose, including health care, emergencies and education, as well as for retirement, consolidating several types of tax-favored “special-purpose savings vehicles”: Health Savings Accounts, Archer Medical Savings Accounts, Coverdale Education Savings Accounts and section 529 Qualified Tuition Programs. An LSA would have a $2,000-a-year contribution limit regardless of earned income level; contributions must be in cash. LSA distributions also would be tax-free, regardless of the account-holder’s age or use of the distribution, although contributions would be nondeductible.

Likewise, the administration would consolidate the panoply of employer-sponsored retirement plans into an Employer Retirement Savings Account for all employers.




Year-end tax planning and what’s new for 2016

Practitioners need to consider several tax planning opportunities to review with their clients before the end of the year. This report offers strategies for individuals and businesses, as well as recent federal tax law changes affecting this year’s tax returns.


News quiz: Retirement planning, tax practice, and fraud risk

Recent reports focused on a survey that gauges the worries about retirement among CPA financial planners’ clients, a suit that affects tax practitioners, and a guide that offers advice on fraud risk. See how much you know with this short quiz.


Bolster your data defenses

As you weather the dog days of summer, it’s a good time to make sure your cybersecurity structure can stand up to the heat of external and internal threats. Here are six steps to help shore up your systems.