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Integrated Wealth Management

2015 Tax Planning Guide

Happy New Year! We would like to update you with some tax rule adjustments that may have significance for your 2015 tax plans.

What’s changed?

  • 2015 Ordinary Income Tax brackets: Tax brackets are widened and personal exemptions are increased slightly for 2015. (See 2015 Ordinary Income Tax Brackets)
  • AMT tax brackets, exemptions, and phase-out thresholds are also indexed for inflation.
  • The standard deduction rises to $6,300 for singles, and $12,600 for married filed jointly.
  • Estate tax exclusion amount is $5,430,000 for 2015, up from $5,340,000 in 2014.
  • FSA contribution limit rises to $2,550, up $50 from the amount for 2014.
  • Exclusion from gross income of discharged qualified principal residence indebtedness: unless congress extends this provision sometime this year, any debt cancelled in the short sale of real estate will be treated as income for tax purposes.
  • Contribution limit for 401K, 403B, 457, TSP is increased from $17,500 to $18,000. The catch-up limit for employees aged 50 and over is increased from $5,500 to $6,000.
  • IRA rollover rule: beginning 2015, investors can make only one IRA rollover in 12-month period regardless of the number of IRAs the investor owns. See IRS Rule here: http://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/IRA-One-Rollover-Per-Year-Rule. The exceptions to this rule include trustee-to-trustee transfers, qualified plan to IRA rollovers, IRA to qualified plan rollovers, and Roth IRA conversions.
  • Inherited IRAs are not “retirement funds”: the Supreme Court concluded that Inherited IRAs are not exempt under the applicable federal bankruptcy code provision. This decision by the Court resulted in some uncertainty regarding the status of IRAs that are inherited by a spouse.
  • Qualified Longevity Annuity Contracts (QLACs): final regulations exclude QLACs from the account balance used to determine required minimum distributions.

 

What remains the same?

  • IRA contribution limit and catch-up limit remain the same: $5,500 and $1,000 respectively.
  • The annual exclusion for gifts remains at $14,000 for 2015.
  • The maximum benefits of various education-and child-related breaks remain the same for 2015. But most of these breaks are subject to a phase-out based on your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI).

Considering the complexity of the rules and regulations and the challenges people face in navigating retirement, proper guidance has never been more important.