Important Tax Birthdays

The “Happy Birthday” song is traditionally sung to celebrate the anniversary of someone’s birth. In 1998, the Guinness Book of World Records proclaimed that very song as the most recognized song in the English language, followed by “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow.” Its roots can be traced back to a song entitled, “Good Morning to All,” which was written and composed by American sisters and kindergarten teachers, Patty and Mildred Hill in 1893.

Throughout the years, many other versions and styles of the “Happy Birthday” song were created. One of the most famous versions of this song was sung by Marilyn Monroe to then U.S. President John F. Kennedy in May 1962. Another famous version of the song was sung by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. They shifted the melody to a traditional rock song and increased its complexity and style on their unforgettable double album, “The Beatles” (commonly referred to as the “White Album”) in 1968.

Traditionally, birthdays are fun events, but when it comes to taxes, birthdays have a special place. From a tax standpoint, birthdays are not always “fun” and very often are different and not created the same.

The table below contains some important tax birthdays (after the age of 50) that can dramatically affect your income taxes:

It is very important that as you plan for or reach any of these milestone birthdays that you are working with a qualified financial advisor who can review your specific situation to determine what tax reduction strategies would be best for you.

Contact us today to discuss some of these strategies. If you are a Western Pennsylvania resident, schedule a free initial consultation with us by calling us at 412-521-2732.  Residents outside of Southwestern Pennsylvania should call for more information. Jim’s services are available via the phone or through the Internet. Send an e-mail to

Important Tax Birthdays

Some things to consider about your Retirement Plan

In 2013, the maximum 401(k) contribution is $17,500 (plus a $5,500 catch-up contribution for those 50 or older by the end of the year). If you are self-employed, you have other retirement savings options. We will review these alternatives with you when you come in for your appointment. One of my favorites for many one person self- employed businesses is the one person 401(k) plan.

In light of the new increased tax rates effective in 2013, plus the addition of the new Medicare surtax on Net Investment Income, higher income taxpayers may want to consider switching from Roth 403(b) and Roth 401(k) elective deferral contributions back to tax deductible contributions. The current savings may outweigh the benefits of tax-free growth on the Roth accounts. As mentioned earlier, the focus moving forward for higher income taxpayers is toward reducing adjusted gross income.

You can also contribute to an IRA for 2013 up through April 15, 2014. The maximum is $5,500 with a catch-up (for taxpayers 50 or older) provision of $1,000.

– Excerpt from Jim Lange’s 2013 Year-End Tax Report


The Affordable Health Care Act and It’s Impact on Your Retirement…

Now that the Affordable Health Care Act is deemed constitutional, the Medicare surtax that is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2013 is likely.  Tax rates on certain passive income will rise to 43.4% from the current rate of 35%, and there is scheduled increases in the capital gains rates for both lower and upper income tax bracket taxpayers.  With taxes almost inevitably increasing, the appropriate response to buy your partner, Uncle Sam, out of your IRA at today’s lower tax rates.

As many of you know, for a long time I have advocated that making conversion of at least a portion of your IRA to a Roth IRA is a good idea for most taxpayers. Now, with the recent Supreme Court decision that the tax and locations of the Affordable Health Care Act, the benefits of the conversion become even more advantageous and more certain, particularly for upper income taxpayers. The benefits are making Roth IRA conversions can be measured in hundreds of thousands of dollars, even millions if you can stretch the life of the Roth IRA over multiple generations.

If you are interested in a detailed technical analysis of the Medicare surtax or the benefits of Roth IRA conversion, please call and ask our Client Service Coordinator Alice for more information.   We would be happy to provide you with an explanation or set up a meeting with  one of our professionals.