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Encore
A blog about living in and planning for retirement

taxes - All posts tagged taxes

  • Oct 17, 2012
    6:40 AM ET

    Where Does the $250,000 Income Divide Come From?

    It seems as though no one reads the Census annual publication Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States for anything but the number of people in poverty. But the parts I find most interesting are those pertaining to the level and distribution of income.  The numbers go to the heart of conversations about the “middle class” and the “rich.”

  • Oct 10, 2012
    4:04 PM ET

    Should ‘the 47%’ pay income taxes? Part 2: Retirement

    The main reasons that 47% of households do not pay federal income taxes are provisions in the tax code that (1) provide basic exemptions for subsistence-level income and (2) offer tax expenditures that wipe out any tax liabilities. These provisions mainly benefit senior citizens and low-income families with children, who account for the bulk of the non-tax-paying units.

    The implication of some of the ongoing political discussion is that the country would be better off if these provisions were changed and more units paid taxes. My blog post last week concluded that the current treatment of low-income families was probably about right. This blog post focuses on the elderly.

  • Oct 4, 2012
    4:41 PM ET

    The Tax Perils of Working After 65

    Today’s society sends older workers signs—some subtle, others not so much—that it’s time to hang it up at age 65, says Olivia Mitchell, professor of business economics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Americans can start collecting Social Security benefits as early as age 62; they can start withdrawing money from their […]

  • Oct 4, 2012
    2:39 PM ET

    Should ‘the 47%’ Pay Income Taxes?

    As many commentators have pointed out in the wake of recently publicized comments by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the main reasons that 47 percent of households do not pay federal income taxes are provisions in the tax code that 1) provide basic exemptions for subsistence level income; and 2) offer tax expenditures that wipe out a household’s tax liabilities or provide refundable credits.  These provisions mainly benefit senior citizens and low-income families with children.  These two groups account for the bulk of the non-tax paying units.

    The implication of some of the discussion is that the country would be better off, and programs like Social Security and Medicare more likely to stay solvent, if these provisions were changed and more units paid taxes.  Is that true?  This piece takes a brief look at the tax treatment of low-income families with children. My next blog post will look at the provisions for retirees.

  • Sep 24, 2012
    3:24 PM ET

    Beating the Next Tax Deadline

    With only about three months left in the calendar year – and only three months remaining before major changes in tax laws are expected to kick in – you’re likely to hear a lot about year-end tax planning. An article in the current issue of Financial Planning magazine is a good reminder that it’s not too late to take advantage of some surprisingly generous rules.

    The Tax Relief Act of 2010 contained some unprecedented benefits for taxpayers: In particular, the gift-tax exemption jumped from $1 million to $5 million. That means individuals can bequeath the latter amount without paying a penny in taxes. The catch: That change and others expire on Dec. 31…

About Encore

  • Encore examines the changing nature of retirement, from new rules and guidelines for financial security to the shifting identities and priorities of today’s retirees. The blog also explores news that affects retirement, from the Wall Street Journal Digital Network and around the web. Lead bloggers are reporter Catey Hill and senior editor Jeremy Olshan. Other contributors include The Wall Street Journal’s retirement columnists Glenn Ruffenach and Anne Tergesen; the Director for the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, Alicia Munnell; and the Director of Research for Pinnacle Advisory Group, Michael Kitces, CFP.