Create Tax Savings And Transfer Wealth To Your Child With A Roth IRA

Parents must give serious thought to protecting their family through estate tax planning. While life insurance and trusts should be a part of every plan, Roth IRAs can be a simple tool for passing money to your child on a tax-free basis.

Roth IRA

First, we need a quick summary of the Roth IRA. A Roth IRA is an after-tax retirement vehicle that produces huge tax savings because all tax distributions are tax-free. That statement can a bit confusing, so lets break it down. The downside of a Roth IRA is the fact that contributions are not tax deductible as with traditional IRAs or 401(k)s. The upside of a Roth IRA, however, is that all distributions are tax-free once the person reaches the age of 59. So how can you use a Roth IRA to pass money to your child?

Opening A Roth IRA For Your Child

One of the biggest keys to retirement planning is time. The more years you spend saving money for retirement, the more you should have when that blessed day arrives. Imagine if you had started saving for retirement when you were 16. How much bigger would your retirement nest egg be? What if you purchased Microsoft stock in 1990 and watched it split eight times? Okay, that was painful example if you missed that opportunity. Nonetheless, why not do for your child what you didnt do for yourself?

The fundamental goal of estate planning is to pass as much of your estate as possible to your family on a tax-free basis. You can transfer relatively small amounts of money to your child now. If you have a 16 year-old child with a Roth IRA, you can contribute $4,000 in 2005. That $4,000 is going to grow tax-free for 43 years and be worth quite a bit. A ten percent return would result in the account growing to roughly $200,000 and the full amount would be distributed tax-free. There are other practical advantages to opening a Roth IRA for your child.

As a parent, it is vital that you teach your child the value of money. Opening a Roth IRA gives you the opportunity to sit down and teach your child the value of saving and investing, instead of yelling at them to clean their room. While a parental lecture on the need to save money would typically meet with glassy eyes and yawns, your childs attitude will undoubtedly change when you are talking about their money.

Work and Maturity Issues

Before you rush out to open a Roth IRA for your child, you must determine if your child is eligible to open an account. To open an account, your son or daughter must be working at least part time for an employer that reports their wages to the IRS. Hiring your child to take out the trash each week is not going to cut it, nor will this strategy work for your 5 year-old. Many teenagers, however, have summer jobs that should suffice for IRS consideration. To avoid any trouble, you should consult with your tax advisor.

A more sublime issue concerns the maturity level of your child. Keep in mind that the Roth IRA will be opened in their name. Your son or daughter will have the legal right to do what they will with the account. It is strongly suggested that you clearly explain the consequences of taking money out of the account [taxes, penalties, being cut out of the will, forced to eat healthy food, grounded for life, etc.] but the decision lies with them. As difficult as it is, try to be objective in evaluating how you child will react to knowing the money is sitting in an account. If you have doubts, you should probably investigate other tax saving strategies.

Opening a Roth IRA for your child can be a very effective means of transferring wealth to your child and teaching important life lessons. If your child exercises restraint, your relatively small contribution to their Roth IRA can grow into a sizeable tax-free nest egg.

Richard A. Chapo is with BusinessTaxRecovery.com – obtaining tax refund recovery for overpaid small business taxes. Visit BusinessTaxRecovery.com to read more business tax articles or our new tax credits page.

What You Need To Know About Taxes If You’re Getting Married

It may not be high on the list of wedding planning activities, but there are a few simple steps that can help keep tax issues from interrupting your newly wedded bliss. If you recently married, check out your new tax situation. You might save money or even prevent the problem of a missing refund check.

The first things to handle are changes of name and address. Later, as tax season approaches, consider whether or not you’ll itemize deductions, which tax return form is right for you and what filing status you’ll use.

No one should delay the cake cutting or honeymoon because of taxes. But here are some helpful hints for later:

Use Your Correct Name

You must provide correct names and identification numbers to claim personal exemptions on your tax return. If you changed your name upon marrying, let the Social Security Administration know and update your Social Security card so the number matches your new name. Use Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card.

Change of Address

If you or your spouse has a new address, notify the U.S. Postal Service so that it will be able to forward any tax refunds or IRS correspondence. The Postal Service will also pass your new address on to IRS for updating. You may also notify to notify the IRS directly by filing Form 8822.

Refund Checks

Each year, the Postal Service returns thousands of tax refund checks as undeliverable, usually because the addressee has moved. Notifying both the Postal Service and the IRS of an address change in a timely manner can help ensure the proper delivery of any refund checks. To check the status of a tax refund, go to the IRS web site and use the “Wheres My Refund?” service.

Changing Filing Status

Your marital status on December 31 determines whether you are considered married for that year. Married persons may file their federal income tax return either jointly or separately in any given year. Choosing the right filing status may save you money.

A joint return (Married Filing Jointly) allows spouses to combine their income and to deduct combined deductions and expenses on a single tax return. Both spouses must sign the return and both are held responsible for the contents.

With separate returns (Married Filing Separately), each spouse signs, files and is responsible for his or her own tax return. Each is taxed on his or her own income, and can take only his or her individual deductions and credits. If one spouse itemizes deductions, the other must also.

Which filing status should you select? It depends entirely on your specific situation. You should consider sitting down with a tax professional to make a determination.