Frequently Asked Questions
Phases of Financial Planning
Tax refund estimator
Did you withhold enough in taxes this past year? Use this calculator to help determine whether you might receive a tax refund or still owe additional money to the IRS. Remember this is just a tax estimator so you should file a proper tax return to get exact figures. For "high-income" workers you may experience an increase in your 2013 federal taxes going forward due to a number of new provisions such as personal exemption phaseouts, limits to itemized deductions, 3.8% Medicare tax on investment income and the creation of a new tax bracket (39.6%).
Federal income tax estimator
Taxes are unavoidable and without planning, the annual tax liability can be very uncertain. Use the following calculator to help determine your estimated tax liability along with your average and marginal tax rates. For "high-income" workers you may experience an increase in your 2013 federal taxes going forward due to a number of new provisions such as personal exemption phaseouts, limits to itemized deductions, 3.8% Medicare tax on investment income and the creation of a new tax bracket (39.6%).
Capital gains (losses) tax estimator
Federal taxes on your net capital gain(s) will vary depending on your marginal income tax bracket and holding period of the asset. Use this calculator to help estimate capital gain taxes due on your transactions.
Compare taxable, tax-deferred, and tax-free investment growth
Investment vehicles are taxed differently. This calculator is intended to help compare a fully taxable investment to two tax advantaged situations. In one situation, an investment account is not taxed until the money is withdrawn. In the second scenario, the money is an investment that is not subject to Federal or State tax.
How much of my social security benefit may be taxed?
Did you know that up to 85% of your Social Security Benefits may be subject to income tax? If this is the case you may want to consider repositioning some of your other income to minimize how much of your Social Security Benefit may be taxed and thereby, maximize your retirement income sources.
How much self-employment tax will I pay?
Self employment taxes are comprised of two parts: Social Security and Medicare. You will pay 6.2 percent and your employer will pay Social Security taxes of 6.2 percent on the first $113,700 of your covered wages. You each also pay Medicare taxes of 1.45 percent on all your wages - no limit. If you are self-employed, your Social Security tax rate is 12.4 percent and your Medicare tax is 2.9 percent on those same amounts of earnings but you are able to deduct the employer portion. New in 2013 you will pay an additional .9% Medicare tax on the amount that your annual income exceeds $200,000 for single filers and $250,000 for married filing jointly. Use this calculator to estimate your self-employment taxes.
Should I adjust my payroll withholdings?
Each April many taxpayers are surprised as they realize that they have either over withheld or under withheld on their taxes. Use this calculator each year to help determine whether you are likely to be on target based on your current withholding status. Make adjustments to your employer W-4 form, if necessary, to more closely match your liability. In the event of a surplus, you may be able to increase your take home pay. For "high-income" workers you may experience an increase in your 2013 federal taxes going forward due to a number of new provisions such as personal exemption phaseouts, limits to itemized deductions, 3.8% Medicare tax on investment income and the creation of a new tax bracket (39.6%).
Should I itemize or take the standard deduction?
If you have numerous itemized deductions such as mortgage interest, charitable contributions, etc., it may make sense for you to itemize your deductions instead of using the standard deduction for your tax filing status. Use this calculator to help you make that decision.
Tax freedom day
It might surprise you how many days you would have to work to pay your estimated federal tax liability (including Social Security tax withholdings). Use this calculator to determine your Tax Freedom Day - the day you begin earning money for yourself. This calculator does not take into account sales and excise taxes, state and local property taxes, and other taxes such as car and estate taxes. According to The Tax Foundation, the national tax freedom day is April 17th meaning the average American will work 107 of 365 days a year just to pay their varied taxes.
What are the tax implications of paying interest?
Interest paid may or may not be tax-deductible depending on the type of interest paid. Use this calculator to help determine what, if any, interest you pay this year may be deductible and to what extent it may save you on taxes.
What is my potential estate tax liability?
In 2013 the top federal estate tax rate of 40% will return. Estates worth up to $5.25 million will be excluded from paying federal estate tax. This means that the federal government could 'inherit' a significant portion of your estate unless you take measures to preserve your wealth. Use this federal estate tax calculator to estimate your tax liability.
What is my tax-equivalent yield?
Tax-free investments such as municipal bonds have lower yields due to their tax-exempt status. Use this calculator to determine an equivalent yield on a taxable investment. The higher your marginal tax bracket (state and federal), the higher the tax-equivalent yield.
Will my investment interest be deductible?
Interest paid on debts incurred in order to invest (such as 'margin accounts') is generally deductible to the extent that it offsets investment income (such as interest, dividends and short term capital gains). Interest payments in excess of investment income can be carried forward in hopes of offsetting future investment income. This calculator can help you better manage the use of debt as an investment tool, and more accurately time your income and interest payments to take best advantage of current deductibility laws and limitations.