New Law Means Early Filers Could See Delays in Tax Returns

Barry Kornfeld pic
Barry Kornfeld
Image: fftaxgroup.us

Respected Florida financial advisor Barry M. Kornfeld leads First Financial Tax Group in Boca Raton, where he offers clients a full range of retirement advice and income planning services. As part of his ongoing work, Barry M. Kornfeld stays up to date on changing tax laws.

New changes to the way the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) processes refunds could impact early filers in 2017. Many people who file their taxes early depend on the refunds to pay off debt from Christmas, take care of lingering bills, or fill other financial gaps. However, legislation passed in 2015 that went into effect this year will see the IRS hold early returns until mid-February as a preventive measure against fraud.

The IRS will specifically hold returns for individuals and families who claimed either the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit. While most filers this tax season will see their refunds returned to them in approximately 21 days, the new law requires that absolutely no refunds will be released until February 15 to filers who claimed either of these credits.

These sorts of laws are among the many steps the IRS is implementing to reduce the amount of tax return fraud and ensure citizens receive the refunds to which they are entitled.

Advice for Estimating Your Retirement Income Needs

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A graduate of American University, where he earned his degree in accounting and finance, Barry M. Kornfeld is able to draw on both his education and extensive experience to serve as a financial advisor for senior clients. Working as the principal of First Financial Tax Group, Barry Kornfeld offers clients information about fixed-income alternatives, such as First Position Commercial Mortgage notes (FPCMs), which can help them meet their retirement income needs.

To prepare for retirement, regardless of your current age, you need to understand your income and how it will change once you leave work. Here are some useful tips.

1. Account for the expenses that are currently being covered by your employer, such as health insurance premiums, as these will become your expenses once you leave the workplace.

2. Aim to save 18 to 20 percent of your current income each year so you have a nest egg put aside. According to U.S News Money senior editor Kimberly Palmer, the Employee Benefit Research Institute has estimated that people contribute an average of 7.5 percent of income into any form of retirement savings account, which can leave them unprepared for the prospect of rising healthcare costs and other retirement-related expenses.

3. Account for taxes on all income streams outside of Social Security, particularly if you have a 401k or IRA, as your tax rate in retirement may be higher than you anticipate.

Two Things You Can Do to Help Senior Citizens in Your Community

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Image: cdc.gov

 

In his role as the principal of First Financial Tax Group, Barry Kornfeld works with people who are approaching or have reached retirement age to help them create income and growth plans that help them achieve financial stability once they have stopped working. As part of this role, Barry M. Kornfeld also offers advice on retirement and he maintains an interest in the psychology that surrounds aging.

According to statistics in a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study, approximately 7 million senior citizens in the United States experience depression. In many cases, this is linked to a lack of companionship and there are a number of things you can do to help the elderly citizens in your own community.

Spending some time with an elderly person and engaging in conversation can have a remarkable effect. Some communities have even implemented foster grandparent programs that link lonely senior citizens with people who want to spend time with them. Getting involved with a local charity that focuses on the issue is a good first step.

Also, consider the possibility that illness and transportation issues can prevent senior citizens from attending events that are important to them, such as social gatherings or religious ceremonies. By offering transportation and a little help, you may be able to enrich an elderly person’s life.

Most Americans Haven’t Researched or Saved for Retirement

Retirement pic
Retirement
Image: fftaxgroup.us

Based in Boca Raton, Florida, financial advisor Barry M. Kornfeld serves as the principal of First Financial Tax Group, which offers a wide array of growth, income, and tax services and strategies. In his work, Barry M. Kornfeld helps individuals assess their retirement income needs and find the right solutions to achieve those goals.

Recent surveys indicate that Americans are inadequately prepared for retirement, both in research and actual savings. A recent poll conducted by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies shows that only 10 percent of Americans have taken the time to estimate the income they will need for retirement.

Additionally, that survey shows that most people expect Social Security to be their only means of income in retirement years. Most Americans also plan to work past retirement age in order to save extra retirement funds, but don’t really have an established plan for how much they will save or how to go about it.

Another survey conducted by GoBankingRates shows that one in three Americans have absolutely no money set aside for retirement at all, and an additional 23 percent report having only $10,000 set aside.

What all this data suggests is that Americans as a whole are woefully underprepared for their financial needs in retirement. This only serves to increase the importance of seeking advice from an experienced, capable retirement planning professional.