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Tax Planning/retirement pension


I am taking early retirement at 60 eventhough I still plan to work a low stress/low pay job just for some income.
I am taking an early out retirement bonus plus my lump sum pension.
I plan to pay my house off and all of my credit cards and close all but one card down for emergencies which will make me debt free.
I am most concerned about my normal annual salary this year of 35k shooting to about $130,000.just for 2015 due to the payout and lump sum possibly more because I plan to work in 2015.
They will be taking taxes out of the bonus of 25% and the pension 20% prior to distributing it to me.
I am concerned as this annual amount for 2015 taxes will place me in a higher tax bracket and fear that I may owe a ton more in taxes next year.
Is there anything that I can do to mitigate this?
I am single, no children and claim 1 on income taxes.

Rosemary -

Very little that can be done in this scenario, but I will make a few suggestions that could ease the pain of it.

1) Max out any retirement contributions, if any, i.e. 401(k) or even an IRA.  In other words, make additional contributions so it will reduce your income;
2) Wait until 2016 before paying off the house, so that you can still claim some of the interest deductions on your home;
3) Pay your entire property tax bill before the end of 2015;
4) Make more charitable contributions, both cash and non-cash...Donate! Donate! Donate!
5) If you live in a state that has taxes, make extra estimated tax payments (you'll get it back when you file, but it will be deductible in 2015);

That's nearly all you can do at this point.

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As an Enrolled Agent, I am fully capable of providing tax advice as it relates to personal and business income taxes. Enrolled Agents are the only Federally licensed tax practitioners and are admitted to practice before all administrative functions of the IRS. My specialty is working with small business owners who file Schedule "C" and helping them to structure their business in such a way as to maximize as many tax advantages as possible. I also enjoy working with individuals who have both routine as well as complex tax situations. I prefer to concentrate on individuals and small business tax planning.


I have a 25 year background in financial services including tax, bookkeeping, insurance, real estate and securities. I was previously the Chief Financial Officer of a local and national franchise organization. I am currently semi-retired, but used to own (in partnership with another EA) an individual and small business financial engineering firm where I work with nearly 2,500 individuals and small business owners in nearly every state and almost every continent, assisting them in all aspects of their tax and financial well-being. I have prepared or reviewed more than 8,000 tax returns in my career.

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Enrolled Agent, Admitted to Practice Before the IRS, Accredited Tax Preparer, Fellow of National Tax Practice Institute, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor (1999-2011), Sleeter Group Certified QuickBooks Consultant, Life & Disability Insurance Agent License (California, Texas, Maine), Real Estate Agent License (California); Many years of continuing education in all these fields.

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