Campbell Wealth December 2018

Stop Donating to Scammers Scammed for the Holidays

there’s a deadline for giving. As the Better Business Bureau says, “Responsible organizations will

During the season of giving, charities receive a much-needed rush of donations as people open their hearts to others. Unfortunately, criminals are all too willing to abuse this goodwill. According to a report from the Justice Department, Americans over the age of 60 lose over $3 billion a year to scams and fraudsters. As charity scams reach their peak, here’s what you need to do to ensure your donations aren’t lining the pockets of criminals. Never Give by Phone or Email. Charities regularly reach out to past and potential donors through traditional mail, email, phone calls, or text messages. This means fraudsters will mimic their approach with less noble intentions. Because it’s impossible to determine who is on the other end of a call or email, you should never give out your credit card information over the phone. If you really are speaking to a representative from a legitimate charity, they will direct you to a more secured process, where you can give without worry. Feeling Pressured? Walk Away. A lot of charities set goals they want to reach before the new year, but even groups that are hoping to raise a certain amount of money know better than to pressure donors into giving. Donations should always come from the heart, and it’s a bad sign if someone insists

welcome your gift tomorrow as much as they do today.” Only Give to Reputable Charities.

Do some research before donating to charities. Look up any prospective charity on Charity Navigator at CharityNavigator. org . This service flags “high concern” organizations suspected of fraud and ranks how reliable established charities are. Even legitimate organizations can be misleading about how they spend their donations. A good rule of thumb is to avoid organizations that spend more than 25 percent of donations on salaries or administrative costs. There are many amazing charities and organizations that do good work. Stay vigilant to make sure you are bringing joy to the world and not falling for a criminal looking to make a quick buck.

NEW 401(K) AND IRA CONTRIBUTION LIMITS FOR 2019

Single taxpayers who have an employer-sponsored retirement plan will see the range bumped to $64,000–$74,000: (up from $63,000- $73,000). For joint filers with at least one spouse making IRA contributions, the phase-out range is $103,000–$123,000 (up from $101,000–$121,000). For a joint filer who is not covered by an employer-sponsored plan but is making contributions to an IRA, the shared phase-out range is $193,000–$203,000 (up from $189,000–$199,000). The phase-out ranges for Roth IRAs updated as well. For single filers, phase-out is between $122,000–$137,000 (up from $120,000– $135,000). For joint filers, the range is $193,000–$203,000 (up from $189,000–$199,000). For a comprehensive look at the changes coming to retirement accounts, you can see a full breakdown on the IRS website at IRS.gov/ Newsroom/401k-contribution-limit-increases-to-19000-for-2019- ira-limit-increases-to-6000 .

Changes are coming to how much you can contribute to your retirement accounts in 2019. Here’s a quick breakdown of what employed taxpayers can expect in the coming year.

For those with a 401(k), 403(b), or certain 457 plans, contributions have been increased from $18,500 to $19,000. Catch-up limits for those ages 50 and above are still set at $6,000 for these types of accounts. This brings the total limit to $25,000 per year for 50-plus workers. For IRAs, the contribution limit has been increased from $5,500 to $6,000. For those over 50, the catch-up contribution limit remains an additional $1,000 per year, for a maximum contribution limit of $7,000. Another change comes to the phase-out range. The phase-out is related to deductions taxpayers can make to contributions toward their traditional IRA plan. Here’s what the updated ranges look like.

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