What to do if you don’t get your W-2

You’re still waiting for your W-2. You know you’re getting a refund and you want to file your return, but it’s something you can’t do until you receive your annual wage statement.Bankrate’s 2010 Tax GuideTax tips and toolsHow do I … ?Filing and refundsReal estate and capital gainsFamily and educationOn the jobInvestments and retirementCharitable givingYour state taxes<< All guide content

If you end up without the form in early February, you probably should just try to be patient for a bit longer. While the Internal Revenue Service requires employers to get workers their earnings information by the end of each January, many companies still send W-2s by mail, so allow a few days after the 31st for delivery.

And W-2s could be a bit later this filing season because Jan. 31 is on a Sunday. That means the deadline shifts to the next business day, Feb. 1.Check with payroll A call to your company’s payroll office isn’t entirely out of order. [Read the full article]

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Vermont teachers would have to pay more into their pension system and work longer but would get other benefits under a deal struck Friday between their union and the state, officials said.

The agreement, which still must be ratified by the Legislature, calls for $15 million in savings by a combination of pension and benefit changes.

–raise the retirement age. Under the existing system, teachers can retire at any age as long as they have 30 years of service. Under the proposal, that would change to the “rule of 90.” That is, retirement could only come at 65 or when a teacher’s years of service added to their age equals 90, whichever comes first. Those who chose to retire at 55 would face penalties, as they do now. But it wouldn’t apply to anyone now 62 or with 30 years’ service at any age.

–require teachers to pay 5 percent of their annual salary into the pension fund, up about 1 percent. [Read the full article]

If you converted your traditional IRA to a Roth last year and are having second thoughts, there’s still time to undo the conversion and get a refund of the taxes you paid. With the Oct. 15 deadline approaching, you need to act quickly or lose your opportunity to undo — or recharacterize — your Roth IRA back to a traditional IRA.

Recharacterization is fairly straightforward, but it entails enough work that you should first be sure that undoing your Roth conversion is worth it. You may seek to undo your initial conversion for several reasons: The value of your Roth IRA account is substantially lower than when you made the conversion, you weren’t eligible for conversion but converted anyway, or you are in a difficult financial situation and now need the money you spent in taxes.

Taxes due on conversion can be substantial because you must pay tax on the entire value of the amount you converted, unless you had nondeductible contributions within the converted funds. [Read the full article]

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Lawmakers will focus on efforts to streamline state government and an early retirement package for state workers this week at the Iowa Legislature.

Democrats who hold majorities in the House and Senate said they need to deal with those two issues before they can move forward with the state’s cash-strapped budget.

“This reorganization bill is a critical piece for us to figure out the targets we’re going to get to our budget committees,” said Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal, D-Council Bluffs.

Gov. Chet Culver has based his proposed budget on finding $341 million in savings through streamlining state government. He issued an executive order cutting more than $100 million but the Legislature has to approve the rest.

That debate begins this week, and Gronstal said lawmakers will have to see how much is politically possible.

“The budget is predicated on the entire set of recommendations,” said Gronstal. [Read the full article]

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