Sunday, December 9, 2012

AARO meetings

There have been three AARO meetings in as many weeks! That's a lot of activity. We started with the overseas voting and the elections, which I wrote about last time. That was followed by a meeting on end-of-year tax preparation. In view of the upcoming tax hikes and changes in how much of ones estate one can give away before taxes come into play, what can/should one do before the end of the year. My conclusion, for me is that it doesn't much matter. My estate is not so big that I need to worry about those changes. My income from dividends in 2013 will be taxed more than the 2012 income. Fine. And if I sell stuff and make capital gains, it'll will be taxed more, too, but not as much as dividends. Fine. There was an article in the IHT yesterday (no, it was not one of Paul Krugman's Opinion pieces, and whatever it was, I can't find it on the website now) which said that there will either be an agreement before Dec. 31, or there will be a proposal at the beginning of the next Congress, which will end in a law retroactive to Jan. 1, 2013, so this cliff business is not nearly as catastrophic as the constant news reports would have us believe. That pretty much is what I've been thinking all along. Taxes on investment income will go up, perhaps as high as they were under Clinton, but probably somewhere between the Clinton high and the Bush low.
I am intrigued to know if the Unearned Income Medicare Contribution (UIMC) will be considered a tax, or not. If it is, then the I.R.S. should consider the contributions we pay here in France on our savings and investment income here (almost 19%) should be treated the same and therefore we should be able to take a foreign tax credit on that amount. As things stand now, we can't. The presenter had no answer to that.
It was an interesting meeting, but as you can see, I don't think I need to take any drastic measures.
Last Wednesday was the meeting on US Social Security. And that doesn't concern me at all. I never worked enough quarters in the States to claim anything. But I had to go to the meeting because we don't have another volunteer yet to schlep the beamer and operate it. That said, it was interesting and I'm very glad I don't have to try to figure out working with two retirement and medical regimes.
AARO members get complete reports on these meetings via the website and/or the quarterly newsletter.

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