Submitted By: Jjean
Answered: June 10, 2014 8:30 am

Is income averaging still available?

Income averaging for all taxpayers was a way to effectively lower the tax rate on this year’s income by spreading it over a number of prior (lower-income) years to find an average tax rate for it. The general 4-year income averaging rule expired in 1986. Currently, income averaging can only be used by farmers and fishermen for their business income and, in some cases, for lump-sum retirement plan distributions.

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Tax Glossary

Deductions

Items directly reducing income. Personal deductions such as for mortgage interest, state and local taxes, and charitable contributions are allowed only if deductions are itemized on Schedule A, but deductions such as for alimony, capital losses, moving expenses to a new job location, business losses, student loan interest, and IRA and Keogh deductions are deducted from gross income even if itemized deductions are not claimed.

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