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Meaning / Definition of

Tax Exempt

Categories: Finance,

Some investments are tax exempt, which means you don't have to pay income tax on the earnings they produce.For example, the interest you receive on a municipal bond is generally exempt from federal income tax, and also exempt from state and local income tax if you live in the state where the bond was issued. However, if you sell the bond before maturity, any capital gain is taxable.Similarly, dividends on bond mutual funds that invest in municipal bonds are exempt from federal income tax. And for residents of the issuing state for single-state funds, the dividends are also exempt from state and local taxes. capital gains on these funds are never tax exempt.Earnings in a roth ira are tax exempt when you withdraw them, provided your account has been open for five years or more and you're at least 59 1/2 years old. And earnings in 529 college savings plans and coverdell education savings accounts (ESAs) are also tax exempt if the money is used to pay qualified education expenses.When an organization such as a religious, educational, or charitable institution, or other not-for-profit group, is tax-exempt, it does not owe tax of any kind to federal, state, and local governments. In addition, you can take an income tax deduction for gifts you make to such organizations.

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Definition / Meaning of

Flexible Spending Account

Categories: Retirement and Pension, Personnel Management,

Some employers offer flexible spending accounts (FSA), sometimes called cafeteria plans, as part of their employee benefits package. You contribute a percentage of your pretax salary, up to the limit your plan allows, which you can use to pay for qualifying expenses. Qualifying expenses include medical costs that aren't covered by your health insurance, childcare, care for your elderly or disabled dependents, and life insurance.The amount you put into the plan is not reported to the IRS as income, which means your taxable income is reduced. However, you have to estimate correctly the amount you'll spend during the year when you arrange to have amounts deducted from your paycheck. Once you decide on the amount you are going to contribute to an FSA for a year, you cannot change it unless you have a qualifying event, such as marriage or divorce.If you don't spend all that you had withheld within the year - or in some plans within the year plus a two-and-one-half month extension - you forfeit any amount that's left in your account.In some plans you pay for the qualifying expenses and are reimbursed when you file a claim. In other plans, you use a debit card linked to your account to pay expenses directly from the account.

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