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Do state taxes free Publication 550 - Additional Material Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications
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Protect Yourself Online

Every day, millions of computer users share files online. Whether it is music, games, video, or software, peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing allows users to share all kinds of content. To share files, you download special software that connects your computer to an informal network of other computers running the same software. Millions of users could be connected to each other through this software at one time. The software is often free and easy to access.

However, file sharing can have a number of risks. For example, when you are connected to file-sharing programs, you could unknowingly allow others to copy private files you never intended to share. You could download material that is protected by copyright laws and find yourself mired in legal issues. You could download a virus or facilitate a security breach. Or you could unwittingly download pornography labeled as something else.

To secure the personal information stored on your computer, the FTC suggests that you:

  • Set up the file-sharing software very carefully.
  • Be aware of spyware. Use a good anti-spyware program.
  • Close your connection when you're not using it.
  • Use an effective anti-virus program and update it regularly.
  • Talk with your family about file sharing.

For more complete information on P2P, visit the FTC's website, OnguardOnline.

Online Copyright Issues

Quite simply, to make or download unauthorized copies of software is to break the law, no matter how many copies are involved. Whether you are casually making a few copies for friends, loaning disks, distributing and/or downloading pirated software via the Internet, or buying a single software program and then installing it on 100 computers, you are committing a copyright infringement. It doesn't matter if you make money or not. If you or your company is caught copying software, you may be held liable under both civil and criminal law.

If the copyright owner brings a civil action against you, the owner can stop you from using its software immediately and can also request monetary damages. The copyright owner can sue for as much as $150,000 for each program copied. In addition, the government can criminally prosecute you for copyright infringement. If convicted, you can be fined up to $250,000, be sentenced to jail for up to five years, or both.

For more information contact the U.S. Department of Justice or the Business Software alliance, with content on online piracy issues.

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Do state taxes free 4. Do state taxes free   Limit on Elective Deferrals Table of Contents Excess elective deferrals. Do state taxes free General Limit 15-Year RuleYears of Service Figuring the Limit on Elective DeferralsExample The second and final component of MAC is the limit on elective deferrals. Do state taxes free This is a limit on the amount of contributions that can be made to your account through a salary reduction agreement. Do state taxes free A salary reduction agreement is an agreement between you and your employer that allows for a portion of your compensation to be directly invested in a 403(b) account on your behalf. Do state taxes free You can enter into more than one salary reduction agreement during a year. Do state taxes free More than one 403(b) account. Do state taxes free If, for any year, elective deferrals are contributed to more than one 403(b) account for you (whether or not with the same employer), you must combine all the elective deferrals to determine whether the total is more than the limit for that year. Do state taxes free 403(b) plan and another retirement plan. Do state taxes free If, during the year, contributions in the form of elective deferrals are made to other retirement plans on your behalf, you must combine all of the elective deferrals to determine if they are more than your limit on elective deferrals. Do state taxes free The limit on elective deferrals applies to amounts contributed to: 401(k) plans, to the extent excluded from income, Roth contribution programs, Section 501(c)(18) plans, to the extent excluded from income, Savings incentive match plan for employees (SIMPLE plans), Simplified employee pension (SEP) plans, and All 403(b) plans. Do state taxes free Roth contribution program. Do state taxes free   Your 403(b) plan may allow you to designate all or a portion of your elective deferrals as Roth contributions. Do state taxes free Elective deferrals designated as Roth contributions must be maintained in a separate Roth account and are not excludable from your gross income. Do state taxes free   The maximum amount of contributions allowed under a Roth contribution program is your limit on elective deferrals, less your elective deferrals not designated as Roth contributions. Do state taxes free For more information on the Roth contribution program, see Publication 560, Retirement Plans for Small Business. Do state taxes free Excess elective deferrals. Do state taxes free   If the amount contributed is more than the allowable limit, you must include the excess that is not a Roth contribution in your gross income for the year contributed. Do state taxes free General Limit Under the general limit on elective deferrals, the most that can be contributed to your 403(b) account through a salary reduction agreement is $17,500 for 2013 and 2014. Do state taxes free This limit applies without regard to community property laws. Do state taxes free 15-Year Rule If you have at least 15 years of service with an educational organization (such as a public or private school), hospital, home health service agency, health and welfare service agency, church, or convention or association of churches (or associated organization), the limit on elective deferrals to your 403(b) account is increased by the least of: $3,000, $15,000, reduced by the sum of: The additional pre-tax elective deferrals made in prior years because of this rule, plus The aggregate amount of designated Roth contributions permitted for prior years because of this rule, or $5,000 times the number of your years of service for the organization, minus the total elective deferrals made by your employer on your behalf for earlier years. Do state taxes free If you qualify for the 15-year rule, your elective deferrals under this limit can be as high as $20,500 for 2013 and 2014. Do state taxes free To determine whether you have 15 years of service with your employer, see Years of Service , next. Do state taxes free Years of Service To determine if you are eligible for the increased limit on elective deferrals, you will first need to figure your years of service. Do state taxes free How you figure your years of service depends on whether you were a full-time or a part-time employee, whether you worked for the full year or only part of the year, and whether you have worked for your employer for an entire year. Do state taxes free You must figure years of service for each year during which you worked for the employer who is maintaining your 403(b) account. Do state taxes free If more than one employer maintains a 403(b) account for you in the same year, you must figure years of service separately for each employer. Do state taxes free Definition Your years of service are the total number of years you have worked as a full time employee for the employer maintaining your 403(b) account as of the end of the year. Do state taxes free Figuring Your Years of Service Take the following rules into account when figuring your years of service. Do state taxes free Status of employer. Do state taxes free   Your years of service include only periods during which your employer was a qualified employer. Do state taxes free Your plan administrator can tell you whether or not your employer was qualified during all your periods of service. Do state taxes free Service with one employer. Do state taxes free   Generally, you cannot count service for any employer other than the one who maintains your 403(b) account. Do state taxes free Church employee. Do state taxes free   If you are a church employee, treat all of your years of service with related church organizations as years of service with the same employer. Do state taxes free For more information about church employees, see chapter 5. Do state taxes free Self-employed ministers. Do state taxes free   If you are a self-employed minister, your years of service include full and part years in which you have been treated as employed by a tax-exempt organization that is a qualified employer. Do state taxes free Total years of service. Do state taxes free   When figuring prior years of service, figure each year individually and then add the individual years of service to determine your total years of service. Do state taxes free Example. Do state taxes free The annual work period for full-time teachers employed by ABC Public Schools is September through December and February through May. Do state taxes free Marsha began working with ABC schools in September 2009. Do state taxes free She has always worked full-time for each annual work period. Do state taxes free At the end of 2013, Marsha had 4. Do state taxes free 5 years of service with ABC Public Schools, as shown in Table 4-1. Do state taxes free Table 4-1. Do state taxes free Marsha's Years of Service Note. Do state taxes free This table shows how Marsha figures her years of service, as explained in the previous example. Do state taxes free Year Period Worked Portion of Work Period Years of Service 2009 Sept. Do state taxes free –Dec. Do state taxes free . Do state taxes free 5 year . Do state taxes free 5 year 2010 Feb. Do state taxes free –May . Do state taxes free 5 year 1 year Sept. Do state taxes free –Dec. Do state taxes free . Do state taxes free 5 year 2011 Feb. Do state taxes free –May . Do state taxes free 5 year 1 year Sept. Do state taxes free –Dec. Do state taxes free . Do state taxes free 5 year 2012 Feb. Do state taxes free –May . Do state taxes free 5 year 1 year Sept. Do state taxes free –Dec. Do state taxes free . Do state taxes free 5 year 2013 Feb. Do state taxes free –May . Do state taxes free 5 year 1 year Sept. Do state taxes free –Dec. Do state taxes free . Do state taxes free 5 year Total years of service 4. Do state taxes free 5 years Full-time or part-time. Do state taxes free   To figure your years of service, you must analyze each year individually and determine whether you worked full-time for the full year or something other than full-time. Do state taxes free When determining whether you worked full-time or something other than full-time, use your employer's annual work period as the standard. Do state taxes free Employer's annual work period. Do state taxes free   Your employer's annual work period is the usual amount of time an individual working full-time in a specific position is required to work. Do state taxes free Generally, this period of time is expressed in days, weeks, months, or semesters, and can span 2 calendar years. Do state taxes free Note. Do state taxes free You cannot accumulate more than 1 year of service in a 12-month period. Do state taxes free Example. Do state taxes free All full-time teachers at ABC Public Schools are required to work both the September through December semester and the February through May semester. Do state taxes free Therefore, the annual work period for full-time teachers employed by ABC Public Schools is September through December and February through May. Do state taxes free Teachers at ABC Public Schools who work both semesters in the same calendar year are considered working a full year of service in that calendar year. Do state taxes free Full-Time Employee for the Full Year Count each full year during which you were employed full-time as 1 year of service. Do state taxes free In determining whether you were employed full-time, compare the amount of work you were required to perform with the amount of work normally required of others who held the same position with the same employer and who generally received most of their pay from the position. Do state taxes free How to compare. Do state taxes free   You can use any method that reasonably and accurately reflects the amount of work required. Do state taxes free For example, if you are a teacher, you can use the number of hours of classroom instruction as a measure of the amount of work required. Do state taxes free   In determining whether positions with the same employer are the same, consider all of the facts and circumstances concerning the positions, including the work performed, the methods by which pay is determined, and the descriptions (or titles) of the positions. Do state taxes free Example. Do state taxes free An assistant professor employed in the English department of a university will be considered a full-time employee if the amount of work that he or she is required to perform is the same as the amount of work normally required of assistant professors of English at that university who get most of their pay from that position. Do state taxes free   If no one else works for your employer in the same position, compare your work with the work normally required of others who held the same position with similar employers or similar positions with your employer. Do state taxes free Full year of service. Do state taxes free   A full year of service for a particular position means the usual annual work period of anyone employed full-time in that general type of work at that place of employment. Do state taxes free Example. Do state taxes free If a doctor works for a hospital 12 months of a year except for a 1-month vacation, the doctor will be considered as employed for a full year if the other doctors at that hospital also work 11 months of the year with a 1-month vacation. Do state taxes free Similarly, if the usual annual work period at a university consists of the fall and spring semesters, an instructor at that university who teaches these semesters will be considered as working a full year. Do state taxes free Other Than Full-Time for the Full Year If, during any year, you were employed full-time for only part of your employer's annual work period, part-time for the entire annual work period, or part-time for only part of the work period, your year of service for that year is a fraction of your employer's annual work period. Do state taxes free Full-time for part of the year. Do state taxes free   If, during a year, you were employed full-time for only part of your employer's annual work period, figure the fraction for that year as follows: The numerator (top number) is the number of weeks, months, or semesters you were a full-time employee. Do state taxes free The denominator (bottom number) is the number of weeks, months, or semesters considered the normal annual work period for the position. Do state taxes free Example. Do state taxes free Jason was employed as a full-time instructor by a local college for the 4 months of the 2013 spring semester (February 2013 through May 2013). Do state taxes free The annual work period for the college is 8 months (February through May and July through October). Do state taxes free Given these facts, Jason was employed full-time for part of the annual work period and provided ½ of a year of service. Do state taxes free Jason's years of service computation for 2013 is as follows: Number of months Jason worked = 4 = 1 Number of months in annual work period 8 2 Part-time for the full year. Do state taxes free   If, during a year, you were employed part-time for the employer's entire annual work period, you figure the fraction for that year as follows: The numerator (top number) is the number of hours or days you worked. Do state taxes free The denominator (bottom number) is the number of hours or days normally required of someone holding the same position who works full-time. Do state taxes free Example. Do state taxes free Vance teaches one course at a local medical school. Do state taxes free He teaches 3 hours per week for two semesters. Do state taxes free Other faculty members at the same school teach 9 hours per week for two semesters. Do state taxes free The annual work period of the medical school is two semesters. Do state taxes free An instructor teaching 9 hours a week for two semesters is considered a full-time employee. Do state taxes free Given these facts, Vance has worked part-time for a full annual work period. Do state taxes free Vance has completed 1/3 of a year of service, figured as shown below. Do state taxes free Number of hours per week Vance worked = 3 = 1 Number of hours per week considered full-time 9 3 Part-time for part of the year. Do state taxes free   If, during any year, you were employed part-time for only part of your employer's annual work period, you figure your fraction for that year by multiplying two fractions. Do state taxes free   Figure the first fraction as though you had worked full-time for part of the annual work period. Do state taxes free The fraction is as follows: The numerator (top number) is the number of weeks, months, or semesters you were a full-time employee. Do state taxes free The denominator (bottom number) is the number of weeks, months, or semesters considered the normal annual work period for the position. Do state taxes free   Figure the second fraction as though you had worked part-time for the entire annual work period. Do state taxes free The fraction is as follows: The numerator (top number) is the number of hours or days you worked. Do state taxes free The denominator (bottom number) is the number of hours or days normally required of someone holding the same position who works full-time. Do state taxes free   Once you have figured these two fractions, multiply them together to determine the fraction representing your partial year of service for the year. Do state taxes free Example. Do state taxes free Maria, an attorney, teaches a course for one semester at a law school. Do state taxes free She teaches 3 hours per week. Do state taxes free The annual work period for teachers at the school is two semesters. Do state taxes free All full-time instructors at the school are required to teach 12 hours per week. Do state taxes free Based on these facts, Maria is employed part-time for part of the annual work period. Do state taxes free Her year of service for this year is determined by multiplying two fractions. Do state taxes free Her computation is as follows: Maria's first fraction Number of semesters Maria worked = 1 Number of semesters in annual work period 2 Maria's second fraction Number of hours Maria worked per week = 3 = 1 Number of hours per week considered full-time 12 4 Maria would multiply these fractions to obtain the fractional year of service: 1 x 1 = 1         2 4 8         Figuring the Limit on Elective Deferrals You can use Part II of Worksheet 1 in chapter 9 to figure the limit on elective deferrals. Do state taxes free Example Floyd has figured his limit on annual additions. Do state taxes free The only other component needed before he can determine his MAC for 2014 is his limit on elective deferrals. Do state taxes free Figuring Floyd's limit on elective deferrals. Do state taxes free   Floyd has been employed with his current employer for less than 15 years. Do state taxes free He is not eligible for the special 15-year increase. Do state taxes free Therefore, his limit on elective deferrals for 2014 is $17,500 as shown in Table 4-2. Do state taxes free Floyd's employer will not make any nonelective contributions to his 403(b) account and Floyd will not make any after-tax contributions. Do state taxes free Additionally, Floyd's employer does not offer a Roth contribution program. Do state taxes free Figuring Floyd's MAC Floyd has determined that his limit on annual additions for 2014 is $52,000 and his limit on elective deferrals is $17,500. Do state taxes free Because elective deferrals are the only contributions made to Floyd's account, the maximum amount that can be contributed to a 403(b) account on Floyd's behalf in 2014 is $17,500, the lesser of both limits. Do state taxes free Table 4-2. Do state taxes free Worksheet 1. Do state taxes free Maximum Amount Contributable (MAC) Note. Do state taxes free Use this worksheet to figure your MAC. Do state taxes free Part I. Do state taxes free Limit on Annual Additions     1. Do state taxes free Enter your includible compensation for your most recent year of service 1. Do state taxes free $70,475 2. Do state taxes free Maximum: For 2013 enter $51,000 For 2014 enter $52,000 2. Do state taxes free 52,000 3. Do state taxes free Enter the lesser of line 1 or line 2. Do state taxes free This is your limit on annual additions 3. Do state taxes free 52,000   Caution: If you had only nonelective contributions, skip Part II and enter the amount from line 3 on line 18. Do state taxes free     Part II. Do state taxes free Limit on Elective Deferrals     4. Do state taxes free Maximum contribution: For 2013, enter $17,500 For 2014, enter $17,500 4. Do state taxes free 17,500   Note. Do state taxes free If you have at least 15 years of service with a qualifying organization, complete lines 5 through 17. Do state taxes free If not, enter zero (-0-) on line 16 and go to line 17. Do state taxes free     5. Do state taxes free Amount per year of service 5. Do state taxes free 5,000 6. Do state taxes free Enter your years of service 6. Do state taxes free   7. Do state taxes free Multiply line 5 by line 6 7. Do state taxes free   8. Do state taxes free Enter the total of all elective deferrals made for you by the qualifying organization for prior years 8. Do state taxes free   9. Do state taxes free Subtract line 8 from line 7. Do state taxes free If zero or less, enter zero (-0-) 9. Do state taxes free   10. Do state taxes free Maximum increase in limit for long service 10. Do state taxes free 15,000 11. Do state taxes free Enter the total of additional pre-tax elective deferrals made in prior years under the 15-year rule 11. Do state taxes free   12. Do state taxes free Enter the aggregate amount of all designated Roth contributions permitted for prior years under the 15-year rule 12. Do state taxes free   13. Do state taxes free Add lines 11 and 12 13. Do state taxes free   14. Do state taxes free Subtract line 13 from line 10 14. Do state taxes free   15. Do state taxes free Maximum additional contributions 15. Do state taxes free 3,000 16. Do state taxes free Enter the least of lines 9, 14, or 15. Do state taxes free This is your increase in the limit for long service 16. Do state taxes free -0- 17. Do state taxes free Add lines 4 and 16. Do state taxes free This is your limit on elective deferrals 17. Do state taxes free 17,500   Part III. Do state taxes free Maximum Amount Contributable     18. Do state taxes free If you had only nonelective contributions, enter the amount from line 3. Do state taxes free This is your MAC. Do state taxes free    If you had only elective deferrals, enter the lesser of lines 3 or 17. Do state taxes free This is your MAC. Do state taxes free    If you had both elective deferrals and nonelective contributions, enter the amount from line 3. Do state taxes free This is your MAC. Do state taxes free (Use the amount on line 17 to determine if you have excess elective deferrals as explained in chapter 7. Do state taxes free ) 18. Do state taxes free $17,500 Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications