Color of Money Live: Answering your questions with tax expert Eric Bronnenkant

Mar 26, 2020

Welcome to a weekly discussion about your money hosted by Michelle Singletary, nationally syndicated personal finance columnist for The Washington Post.

This week, Michelle was joined by Eric Bronnenkant, head of tax at Betterment, an online investment company. Michelle and Eric tackled your questions on the new tax filing deadlines and how they may affect the stimulus checks from Congress.

Want more advice from Michelle Singletary? Sign up for her newsletter on retirement, delivered every Monday.

Read & share Michelle Singletary’s Color of Money Column.

Follow Michelle Singletary on Twitter (@SingletaryM) and Facebook.

Did you know: "Knowledge isn't power. The right knowledge is power." So, stay informed.

Thanks for joining me today. Clearly, this is a tough time for a lot of people. I hope these weekly chats will provide good information, advice and comfort. Today my guest is Eric Bronnenkant head of tax at Betterment, an online investment company. 

There's been a lot of tax news. The Treasury Department has delayed both the filing of tax returns and payments due until July 15. No penalties or interest will be due on payments not paid until July 15.  

A lot of readers have been asking me if their state will also delay tax filing and payment deadlines. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). The AICPA is keeping an updated list of states’ tax relief efforts at aicpa.org

Many states, such as Maryland, are following the IRS lead and have extended deadlines until July 15. 

Also the latest version of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES Act includes a provision to suspect required minimum distributions or RMDs. 

I wrote about the need for this in my retirement newsletter last week: For retirees, the stock market crash carries an additional sting with RMDs

Finally, let's hear some good news. Share your Thursday Testimony. Are you financially coping well now because of good practices you had in place before the spread of the coronavirus? Are you the recipient of financial help? How have you helped others during this time? There's so much bad news, I'd like to pass on some good news.

So let's get started. 

 

Is there anyway RMD's can be tax deferred or tax exempt (other than for charity contribution)?

In the last financial crisis, Congress decided to waive RMDs in 2009 to allow taxpayers relief from being forced to withdraw funds even though they did not need them. In the stimulus bill being considered currently (which has not passed yet), RMDs for 2020 may be waived. Good luck and be safe!

I know the Federal tax filing deadline is delayed. I have 2 questions: 1. I'd like to put money in a Roth IRA. Is the deadline delayed for that too? And should I be worried about investing money even in an IRA? 2. I live in Maryland -- is the state tax deadline delayed also?

The IRS has a FAQ to answer a lot of your questions. But yes, you get an extension to fund your IRA until July 15. And, as I wrote in my intro today Maryland is moving its deadlines to July 15 to follow the IRS. But please double check the Maryland site.

Finally, there is always risk in investing. But many experts say now is a good time to invest because stocks are on sale. 

Read: Retirement plans and the coronavirus: What moves do you make?

 

What if you didn’t file in 2018 or 2019?

The IRS suggests that taxpayers file a 2018 tax return ASAP to potentially be eligible for stimulus payments. Hope you can get that done before the IRS decides what the cutoff is. Be safe!

Thank you for preaching save, save, save. While I still have a job & am able to telework here's what the past month brought to my door; dental expenses, even with insurance I had to pay $2,000, when NOVA switched to online classes son needed a new laptop that could handle video streaming so I replaced his 4 year old laptop with a better one - $2,000. when my building shut its doors & I no longer had the option of going in, my 8 year old mac laptop had to be replaced, $2,000. I still have a job but I had to take several deep breaths. I depleted my emergency fund & then some but I am still working and will be able to replace what I just spent. preach it, sister, save, save, save.

Thank you for sharing. Now is not the time to berate people so I hope to gently remind folks why it's important to save and plan for the worse and hope for the best.

I take a lot of heat telling people to put money in low yielding bank accounts. People push back arguing they can get more in the market. But the roll of your emergency and life happens money is to be there when you need it in a crisis. It's not money you need to grow. It's money you need to have safe. 

I am a 1099 contractor. Do I need to pay estimated taxes by Apr 15th? Or does the July 15th deadline apply to me as well. If I am let go as a contractor with uncertain earnings opportunities for the rest of the year, can I not pay estimated taxes for Q1?

Estimated taxes for April 15 are now due July 15. 

But, if you can, try not to spend that money. It will have to be paid and you don't want to be subject to penalties and interest on it. 

How are you and your family coping?? Your team, how are they doing? Fortunately, we can telework. What can we do to help others? What are we doing? Staying home. We are getting carryout to support businesses. I am going to use this time to order the boring stuff we need. New sheets, towels, pillows, socks, shoes, stuff I have putting off buying and really need. Rainy day fund is good but glad to have it cuz it's raining. Helping others who don't have a rainy day fund. Stay safe, stay healthy, help another person.

Thank you for your concern. We are doing well, healthy. Two college kids home and eating me out of house and home. And they will not turn off my lights! I've been posting videos on Twitter. Watch the latest one here. Had my daughter on to explain why she won't turn off my lights. 

Our financial team is exhausted as you might expect but we are determined to work hard to bring you the news about your money. We want to make sure you get the right information. Love that you can afford to still get carryout. Just be careful about spending on the sheets, etc. No telling how long this will last and if even your job may be impacted at some point. 

A lot (if not all) VITA sites in my city (New York) are closed indefinitely due to the Coronavirus lockdown. A lot of my friends are uneasy with filing their taxes themselves and are unsure of how they will do it this year. Do you think that the IRS will move to boost availability of VITA sites that are open and functioning before the new filing deadline?

There is an effort to figure out how to help people do their taxes remotely. AARP Foundation says keep checking back for changes. Also point your friends in the direction of IRS Free File where you can do taxes electronically for free. 

Read: You can get free help on your tax return. Here are some options.

 

Since many state tax forms rely on the federal form and that filing date is now pushed back to July 15, I don't see how those states can require filing before then. My state, Virginia, is one of them but has only pushed filing back to June 1... half way. I'm not sure that will work. And I understand VA is in a tough spot because it can't run a deficit. I'm sure other states will have similar problems. But I really haven't seen it addressed.

Unfortunately, the state tax authorities are under no obligation to follow the federal rules for tax filing and the special extension to July 15th. While some states have chosen to be consistent with the federal rule, other states chosen other dates than July 15th. If your deadline is sooner, it is typically a good idea to file/pay by that deadline. If you do not feel you can meet that deadline, you may want to contact the state tax authority about your specific situation. They may be able to provide you some additional options. Good luck and be safe!

I submitted a question several months ago regarding my hesitation investing some cash in my IRA due to fear of an impending recession. This cash has just been sitting there since I put it in my IRA in 2018. Well, here is one bright spot: After seeing markets implode, I decided now was the time to release some of that uninvested cash. I was able to overcome my fear of a coming recession (it's here!) and finally bought 20 shares last week of a well-regarded stock that was down $30 per share from its high. The stock price did dip an additional $6, so I didn't time the buy perfectly. I also didn't use all my cash, just one third of it. But this week, the stock started going up and I've already made a gain on paper. So, for anyone who is totally depressed with everything going on (who isn't?), there is one tiny bright spot ... if you have any money sitting in cash in your IRA, now is a good time to invest with stocks at an all time low.

I understand how difficult of time this is to be an investor. The recent market volatility has made even the most patient investor wondering if they are doing the right thing. You have an IRA and are clearly committed to saving for your long-term retirement goals. You are also taking advantage of the market fluctuations and continuing to invest when others have chosen to be on the sidelines. Assuming that you continue to be comfortable with the risks of stock ownership and it fits within your asset allocation, this may be a good opportunity for long-term investors to invest at a discount. Good luck and be patient during this crisis!

Hello, We filed our taxes with our CPA on 3/6/2020 with a pay date of 4/15/2020 from our checking account. On 3/23/2020 we cancelled payment on IRS website. The clerk could not answer if we would not incur penalty or interest if we paid with credit card by 7/15/2020. Are we correct in assuming that there will be no penalty or interest with credit card payment by 7/15/2020?

The IRS has recently waived all interest and penalty from April 15th to July 15th 2020. There is no form to file to request the extension as all individuals receive the benefit automatically. If you have funds elsewhere (other than credit card) to pay the taxes on July 15th, you may to consider another option to avoid paying a the fee for using a credit card. If that is your only choice, I understand. Good luck and be safe!

Hi Michelle. Thanks so much for your advice through boom times and…well, now. I wanted to share a good news story. Due to two business failings and lost job in the last recession, medical bills of self and family members and…other things, had around $80K in credit card debt among other loans/expenses-including deferred student debt repayment of about $87K. After getting a good federal gov job and being frugal, I paid off the credit card debt completely around 2 years ago. The “snowball effect” of smallest balance to largest rather than interest rates is a great psychological tool. I am about to pay off my student loan and car loan. There have been hiccups. Like you notice the car loan. It was 0% interest when I had to buy it 5 years ago. Had to replace my 15 year old car that only would run reliably if the sun was shining and the temperature was between 58 and 75 degrees. Bought new, but it was a model year end deal cheaper than the used vehicles I’d been scouting. I’ve not been great about the “life happens” and emergency funds—got addicted to debt drawdown rather than saving, so would have to put money on a card from time to time when things like a pipe breaking under my tub and my HVAC on my 40+ year old house needed to be replaced within a week of each other. But building up those savings now. I definitely feel lucky that I have a secure job and over a dozen working years to go so there’s no need to look at the currently scary pension balances (I am choosing to think of it as a “sale” on TSP fund share contributions). For those of you who are in these times now of not knowing where or when your next paycheck may come, or using cash advances on credit cards to pay the minimum balances on that card or other expenses, as dire as things look, just take as much burden as you can carry for now. If you can’t figure out next month, just figure out this week…or today. There’s resources out there, even more so right now that will hopefully help you just deal with what burden you can. When you have breathing room, take as many steps as you can handle on the path to debt free without overburdening yourself, and when you find you can take more steps again, do that. And no matter your bank account balance, know that you as a person are invaluable. Stay as healthy as you can, everyone!

Thank you for sharing your story -- and writing so much that it gives Eric and me time to answer other questions (lol).

Love this. This is the time to use the fund if you need it. It doesn't rise to a rainy day fund need, but I just mailed toilet paper that cost me less than $5 (on sale, of course) to my parents for $13 postage. Anything to keep them from going from store to store searching for it.

I so love this testimony. I'm limiting folks in my household to five squares per use! (Just kidding). It's 7. 

I'm a lucky one. My organization is "essential" and I'm in 3rd week of org-sanctioned teleworking. But you know what, I'm a W2 contractor with NO paid leave. The org has many like me, so I dont feel vulnerable to layoff, but a couple weeks of illness would be unwelcome. We have cash reserves and have thru circumstance cut back spending (never leave house helps lol), but that is hanging over my head.

It's definitely a scary time. And honestly it makes me think of all the fussing and pleading I did with folks who had the money but just wouldn't save. They took vacations they couldn't afford, upgraded cars when they didn't need to, etc. I even had battles with folks borrowing heavily to buy rental property with no money left over to save for times when they had no renters or the renters couldn't pay. So hardheaded. 

I'm just hoping folks will learn after this is over. 

I’m retired and my DH is self-employed. We met with our financial adviser on the 10th as previously scheduled and as the market was starting to turn down. We’re invested in half low-beta mutual funds and half in bonds. The bonds alone should keep us going for ten years or more, and the mutual funds had lost only 2% at that point ( versus 6% for the market overall). I’m submitting this not to brag but to say how grateful we are to our advisor: left to our own devices we’d be in a MUCH more aggressive assortment of investments, and be in a severe panic. This way we can focus on proactive things instead of obsessing about money. For this alone, our advisor is worth his weight in gold!

Good, honest and affordable financial advice is priceless. I actually sent a note to an advisor we had like 15 years ago. She followed a horrible guy who gave us bad advice - punk! But the second planner was terrific. We put in place everything she said and we are wealthier and wiser for it! She moved on into management but I was thinking about her before this crisis hit and just sent her a not because I wanted to thank her. It's because of her that we have enough in our retirement accounts the we can take a hit -- even a big one -- and still be okay. She was the one who told us to fund a 529 plan and as result we have no college debt for the kids. 

I really can't thank her enough. 

Has the IRS extended the deadline for 2019 IRA contributions. The deadline is April 15th

The deadline for 2019 IRA and 2019 HSA contributions is now July 15th, 2020. Many IRA providers have only recently received this news and it may take some additional time for their software engineers  to update their systems. Just a reminder, the benefit of tax deferral starts as soon you make the contribution. Good luck, save for retirement, and be safe!

What benefit does charitable donations offer since the tax laws have changed? So far, we are still able to itemize. Thanks!

As part of tax reform (TCJA) that went into effect in 2018, the standard deduction approximately doubled to 12k single and 24k filing jointly. As charitable contributions are an itemized deduction (which only helps when itemized >standard), it has become harder to benefit from these donations. A good strategy may be "bunching" where charitable contributions for a couple years are lumped together into one year to help exceed the standard deduction. Donating to charity in a time of crisis can help your fellow citizens in need and may provide a tax benefit if it helps bump your itemized deductions above the standard. Good luck, donate wisely, and be safe!

Is the HSA deadline extended to the same date as the IRA extension of July 15th?

2019 HSA contributions (as well as 2019 IRA contributions) can be made until July 15 2020. The extra 3 months to be able to make a Roth IRA contribution could be very valuable in providing more tax free earnings in retirement. Your long-term thinking during a time of crisis may serve you well. Good luck and be safe!

Hi, I must make some home repairs ($20,000) for roof and patio doors/stairs) to qualify the home as livable for my son and daughter to come live with me in the next 4 months (per the courts). I’m wondering if taking a second mortgage out on the house is a good idea? I’ve had a Bankruptcy 3 years ago and can’t yet qualify for a home improvement loan. Should I borrow from my 401K? Any other options you can suggest?

Have you talked to improvement companies to see if they will let you pay in installments? Also, many have low loan programs for major improvements. If you can get a home equity loan might be better than pulling money from your 401(k) especially now since it's likely way down from its high. But the 401(k) loan may be your only option with a bankruptcy not in the distant pass. But check around anyway, particularly with a credit union. 

 

I have already filed my federal and state tax returns. Can I still make an additional contribution to my Roth IRA to get up to the limit? I'd love to buy some stocks now while they are relatively cheap.

2019 Roth IRA contributions can be made until July 15th 2020 even if you have filed your taxes already. Roth IRA contributions are not reported on your tax return and would not require changing/amending a tax return. The benefit of tax free earnings in retirement is a great tax benefit of the Roth IRA. Good luck and be safe! 

Just thinking out loud, but If the April estimate tax is due in July...when will June's estimated payment be due?

June is due on June 15, according to the IRS. 

So are you saying we shouldn't just go ahead and pay our tax bill now (we filed earlier this month electronically and I was set to send a check this week)? The bill is not large; we have the funds. Is there any reason to wait? Thank you.

The benefit of waiting until July 15th is twofold. First, its better to have the money in your pocket just in case you need the funds for an emergency expense as its a 0% interest loan. Second, its better to earn interest on the funds (vs not earning interest at all). Those are the compelling arguments to wait but if it's a relatively small amount and you just want to pay/get it over with, I understand that strategy too. Good luck and be safe!

Peace of mind is worth a lot. If you have the money and you aren't worried about being cash poor, I would go ahead and file and pay. 

They were always my one splurge and now that they're closed, I'm donating what I used to spend there every week to gofundme accounts to help the servers that are currently unemployed. I have a secure job and an emergency fund and a healthy net worth which is a lot more than others have. And I'm sure they'll repay me when they re-open with comped drinks. It will all even out in the end!

How kind of you. And even if you never get a comp drink or something for your kindness, the act itself is your reward. 

I'm lucky, I'm still working full time and I have plenty of savings. I'd really like to donate to charities and people in need, but I'm concerned about what's going to happen, and feel like I need to conserve my savings in case my situation changes. How do you weigh taking care of others vs. preparing for an uncertain future?

This is such a good question. Here's how my husband and I help. We give out of our abundance. So, calculate what you need for say the next six or 12 months. If there's more than you need, that's the money you may be able to give away or use to help others. In other words, fund your rainy day account (in this crisis 6 to 12 months), life happens account ($500 to a few thousand depending on your individual needs, age of car, etc.). If you have a relatively stable job and you've been saving for retirement, no credit card debt or student loans you probably have it to give. So give. We are now and always our brother's (and sister's) keepers. 

I fund an individual 401k annually. Is that considered an IRA with pushed back deadlines or should I fund by April 15?

I have not seen any specific guidance on individual 401k deadlines. Under normal rules, employer contributions are typically due by April 15th which can get extended until October 15th (if filing for an extension). If you need extra time in any year to make an employer contribution, filing for an extension is the easiest way to get more time. Save more retirement and be safe!

I filed federal and Maryland taxes by snail mail on March 16th. Got certified return receipt back from Maryland in *record* time - possibly because it was sent to the "I owed you money" address which I assume is getting processed as quickly as they can. Receipt isn't back from the feds yet, but they owed me money (not much) so I expect that one to take longer. Got ROTH money deposited in February. It is great that people have more time, but I have to say that it feels really good to have all of it over and done with. Even better than having my April rent already sent to my landlord. I had to replace my home computer which died of a probable mother board problem just as this thing got started and didn't have the ability to do as much comparison shopping as I normally would have. Life happens fund took care of it. I haven't lost my job. Working from home is hard in a one bedroom place, but it beats having a place that costs more than I can really afford. Feeling terrified that my parents might get sick and I won't be able to see them. However, not being terrified about money on top of that is a blessing.

As I report on this crisis my heart is heavy from all the folks who are as fortunate. So happy to see so many of you recognizing how blessed you are. So, if you can reach out and help someone from toilet paper to paper money. It all helps. 

Hi Michelle! Always valuable your opinion and advice. For those of us at the upper end of the income scale who already have emergency funds and rainy day funds, how can we best mitigate the tax hit of the recovery rebate given that we cannot decline it? Would it be more advisable to add to our 401k, invest in our kids 529 plan, or donate to a local charity? My heart says during this time to donate to our local food bank. What are your thoughts?

My understanding is the money won't be taxed. And you may not get any of the money or very little. Check out the Post stimulus check calculator

Also read: How you can help during the coronavirus outbreak

 

LOL at the turn the lights off lesson - need to show that to my absentminded husband! My role was reduced by 40% (with a resulting 40% pay cut) through 5/31 due to COVID. I am so thankful to still be working and, due to our emergency savings, not take too bad of a hit. So thank you for always encouraging saving. And during my freed up time, I will be able to deliver food with Meals on Wheels since many of the volunteers in my area are in a high risk group themselves.

Bless you for pitching in when you could be hunkered down feeling sorry for yourself. 

I try to post a video everyday about the economic crisis so follow me on Twitter. Some are serious. Others are lighthearted. It's me being real about how I feel about what's going on. 

In my area, Rochester NY, both the County and City have loans and grants available for people who qualify for necessary home repairs. It's worth it to check if you have something available like that.

Thanks for sharing. 

I am a federal employee. In February, my TSP was worth nearly $750,000. It’s now around $620,000. After a couple of weeks of heavy losses, I changed the distribution, putting all the money into the bond funds. The advice was not to make any changes, to just ride out the storm. I’m three years away from retirement and I really couldn’t afford to lose that money. My mistake was in listening to that advice. I’ll change back when things are more stable but I don’t understand that advice. TSP allows two changes per month. If I had made the change sooner, I would have lost far less money. Thoughts?

I understand the pain of looking at your TSP statement and seeing the decline in market value. It sounds like you are considering switching back and forth between stocks/bonds which is a form of market timing. Most people have a tendency to sell during times of crisis and buy back in during times of euphoria. I think the most important part of an asset allocation strategy is to find the right risk level (mix of stocks and bonds) that you are comfortable with in up and down markets. Good luck and be safe!

Why is the 2nd quarter deadline for paying estimated taxes staying at June 15, when the 1st quarter deadline has been pushed back to July 15???

The only extension is for payments due April 15th which are pushed to July 15th. There is no extension for the June 15th payment deadline as of right now. I admit that not everything the IRS does makes perfect sense. Good luck and be safe!

Speaking of helping out, the Washington theater community is huge, and now mostly unemployed because dozens of spring shows have been cancelled. Theater Washington is raising money to give grants to local theater performers and technicians whose shows have been abruptly cancelled. 

Thanks for sharing. We are subscribers to Arena Stage so definitely wanted to pass this along. 

My spouse and I (married filing jointly) made more in 2018 than 2019. In 2018 we were over the cutoff, in 2019 we were below. Are we going to qualify?

If there is no 2019 filing, the IRS will default to 2018. So, if I were you, I would get in the 2019 return ASAP. 

My 401K has tanked badly since 12/31/19. What are my options? I am 73+ and have already made withdrawls(RMD-s) in previous years. Thanks!!

I understand that looking at your 401k statement can be painful at this point. One silver lining for 2020 is that required distributions may be waived for this year as part of the stimulus bill in congress (hasn't been signed yet). Good luck and be safe!

I must have been distracted by the news but when I was making an online payment on a credit card, I may have accidentally authorized payment of the entire balance, several thousand dollars. I am not 100% I did that because I know banks have some “claw back” authority if you fall behind. And the credit card is from the same bank as my primary checking account, the account I was using to pay the bill. But let’s assume that the error was mine. When I saw my low balance, I called the bank and asked them to please put that money back. This was last Saturday. I was told that the money (less my required payment) should be back in my account by the end of this week. That will be Friday. If this doesn’t happen, do I have any recourse? BTW, I was not late in paying and the bank actually raised my credit limit on the card earlier this month which I did not ask for. This is a very scary time to be running on fumes. Thank you.

I'm not sure you have any recourse so let's hope they put the money back. But I think you might be okay because the lenders are trying to help folks at this time. Check in again today just in case. 

If prior to the recent market drop, I sold a stock, and now want to buy again at a lower price, will I have a tax penalty if I sell again soon?

The IRS has a wash sale rule which is designed to prevent selling investments at a loss and repurchasing the same or substantially identical investments within 30 days before or after the sale at a loss. If a wash sale does happen, the loss is typically pushed into the future by getting added to the cost of the replacement investment. However, if the replacement position is acquired in an IRA, the loss is permanently lost. Avoid the wash sale and be safe!

Hi Michelle and Eric: I am a freelance writer who works nearly exclusively from home. I read that freelancers and gig economy workers will have a chance to collect unemployment because of the stimulus bill, which we cannot do ordinarily when work is slow (even though I pay the gov't 15% of my income, vs. the usual 7.5% with a 7.5% employer match, but don't get me started on that!) Could you explain if someone like me would qualify, and how to submit my request if I am? I suspect that my business will soon fall off a cliff as the people who hire me to write their marketing materials will cut back because they too don't have the work coming in to justify paying others for help. Thanks!

I have read too that self-employed/gig economy workers may be entitled to unemployment benefits as part of the stimulus bill. However, I have not seen all the details on how it might be handled by state governments who normally send out unemployment checks. I hope this legislation gets passed soon and more detailed guidance on its application comes from the government. Good luck and be safe!

Once the bill is signed into law, we will have more details on how such things will be done. Please stay tuned and watch our coverage. 

With the coronavirus, we're not alone in being very worried about my husband's job stability. Thanks to you, we have a healthy savings and life happens funds, however, given the broad impact on the economy, we're more concerned about how long it'd take him to find another job than if he were laid off in other circumstances(i.e. I'm not sure we have enough months in our savings). I have one student loan left that I've been aggressively paying off, so we're not sure if we should stop payments to this loan and instead make a payment to our savings account, or if we should continue to pay down the loan, can you help? We were previously targeting to pay this loan off by October(and then be debt free!).

Right now, stop making the extra payments. With the concern about the job, hoard cash in case you need it. If you don't you can get back on the plan to pay it off later. 

So in all of this, my wedding and engagement ring sold on ebay! Yay, final thing separating me from my abusive ex-husband. I shipped it off super secure, etc and the money I got, will mostly go to my emergency savings as I have been paying down debt and building up my savings. If it were any other time, I would use most if it toward debt and continue to get the monkey off my back. I made the decision to save it thanks to reading your advice to others in similar times.

I'm so sorry about the abusive ex but glad I could be here to help guide you. Yes, for all of you concerned about losing income or reduced hours, now is the time to stock up on cash. Cash is king. Although many of you know I push hard to get rid of debt, it's okay to pause getting that monkey off your back right now. I rather you save to have the money for necessities. The debt will be okay and be there for you when times get better. 

Thank you for your heart and your mind!

I wanted to end on this note because I really need it. As I report on the fallout from the coronavirus it's hard for me to stay upbeat, not get depressed and worried for so many. Some days are better than others. I'm okay but I know so many others aren't. I just hope the lesson from this crisis is that the financial fate of others impacts us all. Nobody pulls themselves up by their own bootstrap. Somebody helped you get up! 

Take care. Wash your hands often. Turn off the lights when you leave the room. 

See you next week. 

In This Chat
Michelle Singletary
Michelle Singletary writes the nationally syndicated personal finance column, "The Color of Money," which appears in The Post on Wednesday and Sunday and is carried in more than 120 newspapers.

Read recent columns
Subscribe to Michelle's newsletter
Color of Money Q&A Archive
Eric Bronnenkant
Eric is the head of tax at Betterment. His 15 years of experience include working for Ernst & Young, Fidelity, and as an adjunct tax professor at Seton Hall University.
Recent Chats
  • Next: