How do the new contribution limits affect you? Retirement contribution maximums have increased across the board for 2019. Here are some of the biggest changes to be aware of this year.
As the shutdown continues, we would like to urge you to continue to monitor your own tax situation and how it relates to your financials, being prepared for when the shutdown ends as well as continuing to look toward your future.
Recently, we have experienced a downturn in the markets and while that is frustrating and, at times, downright scary, there are ways that you can take advantage of these tough times. Tax-loss harvestingnot only can decrease your tax liability exposure by offsetting taxable income, it also allows you to indirectly increase your overall return or have the ability to reap the gains from some of your other investments.
With the new tax law changes from the 2017 Tax Cut & Jobs act, many Americans will be utilizing the increased standard deduction rather than itemizing. Those of you who are subject to the Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) rules can make distributions to your favorite charities from your IRA.
The period between Thanksgiving and the end-of-year holiday season would seem like a sleepy time for financial planners, but in fact it is anything but. You might be surprised at how much activity takes place on behalf of you and your investments in the final month of the year.
For instance? Even though this has been a good year in the markets, not all investments will have gained value. This is the last opportunity to harvest any losses we find in taxable accounts, by selling investments that have gone down and “booking” the loss. Then we can look for investments that have gained value, sell some of those to offset the losses, and thereby save capital gains taxes in the future. Up to $3,000 of ordinary income can be offset by investment losses as well.
This is also the time of year when mutual fund companies post, in advance, the amount of ordinary income and capital gain distributions they will make to their shareholders. Since the value of the shares drops by the amount that is distributed, this would seem like a non-event performance-wise. But in fact some mutual funds are poised to make 20% or even 30% distributions, and this cash is immediately taxable, unlike gains in the share values, which are only realized when you decide to sell. By selling funds before the distributions, and buying them back later, we can reduce your tax bill this year.
There is a lot of discussion happening regarding the recently released GOP Tax Proposal. With pages and pages of proposed changes the most important thing to note is that this is a proposal, certainly not a finished product and the tax overhaul is far from certain. For you, our clients, not much has changed in the kind of preparation we believe you should be doing. As in every year, we want you to review your expenses, income and last year’s returns and of course, look at any what-if scenarios that may be on your horizon.
1. Pay Yourself First
The utilization of company retirement plans (401-k's and Simple IRA's) are the easiest way to build up tax advantaged assets for your retirement goals. Verify that you are contributing the amount required in order to maximize the employer's match. Above that amount it would usually be prudent to try to contribute the maximum amount possible in order to minimize your income tax liability.
If you're starting to plan for retirement, Social Security may be an important source of retirement income. Millions of Americans depend on Social Security today. For some, it is their primary source of retirement income, and for others, it is supplemental income.
Benefits of Social Security
As you get ready for your 2015 tax preparation, we have a few helpful tips so that you can quickly and efficiently ready yourself for your tax appointment. First and foremost – BE ORGANIZED! Remember that Time is Money. Most firms provide 'Organizers' for you to fill out, take a few moments and compare your current year data to your prior year – this will allow you to determine if there is anything that you may have inadvertently forgotten.
You will need to gather all of your W-2's, 1099's, K-1's, to name a few. If you are self-employed be sure that your books are up to date and it is helpful to have all your financials available (i.e. Balance Sheet & Income Statement).