2023 is over, but taxpayers still have a chance to make last-minute moves to reduce their 2023 tax bills. Optima Tax Relief highlights several strategies that individuals can consider to optimize their finances and potentially lower their tax liabilities.
Maximize IRA Contributions
Contributing to IRAs before the April tax deadline can provide immediate tax benefits. These contributions not only help secure financial futures but can also reduce taxable income for the current tax year. The IRA contribution limits for 2023 are $6,5000 for those under age 50 and $7,500 for those age 50 and up. However, your contribution may be limited based on your adjusted gross income (AGI). If neither you nor your spouse are covered by workplace retirement plans, you typically can deduct the entire amount of an IRA contribution.
Health Savings Account (HSA) Contributions
For those with eligible high-deductible health plans, contributing to an HSA can offer a double benefit. Not only do HSA contributions provide a deduction on taxable income, but funds can also be used tax-free for qualified medical expenses. You can contribute to an HSA up until the April tax deadline.
Consider reviewing your investment portfolio and assess potential gains and losses. Selling investments with losses may offset capital gains and reduce taxable income. Additionally, tax-efficient investment strategies can be implemented to minimize tax implications.
Evaluate potential deductions available to you, such as state and local taxes, mortgage interest, or medical expenses. Maximizing these deductions can help lower taxable income.
Gifts and Inheritance Planning
Consider making use of the annual gift tax exclusion to transfer wealth strategically. Additionally, review inheritance plans and ensure they align with current tax laws. Gift tax returns are due by the April 15 tax deadline.
Assess your investment portfolio for potential tax-loss harvesting opportunities. Selling investments with losses can offset capital gains and reduce the overall tax burden. However, keep the wash sale rule in mind. A wash sale happens when you sell an investment (like stocks) at a loss and then buy the same or very similar investment within a short time, typically 30 days before or after the sale. The IRS doesn’t allow you to claim a loss for tax purposes in this situation.
Bunching business expenses refers to the strategic practice of grouping or consolidating deductible business expenses within a specific time frame, often to maximize tax benefits. Instead of spreading out expenses evenly throughout the year, businesses may choose to “bunch” or concentrate certain deductible costs in a particular tax year. This approach is employed to optimize the impact of deductions on taxable income, potentially reducing the overall tax liability for that specific year.
While these last-minute moves offer potential tax advantages, it’s essential for individuals to consult with tax professionals to ensure compliance with tax laws and regulations. Taking proactive steps before the year-end can not only optimize financial outcomes but also position taxpayers for a smoother tax filing season in 2024.
As the calendar year ends, individuals are encouraged to explore these strategies to make informed decisions that may help lower their 2023 tax bills. By considering these last-minute moves, taxpayers can take control of their financial situations and potentially maximize tax savings.