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But you need to revisit those withholdings, especially for major life changes such as marriage, having children or starting a side business.
Top reasons to adjust your withholding:
1. Tax law changes
2. Lifestyle changes like marriage, divorce or children
3. New jobs, side gigs or unemployment
4. Tax deductions and credits shifts
You can use the IRS Tax Withholding Estimator to see if you’re on track, or run projections with an advisor for more complex situations.
If there’s wiggle room in your budget, you may consider boosting pre-tax retirement savings, which reduces your adjusted gross income.
You can stash $20,500 into your 401(k) for 2022, with an extra $6,500 if you’re 50 or older. Regardless of your savings goal, it may be easier to reach by bumping up your deferrals now.
Here’s how it works: After making non-deductible contributions to a pre-tax IRA, you can convert the funds to a Roth IRA. While the move jumpstarts tax-free growth, the trade-off is paying upfront levies on contributions and earnings.
However, a down market may be a great time to pay taxes on the assets you want to convert, Lyman said.
For example, let’s say you invested $100,000 in a pre-tax IRA and now it’s worth $75,000. You can save on taxes since you’ll convert $75,000 rather than the original $100,000.
Of course, you’ll need a plan to cover those levies, and increasing income may have other tax consequences, like higher future Medicare Part B premiums.
“We are doing that for our clients right now,” he said.
You can sell declining assets from a brokerage account and use those losses to reduce other gains. And once losses exceed profits, you can subtract up to $3,000 per year from regular income.
However, you need to watch for the “wash sale rule,” which stops you from buying a “substantially identical” asset 30 days before or after the sale.