Plan now to help make April 17 less taxing
Taxes are a fact of life. With that in mind, we have come up with 10 things you might want to consider as you prepare for the upcoming tax season—from year-end retirement planning to reviewing your portfolio and investment goals.
The list is not all inclusive, and not all of them may apply to you, but it’s a start. For more information and for specifics regarding your own tax situation, you should always consult your tax advisor.
Year-end retirement planning moves
1. Make a 2017 IRA contribution*
Maximizing your allowable annual contribution could keep you on track for retirement and may provide tax advantages for you in the current and future tax year.
- If you already have an E*TRADE IRA, you can log on to Move Money to make your contribution.
- Want to open a Traditional IRA or Roth IRA? Use our IRA Selector tool to help you decide which type of account could meet your needs. Consult your tax professional for additional information.
*2017 IRA contribution deadline is Tuesday, April 17, 2018.
2. Create or refresh your retirement plan
It's important to revisit your retirement plan every year to review your previously stated goals and objectives, understand how much you'll need to accumulate, determine where you currently stand, and make any adjustments to help stay on track. If you don't have a retirement plan, now may be a good time to create one.
- Use our Retirement Planning Calculator to review your current plan or create one.
- For planning and investing convenience, consider if consolidating your outside retirement accounts by transferring an account or setting up automatic investments may make sense for you.
3. Designate your IRA beneficiaries
Life events may affect your beneficiary designation. So, review and update your beneficiaries to confirm that any beneficiary designation is consistent with your intentions.
Designating or updating an IRA beneficiary is easy and takes just minutes. Visit etrade.com/benechange.
4. Withdraw your required minimum distribution (RMD)
If you are over age 70½, you are required by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to withdraw a certain amount from your pre-tax IRAs each year. (Note: The RMD requirements do not apply to Roth IRAs.) If you reached the age of 70½ in 2017, you have until April 2, 2018, to withdraw the RMD amount. Otherwise, you must withdraw the RMD amount by December 31, 2017. Failure to meet the RMD requirements could result in an IRS tax penalty equal to 50% of the undistributed RMD amount.
- View your RMD amount in our RMD Resource Center.
- Use our online IRA distribution form to withdraw your RMD from an IRA you have at E*TRADE.
5. Open a small business retirement plan
Are you self-employed, or do you own a small business? Small business retirement plans, such as SIMPLE and SEP IRAs, may provide tax incentives to small business owners and their employees that encourage saving for the future.
Go to etrade.com/gethelpchoosing to see which retirement plan may be a good fit for you and your business.
Year-end tax moves
6. Consider making a charitable contribution
Donations of qualified appreciated stock may maximize the amount that you give to your favorite causes and allow you to claim a deduction for the full fair market value of the stock without having to recognize unrealized gains.
To find out more, visit etrade.com/donations.
7. Visit the E*TRADE Tax Center
It’s where you can download and print tax documents, such as Forms 1099 and 5498, and view a complete list of important tax dates. You’ll also find articles, FAQs, tools, and cost basis resources to help you prepare for tax season.
Go to the E*TRADE Tax Center.
8. Review your gains, losses, and expenses
Reviewing your 2017 transactions before year-end may help you identify opportunities to reduce your 2017 taxes. You may qualify to reduce ordinary income of up to $3,000 with net capital losses which could save you money.
Consult with your tax advisor before taking action, or visit the E*TRADE Tax Center for more information.
9. Consider the potential tax consequences of mutual fund distributions
Certain distributions from mutual funds may be taxed as ordinary income.
Consult with your tax advisor on any mutual fund holdings you have and for information regarding the timing of any future investments you may be considering.
Always a good idea
10. Review and rebalance your portfolio
Rebalancing your portfolio regularly helps you stay aligned with your investment goals and objectives.
Speak with an E*TRADE Financial Consultant at 1-877-800-1208.