Plan now to help make April 15 less taxing
Taxes are a fact of life. With that in mind, here are several things you might consider as you prepare for tax season—from year-end retirement planning to reviewing your portfolio and investment goals. It’s not an exhaustive list, and not all items may apply to you, but it’s a good start. For specifics about your own tax situation, please consult a tax advisor.
Year-end retirement planning moves
- Make a 2018 IRA contribution1
- Create or refresh your retirement plan
- Designate your beneficiaries
- Withdraw your required minimum distribution (RMD)
- Open a small business retirement plan
- Consider making a charitable contribution2
- Visit the E*TRADE Tax Center
- Review your gains, losses, and expenses
- Consider the potential tax consequences of income and distributions from your investments.
- Review and rebalance your portfolio
- Learn about tax law changes
Maximizing your allowable annual contribution may help to keep you on track for retirement and possibly even provide tax advantages.
Consider opening and contributing to a Traditional or Roth IRA at E*TRADE. Use the IRA Selector tool at etrade.com/iratool to help decide which type of account could meet your needs, or consult a tax professional for guidance.
It’s important to revisit your retirement plan every year to review your goals and objectives, understand how much you’ll need to accumulate, see 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.
Check out the new retirement planning page at etrade.com/retirement to learn about different options, evaluate your current plan, or create one.
Life events may affect your beneficiary designations. Review and update your designations to confirm that they’re consistent with your intentions.
Designating or updating a beneficiary is quick and easy. For example, when opening an E*TRADE IRA, beneficiary designation is included in the account opening process. Visit etrade.com/iraltool for additional information.
If you’re over age 70½, you’re required by the IRS to withdraw a certain amount from each of your pre-tax IRAs each year (RMD requirements do not apply to Roth IRAs). If you reached 70½ in 2018, you have until April 1, 2019, to withdraw the RMD amount. Otherwise, you must withdraw it by December 31, 2018. Failure to meet RMD requirements could result in an IRS tax penalty of 50% of the undistributed RMD amount.
If you decide to open an E*TRADE IRA, you can determine your RMD amount for that account with the RMD calculator at etradecalculators.wealthmsi.com/rmd.
Please note: Once you reach 70 ½ you must take an RMD for each IRA whether at E*TRADE or another financial institutional, either aggregated or on an account by account basis.
Are you self-employed, or do you own a small business? Small business retirement plans, such as Individual 401(k)s 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
Donations of qualified appreciated stock may help to maximize the amount you give to your favorite causes. Plus, if you itemize deductions for 2018, you may qualify for a tax deduction for the full fair market value of the stock without having to recognize unrealized gains.
To find out more, visit etrade.com/donations.
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 etrade.com/tax.
Reviewing your 2018 transactions before year-end may help you identify opportunities to reduce your 2018 taxes.
Consult your tax or financial advisor before taking action or visit the E*TRADE Tax Center at etrade.com/tax for more information.
Certain distributions from these investments may be taxed as ordinary income. At the same time, a portion of ordinary income distributions from REITS and income allocations from publicly traded partnerships may qualify for a tax deduction.
Consult your tax or financial advisor for information on these holdings as well as the timing of any future investments you may be considering.
Always a good idea
Rebalancing your portfolio regularly helps you stay aligned with your investment goals and objectives.
Speak with an E*TRADE Financial Consultant at 877-800-1208.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 may have an impact on your taxes this year.
For more information on what’s changed and how the law may affect you, read the helpful guide at etrade.com/2018taxchanges.
- 2018 IRA contribution deadline is Monday, April 15, 2019
- The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act increased standard deductions and added limitations to itemized deductions for the 2018 tax year. These changes may preclude taxpayers from claiming a deduction for charitable contributions.
Important tax dates
Wednesday, December 26, 2018
Last day to make a charitable contribution of stocks, bonds, or cash.
Monday, December 31, 2018
Last day to:
- Buy or sell stocks, mutual funds, bonds, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for 2018
Please note, for transactions to open or close a short-sale position, the final trade date to have the transaction reported for 2018 is December 27, 2018.
- Open an Individual 401(k) with your employer or a profit-sharing plan for 2018
- Make a 2018 Roth IRA conversion
- Take an RMD, if applicable, from your retirement account for 2018