Keeping more of what you earn.
Of all the expenses investors pay, taxes have the potential for taking the biggest bite out of your total returns. That’s why it pays to be sensitive to taxes as you work with us to build and manage your investment portfolio.
For starters, one of the easiest steps that you can take to minimize the impact that taxes have on your investments is to tuck away as much money as you can in tax-advantaged accounts, such as employer-sponsored retirement plans and IRAs.
While tax-advantaged accounts are good for meeting long-term goals, such as retirement, most investors also have money in taxable accounts. But even taxable accounts can be managed with tax efficiency. So after you’re contributing all you can to your tax-deferred accounts, and we have chosen the right types of accounts for your investments, we then utilize additional strategies in managing your portfolio to minimize taxes.
At the Gleason Group, we look at both sides of the balance sheet, analyzing your debts as well as assets for opportunities to reduce taxes. There are multiple tactics that we use to ensure that your portfolio remains as tax-efficient as possible including:
- Tax-efficient holdings with low turnover.
- Minimize trading and transactions.
- Use tax-efficient strategies when buying and selling investments.
- Recommend making charitable contributions using appreciated securities rather than cash.
Max out your plan
If your employer offers a defined contribution plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b), sign up and maximize your contributions as soon as you can. And if your employer matches some or all your contributions, contribute at least enough to get all the matching dollars. It’s free money; don’t pass it up.
Making pre-tax contributions to an employer plan provides a double bonus. First, Uncle Sam subsidizes your retirement savings by deferring income tax on the amount you save. Second, your investments grow tax-deferred. By delaying the tax bill, more of your money is working for you over the years. In addition, because the money is taken directly out of your paycheck, you won’t be tempted to spend it.
Similar to a 401(k) plan, an individual retirement account allows you to put aside money for retirement that enjoys favorable tax treatment. There are several types of IRAs, each with its own qualifications and tax benefits.
If either you or your spouse has income from work, or if you receive taxable alimony payments, you may be eligible to contribute to an IRA. And if you’re age 50 and older, you may be eligible to contribute an additional catchup contribution. Your IRA contributions for you and your spouse can’t exceed your earned income, and you must file a joint tax return to make a spousal contribution.
No matter what your age, if you meet the basic criteria for contributing to an IRA, you can choose a Roth IRA as long as your modified adjusted gross income doesn’t exceed certain levels.
Contributions to a Roth IRA are not tax- deductible, but once you’ve held the Roth for five years and are over age 59 and a half, your distributions are tax- and penalty-free.
Traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs have different rules for taking distributions, which may affect which one you choose.
If you’re a sole proprietor or small- business owner, a SEP-IRA is an easy- to-administer plan that permits you to set aside money for retirement in a tax-deferred account.
You may be able to contribute up to 25% of your compensation to your SEP- IRA up to $55,000. You also can make employee or personal contributions to your account however these are the same limits that apply to traditional and Roth IRAs and personal contributions to traditional, Roth, and SEP-IRAs combined cannot exceed these limits. Consult with your tax advisor regarding special rules that apply when determining the maximum deductible contribution.
While tax-advantaged accounts are good for meeting long-term goals, such as retirement, most investors also have money in taxable accounts. But even taxable accounts can be managed with an eye on tax efficiency.
Most investors know that taxes may be due when they sell an investment at a profit. But it’s also important to know that you may owe taxes when your investment distributes its earnings as capital gains or dividends. Tax-efficient investments do a better job of keeping those distributions to a minimum.