How to Avoid Tax on IRA Withdrawals
Traditional and Roth IRAs are subject to income tax when withdrawing money, with some exceptions such as purchasing your first home or covering medical expenses.
If an IRA withdrawal may push your income over the limits for personal exemptions and deductions, speak with a financial or tax advisor first; they may know of strategies that can reduce penalties.
1. Donate a portion of your IRA to charity
Many people rely on individual retirement accounts (IRAs) as a source of retirement savings, yet if you withdraw funds before age 59 1/2 you could owe taxes and penalties of 10% per withdrawal.
There are ways to avoid these penalties by taking advantage of certain tax rules and making wise choices. Before withdrawing any funds, always consult a financial professional first.
If you plan to use your IRA to buy a home or cover college costs and anticipate that your taxable income in that year is higher than usual, consider delaying purchases until next year – that way, any withdrawals will take place when tax rates are lower and you won’t owe taxes on them. In addition, up to $100,000 of your required minimum distribution can also be given directly to charity without impacting your adjusted gross income.
2. Take distributions in a low-income year
There are various strategies available to you for reducing the tax bill when withdrawing money from an IRA, including switching from traditional to Roth, taking distributions during low-income years, and setting up a qualified charitable deduction (QCD). While these may sound simple enough on paper, these may involve complex moves requiring expert guidance such as that from an accountant or financial advisor.
Typically, withdrawing money from an IRA before age 59 1/2 will incur both regular income tax and a 10% penalty; exceptions exist such as using it to buy your first home or pay for higher education; but by taking steps beforehand you could possibly avoid that extra cost.
In 2022, you may withdraw money from your IRA without incurring the 10% penalty if the expenses total more than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. Just be sure that it goes toward meeting those specific expenses; otherwise you could end up having to pay this sum again later in 2023.
3. Donate a portion of your IRA to charity
Dependent upon your circumstances, donating some of the IRA funds could make good financial sense and also contribute to an important cause. Donating could reduce taxes while helping out a good cause simultaneously.
Many individuals make tax-deferred savings accounts such as 401(k)s and IRAs a priority, investing the savings for use at retirement or career changes. This money then rolls over when needed.
No matter the method of rollover, pretax dollars rolled over into another account will eventually become taxable income when withdrawals from that account occur. In certain instances this may also trigger a 10 percent penalty, particularly if you’re under age 59 1/2.
Starting April 1 of the year after you reach age 70 1/2, it is imperative that you begin taking required minimum distributions (RMD). If taking an exception (such as purchasing a first home or health insurance), withdrawals should be spread out over multiple years to minimize taxes.
4. Take distributions in a low-income year
There are various strategies you can employ to minimize the tax you pay on IRA withdrawals, one being taking distributions in low-income years if possible – especially if you own or are self-employed with access to SEP or SIMPLE IRAs.
Business owners with tax-exempt retirement accounts such as SEP IRAs can save up to an unprecedented annual limit of $261,000 through tax-deductible contributions – far surpassing the 15500 limit on an IRA salary reduction plan.
SEP/SIMPLE IRAs enable you to contribute income that’s not subject to income taxes, like business profits. Furthermore, personal exemptions and itemized deductions may become ineligible once your income exceeds certain thresholds, making IRA withdrawals more costly during higher-income years; however there may be exemptions to this penalty when withdrawing IRA funds for qualifying education costs or medical expenses for new parents; you could also avoid it entirely if withdrawing money for qualified home purchase costs.
Categorised in: Blog