Tips on How to Lower Taxes on Your IRA Required Minimum Distributions

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About Steve Kerby

Steve Kerby is a lifetime resident of Oregon, having graduated from Southern Oregon University, where he majored in business. Throughout his 49 years in the financial services industry, Steve has maintained the most professional approach to each of his client’s needs. His background is extensive and based on helping people save money on taxes and making sure money set aside for retirement is safe and secure. If there is one asset that Steve exhibits, it is his ability to “listen.” Steve knows how important it is to understand each client’s goals and ambitions and to match them up with the best possible financial planning options.

Disclaimer: The information below is meant only as tips, and you should not act on it to make a final decision. Always consult a licensed and authorized professional before making any final decision. This is a very complicated topic, and great care should be taken before making any final decision.

As retirement nears, managing Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from your Individual Retirement Account (IRA) becomes essential. RMDs are mandatory withdrawals starting at age 73 that may significantly impact your tax liability. Fortunately, several strategies might help you minimize taxes on these distributions, allowing you to retain more of your retirement savings.

Strategies to Lower Taxes on RMDs

Roth IRA Conversion

Converting a portion of your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA may lower future RMD taxes. Although you pay taxes on the converted amount, Roth IRAs do not have RMDs during your lifetime, and qualified withdrawals are tax-free. Consider converting smaller amounts over several years to manage the tax impact effectively.

Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs)

For those charitably inclined, a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) is a beneficial strategy. A QCD allows you to donate up to $105,000 per year directly from your IRA to a qualified charity. The donated amount counts toward your RMD but is excluded from your taxable income, reducing your overall tax liability while fulfilling charitable goals.

Strategic Withdrawals

By strategically planning withdrawals before age 73, you may spread out your tax liability over several years. This approach is particularly advantageous if you are in a lower tax bracket before RMDs begin. Additionally, consider making withdrawals during years with lower income to benefit from lower tax rates.

Manage Other Income Sources

Reducing your overall taxable income may help lower the tax impact of your RMDs. Manage other income sources, such as focusing on investments in taxable accounts that generate qualified dividends and long-term capital gains, which are taxed at lower rates. Also, consider the timing of significant income events, like the sale of a business or property, to avoid compounding these with your RMDs.

Take Advantage of Tax Credits and Deductions

Utilizing tax credits and deductions may lower the taxes owed on your Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs). For example, you may qualify to deduct medical expenses that exceed a certain percentage of your adjusted gross income (AGI). Other possible deductions include charitable donations, mortgage interest, and state and local taxes. Consulting a tax professional is recommended to ensure you take full advantage of all available credits and deductions.

Utilize a Qualified Longevity Annuity Contract (QLAC)

A Qualified Longevity Annuity Contract (QLAC) is a deferred annuity funded with your retirement account that begins payments at a later age, up to 85. The funds used to purchase the QLAC are excluded from your RMD calculations, thereby reducing your RMDs and the associated taxes. By deferring a portion of your retirement savings into a QLAC, you may manage the timing and amount of your taxable distributions.

Effective tax planning for your IRA RMDs may significantly enhance your retirement strategy, allowing you to preserve more of your savings. Strategies such as Roth IRA conversions, Qualified Charitable Distributions, strategic withdrawals, managing other income sources, leveraging tax credits and deductions, and utilizing QLACs may all play a role in minimizing your tax burden. As tax laws are complex and subject to change, consulting with a financial advisor or tax professional is essential to develop a personalized plan that aligns with your financial goals and ensures compliance with IRS regulations. By taking proactive steps, you may optimize your retirement income and enjoy a more secure financial future.

Many people have learned about the power of using the Safe Money approach to reduce volatility. Our Safe Money Guide is in its 20th edition and is available for free.  

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About Steve Kerby

Steve Kerby is a lifetime resident of Oregon, having graduated from Southern Oregon University, where he majored in business. Throughout his 49 years in the financial services industry, Steve has maintained the most professional approach to each of his client’s needs. His background is extensive and based on helping people save money on taxes and making sure money set aside for retirement is safe and secure. If there is one asset that Steve exhibits, it is his ability to “listen.” Steve knows how important it is to understand each client’s goals and ambitions and to match them up with the best possible financial planning options.

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