Every U.S. citizen who pays their income taxes annually most likely wants to find ways to lower their tax bill. Luckily, however, there are some simple ways you can reduce the burden of your tax stress — and one of the best ways is to start putting away money for retirement. Saving money for retirement can both lower your taxes or boost the amount you receive from your refund. By putting money away that you’ll use in the future (once you’re done working) you can also reap the benefits of owing less tax money — and having more to spend — today. Here are some tips to help you start saving.
One of the smartest ways to lower the amount you owe for taxes is to reduce the amount of taxable income that you bring in. To do that, contribute money to your 401(k). Legally, you can contribute $18,000 each year to your 401(k) if you’re younger than 50, and if you’re older than 50, you can contribute as much as $24,000. Money contributed to a 401(k) is not counted as taxable.
If you have an IRA, you may be able to make a contribution to it in order to qualify for a tax deduction. Essentially, you can deduct the amount of your contribution (up to the specified limits) from your total taxable income, thereby lowering the overall amount of taxes you’ll have to pay. The amount of deduction that you can take thanks to your contribution depends on your particular income tax rate. In 2017, no matter whether your age, you can contribute $5,500 annually to your IRA and claim it as a tax deduction and $6,500 if you’re over the age of 65.
Not everyone can make a contribution to an IRA and claim it as a deduction, however. In order to claim your IRA contribution, you or your spouse cannot participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan. Your income must also fall within the specified limits. To find out if you qualify to contribute money to your IRA for a tax deduction, check out the guidelines for 2017, as laid out by the IRS. You can find them here.
Paying taxes each year can be stressful, but there are some helpful things you can do to ease the burden — like saving money for retirement. Putting pennies away for use later won’t only reduce your tax bill, it’ll also make life easier and more fun when you get to the age that you’re ready to stop working.
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