Ten Steps to a Smarter Tax Return

Use the following links to learn more about the various tax breaks and strategies discussed in this workshop.

New Tax Law for 2018

Karen Chan, Plan Well, Retire Well blog, University of Illinois Extension:

Tax brackets

Marginal tax rates 2018 (jpg)

Don’t count on itemizing

Adjustments to Income, formerly called Above the Line Deductions:

Qualified Charitable Distributions

Pay no tax on growth.

529 plans (Chapter 8 – Qualified Tuition Programs) and Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (Ch. 7)

Roth accounts

Pay zero tax on part of your wages.

Health Savings Accounts

Flexible Spending Accounts

Follow rules for IRAs and retirement accounts

IRAs & employer plans, Name beneficiaries, Inherited IRAs, rollovers and transfers

  • Karen Chan and Charlotte Crawford, University of Illinois Extension, Rules for Taking Distributions from Tax-Deferred Retirement Savings Plans   
    • Please note that some rules have changed since this document was published. Mainly, the age for required minimum distributions to 72, and beneficiaries (other than spouses and a few other exceptions) must deplete the inherited account within 10 years.
Exclude taxable income on the sale of your home

Tax on sale of a home

Take advantage of swings in income

Tax rates

Contribute or convert to a Roth in low income years

Understand basis for gifts & nheritances

FindLaw for Legal Professionals, Tax Basis of Inherited and Gifted Property

Use “Asset Location” to increase tax efficiency 

Karen Chan, Plan Well, Retire Well blog, University of Illinois Extension:

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