Year-End Tax Planning Considerations: 2019 IRS Limits

December 5, 2018 | acook

Contributed By Andrew Cook, CFP, AIF

 

 

On November 1, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service announced cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for tax year 2019. The 2019 limits are contained in Notice 2018-83.

For more information about retirement plan limits, please contact us, or click here.

 
HIGHLIGHTS OF CHANGES FOR 2019

The contribution limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan is increased from $18,500 to $19,000.

The income ranges for determining eligibility to make deductible contributions to traditional Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs), to contribute to Roth IRAs, and to claim the saver’s credit all increased for 2019.

Taxpayers can deduct contributions to a traditional IRA if they meet certain conditions. If during the year either the taxpayer or their spouse was covered by a retirement plan at work, the deduction may be reduced, or phased out, until it is eliminated, depending on filing status and income. If neither the taxpayer nor their spouse is covered by a retirement plan at work, the phase-outs of the deduction do not apply. Here are the phase-out ranges for 2019:

• For single taxpayers covered by a workplace retirement plan, the phase-out range is $64,000 to $74,000, up from $63,000 to $73,000.
• For married couples filing jointly, where the spouse making the IRA contribution is covered by a workplace retirement plan, the phase-out range is $103,000 to $123,000, up from $101,000 to $121,000.
• For an IRA contributor who is not covered by a workplace retirement plan and is married to someone who is covered, the deduction is phased out if the couple’s income is between $193,000 and $203,000, up from $189,000 and $199,000.
• For a married individual filing a separate return who is covered by a workplace retirement plan, the phase-out range is not subject to an annual cost-of-living adjustment and remains $0 to $10,000.

The income phase-out range for taxpayers making contributions to a Roth IRA is $122,000 to $137,000 for singles and heads of household, up from $120,000 to $135,000. For married couples filing jointly, the income phase-out range is $193,000 to $203,000, up from $189,000 to $199,000. The phase-out range for a married individual filing a separate return who makes contributions to a Roth IRA is not subject to an annual cost-of-living adjustment and remains $0 to $10,000.

The income limit for the Saver’s Credit (also known as the Retirement Savings Contributions Credit) for low and moderate-income workers is $64,000 for married couples filing jointly, up from $63,000; $48,000 for heads of household, up from $47,250; and $32,000 for singles and married individuals filing separately, up from $31,500.

PLANNING STRATEGIES

Typically, funding employer sponsored plans (via payroll deductions) must occur by 12/31, but indiviual IRAs or Roths can still be funded up until your tax filing deadline. In addition, if you are a business owner or self-employed, you may be elligible to fund a company-sponsored plan known as a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP). A SEP is the only employer-sponsored plan that can be set up and funded after 12/31, but prior to your tax filing deadline.

If you qualify, you can fund both your employer-sponsored plan and an individual retirement account in the same tax years. If you are over the contribution limits to fund individual deductible IRAs or Roth IRAs, you may want to consider funding a non-deductible IRA and then converting it to a Roth IRA. Spouses with no earned income can still fund individual retirement accounts based on their spouse’s earnings.

If you are over 70.5 and charitably inclined, you can make Qualifed Charitable Distributions (QCDs) directly from your IRA to avoid income tax on RMDs. These QCDs can be considered a portion of your RMD.

Some planning strategies entail complex reporting and may impact other aspects of your financial life. HHM Wealth is happy to help you identify appropriate tax and investment strategies.

This article is contributed by HHM Wealth Advisors, LLC, an RPAG member firm. Visit www.HHMWealth.com or www.rpag.com. Neither HHM Wealth nor RPAG are in the business of providing legal advice with respect to ERISA or any other applicable law. The materials and information do not constitute, and should not be relied upon as, legal advice. The materials are general in nature and intended for informational purposes only.

 

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