It's not too late to reduce your 2021 tax bill

There's still time if you want to lower the taxes you may owe in the upcoming tax season. So before saying goodbye to 2021, check out these tips:

Boost your retirement contributions. If you're not maxing out your workplace retirement plan, you may still have time to increase your contributions and reduce your taxable income. The maximum contribution for a 457, 401, or 403(b) plan is $19,500 for workers under age 50 in 2021. You have even more time — until April 15, 2022 — to contribute to an IRA for 2021. Your contributions to a traditional IRA may be tax deductible, depending on your income. (Contributions to a Roth IRA aren't deductible, but withdrawals are tax-free in retirement.)

Get the Saver's Credit. The Saver's Credit is worth up to $1,000 for single filers and $2,000 for married joint filers who contribute to a retirement account in 2021. To be eligible, adjusted gross income can't exceed $33,000 for single filers and $66,000 for joint filers. Depending on income, the Saver's Credit ranges from 10% to 50% of the first $2,000 contributed to a workplace retirement plan or IRA.

Make a cash donation. Most taxpayers take the standard deduction on their tax returns, instead of itemizing deductions. If you don't itemize, you can still deduct up to $300 ($600 for joint filers) in cash donations made to a qualified charity in 2021. This tax break, created in 2020 to encourage non-itemizers to support charities, has been extended and expanded for 2021 only.

Harvest investment losses. The stock market has been hitting new highs this year, but not every investment is a winner. Consult with a tax professional about possibly selling the bad apples and using the losses to offset capital gains income. If you have more losses than gains, you can deduct up to $3,000 worth of losses from your taxable income. Losses above that can be carried forward on future tax returns.

Contribute to a 529 college savings plan. Your contributions to this tax-advantaged plan aren't deductible on the federal level, but more than 30 states allow residents to deduct some or all contributions on their state income tax return. Typically, you must contribute to your home state plan to qualify for a deduction, but seven states offer this tax break to residents who contribute to any 529 plan.

Also note that the IRS has announced contribution limits for 2022. Check out the details for a head start on next year's planning.

Please note: The contents of this publication provided by MissionSquare Retirement is general information regarding your retirement benefits. It is not intended to provide you with or substitute for specific legal, tax, or investment advice. You may want to consult with your legal, tax, or investment advisor to review your own personal situation. Some of the products, services, or funds detailed in this publication may not be available in your plan. This document may contain information obtained from outside sources and it may reference external websites. While we believe this information to be reliable, we cannot guarantee its complete accuracy. In addition, rules and laws can change frequently.

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