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How to Plan and Optimize Your Taxes Using SECURE 2.0’s Quirky New Rules

February 09, 2023

In the final days of 2022, SECURE Act 2.0 united lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, passing with bipartisan support and officially becoming law. Taxpayers from Texas to New York to California are starting 2023 with the opportunity to use a new playbook and unlock fresh strategies for achieving financial independence. 

The problem, however, is that most Americans don’t know much about the provisions in the SECURE Act 2.0, or even its 2019 predecessor, the original SECURE Act.

The newer rule has quirky planning opportunities for taxpayers, but they’re buried under a heap of complexity. Instead of writing a single, expansive analysis of techniques for taking advantage of the legislation’s provisions, we’re introducing a series of straightforward case studies for understanding this new legislation. 

You’ll want to familiarize yourself with a number of these new provisions, including a Roth twist on catch-up contributions for high income earners, interesting new ways that employers can support their employees’ financial planning needs, updates on the timing of Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) and a mix of untapped techniques that Americans can use to achieve their financial goals.

Meanwhile, now that tax season is kicking off, we wanted to refresh your tax optimization checklist: 

  • Look for tax forms in your mail and/or in your email. Keep an eye out for 1099s, receipts from your charitable donations and W-2s. Some tax filing material, like K-1 statements, should show up later in the year. 

  • Review the taxable financial decisions you made in 2022. For example:
    • Did you harvest any tax losses? If not, should you harvest losses in the year to come? Liquidating mutual funds or stocks in a down market and capturing losses is an important strategy for succeeding in a volatile market. 
    • Did you make charitable contributions with cash or stock? Did you use a donor-advised fund? Paying close attention to not just which charity you support, but how you support your philanthropic causes, can position you for long-term financial success.
    • Did you use a 1031 exchange to avoid paying taxes last year? This tax break can help lower your taxes on real estate transactions, but it needs to be properly utilized.

  • Make a list of last year’s pain points. For example
    • Are you paying too much in taxes? Learning from last year’s missed opportunities and implementing solutions as quickly as possible will help you trim this year’s tax bill. 
    • Do you own a business and think you might be missing out on tax deductions?Tax deductions are rarely simple or straightforward. Working with an expert can help you identify and maximize your deductions, especially as a business owner. 
    • Does completing your taxes produce feelings of insecurity or uncertainty?Taxes don’t have to be daunting. With the proper knowledge and support, tax season might not be fun, but at least it won’t be so stressful. 

Implementing the proper tax strategy is a major financial advantage in a thorough plan. At BFS Advisory Group, we’re dedicated to equipping you with the resources you’ll need so that you can make smart decisions about your taxes and financial well-being. 

When we launch clients into the DBT360 Financial Plan® process, we listen and guide our clients, helping them define their goals and create a plan for achieving those goals. To learn more about this process and better understand how it will work for you, contact us today


The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. FSC does not offer tax advice or services.