How to turn Tax Day into a $6,000 savings opportunity


IRA savings and deductions

If you have the cash — and access to your IRA custodian — you can still put money in your account today.

Aside from bolstering your retirement savings, you may cut your taxes for 2019.

“If you qualify, you can get a deduction of up to $6,000 — or $7,000 if you’re 50 and over,” said Neal Stern, CPA and member of the American Institute of CPAs’ national CPA financial literacy commission. “You don’t have to itemize to get it.”

How much you can deduct is based on two criteria: your modified adjusted gross income for that tax year and your access to a retirement plan at work.

Single taxpayers who have a plan at work are eligible for a full deduction if they have a 2019 MAGI of $64,000 or less ($103,000 if married and filing jointly).

The tax break begins to phase out beyond that point, and single filers get no deduction if their MAGI is $74,000 and over ($123,000 for married and filing jointly).

Taxpayers with no retirement plan at work can take a full deduction regardless of their MAGI if they are single, head of household or qualifying widowers.

The same applies if they are married and their spouse also isn’t covered by a workplace retirement plan.

Limits on the deduction begin to kick in if a taxpayer’s spouse has a plan at work.

Last chance for health savings

Jamie Grill | Getty Images

People in high-deductible health insurance plans can also take the next few hours to contribute to a health savings account for the 2019 tax year.

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HSAs have three key tax benefits: You contribute to them on a pretax or tax-deductible basis, and your savings will grow tax-free. Use the proceeds free of taxes to cover qualified medical expenses.

For 2019, you can contribute up to $3,500 if you have self-only coverage. That number goes up to $7,000 for family plans.

Save an additional $1,000 toward your HSA if you’re 55 and over.



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