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  • Writer's pictureKevin Shuller, CFA, CFP

2021 isn't over yet

Updated: Jan 2, 2023

2021 was an episode of This Is Us; an emotionally draining marathon that felt twice as long as the clock said it took.

Bad news: It’s not over. Well, technically it is, but there are still things that you can do for 2021 that can benefit you in 2022 and beyond.

1. Contribute to your IRA. If you haven’t made your 2021 contribution to your IRA or Roth IRA, you have until the tax deadline. This year, that’s April 18th. If you don’t have an IRA, you can still open one up and make that 2021 contribution. It’s never too late to start.

2. Use your dependent care and health care FSA before you lose it. How is the time to dig out any old daycare or doctor receipts. FSAs are great tax savings tools as long as you use all of your contributions. Most FSAs have grace periods. Those grace periods give you extra time to file claims. Some plans will give you a little 2022 time to use you’re your 2021 funds, too. Check with your HR department to find out the details of your plan and make sure you’re getting the reimbursement you are entitled to.

3. Make your Estimated Tax Payment. You have until Jan 15th, to make your Q4 estimated tax payment. If you wait until you file your taxes to pay them, you may leave yourself open to penalties if you find yourself with a high tax bill.

4. Put Tax-Loss Trades back on (or don’t). Several years into a bull market, it’s common to spend the last few weeks of the year desperately searching your portfolio for losing positions to sell. This offsets capital gains and saves on your taxes. You need to stay out of those positions for 31 days to avoid the wash sale rule. After that time is up, reassess the stock/bond/fund’s position in your portfolio. If you still like it, buy it back. If you don’t like the position anymore, replace it with something better.

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