Last Updated October 16, 2022
Are you a high-income earner who is looking for ways to reduce your taxable income? If so, you have come to the right place! In this blog post, I will discuss some of the best tax reduction strategies for high-income earners. By implementing these strategies, you can save yourself a lot of money on your tax bill. So whether you are looking to lower your taxes for this year or for future years, I have you covered!
What Is A Tax Reduction?
Tax reduction means lowering the amount of taxes you owe. Tax deductions and tax credits are the two most common types of tax reductions. Tax deductions lower your taxable income, while tax credits lower your tax liability (the amount of taxes you owe).
People and businesses can use qualified expenses and investments to reduce the taxes they must pay for that current year. Utilizing tax laws to your advantage is a very important financial strategy. This can help you save money in the long run and make the most out of your income.
What Are The Benefits Of Tax Reduction?
Several benefits can come from reducing your tax bill. Some benefits include easing the burden that taxes can have on your finances, increasing the amount of money available for investing, paying a lower rate of taxes, and improving your overall financial situation by putting more of your money in your control.
1. Lowering The Amount Of Taxes Owed
The primary benefit of tax reduction is that it allows you to keep more money in your pocket by lowering the tax expense you usually would owe. This is a money-saving opportunity that no one would want to pass up.
2. Reducing The Tax Burden
When you reduce your tax burden, you could potentially drop into a lower tax bracket. For example, if you lower your taxable income, you could go from being in the 22% tax bracket to the 12% tax bracket. Obviously, paying 12% in taxes rather than 22% of your overall income is much more advantageous!
3. Increasing The Amount Of Money Available
Tax reductions can increase the amount of money that is available to you. This extra money can be used to pay off debt, save for a rainy day, or invest in your future. Tax reduction is an important tool that should not be overlooked when it comes to financial planning.
4. Improving The Overall Financial Situation
By utilizing tax reduction strategies, you can improve your overall financial situation by freeing up more of your money. This means you have more cash that can be invested, earning you more in the future and improving the overall financial situation of you or your business.
What Are The Best Tax Reduction Strategies For High-Income Earners?
High-income earners are often looking for ways to reduce their taxable income. The good news is there are several ways to lower your tax bill, including deductions, credits, and even using investments to decrease your taxable income. Here are some of the best tax reduction strategies for high-income earners:
- Tax deductions.
- Tax credits.
- Tax-advantage investments.
Let’s go into each strategy in more detail…
1. Tax Deductions
Tax deductions are ways to reduce your taxable income for the tax year. For example, if you make $50,000 and are eligible for a $5,000 tax deduction, you only have to pay taxes on $45,000 of your income.
One of the most common deductions is the standard deduction – anyone can use it. Some of the best deductions are known as above-the-line deductions, meaning they can reduce your taxable income even before the standard deduction or itemized deductions. Examples of above-the-line deductions are 401(K) and Health Savings Account (HSA) contributions.
Let’s go over some of the different types of tax deductions you can take to lower your yearly tax burden.
The standard deduction is a simple way that anyone can reduce their tax liability. This allows you to deduct an exact dollar amount from your gross income, no questions asked. The exact amount you qualify for in the standard deduction depends on your filing status.
Itemized deductions are another way to lower your taxable income. Itemized deductions include expenses like medical bills, mortgage interest, state and local taxes, and charitable donations.
For many people, the standard deduction is worth more than itemizing each deduction you are eligible for. Still, if you’re a high-income earner, it may make sense to itemize to lower your tax bill substantially. This typically takes more time and documentation, so consult a tax professional to discuss the best strategy for you.
Capital Losses Deduction
Another tax reduction strategy for high-income earners is capital loss deduction. The IRS allows you to reduce your taxable income if you sell an asset that lost you money.
For example, one of the best tax reduction strategies for high-income earners is to take advantage of tax-loss harvesting. Tax-loss harvesting is a technique that allows you to sell an investment at a loss and claim it as a deduction on your taxes. So, if you sell a stock for $5,000 less than you bought it for, you can claim that $5,000 as a loss on your taxes.
By selling the investment that has gone down in value, you can “realize” the loss and use it to offset any capital gains taxes you may owe. So as you can see, tax-loss harvesting is a great way to reduce your taxable income and save money on your taxes.
Business owners can reduce the amount of taxes owed by utilizing special deductions, or write-offs. These can include expenses for business operating purposes, such as technology, production materials, rent, and marketing costs. Consult a tax professional to learn more about which deductions you may be eligible for.
Charitable Contribution Deduction
If you make charitable donations, you can deduct them from your taxes. For example, if you donate a car worth $500 to charity, you can deduct $500 from your taxes. In general, contributions to charitable organizations may be deducted up to 50 percent of adjusted gross income.
Rental Property Deductions
If you own an investment property, you normally have to pay taxes on your investment income. However, there are a lot of tax advantages of owning rental property and you can deduct a number of expenses from your taxes. These tax benefits include deducting mortgage interest, property taxes, insurance, repairs and maintenance, and depreciation from your taxable income.
These tax cuts really help if you’re in a high tax bracket because they can lower your taxable income significantly. So if you’re a high-income earner that owns rental property, be sure to take advantage of these strategies to reduce your taxes.
Student Loan Interest Deduction
You can claim a tax deduction for the interest paid on student loans that you took out for yourself, your spouse, or your dependent. This benefit applies to all loans (not just federal student loans) used to pay for higher education expenses.
The IRS allows taxpayers to deduct up to $2,500 of student loan interest paid per year. This deduction can really help high-income earners who are also paying student loan debt.
2. Tax Credits
Tax credits are great ways to reduce your tax burden very quickly because they reduce the actual amount you owe in taxes. This means if you would normally owe $5,000 in taxes and you can claim a tax credit for $1,000, your tax bill becomes only $4,000. Some of the most common tax credits are the child tax credit, the adoption credit, and the lifetime learning credit.
Child Tax Credit
The child tax credit is a tax credit worth up to $3,600 per qualifying child. To qualify, the child must be under age 17 and must be a dependent. In addition, the child must have lived with you for more than half the year. If you have multiple children, you can claim the child tax credit for each one.
For the tax year 2021, the Child Tax Credit increased to:
- $3,600 for children ages 5 and under at the end of 2021; and
- $3,000 for children ages 6 through 17 at the end of 2021.
This credit begins to phase out as your income increases, so you may be disqualified from the credit altogether. Talk to a tax professional to see if your income disqualifies you from claiming the child tax credit.
If you adopt a child, you may be eligible for the adoption tax credit. For the 2021 tax year, the adoption tax credit is worth up to $14,440 per child and can be used to offset the costs of adopting a child.
To qualify for the credit, the child must be under age 18 or must be physically or mentally unable to care for himself or herself. There are income limits that could affect the amount of the credit, so you want to make sure you talk to a tax professional before claiming the credit.
Lifetime Learning Credit
The lifetime learning credit is worth up to $2000 per year and can be used to offset the costs of tuition and fees for eligible courses related to post-secondary education or job skills. To qualify, the courses must be taken to improve job skills. In addition, the courses must be taken at an eligible educational institution, such as a college or university.
You can go to the IRS website to see a list of all the tax credits and deductions that are available. Tax credits can save you a lot of money on your taxes, so be sure to take advantage of them if you can.
3. Tax-Advantage Investments
There are a number of investment strategies for high-income earners that offer tax advantages. For example, many retirement accounts (such as 401(k)s and traditional IRAs), health saving accounts, opportunity zone funds, and municipal bonds offer tax breaks.
One of the best tax reduction strategies for high-income earners is to contribute to qualified retirement accounts. Your pre-tax contributions are deducted from your paycheck which lowers your adjusted gross income.
For example, if you make $100,000 per year and contribute $18,000 to your 401(k) or your traditional IRA, your taxable income becomes $82,000. This can save you a significant amount of money in taxes. These are all great ways to save for the future while minimizing the taxes you pay today.
Health Savings Account
The Health Savings Account (HSA) is probably one of the best investments for high-income earners because it reduces your taxable income, and the money grows tax-free. When withdrawing money for qualified medical expenses, you do not have to pay any taxes on the proceeds.
Opportunity Zone Funds
Opportunity Zone Funds are a new way to invest in low-income communities and get tax breaks. Opportunity Zones were created by Congress in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created these funds to encourage investment in areas that need it the most.
When you invest in an Opportunity Zone Fund, you can get a deferral on capital gains taxes and a possible reduction in taxes on the profits from your investment. If you want to learn more about Opportunity Zone Funds check out my article “What Is An Opportunity Zone Fund And How Does It Work?“
Municipal bonds are issued by state and local governments and are used to finance public projects. With a municipal bond, you loan money to a government entity and they promise to pay you back over time with interest. The interest payments on municipal bonds are usually exempt from federal taxes and sometimes state and local taxes as well. However, not every municipal bond is exempt from taxes so make sure to do your research before investing.
Dividend Income & Long-Term Capital Gains
Capital gains are taxed on the profit you make from selling investments like stocks. How much capital gains are taxed depends on your tax bracket and how long the asset was held before selling
Short-term capital gains (assets held for a year or less before sale) and long-term capital gains (assets held for longer than a year) are not taxed the same. Short-term capital gains are taxed at the same rate as your ordinary income (up to 37%), while long-term capital gains are only taxed at a maximum of 20%.
So if you want to reduce your taxes on capital gains, it’s best to hold on to investments for at least a year before selling. You can get the most up-to-date capital tax rate information from the IRS website.
Dividends are what some companies pay to shareholders, typically as a share of earnings or an incentive to invest money in their stock. Holding dividend-yielding stocks can be an excellent way for high earners to lower their taxes. Some dividends are treated as ordinary income and taxed at standard income tax rates, but some are taxed at capital gains rates, typically lower than ordinary income tax.
The above-mentioned strategies are just some examples of how high-income earners can reduce their taxes. Tax laws are constantly changing, so it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest changes and consult a tax professional to ensure you are taking advantage of all the tax breaks and deductions available to you. With a little planning, you can save yourself a lot of money come tax time.