Your 5 Step Gameplan to Lower Your Lifetime Taxes with Brian Haney

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[126] – Everyone has to pay taxes, but only some know how to minimize their lifetime tax bill.

In this episode, Jeremy Keil is interviewed by Brian Haney about tax preparation vs tax planning. Jeremy explains the five steps everyone needs to take each and every year to lower their lifetime taxes.

Jeremy discusses:

  • A high-level comparison of tax preparation vs. true tax planning
  • The importance of marginal rates in tax planning
  • How to lower your taxes over your lifetime in 5 steps
  • What some of the common tax planning mistakes are
  • And more

Your 5 Step Gameplan to Lower Your Lifetime Taxes

The number one rule to tax planning is to push your taxes away in a year when your tax rate is higher and pay taxes when your rate is lower. It sounds simple, but it’s easier said than done. Below are 5 steps to help you do that every year and lower your lifetime taxes.

Step 1: Get A Draft Tax Return Before Its Filed

The first step to lower your lifetime taxes is to get a draft tax return before it’s filed.

When you go to your tax preparer, they usually give you your final tax return and ask you to sign on the bottom line. They should wait until they have your signature, but sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they have already filed your tax return electronically, even though they shouldn’t have.

Get a draft of your return before it’s filed because there might be a mistake, and that draft tax return will allow you and your financial advisor to review it and correct any possible errors before it’s filed.

Step 2: Review With Tax Preparer What You Could Do To Make Differences To Last Tax Year

Getting a draft of your tax return will trigger you to go to step number 2: reviewing your drafted tax return with your tax preparer.

With the draft of your return, you and your tax preparer can see what you can do to affect last years’ tax return, such as a Traditional or Roth IRA or HSA contribution.

Step 3: What Can We Do To Make A Difference This Year?

After reviewing your draft tax return with your tax preparer to see what you can adjust for last year in step 2, step 3 is determining what you can do to make a difference on your tax return for this current year.

When you file last year’s tax return, it’s still early in the spring. You’ve got the rest of the year where you can make choices that will affect your taxes regarding your investments, Roth accounts, and charitable deductions, to name a few.

You can decide and plan out your year as you still have a lot of control over the current year because you haven’t done anything to affect your taxes for the year yet.

So, you want to look at what you need to do throughout the year to make a difference for this tax year in the springtime.

Step 4: Before The End Of This Tax Year Project Your Current Tax Years Return

Step 4 is another review later in the year, around October or November.

Reviewing last year’s tax return again lets you project out what it would look like this year.

For example, if you made $100,000 in salary last year, you can look at your pay over the past 10 months or so and project out to see how close you’ll be to last year’s return or what differences you might have.

This comparison allows you to make choices about the next few months before your return has to be finalized and filed, allowing you to see opportunities to lower your tax bill, such as 401(k) or charitable contributions.

Step 5: Control What You Can, Protect What You Can’t

The final step, step number 5, is to control what you can and protect what you can’t control.

You have much more control over your tax situation than you think, especially in retirement. Put your focus on the first four steps of the plan to reduce your taxes, and spend less time worrying about the stock market, interest rates, or who the next president will be. When you can control your tax situation, take control, spend more time reviewing and going through the plan to lower your taxes.

Spend time controlling your own tax situation because you have that control and the ability to calculate how much it will save you over the next few years or over your lifetime.


To learn more about tax planning, check out the resources below!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us using the contact information provided below!


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