Tax Tips in a Volatile Market

5 Ways to Leverage a Volatile Market for Tax Savings

When the market is volatile it can make investors feel uneasy. In a perfect world the market would never be down, but unfortunately ebbs and flows come with the territory. When the market does slow down, here are a few tax saving strategies that may be worth taking advantage of:

  1. Sell the Losers – Investors who have assets in a taxable account might consider selling the assets on which they have unrealized losses. Capital losses generated can offset capital gains or up to $3,000 can be deducted against ordinary income. Additional losses can be carryforward indefinitely.
  2. Contribute to a Retirement Plan – Contributions to IRAs, 401(k)s, and Roth 401(k)s are capped at specific amounts. Taxpayers can invest in their retirement accounts while values are lower and realize the benefits when the market recovers. Contributions for 2015 can be made until April, 18 2016.
  3. Convert to a Roth – Roth retirement accounts offer significant potential tax savings. IRA owners are allowed to convert to Roth IRAs but income tax would be due upon conversion. One strategy is to convert while the value of the assets are down in order to minimize the tax bill.
  4. Exercise Employee Stock Options – Workers who received “non- qualified” options usually owe taxes on the difference between the grant price and the current value of the shares. Exercising stock options in a down market will lower the tax cost for the employee.
  5. Make Gifts of Assets - If you are looking to gift stock to family or to a trust, you are limited to tax free gifts of $14,000 per year or $28,000 for married couples. A market when the cost per share has declined allows you to transfer more shares. When the value of shares rebound down the road, the IRS doesn’t assess gift tax on the increased value of the gift.

If you have questions on these strategies feel free to email or call and we would be happy to walk you through this blog post in more detail.

*Please note that Human Investing does not provide tax advice/guidance and you should contact your CPA with specific tax related questions.


TaxesAmber Jones