Wash Sale Details

Articles on year-end tax planning for investors inevitably mention the opportunity to harvest losses from stocks and other securities that may have declined in value. Recent stock market declines have increased the potential value of this opportunity, along with the importance of understanding theĀ wash sale rule, which can stand in the way of efforts to harvest losses while maintaining a consistent investment strategy. No doubt you’ve seen brief summaries of this provision, but there’s a lot more to the wash sale rule than meets the eye. Get the full details here:

details: Wash Sale Rule

Free File Enhancements

The IRS has announced enhancements to the Free File program, through which many taxpayers can obtain free tax preparation services from commercial software companies. Some aspects of this program continue to be frustrating, but millions of taxpayers have found it useful, and it is now less likely that you’ll be snared into paying for tax prep while you still qualify for Free File.

details: IRS Free File

Retirement Plan Contribution Limits for 2019

The IRS has announced increases in the amount you can save for retirement in 2019. The IRA contribution limit goes from $5,500 to $6,000, and the elective deferral limit (for 401k and similar plans) goes from $18,500 to $19,000. There is no change in the additional amount individuals age 50 or older can contribute as makeup contributions.

Be careful: You can make an IRA contribution for 2018 until April 15, 2019, but the lower $5,500 limit applies to contributions for 2018 even if made in 2019.