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The page has almost turned on 2023 — and that means time is running out to make certain tax moves by year’s end, or else risk missing out on their benefits.

Here are some tax strategies to consider before ringing in the new year, according to advisors from CNBC’s FA 100, an annual ranking of the nation’s top financial advisory firms.

1. Take your RMDs

Investors who own certain retirement accounts — like pretax individual retirement accounts and 401(k)s — must take “required minimum distributions,” or RMDs, after reaching a certain age.

Basically, they need to withdraw a minimum amount of money from those accounts or risk a tax penalty.

That penalty is 25% of the RMD amount that wasn’t withdrawn, though it can be reduced in some cases.

“Put RMDs on your calendar every year,” said Michelle Perry Higgins, principal and financial advisor at California Financial Advisors, which ranked No. 30 on CNBC’s FA 100 list. “You just can’t forget to take it.”

More from Year-End Planning

Here’s a look at more coverage on what to do finance-wise as the end of the year approaches:

Savers must generally start taking RMDs by a specific age. A recent law, Secure 2.0, raised the age to 73 from 72, starting in 2023. (Those who turned 72 in 2023 must take their first RMD in 2024.)

Secure 2.0 also eliminated RMDs from Roth 401(k) and 403(b) accounts. However, that provision doesn’t kick in until 2024.

2. ‘Harvest’ investment losses

3. Give to charity to reduce tax bills, RMDs

For example, people can make a big upfront donation to a donor-advised fund. These allow donors who itemize their taxes to claim a big tax write-off in the year of the donation, but then choose how that money will be doled out to charity in future years.   

This let some taxpayers “amplify their giving by accelerating [tax] deductions to high-income years when deductions are more valuable,” Iqbal said.

Older Americans can also use a “qualified charitable distribution” to give. This involves donating directly from an IRA — and that payment counts toward an annual RMD.

“For people who really give to charity, this is a sweet way to [do it],” Higgins said.


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