Published on Consumer Reports, 2018

If you’re a retiree and no longer itemizing because of the new tax law, there are still ways you can reduce your total tax bill. Arrange to have all or part of your required minimum IRA distribution contributed directly to a charity and not to your bank account, says Howard Hook, a CPA and certified financial planner at EKS Associates, a wealth management company in Princeton, N.J. That type of transfer, called a qualified charitable distribution, ensures that your IRA distribution isn’t added to your taxable income, saving you money.

The new law also places limits on Roth IRA “conversions”—that is, when investors convert their traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs, paying the tax on gains now in order to avoid paying tax later in life. In the past, you’ve had the option of making this change and then reversing it if your tax situation changed. Now, a Roth conversion is irreversible. So a tax professional’s advice on this gambit could be important to you.

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