Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

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CULater
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Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by CULater » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:10 pm

Looks like I need to figure out a way to reduce my income for 2018 so that I'm not kicked into a higher Medicare Premium rate. Looks like I'd have to pay an additional $600 or so in premiums, and if I can lose about $200 I'll be back under the threshold, for a net savings of $400. What are some quick and easy ideas for losing a couple hundred in taxable income?
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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by triceratop » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:14 pm

Lose $200 in investments. Then tax loss harvest. I think it might be easier to find ways to lose money than to make money.

downside: you'll be out $200. But, you don't care about that right?
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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by drk » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:20 pm

Buy some weekly SPX options. If you accidentally make money, repeat until you come out $200 in the red.

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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by Mlm » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:20 pm

I purchased a one year CD that has the interest payable in 2019.

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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by CULater » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:20 pm

triceratop wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:14 pm
Lose $200 in investments. Then tax loss harvest. I think it might be easier to find ways to lose money than to make money.

downside: you'll be out $200. But, you don't care about that right?
What's a sure way to lose money? The only sure way I've found is to try to make money. I'm afraid if I try to lose money I'll turn out making money. :x

I need a sure loser.
May you have the hindsight to know where you've been, The foresight to know where you're going, And the insight to know when you've gone too far. ~ Irish Blessing

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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by CULater » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:23 pm

Can I reverse any distributions from IRA or 403?
May you have the hindsight to know where you've been, The foresight to know where you're going, And the insight to know when you've gone too far. ~ Irish Blessing

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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by goblue100 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:27 pm

CULater wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:20 pm
triceratop wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:14 pm
Lose $200 in investments. Then tax loss harvest. I think it might be easier to find ways to lose money than to make money.

downside: you'll be out $200. But, you don't care about that right?
What's a sure way to lose money? The only sure way I've found is to try to make money. I'm afraid if I try to lose money I'll turn out making money. :x

I need a sure loser.
If you make $400 instead of losing $200 and pay taxes you are even, right?
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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by triceratop » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:28 pm

goblue100 wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:27 pm
CULater wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:20 pm
triceratop wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:14 pm
Lose $200 in investments. Then tax loss harvest. I think it might be easier to find ways to lose money than to make money.

downside: you'll be out $200. But, you don't care about that right?
What's a sure way to lose money? The only sure way I've found is to try to make money. I'm afraid if I try to lose money I'll turn out making money. :x

I need a sure loser.
If you make $400 instead of losing $200 and pay taxes you are even, right?
Not really; he could defer the gains until a future tax year and then start over trying to lose $200. So, gaining money doesn't solve his problem.
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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by The Wizard » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:29 pm

The other option is to embrace the situation and do another $20k in Roth conversions this year.
I would be try to do this if my age 70 MAGI was expected to be at that level.

Example using single IRMAA thresholds of $85k and $107k.
If age 70 MAGI is projected to be $105k and this year's is just over $85k then do additional Roth conversion to get up to maybe $105-106k.
But do it late in the year and be sure your numbers are good...
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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by Dottie57 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:30 pm

CULater wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:20 pm
triceratop wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:14 pm
Lose $200 in investments. Then tax loss harvest. I think it might be easier to find ways to lose money than to make money.

downside: you'll be out $200. But, you don't care about that right?
What's a sure way to lose money? The only sure way I've found is to try to make money. I'm afraid if I try to lose money I'll turn out making money. :x

I need a sure loser.
Penny Stocks?

retiredjg
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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by retiredjg » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:30 pm

Charitable donation? This only works if your deductions are greater than the standard deduction of $12k. :oops:

I do not think you can put the money back into an IRA or 403b. Interesting concept - maybe someone knows a way.

Take any money out of a muni fund that might be paying you dividends. Put in in cash till next year.

Tax loss harvest from a taxable account.
Last edited by retiredjg on Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by The Wizard » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:31 pm

Mlm wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:20 pm
I purchased a one year CD that has the interest payable in 2019.
How does that reduce 2018 AGI?
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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by cheese_breath » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:31 pm

Are you old enough to do QCDs?
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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by The Wizard » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:32 pm

retiredjg wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:30 pm
Charitable donation? This only works if your deductions are greater than the standard deduction of $12k...
No.
This is after AGI is computed...
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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by livesoft » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:33 pm

Buy an option that you know will expire worthless.
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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by drawpoker » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:33 pm

CULater wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:10 pm
Looks like I need to figure out a way to reduce my income for 2018 so that I'm not kicked into a higher Medicare Premium rate. Looks like I'd have to pay an additional $600 or so in premiums, and if I can lose about $200 I'll be back under the threshold.........
How can you be predicting the numbers so early? Don't you hold mutual funds that might/might not/ choose one/ be declaring capital gains in December? It is just bewildering to me how anyone can make such predictions on Aug 5 :?

If you are absolutely sure you are figuring everything correctly, I'd say the simplest and foolproof method would be to use gambling losses. If there are no legal casinos or OTB parlors where you live, you could just buy lottery tickets until you have over $200 in losses.

Of course, if you happen to hit one of the lottery jackpots, this method will backfire. So maybe you better stick with poker or the ponies. :wink:

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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by The Wizard » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:35 pm

A simple way might be to take a day or two without pay before year's end, assuming you are still employed...
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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by mnnice » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:38 pm

livesoft wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:33 pm
Buy an option that you know will expire worthless.
MoviePass stock, I can’t remember the ticker??
Last edited by mnnice on Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by Mlm » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:38 pm

The Wizard wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:31 pm
Mlm wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:20 pm
I purchased a one year CD that has the interest payable in 2019.
How does that reduce 2018 AGI?
I had cash that was earning monthly interest in 2018. In January I moved it to a one year CD where the interest is paid and recognized upon maturity in 2019

Since interest income is part of AGI I reduced 2018 and increased 2019 AGI

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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by The Wizard » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:39 pm

drawpoker wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:33 pm

...If you are absolutely sure you are figuring everything correctly, I'd say the simplest and foolproof method would be to use gambling losses. If there are no legal casinos or OTB parlors where you live, you could just buy lottery tickets until you have over $200 in losses.

Of course, if you happen to hit one of the lottery jackpots, this method will backfire. So maybe you better stick with poker or the ponies. :wink:
I thought gambling losses were only usable to offset gambling winnings...
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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by retiredjg » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:41 pm

The Wizard wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:32 pm
retiredjg wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:30 pm
Charitable donation? This only works if your deductions are greater than the standard deduction of $12k...
No.
This is after AGI is computed...
You are correct. Senior moment. Thanks. :oops:

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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by drawpoker » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:41 pm

The Wizard wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:39 pm
drawpoker wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:33 pm

...If you are absolutely sure you are figuring everything correctly, I'd say the simplest and foolproof method would be to use gambling losses. If there are no legal casinos or OTB parlors where you live, you could just buy lottery tickets until you have over $200 in losses.

Of course, if you happen to hit one of the lottery jackpots, this method will backfire. So maybe you better stick with poker or the ponies. :wink:
I thought gambling losses were only usable to offset gambling winnings...
You're right. I guess I was thinking he could win the $600 at the track and use that to pay his IRMMA :oops:

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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by livesoft » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:41 pm

livesoft wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:33 pm
Buy an option that you know will expire worthless.
If one already has $3,000 of net capital losses to put on their tax return, then this won't help.
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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by BarbK » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:49 pm

If you have any CDs, break one so you will get a penalty.

Buy a speculative stock and if you end up making $, that should compensate for the extra IRMA

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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by samsoes » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:52 pm

An early withdrawal penalty from a CD. These are above-the-line AGI income reductions.

Open a CD, close it soon after, but before it matures. Calculate first what the penalty would be so you at have to do this too many times.
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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by CULater » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:53 pm

drawpoker wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:33 pm
CULater wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:10 pm
Looks like I need to figure out a way to reduce my income for 2018 so that I'm not kicked into a higher Medicare Premium rate. Looks like I'd have to pay an additional $600 or so in premiums, and if I can lose about $200 I'll be back under the threshold.........
How can you be predicting the numbers so early? Don't you hold mutual funds that might/might not/ choose one/ be declaring capital gains in December? It is just bewildering to me how anyone can make such predictions on Aug 5 :?

If you are absolutely sure you are figuring everything correctly, I'd say the simplest and foolproof method would be to use gambling losses. If there are no legal casinos or OTB parlors where you live, you could just buy lottery tickets until you have over $200 in losses.

Of course, if you happen to hit one of the lottery jackpots, this method will backfire. So maybe you better stick with poker or the ponies. :wink:
I know the numbers exactly because all my assets are in IRA or 403(b) accounts, so there's no additional income beyond my distributions and SS to pay tax on in 2018. I fouled up and took a little too much in taxable distributions this year. I was close but no cigar.

Unfortunately, I believe that things like gambling losses and charitable contributions don't come off AGI and it's AGI that Medicare Premiums are based on.
May you have the hindsight to know where you've been, The foresight to know where you're going, And the insight to know when you've gone too far. ~ Irish Blessing

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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by samsoes » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:58 pm

CULater wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:53 pm
Unfortunately, I believe that things like gambling losses and charitable contributions don't come off AGI and it's AGI that Medicare Premiums are based on.
See my above post. Open and break a CD. Above the line dediction.
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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by retiredjg » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:59 pm

CULater wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:53 pm
I know the numbers exactly because all my assets are in IRA or 403(b) accounts, so there's no additional income beyond my distributions and SS to pay tax on in 2018. I fouled up and took a little too much in taxable distributions this year. I was close but no cigar.
Did you remember not to tax all of your SS?

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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by The Wizard » Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:00 pm

samsoes wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:52 pm
An early withdrawal penalty from a CD. These are above-the-line AGI income reductions.

Open a CD, close it soon after, but before it matures. Calculate first what the penalty would be so you at have to do this too many times.
This sounds like an excellent idea if it's really true: that a bank can issue a 1099-INT to you showing a negative amount earned...
Last edited by The Wizard on Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by drawpoker » Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:01 pm

CULater wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:53 pm

I know the numbers exactly because all my assets are in IRA or 403(b) accounts, so there's no additional income beyond my distributions and SS to pay tax on in 2018. I fouled up and took a little too much in taxable distributions this year. I was close but no cigar.....
Oh, I get it now. Those distributions you took, I take it they were not RMDs, you haven't reached that age yet?

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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by celia » Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:10 pm

CULater wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:23 pm
Can I reverse any distributions from IRA or 403?
You probably can't un-do any RMDs you took (that were required). But if you took out extra, I think you can "replace it" within 60 days, in the same IRA or another one. In other words, make it a rollover, which would not be taxable. May not work if the IRA was Inherited. Talk to the custodian(s) so that they don't code the replacement money as a new contribution. Note that you are limited to one such rollover per 12-month period (where you take control of the money--ie, not a trustee-to-trustee rollover). A second similar rollover will have a big tax penalty.

But "put back" more than $200 since the year is not yet over and who knows how much more unexpected income will come your way, especially in December.

Alternately, look at your taxable assets and find something that generates over $600 in interest or dividends each year. Cash it out until next year. (Note that I specified an amount over $200 since you may have already received some interest or dividends from this asset so far this year. Since the year is coming up to being 2/3 done, you only have a short time to turn off remaining interest/dividends for the remaining 1./3 of the year.) Note that this sale could make you earn capital gains, though.

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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by samsoes » Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:17 pm

The Wizard wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:00 pm
samsoes wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:52 pm
An early withdrawal penalty from a CD. These are above-the-line AGI income reductions.

Open a CD, close it soon after, but before it matures. Calculate first what the penalty would be so you at have to do this too many times.
This sounds like an excellent idea if it's really true: that a bank can issue a 1099-INT to you showing a negative amount earned...
There's a separate entry on the 1099-INT for early withdrawal penalties, and there's a separate entry on the bottom part of page 1 of form 1040 used as part of the AGI calculation.

These days banks penalize based on % of principal rather than x number of months interest. Shouldn't be too hard to figure out given the bank's policy.
Last edited by samsoes on Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by CULater » Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:17 pm

celia wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:10 pm
CULater wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:23 pm
Can I reverse any distributions from IRA or 403?
You probably can't un-do any RMDs you took (that were required). But if you took out extra, I think you can "replace it" within 60 days, in the same IRA or another one. In other words, make it a rollover, which would not be taxable. May not work if the IRA was Inherited. Talk to the custodian(s) so that they don't code the replacement money as a new contribution. Note that you are limited to one such rollover per 12-month period (where you take control of the money--ie, not a trustee-to-trustee rollover). A second similar rollover will have a big tax penalty.

But "put back" more than $200 since the year is not yet over and who knows how much more unexpected income will come your way, especially in December.

Alternately, look at your taxable assets and find something that generates over $600 in interest or dividends each year. Cash it out until next year. (Note that I specified an amount over $200 since you may have already received some interest or dividends from this asset so far this year. Since the year is coming up to being 2/3 done, you only have a short time to turn off remaining interest/dividends for the remaining 1./3 of the year.) Note that this sale could make you earn capital gains, though.
The 60-day limit is already up, so I can't replace the distributed funds. Good idea though. I wish there was a way to donate $200 to charity rather than just "losing it." Pity.
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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by dm200 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:17 pm

Mlm wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:20 pm
I purchased a one year CD that has the interest payable in 2019.
Of course, that may just bump an even bigger "problem" to 2019 :)

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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by dm200 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:19 pm

Depending on all the details, maybe INCREASE 2018 taxable income - and take the $600 "penalty" - but in doing so keep the 2019 taxable income under the threshold.

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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by The Wizard » Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:25 pm

samsoes wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:17 pm
The Wizard wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:00 pm
samsoes wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:52 pm
An early withdrawal penalty from a CD. These are above-the-line AGI income reductions.

Open a CD, close it soon after, but before it matures. Calculate first what the penalty would be so you at have to do this too many times.
This sounds like an excellent idea if it's really true: that a bank can issue a 1099-INT to you showing a negative amount earned...
There's a separate entry on the 1099-INT for early withdrawal penalties, and there's a separate entry on the bottom part of page 1 of form 1040 used as part of the AGI calculation.

These days banks penalize based on % of principal rather than x number of months interest. Shouldn't be too hard to figure out given the bank's policy.
Ok, good.
So just a matter of finding a bank/custodian with really obnoxious CD early withdrawal penalties.
Does Edward Jones deal with CDs?
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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by drawpoker » Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:26 pm

CULater wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:17 pm
The 60-day limit is already up, so I can't replace the distributed funds.....
Hmmm. Guess now you are beating yourself up for not doing your homework earlier on the fine details of the IRMAA for 2018. Before taking those distributions. :(

What is rather shocking also about this thread - are there really BH's who buy CD's :?:
:shock: :shock: :shock:

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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by Banjoman » Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:27 pm

Invest in Bitcoin and tax loss harvest ?

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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by dm200 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:27 pm

If employed, take leave without pay for the period to reduce income enough.

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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by The Wizard » Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:30 pm

drawpoker wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:26 pm

...What is rather shocking also about this thread - are there really BH's who buy CD's :?:
:shock: :shock: :shock:
Yes, they do better than bonds in a rising interest rate environment.
But I've certainly not bought any in past few decades...
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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by CULater » Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:37 pm

I like the options idea. Just buy $200 in options and let them expire worthless unless I incur a gain of $400. But what can I buy for $200? Don't know much about options trading. I might want to wait until closer to end of year in order to get the amount exactly right but that would almost surely involve buying options with a very short expiration which is likely to be a sure loser (which is OK, but I like the idea of maybe lucking out by accident).
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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by unclescrooge » Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:39 pm

Can you start a company and deduct start up costs?

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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by denovo » Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:40 pm

CULater wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:10 pm
Looks like I need to figure out a way to reduce my income for 2018 so that I'm not kicked into a higher Medicare Premium rate. Looks like I'd have to pay an additional $600 or so in premiums, and if I can lose about $200 I'll be back under the threshold, for a net savings of $400. What are some quick and easy ideas for losing a couple hundred in taxable income?
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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by bberris » Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:41 pm

What you want are very volatile options, e. g. a single stock, like TSLA or FB. You want them to expire into next year. So you buy a put and a call on the same stock for say $300 each. Now you sell the loser of the pair this year (before expiry) and hold the winner for next year to sell in 2019.

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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by drawpoker » Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:47 pm

Well, I guess the only thing left - you've got approx. 5 months left in the year to open some sort of side business. Your Schedule C loss can be used to offset ordinary income.

Since you need only do this for one year (next year you will know better) you should be okay on the IRS hobby rules, i.e., the "3 out of 5" benchmark they use.

Running up $800 or so in qualified business expenses shouldn't be difficult, than showing revenues were only $100 or so.
The IRS expects new businesses to fail to show a profit in the first year so you should be okay.

You just have to decide what product or service you will offer.

Since you don't really want to attract any business, I suggest you advertise as a tutor for some field.

Professional poker playing coach? Cat behavior therapist? A trainer for fortune tellers?

drk
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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by drk » Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:52 pm

CULater wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:37 pm
I like the options idea. Just buy $200 in options and let them expire worthless unless I incur a gain of $400. But what can I buy for $200? Don't know much about options trading. I might want to wait until closer to end of year in order to get the amount exactly right but that would almost surely involve buying options with a very short expiration which is likely to be a sure loser (which is OK, but I like the idea of maybe lucking out by accident).
As of Friday's close, $199 would get you a single $300 call option on SPY expiring January 19.

Just in case you or someone else wants that in lay terms: for $199 you would buy a contract giving you the right to buy 100 shares of SPY for $300 before market close on January 19. Of course, you probably don't want 100 shares of SPY, but somebody else surely does and would be happy to pay you for the contract some time before it expires. If S&P 500 goes up before then, you'll make some money. If it goes down, you'll have the option to harvest a loss.

sport
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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by sport » Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:08 pm

cheese_breath wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:31 pm
Are you old enough to do QCDs?
If you are older than 70.5 and have not yet completed your RMD from IRA accounts, this would be perfect. A charity(s) gets the money and you get reduced income.

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celia
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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by celia » Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:19 pm

sport wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:08 pm
cheese_breath wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:31 pm
Are you old enough to do QCDs?
If you are older than 70.5 and have not yet completed your RMD from IRA accounts, this would be perfect. A charity(s) gets the money and you get reduced income.
The QCD gives you an IRA withdrawal (taxable income) and a "deduction" that cancel each other out. Net income is 0, not negative.

47Percent
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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by 47Percent » Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:26 pm

Sometimes I wonder about this myself.

I play close the ACA cliff, and the difference is about $10,000 in taxes (premium refund actually) even if the income exceeded the threshold by a few dollars. I am scared to death that someone would 1099-MISC me for some bonus that I wangled somewhere sometime during the year, and it would arrive in Feb of the following year, too damn late for me to do anything.

Prior to 2018, I had the safety of Roth recharacterizations. But, no more.

So, I will have to leave a cushion of $1,500, but only very reluctantly.

JStephens
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Re: Best way to lose $200 in taxable income?

Post by JStephens » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:16 pm

CULater wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:37 pm
I like the options idea. Just buy $200 in options and let them expire worthless unless I incur a gain of $400. But what can I buy for $200? Don't know much about options trading. I might want to wait until closer to end of year in order to get the amount exactly right but that would almost surely involve buying options with a very short expiration which is likely to be a sure loser (which is OK, but I like the idea of maybe lucking out by accident).
Wait 10 minutes before close, and buy SPY options that expire that day (expire Monday, Wednesday, and Friday). It will instantly fill, and your money will vanish.

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