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Finesse your benefits and contributions this winter

Mark your calendar with important tax deadlines and market closures.

Start 2022 off right by fine-tuning your contributions to retirement and health accounts and preparing for tax filing.

Winter 2022 market closures

  • Jan. 17: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Feb. 21: Presidents Day

Dates to remember

  • Jan. 18: Fourth quarter estimated tax payments are due, if required.
  • Jan. 31: Raymond James mails year-end retirement tax forms for 1099-R and 5498, if applicable.
  • Feb. 15: Raymond James begins mailing 1099 tax statements.
  • Feb. 28: Raymond James mails amended 1099s and those delayed due to specific holdings and/or income reallocation. March 15 is the final day to mail any original 1099s and continued amended 1099s as needed.  

Things to do

  • Organize for tax time: Prepare for smooth filing: By early February, you should have tax forms in hand. Make sure to organize them in a dedicated spot, as well as any receipts if you itemize. To ensure all is in order, talk to your advisor about coordinating with your tax professional.
  • Get set for 65: This is the age you become eligible for Medicare; a 10% premium penalty applies for each year you go without Part B coverage beyond this birthday in most cases. You have seven months to enroll, starting from three months before your birth month. Ask your advisor about healthcare planning resources that can guide you.
  • Become a benefits whiz: Research your company’s open enrollment schedule and decide if you need to make changes.
  • Fine-tune your health spending: If you participate in a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA), review contribution levels to take full advantage – without exceeding limits, which are adjusted regularly for inflation. If you have an FSA, use available funds before your plan’s use-it-or-lose-it deadline.
  • Finesse your bonus: Plan how you want to use your year-end bonus before it hits your checking account. Consider paying down high-interest debt, shoring up your emergency fund or increasing your 401(k) contribution.
  • Pay yourself first: If you haven’t automated retirement contributions, start now. It’s also a good time to reconfirm your employer match and increase your contributions to allow more time to generate tax-deferred gains.
  • Revisit an IRA: Pre-tax contributions to IRAs can reduce taxable income, and you have until mid-April to contribute for the current tax year. You also have the option to contribute early in the year toward the next tax year – so tell your IRA custodian which year the contribution applies to.
Cozy up safely: Heating causes 27% of structure fires during winter, so it's a key time to check on batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors -- and call the chimney sweep for a fireplace cleaning. 

Withdrawals from tax-deferred accounts may be subject to income taxes, and prior to age 59 1/2 a 10% federal penalty tax may apply. Investment products are: not deposits, not FDIC/NCUA insured, not insured by any government agency, not bank guaranteed, subject to risk and may lose value. Raymond James financial advisors do not render legal or tax advice. Please consult a qualified professional regarding legal or tax advice.

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