How to Avoid Taxes on Social Security | Santa Barbara Estate Planning and Elder Law

An article on offers some strategies to avoid, or at least mitigate, taxes on Social Security benefits. We at SB Estate Planning have summarized the points of the article below.

Withdraw money from your tax-free Roth IRAs. 

Tax-free withdrawals from a Roth IRA or Roth 401(k) are not included in your adjusted gross income. Rolling over money from your traditional IRA or 401(k) to a Roth IRA years before you start receiving Social Security benefits is an excellent way to avoid taxes later in retirement. Of course, you will have to pay income taxes when you make the conversion, but you can tap the account tax-free after that.

Purchase a Qualified Longevity Annuity Contract.

You can invest up to $130,000 from your IRA or 401(k) in a deferred-income annuity called a Qualified Longevity Annuity Contract (QLAC). The money in your QLAC is ignored when figuring your required minimum distribution, so you can reduce the size of your distribution, lower your income and cut your tax bill.

Give your required minimum distribution to charity.

If you are 70½ or older, you can give up to $100,000 per year to charity from your IRAs tax-free. Your gift counts as the required minimum distribution but is not included in your adjusted gross income.

Be careful with income investments.

You can structure your portfolio to minimize the income it generates. This approach makes particular sense if your portfolio’s income is being reinvested.

To learn more, you can read the entire Kiplinger article at

Feel free to give us a call to set up a consultation at (805)946-1550.

Author Bio

Julianna Malis is the Founder and Managing Partner of Santa Barbara Estate Planning & Elder Law, a Santa Barbara estate planning law firm she founded in 2014. With more than 25 years of experience practicing law, she has dedicated her career to representing clients in a wide range of legal matters, including estate planning, elder law, Medicaid and Medicare planning, probate, and other estate planning areas.

Julianna received her Juris Doctor from the University of the Pacific — McGeorge School of Law and is a member of the California State Bar Association.

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