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Military Finances 101: End-of-the-Year Money Moves in 2021

Taxes Managing Your Finances

What has changed for you in 2021?

When I was on Active Duty, the used to say "You write your own OPR". While, some interpret that to mean you physically write your OPR. But what it means, is your actions end up on your OPR. Similarly, "You write your own Tax Return". What you do this year will determine what your tax return looks like when you file it next year. Here are few ideas to make sure it is a "good" tax return plus another thing or two to consider doing before the end of the year.

Keep in mind that this article is for informational purposes only and is not a replacement for real-life advice. Please consult your tax, legal and accounting professionals before modifying your tax strategy.

Do you engage in tax-loss harvesting?

That’s the practice of taking capital losses (selling securities for less than what you first paid for them) to manage capital gains. You might want to consider this move, but it should be made with the guidance of a financial professional you trust.1  

In fact, you could even take it a step further. Consider that up to $3,000 of capital losses in excess of capital gains can be deducted from ordinary income, and any remaining capital losses above that amount can be carried forward to offset capital gains in upcoming years.1

Do you want to itemize deductions?

You may want to take the standard deduction for the 2021 tax year, which has risen to $12,550 for single filers and $25,100 for joint. If you think it might be better for you to itemize, now would be a good time to gather the receipts and assorted paperwork.2,3

Are you thinking of gifting?

How about donating to a qualified charity or non-profit organization before 2021 ends? Your gift may qualify as a tax deduction. For some gifts, you may be required to itemize deductions using Schedule A.4

While we’re on the topic of year-end moves, why not take a moment to review a portion of your estate strategy? Specifically, take a look at your beneficiary designations. If you haven’t reviewed these designations for some time, double check to see that these assets are structured to go where you want them to go in the event that you pass away. Lastly, look at your will to make sure it is still valid and up-to-date.   

Check on the amount you have withheld. If you discover that you have withheld too little on your W-4 form so far, you may need to adjust this withholding before the year ends.

Military Finances are Different

They're not covered in this article but as an Active or Retired Senior Military Officer or NCO, you have some unique tax and financial situations. That's why we think you should work with an advisor that deals with them every day. If you'd like to chat about how we do things, give us a call or use the button below to schedule a free initial consultation.


If you found this article useful, you might like the following blog posts:

Military Tax Benefit: Extend IRS Deadlines


Military Tax Benefit: Rollover of SGLI Proceeds to a Roth IRA


Military Tax Break: Sale of Primary Residence


  1. https://www.investopedia.com/articles/taxes/08/tax-loss-harvesting.asp
  2. https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/taxes/standard-deduction
  3. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/standarddeduction.asp
  4. https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/041315/tips-charitable-contributions-limits-and-taxes.asp

This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information, and provided by Twenty Over Ten. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.


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