Taking steps to defer your individual federal income tax bill is often a good idea. If you expect to be in the same tax bracket in future years, lowering this year’s taxable income will postpone your tax bill and give you extra cash to work with until the bill comes due. If your tax rates turn out to be lower in future years, deferring taxable income into those future years will cause the deferred amounts to be taxed at lower rates.
Over the years, real estate has proven to be a lucrative investment for many households. And, in some parts of the country, current market values have surpassed levels seen prior to the 2008 financial crisis. If your principal residence has appreciated significantly in value, you may be subject to capital gains tax when it’s sold. If your gain will be too big to be sheltered by the federal home sale gain exclusion, you might consider a tax-deferred Section 1031 like-kind exchange. However, this strategy isn’t for everyone, and executing it requires some proactive planning.