Tax time is not fun, but reaching the end and finding you owe money is even worse. If the results of your tax preparation activities are less than optimal, you might think the only choice is to write the check, but that may not be the case.

We specialize in helping people who owe $10,000 or more to the IRS or have years of unfiled tax returns. If you have any tax trouble or owe more than $10k to the IRS or state but can’t pay in full, contact our firm today.

However, depending on the circumstances and the time of year you’re reading this,  you may be able to trim your tax bill now, before you file and write that check. Here are some possible ways to trim the high cost of filing taxes and keep more money in your pocket.

Boost Your Year-End 401(k) Contribution

This might not help you for 2021 but planning ahead is always key and for 2022 you still have time to increase the amount you put into your 401(k) plan at work. All it takes is a form from HR and a simple instruction and you will be putting more money aside for the rest of the year – and reaping the tax benefits when you file.

Boosting the amount you put into your 401(k) for the end of the year is one of the best ways to reduce your taxable income. You might even decide to make the increase in contribution levels permanent, giving you an additional benefit year after year.

Beef Up Your IRA Contributions

You have until the tax filing deadline to make your final IRA contribution, and putting more money in now could save you a lot of money when you file. If you qualify for a deductible IRA, you can use the contributions to reduce your taxable income, giving you a big benefit and helping you save a lot of money.

It is important to check the contribution limits carefully to make sure you do not run afoul of the IRS regulations. If you contribute too much you could end up with a penalty, and that will erase any benefits you would otherwise have received.

Sell Your Losing Stocks or Crypto Investments

If some of the stocks or crypto you bought have been less than stellar performers, cutting them loose could save you money on your taxes and free up the remaining cash for better investments. This strategy works particularly well if you have capital gains elsewhere in your portfolio, since you can use the losses on some stocks to offset the winners in your portfolio.

There are a number of things to consider when using this strategy, including how long you have held the stock and your feelings about the company. If you are unsure about how to make the sale, or whether or not you should, just check with your broker or financial advisor.

No one wants to owe money to the IRS, and the tax agency can be especially difficult to deal with. If you want to avoid this unhappy scenario, sound tax planning throughout the year is your best defense.

If the results of your careful planning still show that you owe money to the IRS, there are things you can do, even late in the game. The steps listed above can reduce your overall tax bill and give you more breathing room with the IRS.


Our firm works in tax resolution and helping people who owe the IRS or state $10,000 or more. We’ve seen taxpayers get blindsided every year by a huge tax bill and often falling behind on their taxes for years on end. If that’s you, we can help. Contact our firm today to discuss your tax debt settlement options.