In this edition of our Motley Fool Conversations series, Fool personal finance expert Dayana Yochim and retirement-planning analyst Dan Caplinger discuss just how complicated taxes have gotten lately. With a whole new set of tax laws to deal with, boosting the amount you save in retirement accounts can pay off more than ever in tax savings.
As Dan notes, most middle-income taxpayers survived the new laws largely unscathed, thanks to permanent reform to the alternative minimum. But for high-income taxpayers, a new 39.6% tax bracket and a 3.8% surtax on investment income make IRAs and 401(k)s even more valuable.
Dayana and Dan go on to discuss various tax-saving strategies, including the pros and cons of converting a retirement account to a Roth account. Moreover, Dan discusses how the continuation of preferential tax treatment for dividend stocks helped investors dodge a potential bullet, as the new tax laws preserve substantial savings on dividend income compared to what you'll pay on bank interest and other types of income.