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Special Report

Morningstar's Tax and IRA Guide

Strategies and investment ideas for lessening the tax bite.

Editor's Note: This article has been updated to reflect the new U.S. tax filing deadline of May 17, 2021. 

Investors can't control the market. They can't control the direction of interest rates or global growth. They can't even control what their fund managers buy and sell--or when they do it.

Instead of fretting about what they can't influence, successful long-term investors control what they can. They keep their investment costs low. They set goals, match their investment allocations to those goals, and remain faithful to their plans. And they consider the toll that taxes can take on their wealth and try to maximize their after-tax kitty.

Morningstar's Tax and IRA Guide offers ideas for how to be a more tax-savvy investor. Our guide includes tips for making the most of tax-sheltered accounts, optimizing taxable holdings, finding tax-efficient investments, and crafting tax-aware portfolios.

Tax Time Nuts and Bolts

What You Can Learn From Your 1099 Forms 
These forms can yield valuable intelligence about your portfolio's asset location and tax efficiency.

4 Strategies for an Organized Tax Season
Has tax season become a frustrating paper chase? These tactics can buy you some relief.

Your 2021 Tax Fact Sheet and Calendar
Bookmark this guide to stay abreast of the tax-related dates and data that should be on your radar this year.

HSAs Offer Path to Tax Deduction
This vehicle can help you hit a triple tax advantage.

IRA Basics

Roth or Traditional IRA: Which Should You Choose? 
Here's a simple system to help you break down the choice.

20 IRA Mistakes to Avoid 
From contributions to conversions to distributions, don't fall into these traps.

How to Get the Most Out of Your IRA Contributions 
Tips for selecting the right account type, using new contributions to adjust your portfolio's allocation.

How to Avoid IRA Pain Points
Small steps to avoid the 'procrastination penalty' can make a big difference in your eventual return.

IRA Strategies for 2021
Christine Benz talks about the current tax rules for contributing to IRAs.

Investing Your IRA

How to Identify the Best Investments for Your IRA 
No matter your life stage or investment goals, identify the right investments for the job.

Should You Keep Foreign Stocks Out of Your IRA? 
Tax considerations suggest yes, but other factors may argue against it.

3 Funds for an IRA
Where are we seeing good ideas?

2 Dividend ETFs for an IRA
These picks from Vanguard and Schwab make the most of this tax-friendly wrapper.

3 Target-Date Series for an IRA
Here's why target-date funds can be excellent choices for an IRA.

Creating A More Tax-Efficient Portfolio

A Tax-Efficient Portfolio Makeover May Be Less Painful Than You Think 
Proper accounting of cost basis is essential to avoid paying more taxes than you need to.

Are You Holding Your Assets in the Right Types of Accounts? 
Taking care with asset placement can result in big tax savings.

Tax-Efficient Retirement Saver Portfolios
We've designed these portfolios to maximize returns while limiting Uncle Sam's take.

Tax-Efficient Retirement Bucket Portfolios
Our model portfolios are designed to facilitate in-retirement cash flows--and to limit Uncle Sam's take.

Tax-Efficient Model Ports for Short/Intermediate Goals
They key isn't to take no risk at all, but to let the probabilities tell you how much.