8 Investment Tax Mistakes to Avoid for 2024

As the April 15th tax deadline approaches, it’s crucial for investors to be aware of potential tax pitfalls that could derail their financial plans. Proper tax planning is essential to maximize returns and minimize liabilities. In this article, we’ll discuss seven common investing tax mistakes to avoid for the 2024 tax year.

Tax Forms with Calculator

Mistake 1: Taking premature gains on long-term investments

One of the most common mistakes investors make is selling their long-term investments prematurely, triggering a taxable event. Long-term capital gains tax rates are generally lower than short-term rates, making it advantageous to hold investments for more than a year. However, the true cost of selling an investment early goes beyond the immediate tax implications. Any new investment purchased with the proceeds must outperform the original investment by the amount of tax paid on the gain just to break even. By allowing winners to compound over time, investors can take full advantage of the power of long-term growth and minimize their tax liability.

Mistake 2: Investing in MLPs and other investments with K-1s

Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs) and other investments that issue K-1s can be attractive for their potential high yields, but investors should be aware of the associated tax complexities and costs. The amount of work required to account for a K-1 is fixed, regardless of the size of the investment. For smaller positions, the accounting costs may outweigh the additional yield, making the investment unprofitable. Furthermore, K-1s can complicate tax filing and increase the likelihood of errors or omissions. Before investing in MLPs or other K-1-issuing investments, carefully consider the potential tax implications and whether the additional yields justify the increased complexity and costs.

Mistake 3: Holding MLPs and partnerships in an IRA

Holding MLPs and partnerships in an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) can trigger Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT). UBIT can result in significant penalties and erode the tax advantages of the IRA. In some cases, the tax liability may exceed the benefits of holding these investments in a tax-advantaged account. To avoid these issues, investors should consider holding MLPs and partnerships in taxable accounts instead, where the tax implications can be more easily managed.

Mistake 4: Failing to maximize tax-advantaged accounts

Tax-advantaged accounts like 401(k)s, IRAs, and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) offer significant tax benefits. Failing to maximize contributions to these accounts can result in missed opportunities to reduce taxable income and grow investments tax-deferred or tax-free. Prioritize contributing to these accounts to take full advantage of their tax benefits. For example, contributing to a traditional 401(k) or IRA can reduce your taxable income for the year, while contributions to a Roth IRA or Roth 401(k) can provide tax-free growth and withdrawals in retirement.

Mistake 5: Ignoring the wash sale rule

The wash sale rule prevents investors from claiming a tax deduction for a loss if they repurchase the same or a substantially identical security within 30 days before or after the sale. Ignoring this rule can result in the disallowance of the tax loss, effectively eliminating the tax benefit of selling the security at a loss. To avoid triggering the wash sale rule, investors should wait at least 31 days before repurchasing the same or a substantially similar security, or consider replacing the sold security with a similar but not substantially identical investment.

Mistake 6: Overlooking tax-loss harvesting opportunities

Tax-loss harvesting involves selling investments at a loss to offset capital gains and potentially reduce tax liability. However, this strategy requires careful planning and execution. Investors should consult with a financial advisor to identify tax-loss harvesting opportunities and ensure compliance with tax laws. When done correctly, tax-loss harvesting can help investors minimize their tax burden and improve their overall portfolio returns. Keep in mind that tax-loss harvesting should be part of a comprehensive investment strategy and not the sole reason for making investment decisions.

Mistake 7: Failing to consider the tax implications of mutual fund distributions

Mutual funds often distribute capital gains and dividends to shareholders, which can result in a tax liability even if the investor hasn’t sold any shares. Failing to account for these distributions can lead to an unexpected tax bill. Investors should factor mutual fund distributions into their tax planning and consider holding funds in tax-advantaged accounts when appropriate. Additionally, investors should be aware of the timing of these distributions and consider deferring purchases until after the distribution date to avoid incurring unnecessary taxes.

Mistake 8: Not understanding the tax consequences of gifting investments

Gifting appreciated investments to family members or charities can be a tax-efficient strategy, but it’s essential to understand the gift tax rules and the potential impact on the recipient’s taxes. Consulting with a financial advisor can help investors navigate the complexities of gifting investments and optimize their tax strategy. For example, gifting appreciated securities to a charity can allow investors to claim a charitable deduction for the fair market value of the securities while avoiding capital gains taxes on the appreciation.


In conclusion, avoiding these eight investing tax mistakes is crucial for maximizing returns and minimizing liabilities. Working with a knowledgeable financial advisor can help investors navigate the complex world of tax planning and make informed decisions. Don’t let these tax pitfalls derail your financial plans – take action now to ensure a tax-efficient investing strategy for 2024 and beyond. By being proactive and seeking professional guidance, investors can confidently pursue their financial goals while minimizing their tax burden.

Plan your retirement in just 3 steps

Download one of the simplest DIY retirement planners ever written! 

Share This Story