Some general advantages with owning taxable bonds in a qualified account over holding municipal bonds in a taxable account are as follows:
- Less risk of negative impact due to tax law changes
- No AMT exposure
- No geographic risk
- Better credit quality control
- Better liquidity
- Lower transaction costs
During the non-IRA withdrawal stage the taxable bonds will generally produce higher pre-tax returns. During the withdrawal phase of IRA assets, municipals may provide a slight after-tax advantage, but probably no more than .1% to .5% annually.
98%+ tax efficient return (estimate)
100% tax efficient return
- Gain is taxed at maximum 15% federal and your state rate
- May select tax lots - capital is not taxed
- Tax-loss harvesting is available
- Step up on basis at death
- Withdrawal taxed at maximum marginal state/federal rates
- No tax lot selection
- No tax-loss harvesting
- No step-up at death
Astute asset class placement between accounts, utilizing tax loss harvesting, and employing tax-managed index funds can provide the optimal benefits of tax-efficiency with maximum effective diversification. The rigorous application of these powerful tax-minimization techniques can help an investor retain more of their hard-earned wealth and be able to have more spendable income.
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