News Mar 01, 2024 12:16 PM EST

Pay the Taxman Nothing: Your 2024 Guide to a Zero-Tax Return

By Isaiah

Have you ever wondered how you pay zero dollars in taxes, like Donald Trump or Jeff Bezos? Today, we're going to give you that answer. 

Yes, you heard that right. Zilch. Nada. It's like finding a $20 bill in your old jeans, but better. So, let's dive into how you can legally reduce your 2024 tax bill to zero.

(Photo : Tax Savings) Tax Savings

Max Out Your Pre-tax Retirement Contributions

One of the simplest ways to lower your taxable income is to max out contributions to your pre-tax retirement account. It's like eating your veggies before dessert - it might not be as immediately gratifying, but boy, will Future You thank you for it.

Remember when my buddy, Mike, bought a flashy new sports car instead of contributing to his 401(k)? Now he's stuck paying hefty taxes while I'm enjoying a lower tax bill and a growing nest egg. Don't be like Mike.

Capitalize on the 0% Capital Gains Bracket

In 2024, if you're a single filer earning up to $47,025 in taxable income, or a married couple jointly earning up to $94,050, you qualify for the 0% long-term capital gains tax rate. That's like getting a free pass on a roller coaster ride. The catch? Your assets need to have been held for over a year.

Familiarize Yourself with the W-4 Form

The W-4 form you fill out for your employer determines how much tax is withheld from your paycheck3. It's like setting the thermostat in your house. If you set it correctly, you'll be comfortable all year round. Set it incorrectly, and you'll either swelter or freeze.

I once messed up my W-4 and ended up owing a ton at tax time. After that, I made sure to get familiar with the form to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

Know Your Filing Deadlines

The end of the 2024 tax season for most Americans is April 15, 2024. If you're unable to file before that date, you still have options. But remember, an extension to file is not an extension to pay. It's like asking for extra time to do your homework but still having to turn it in when the teacher asks.

Understand Your Filing Requirements

In 2024, if you're under 65, you probably have to file a tax return if your 2023 gross income was at least $13,850 as a single filer, or $20,800 if married. It's important to understand these thresholds to avoid any penalties.

Be Aware of the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)

The AMT exemption amount for tax year 2024 is $85,700 and begins to phase out at $609,350 ($133,300 for married couples. The AMT is like an insurance policy for the IRS, ensuring everyone pays their fair share.


Paying zero in taxes might seem like a pipe dream, but with careful planning and a solid understanding of tax laws, it's potentially within reach. So, as we gear up for the 2024 tax season, keep these tips in mind.

And remember, while we all want to minimize our tax bill, it's important to do so legally and ethically. After all, taxes fund essential services that we all rely on. So here's to a financially savvy - and socially responsible - tax season! 

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