Tax Services
October 31, 2023

How to Move IRMAA Tax Brackets the Right Way

Stewart Willis

IRMAA is a term that every Medicare beneficiary should be aware of. The IRMAA tax brackets are something that most feel strongly about because it’s an additional premium individuals may have to pay for Medicare Part B and Part D premiums based on their income. This means those with higher incomes may be subject to a higher monthly payment for their Medicare coverage. However, there are ways to maneuver Medicare IRMAA brackets.

It’s important to understand IRMAA income limits in 2023 and how they might affect your healthcare costs to make informed decisions about your Medicare coverage. You can explore the IRMAA Medicare chart from the Center of Medicare Services to get a better understanding of where you fall.

This could involve carefully timing the realization of income, such as spacing out significant capital gains or Roth conversions. By doing so, you can effectively mitigate the impact of IRMAA on your financial situation. To make informed decisions that align with your unique circumstances, it is essential to collaborate with a financial advisor who specializes in tax planning.

How Do I know if I’m Exposed to IRMAA?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) leaves no room for ambiguity when determining who is subject to the IRMAA. They precisely assess a person's modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) from their tax return two years prior.

This includes various sources of income such as wages, self-employment income, rental income, capital gains, and even tax-exempt interest. By considering MAGI as a key factor, the SSA ensures that individuals with higher incomes are most commonly exposed to IRMAA. You are at risk of putting yourself into an IRMAA tax bracket if you don’t pay attention to your sources of income.

When managing your finances, avoiding being penny-wise and pound-foolish is crucial. Whether you're dealing with capital gains, Roth conversions, or selling stocks, unintended actions can have significant consequences.

It's important to stay informed and make informed decisions to protect your financial interests. Don't underestimate the value of seeking professional advice and thoroughly understanding the potential ramifications before taking any action. Remember, being proactive now can save you from costly mistakes down the road.

What Is the “Right” Way to Move IRMAA Brackets?

Strategic income distribution across multiple tax years effectively avoids substantial movement within the IRMAA tax brackets. By carefully planning and managing your income, you can minimize the impact of the IRMAA tax brackets and save money.  

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Understanding the IRMAA thresholds and working with a knowledgeable financial advisor or tax professional to develop a comprehensive strategy that maximizes your savings while staying compliant with tax regulations is crucial.

By proactively addressing your taxes, you can ensure that your financial goals remain on track without unwanted surprises, like suddenly being part of a higher IRMAA tax bracket. Make sure you're aware of the IRMAA tax brackets so that you can accurately assess your position.

What Is the “Wrong” Way to Move IRMAA Tax Brackets?

The IRMAA penalty is not something that should be feared. It might be a paltry sum in the grand scheme of your financial planning and income. It’s not something that you must avoid if you can’t.

There are other ways to offset the expense if you find yourself in the IRMAA income bracket. With that said, the “wrong” way to move IRMAA tax brackets is making ill-informed decisions about income. There is no definite wrong or right way to move across IRMAA tax brackets.

It is worth considering accepting the IRMAA penalty in certain situations to maximize tax savings in the future. When it comes to understanding the implications of IRMAA tax brackets, there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I stop IRMAA surcharges?

There is good news for IRMAA payers. You can stop or reduce your IRMAA surcharge if you complete the SSA-44 Form. The Medicare IRMAA Lifechanging Event form allows you to avoid IRMAA payments if you exceed the IRMAA tax bracket. All you need to do is ensure you qualify under the circumstances. It is best to consult a financial advisor before you fill out the SSA-44 Form.

What makes me eligible for the Medicare IRMAA Lifechanging Event Form (SSA-44 Form)?

There are some specific criteria for life changing events that the SSA-44 Form outlines that make those above a certain IRMAA tax bracket eligible to reduce or avoid payment. Some examples include:

  • The death of a spouse
  • Divorce
  • Annulment
  • Getting married
  • Loss of income from work
  • Loss of income from pension
  • Losing a job

What Is the max IRMAA for 2023?

Suppose your income exceeds $97,000 for individual tax filers or $194,000 for joint tax filers in 2023. In that case, you will be expected to pay the Medicare IRMAA.

Why am I paying IRMAA?

If you are being charged IRMAA, it is because the Social Security Administration (SSA) has determined that your income exceeds specific thresholds. The IRMAA tax brackets 2023 starts from $97,000 for individual tax filers or $194,000 for joint tax filers. As a result, you will have to pay higher premiums for Medicare Part B and/or Part D.

How long do I pay IRMAA?

The SSA specifically evaluates MAGI based on their tax return filed two years earlier to determine eligibility. You pay IRMAA as long as you exceed the IRMAA limits the current year.

Getting the Most Out of IRMAA

Your unique tax and financial circumstances determine how these IRMAA tax brackets will affect you. That's why you need to work with financial planners who not only comprehend the intricacies of IRMAA but also understand your specific situation inside and out. By collaborating with knowledgeable experts like the team at Asset Preservation Wealth and Tax, you can receive personalized advice and guidance.

As fiduciaries, our top priority is always the best interests of our clients. We are committed to putting their needs ahead of our own. We will enable you to navigate the complexities of IRMAA tax brackets with confidence and make informed decisions for your financial future.

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Stewart Willis is the founder and president of Asset Preservation Wealth & Tax, a financial planning firm in Phoenix, Arizona. Investment advisory services offered through Foundations Investment Advisors, LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser.

The commentary on this blog reflects the personal opinions, viewpoints and analyses of the author, Stewart Willis, providing such comments, and should not be regarded as a description of advisory services provided by Foundations Investment Advisors, LLC (“Foundations”), an SEC registered investment adviser or performance returns of any Foundations client. The views reflected in the commentary are subject to change at any time without notice. Nothing on this website constitutes investment, legal or tax advice, performance data or any recommendation that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. Personal investment advice can only be rendered after the engagement of Foundations for services, execution of required documentation, including receipt of required disclosures. Any mention of a particular security and related performance data is not a recommendation to buy or sell that security. Foundations manages its clients’ accounts using a variety of investment techniques and strategies, which are not necessarily discussed in the commentary. Any statistical data or information obtained from or prepared by third party sources that Foundations deems reliable but in no way does Foundations guarantee the accuracy or completeness. Investments in securities involve the risk of loss. Any past performance is no guarantee of future results. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Foundations and its advisors are properly licensed or exempted. For more information, please go to and search by our firm name or by our CRD # 175083.

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