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or effective tax rate decrease in 2026 (depending on individual's situation)

The rates themselves will increase back to the prior rates. What will also change is that deductions will also go back to their prior structure, which may result in lower taxable income for some, so they may be in a lower bracket, with a lower effective tax rate. That said, since only 30% were itemizing before the TCJA, and it's estimated that 10% are still itemizing, that population is a minority of taxpayers.

That said, being able to pay a 22% or 24% marginal rate on a conversion now, as opposed to having to pay a 25% or 28% marginal rate on an RMD in the future, IS a lower rate.

And what's not changing is that the chained CPI will be used to ratchet up the brackets, so it will be harder for everyone to stay in the lower brackets, resulting in a higher effective tax rate for all than if the old rules had stayed in place.

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