Tag: tax strategies
Last month we shared five things that can still be done in December to minimize your 2020 taxes. With only a day left in the year, the number one thing you can still do to offset your taxes is to GIVE.
Giving is a tax one two punch – lowering taxes today and tomorrow.
Charitable contributions are tax-deductible in the year you make the gift, either to your favorite organization or your Donor Advised Fund. By contrast, gifts to individuals provide a longer-term benefit – they are a great way to lower your overall estate and reduce the amount that is potentially subject to estate taxes in the future. Cumulative gifts to an individual up to $15,000 [$30,000 for a married couple filing jointly in 2020] are under the annual gift exclusion and do not require a gift tax return to be filed. If you give more than $15,000 to one person, you may have to file a gift tax return, and we would encourage you to consult with your tax professional. Of course, for clients of Hill Investment Group, we handle the consultation and coordination.
Continuing on in the tax management series, this month we’ll look at account sequencing during wealth accumulation and retirement withdrawal periods. The basic questions are:
1) When accumulating funds, what accounts (tax-deferred, taxable, etc.) should be funded first?
2) When withdrawing funds, in what order should funds be withdrawn?
Individual circumstances may constitute different strategies, but the following examples demonstrate two common approaches. The first is based on someone in the accumulation phase who pays taxes in the highest bracket, and the second is a retiree in the withdrawal phase who will leave behind some amount of inheritance:
Following logical strategies for adding and withdrawing funds ensures that you accumulate and retain the maximum after-tax amount possible.
Next month, we’ll look at matching investments with the most appropriate account types.
With our investing philosophy, by and large, we recommend a set it and forget it mindset as it relates to your investment plan, which generally doesn’t benefit from excess activity. Tax planning, on the other hand, offers more frequent opportunities to actively add value (even above and beyond the extreme tax-efficiency of the investments themselves).
Here are three examples:
1. Guiding the sequence of additions to your various accounts during your career and, likewise, ensuring that withdrawals are taken in proper order from those accounts in retirement
2. Matching the right type of asset (equity, fixed income, real estate) with the appropriate account registration (be it taxable, tax-deferred, or tax-exempt)
3. Making creative suggestions based on our understanding of your situation and goals (i.e. IRA contributions, Roth conversions, charitable giving)
As the CPA on the team, I can assure you that we all work together to minimize the impact of taxes on your portfolio and maximize opportunities to leverage tax planning. Tax sensitivity is one of the things that helps us support you in your goals.
Watch in future newsletters for detailed discussions on each of the items listed above.