While most Americans’ tax deadline will be Monday, April 15, 2024, at MONTAG, I recommend that our high-net-worth clients consider Sunday, December 31, 2023, as their deadline. In today’s blog, I will discuss tax planning strategies that should be completed this year and cannot wait until next.
Tax Planning Strategies Before End-Of-Year
Deferring income until 2024:
Employees can try requesting to defer a year-end bonus into next year. The self-employed can delay billings until late December to ensure you will not receive payment until the following year.
Note: This strategy only works if you think you will be in the same or lower tax bracket in 2024. It fails if postponing income will push you into a higher tax bracket and generate a higher tax bill.
Accelerate tax deductions for 2023:
This can include:
- Contributing to charity with appreciated property.
- Settling a sizeable medical bill not due until 2024.
- Paying an estimated state income tax or property tax bill due early next year. (Caution: This may backfire if you think you are subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax.)
This is the strategy of selling investments to realize losses to offset realized taxable gains. Even better, losses offset gains dollar for dollar. If your losses exceed your gains, you can use up to $3,000 of excess loss to reduce other income. If you have even more than $3,000 in excess loss, it can be carried over to the next year ($1,500 for those married filing separately.) Losses can be carried forward year after year for as long as you live.
Max out employer pre-tax retirement accounts:
2023 401(k) contributions are allowed up to $22,500, $30,000 if you are age 50 or over. The self-employed can look at starting and contributing to a Keogh plan, Individual 401k, or SEP IRA.
Complete your Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)!
This applies to Traditional IRAs (usually for those age 70 ½) and Inherited IRAs. The penalty for not taking this by December 31 is an excise tax rate of 25%; possibly 10% if corrected within two years.
Pay attention to your Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs):
A Healthcare FSA allows you reimbursement for medical expenses. They are usually funded through pre-tax contributions and are free of employment or federal income taxes. There is one BIG catch; however, if you do not use all contributions, the most you can carry over is $610.
The Dependent Care FSA is for the care of a dependent child or adult (for example, daycare). It does not have a dollar carryover but a two-and-a-half-month grace period to spend unused funds after the plan year ends.
Incorporating year-end tax planning is essential to ensuring minimizing your tax burden. Proactive planning today can lead to significant savings for both your finances and sanity.
A Message from MONTAG Wealth Management
The information provided is accurate to the best of our knowledge as of the date of publication. The information provided is for illustration purposes only. It is not, and should not be regarded as “investment advice” or as a “recommendation” regarding a course of action to be taken. MONTAG employees do not provide legal or tax advice. For specific legal or tax matters, you should consult with your own legal and/or tax advisors.
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) owns the CFP® certification mark, the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification mark, and the CFP® certification mark (with plaque design) logo in the United States, which it authorizes use of by individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.