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Year-End Tax Planning (in Uncertain Times). Updated Oct. 31, 2012. Overview. Where Are We Now?. What We Do Know …. If Congress does nothing Bush tax cuts will expire Estate tax extenders will expire Super Committee Debt ceiling debate Required legislation to avoid “automatic” cuts

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Presentation Transcript
what we do know
What We Do Know …
  • If Congress does nothing
    • Bush tax cuts will expire
    • Estate tax extenders will expire
  • Super Committee
    • Debt ceiling debate
    • Required legislation to avoid “automatic” cuts
    • Temporary measure but deficit debate continues
    • New debt ceiling looming, possibly by November 2012
  • Supreme Court validated PPACA
    • Health care reform is here to stay
    • Changes to tax code started in 2010 and continue to 2014
    • Tax return compliance is expanding in scope
super committee and taxes
Super Committee and Taxes
  • Tax reform/revenue raisers
    • 11/23/11 and 12/23/11 deadlines
    • Tasked with finding $1.5 trillion savings over 10 years
    • Result: automatic $1.2 trillion in equal defense and non-defense spending cuts
  • What was in play
    • Corporate reform
    • Bush tax cuts
    • Taxing large partnerships
    • International repatriation
    • Millionaire surtax
  • New debt ceiling by November 2012
supreme court upheld health care reform
Supreme Court Upheld Health Care Reform
  • Significant tax implications as court upheld action to require all individuals to buy health insurance
  • Several new tax provisions to pay for new law now in effect
  • Additional provisions are scheduled to kick in every year
  • Impacts businesses, small and large, and individuals
key provisions that expired in 2011
Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) Exemption

State/local sales tax deduction

Bonus Depreciation (for 2012) dropped to 50%

Mortgage insurance premiums deduction

Student loan interest deductions

School teacher expenses

Charitable distributions from IRAs

Research tax credit

Section 179 limit dropped to $139,000 for 2012

Key Provisions That Expired in 2011
provisions that expire in 2012
Income tax brackets (10% goes away, 39.6% returns)

Long-term capital gains (15% goes to 20%)

Qualified dividends – 0% / 15% eliminated

Phase-out of personal exemptions

Phase-out of itemized deductions

Marriage penalty

$1,000 child credit resets to $500

Section 168 Bonus Depreciation expires

Provisions That Expire in 2012

Likely that someof the expiring provisions maynot be extended

estate tax expiring provisions
Estate Taxes

$1 million exemption?

55% maximum estate tax rate?

No portability of exemption?

Gift Taxes

$1 million lifetime exemption?

55% maximum rate?

GST Technical Issues

9100 relief

Default GST allocation for certain trusts

Estate Tax Expiring Provisions
3 8 medicare tax starts jan 1
The rules

What is subject to the new tax?

What is not subject to the new tax?

3.8% Medicare Tax Starts Jan. 1
impact of new tax on planning
Impact of New Tax on Planning
  • Applies only if modified AGI exceeds $200K for single and $250K for MFJ
  • Don’t forget to consider new tax when calculating 2013 estimated tax payments
  • Tax exempt interest is not subject to the tax, so consider if more tax-exempt investments make sense
  • Consider income included in AGI that is not subject to the tax
start now
Start Now!
  • Don’t wait
  • Have a Plan A and a Plan B
  • Use multiple scenarios
why projections
Better handle on cash flow

Lower risk of overpaying estimated taxes

Improved income tax planning

Why Projections?
multiple scenarios multiple years
What if Romney gets elected? What if Obama stays in office?

Also, consider the possibility that Congress waits until next year to do something

Possibility for a 60- or 90-day extension on everything

Why it is important to consider multiple years?

Multiple Scenarios – Multiple Years
Are you diversified?

What is held in a taxable account vs. retirement account?

Consider Muni bonds (to avoid new Medicare tax in 2013)

Triggering long-term capital gains/losses?

Some may consider triggering gains if they plan on selling in the near future

Others will not trigger losses like they normally do at the end of the year

Accelerating income?

Not limited to investments, also consider ordinary income

other considerations
Look at stock options that will expire in 2013 or 2014

Should you exercise them now?

Consider other factors (i.e., blackout periods, current FMV, etc.)

Consider ISOs as well

Understand how real estate will be treated under new Medicare tax

Transfers to younger generation (assuming you avoid Kiddie Tax rules)

Other Considerations
defer deductions
Many factors in making this type of decision

Alternative Minimum Tax (or AMT)

Return of phase-in and phase-out rules

Possible increase in rates

Not prepaying state income taxes?

Defer Deductions?
charitable contributions
Phase out of itemized deductions is scheduled to return in 2013!

A 100% charitable contribution this year (with a maximum rate of 35%) is better than a 20% deduction next year (even if the rate is 39.6% or higher)

Charitable Contributions
education incentives
Education Incentives
  • American Opportunity Tax Credit expires at end of 2012
  • Should students prepay student deduction if they have not maximized the deduction for 2012?
  • The 529 plan still is around and is a great option!
flexible spending accounts
Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Health care FSA contribution will be capped at $2,500
  • Be sure to use the 2012 amount in full
  • It is a “use it or lose it” account
  • Consider other FSAs
retirement plans
Retirement Plans
  • Qualified Charitable Distributions from IRAs
    • Popular provision
    • Should you wait until late in the year … just in case?
    • Consider getting the form from your broker and follow the right steps in case they make the rule retroactive
  • Maximize 401(k) contribution (always a good bet!)
  • Conversions to Roth IRAs
    • Know what factors to consider before converting
    • Important to consider the right time – is this the year to convert?
business entity considerations
Business Entity Considerations
  • Consider paying/declaring dividends for C Corporations or previous C Corporations before the end of 2012
  • Bonus Depreciation/Section 179
  • Other business-related issues
conclusions best tips of all
Conclusions - Best Tips of All!
  • Don’t get caught off guard
    • Plan now instead of waiting until the last minute
  • Engage your CPA year-round
    • Better to ask about tax consequences before engaging in a particular transaction
trust and estate issues
Trust and Estate Issues
  • Change in rules
  • Annual gifting
  • Direct payments for medical, education, etc.
  • Other year-end planning moves