“FALL” Into Some Beneficial Tax Planning Strategies

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Now that the summer months are behind us, it is time to start thinking about Fall – cooler weather, apple picking, pumpkin spice and…..tax planning.

There are many tax planning strategies that you can explore NOW that can potentially save you some tax headaches later.

Did you have a large “life-event” or major purchase?  It is always a good decision to speak to a tax advisor in advance of any major life changes or decisions.  Things like buying or selling a house or selling stocks with large capital gains or losses can have a major impact on your tax strategy.  Furthermore, personal events, like getting married or divorced, having a child, receiving an inheritance or retiring, can significantly influence the planning advice offered by your tax advisor.  So it is imperative to speak with your tax advisor, preferably BEFORE any major event, to see if the timing is optimal to lessen any potential tax burdens.

Estate Planning: Have there been any changes that may affect your estate plan, such as a new addition to the family?  Review any changes that may impact your estate plan and make sure that your plan is up-to-date with your wishes.

Review Your Portfolio: Now is a great time to revisit your asset allocations. Make sure that you are still comfortable with your portfolio and that your asset allocation still accurately fits your goals and risk tolerance.  Also, consider maxing out your 401K (or other tax-deferred or tax-exempt accounts) contributions to potentially lessen your tax burden, while increasing your retirement funds.

Review Charitable Giving Plans:  Don’t wait until the holidays to distribute your charitable giving.  Have a plan in place to accurately distribute charitable funds through more than just cash.  Consider the tax benefits of donating other assets, such as stocks, to charities and eliminate the capital gains associated with those stocks.  Also consider using Donor-Advised Funds.  Donor-advised funds are a simple, flexible and tax-efficient way to give to charities.  They are like a charitable investment account that accepts cash, securities or other assets, making you eligible for an immediate tax deduction.  These donations can then grow, tax-free, allowing you to support the charities over a period of time. Donor-advised funds are the fastest-growing charitable giving vehicle in the US because they are one of the easiest and most tax-advantageous ways to donate to charity.

The holidays will be here before you know it and tax season will soon follow.  So, sit back and relax with a warm apple cider and a pumpkin muffin, and start to evaluate your tax plan for 2019.  And if you need us, we are here to help – every step of the way.