More Tax Strategies – Three Year Planning for this year-end

Because some tax laws will lapse by their own terms and because new laws will certainly be enacted, the year-end tax planning for 2009 differs from most years: you need to also consider the changes that will occur in 2010 and even 2011.

First, when the Bush tax cuts expire in 2010, the two top tax rates will move up from 33 percent and 35 percent to 36 percent to 39.6 percent. For a couple making $500,000, the added tax will be about $6,000 per year, for a couple making $1 million about $30,000.

Second, the 15% capital gains rate will end. So, do you sell stocks now, perhaps using capital losses from prior years to shelter the gain, in order to increase your basis so that when you later sell, less will be taxed at the higher rate?

Third, IRA distributions may be taxed at higher rates in the future. So, do you take the current law deferral and not distribute in 2009 or instead distribute anyway so that less comes out in future years at higher rates?

Fourth, do you delay major deductions such as planned charitable gifts? The deduction could be worth more in 2011 or you could be in the AMT.

There are some changes the did get enacted for 2009 that help:

The first time home buyer credit of $8,000 is extended for contracts signed by April 30, 2010 and closing by June 30, 2010 (however, there is a phase out of this credit for high income filers).

Also, small business can carry back 2008 or 2009 losses five instead of two years.

All of these issues can lead you wondering what to do. The starting point, whether you do the work or hire someone to do it for you, is to create good working tax projections for 2009, 2010 and 2011. From these, you can see if you are in the AMT or not, if you will have more income taxed at higher rates in the future, etc.

Let us know if you have questions and what help we can supply …..



Let us know if you have questions or comments. Thanks,


Tax Strategies Now save taxes later – year end planning

Now is the time to begin planning for 2009 taxes – and for 2010 tax strategies.

As with past years, the goal is to pay the least amount for 2009 and 2010 together. To do this, the common wisdom is to push income into 2010 and accelerate deductions into 2009. This is especially true if rates will go up in the future.

However, if you will be in the AMT for either year, or if one year with have especially large deductions or income, then the strategies change.

Also, there are some special considerations for planning this year:

* There are certain benefits only available in 2009 or 2010 such as the conversion to a Roth IRA with no income cap and the first time home buyer credit;
* Tax rates after 2010 are likely to go up as reductions in rates from the Bush tax laws end after 2010;
* You may have capital losses to shelter capital gains so you want to use them well;
* Furthermore, there may be taxes to pay for health care law and the stimulus package;
* Make sure you use your Flex account funds and any frequent flyer miles that will expire; and
* Finally, some features may be extended, such as the $8,000 first time home buyer credit.

Sitting down to review 2009 and 2010 could save you money. Also, the work you do now will help on what you owe for 2009 as well as the tax preparation.

There is a very good article with details on this from Kiplinger’s Tax Newsletter that I can forward to you if you wish – Let me know



Let us know if you have questions or comments. Thanks,