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End-of-Year Tax Planning? Involve Your Advisors

Kerri Goldsmith, CFP®, CRPS®, AIF®, CDFA®


There are benefits to be gained by meeting before the end of the year with your financial advisor and the CPA who will oversee the completion and filing of your tax return. Getting you and your tax and financial advisors on the same page will ensure that no tax-saving or tax-mitigating opportunity is missed.

Each year, there are changes in tax laws, minor or major, that impact tax brackets, the deductibility of certain expenses, and more. This year, for example, people are still getting used to changes inherent in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as well as anticipating changes proposed in the Build Back Better Act. Shifts in IRS regulations are always complicated, but your tax professional can identify the provisions most relevant to you.

Collaboration by your financial advisor with you and your tax advisor is key to filing your best-case scenario 2021 return. Your financial advisor will provide your year-to-date investment income details, including capital gains, taxable withdrawals from retirement accounts, as well as potentially deductible investment expenses, such as margin interest. Because we continually update your financial plan, your HBKS financial advisor is current on changes to your life and finances that can impact your tax filing as well as your financial goals.

When you, your accountant, and your financial advisor share information, you benefit. Here are five key areas to consider:
1. Capital gains: Related issues include tax loss harvesting opportunities, capital gains forecasting and budgeting, and year-to-date estimates of short-term capital gains from transactions and gain distributions.

2. Retirement plan activity: Have you maximized your contributions? Are they pre-tax or Roth? Is there an opportunity to use a “backdoor” Roth or for Roth conversion, and is it being done efficiently? If you haven’t made contributions yet for this tax year, confirm the contribution deadline for your account. If you made retirement account withdrawals, how much, and were taxes withheld?

3. Navigating changes in the tax laws: Determine any applicable changes to capital gains and income tax rates, or how your taxable income might impact the cost of your healthcare marketplace insurance or Medicare. Also, learn which expenses could be deductible and which are not, for example:
· There are increases for 2021 for the maximum amount you are allowed to contribute to retirement savings plans, such as IRAs and 401(k)s.
· The TJCA eliminated deductions for unreimbursed employee expenses, tax preparation fees, and other miscellaneous deductions, but doubled the standard deduction.
· The Build Back Better Act contains proposed green energy and energy-efficiency incentives, as well as electric vehicle tax credits.
· The Build Back Better Act proposes eliminating backdoor Roth contributions after December 31, 2021, as well as Roth conversions for higher income households.
· The Build Back Better Act has proposed extending the expanded child tax credit for another year, with refundability extending permanently.

4. Estate tax planning: Discussions are afoot at the federal level that could dramatically change the tax law concerning federal estate tax and gifting exemption limits. But whether or not proposed changes become law, if you are looking to pass on wealth in the most tax-effective manner, coordination between your advisor and accountant will be key to determining the best way to do so, not to mention save you a great deal of time and confusion.

5. Changes to your life and finances: A job change, a marriage or divorce, new additions to your family or changes relative to dependents, significant medical expenses, real estate moves, changes to your business: if your advisor and accountant are aware of these changes, they can look for ways to mitigate any tax impact.

Tax law changes are ongoing. So are changes to your life and finances. Understanding and planning for the related tax consequences as well as finding opportunities to engage in tax-saving activities before the end of the year are key to filing a return that is most favorable to you and your financial goals. The best way to ensure you are taking advantage of every possible opportunity is to meet with your accountant and financial advisor as well in advance of the end of the year as possible.

For more information or to schedule a meeting, all or email your HBK or HBKS advisor today.


The information included in this document is for general, informational purposes only. It does not contain any investment advice and does not address any individual facts and circumstances. As such, it cannot be relied on as providing any investment advice. If you would like investment advice regarding your specific facts and circumstances, please contact a qualified financial advisor.

Any investment involves some degree of risk, and different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, including loss of principal. It should not be assumed that future performance of any specific investment, strategy or allocation (including those recommended by HBKS® Wealth Advisors) will be profitable or equal the corresponding indicated or intended results or performance level(s). Past performance of any security, indices, strategy or allocation may not be indicative of future results.

The historical and current information as to rules, laws, guidelines or benefits contained in this document is a summary of information obtained from or prepared by other sources. It has not been independently verified, but was obtained from sources believed to be reliable. HBKS® Wealth Advisors does not guarantee the accuracy of this information and does not assume liability for any errors in information obtained from or prepared by these other sources.

HBKS® Wealth Advisors is not a legal or accounting firm, and does not render legal, accounting or tax advice. You should contact an attorney or CPA if you wish to receive legal, accounting or tax advice.

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