At year-end we often think about what is important to us.. family and friends. First I want to thank each and every one of you for either being a client, personal friend, professional friend or family. I love helping people and if this blog has helped one person I have done my job. Now on to some year end thoughts.
Prior to year end:
1. Make sure that if you want to make gifts that qualify for the $14,000 annual exclusion make them prior to year end. That would make great holiday presents!. These gifts do NOT have to be reported and do NOT cut into your lifetime exclusion amount of $5,430,000 million.
2. This is a good time to look over your documents and make sure that they are in line with what you still want. Many of us vacation over the holidays or have family visit us. In a down time look over what you have. Is it still what you want? If you want to discuss certain items with your family this is the time to do it when everyone is in town. CAVEAT.. be very careful what and to whom you discuss. You don’t want the holidays be ruined by hurt feelings.
3. Discuss with your CPA year end tax planning techniques that may help you pay less taxes such as deferring income or accelerating expenses.
4. Be sure you have taken all your minimum required distributions from your retirement plans and if you have inherited a retirement plan be sure that you (or the deceased) properly received the minimum required distribution.
5. If you have a taxable estate, plan earlier rather than later on making gifts of appreciated property to either a trust, an entity, etc. A transfer can save your heirs estate taxes.
6. If you have highly appreciated assets which will result in capital gains, then be sure to discuss with your advisor how to structure those assets without incurring capital gains and what you can do to avoid such a gain.
7. If you have received monies from an IRA and plan to roll over within 60 days be sure that you have marked your calendar to roll over such amounts within the 60 days.
8. Confirm with your CPA the due dates for returns in 2016. Recent law changed some of those dates and you need to be sure that you get all your information to your CPA to meet those deadlines.
9. Don’t forget your charitable roll over if you are age 70 1/2 or over. If you directly roll over the funds from your IRA to your favorite charity up to $100,000 these distributions will be tax free! The recently enacted Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015 made this provision permanent!
Most of all, have a great holiday season and remember that GENEROSITY IS A KEY TO HAPPINESS …REACH OUT AND HELP SOMEONE TODAY! See you in 2016!!!
New Word of the Week: Inter vivos gift. A gift is a voluntary transfer of property to someone without paying for it. An “inter vivos” gift is one made during lifetime. Hopefully you will receive an inter vivos gift this holiday season!