2020 Tax Planning Guide
Now, as year-end approaches, is a good time to think about planning moves that may help lower your tax bill for this year and possibly next. Year-end planning for 2020 takes place during the COVID-19 pandemic, which in addition to its devastating health and mortality impact has widely affected personal and business finances. New tax rules have been enacted to help mitigate the financial impact of the disease, some of which should be considered as part of this years’ planning, most notably elimination of required retirement plan distributions, and liberalized charitable deduction rules.
Major tax changes from recent years generally remain in place, including lower income tax rates, larger standard deductions, limited itemized deductions, elimination of personal exemptions, an increased child tax credit, and a lessened alternative minimum tax (AMT) for individuals; and a major corporate tax rate reduction and elimination of the corporate AMT, limits on interest deductions, and generous expensing and depreciation rules for businesses. And non-corporate taxpayers with certain income from pass-through entities may still be entitled to a valuable deduction.
Despite the lack of major year-over-year tax changes, the time-tested approach of deferring income and accelerating deductions to minimize taxes still works for many taxpayers, as does the bunching of expenses into this year or next to avoid restrictions and maximize deductions. We have compiled a list of actions based on current tax rules that may help you save tax dollars if you act before year-end. Not all actions will apply in your particular situation, but you (or a family member) will likely benefit from many of them. We can narrow down the specific actions that you can take once we meet with you to tailor a particular plan.
In the meantime, please review the following list and contact us at your earliest convenience so that we can advise you on which tax-saving moves to make.
Table of Contents
Year-End Tax Planning Moves for Individuals
- Higher-income earners
- W2 Wages and SE Income over $250,000/$125,000
- Capital gains
- Income timing
- ROTH IRA Conversion
- Itemized deductions
- Paying for year-end deductions
- Required minimum distributions (RMDs)
- Healthcare plans/flex spending
- 401(k) contributions/distributions/loans
- Gifting (this does not apply to charitable contributions)
Year-End Tax-Planning Moves for Businesses & Business Owners
- Qualified Income Business Deduction
- Cash-basis Method of Accounting
- Section 179/Bonus Depreciation
- Safe-harbor De Minimis (related to lower-cost assets purchased)
- Estimated Corporate Tax Payments 2021
- Passive activities
- PPP Loan/Forgiveness