B.A. Harris Blog

Year-end Tax Planning

As the calendar is drawing to a close in 2012 it marks an unprecedented period of uncertainty for tax professionals and our clients. A host of reduced tax rates, credits, deductions, and other incentives (collectively called the "Bush-era" tax cuts) are scheduled to expire after December 31, 2012 and over 50 tax extenders are up for renewal, either having expired at the end of 2011 or scheduled to expire after 2012. To further complicate matters the impending "fiscal cliff" that has been widely reported adds to the uncertainty we face in making planning decisions.

Between the potential expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts and the new 3.8 percent surtax on investment income, as well as a possible reinstated claw-back of itemized deductions, the highest rate on ordinary income could rise above 44% for some taxpayers. In addition, the tax rates on long-term capital gains and ordinary dividends could increase to 20% and as high as 44% respectively. Today’s uncertainty makes doing nothing or adopting a wait and see attitude very tempting. Multi-year tax planning, which takes into account a variety of possible scenarios and outcomes, however, can provide a win-win combination irrespective of what happens.

As a result of the above potential changes, there has never been a better time to discuss year-end tax planning strategies with your accountant. If you have questions or concerns about how these potential issues may impact you, please contact our office.

Tyler M. Nyman, CPA

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