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Tax Saving Solutions for Required Minimum Distributions 11.05.2021

How would you like to be FORCED to take extra, unwanted, and unnecessary taxable income that would ADD TO your taxable income for the year and potentially catapult yourself into a higher income tax bracket?

If you are 72 or older and own an IRA or tax-deferred retirement account and receive required minimum distributions (RMDs), this may be happening to you every single year. If you are not yet 72, take this as fair warning – you have time to plan and put some tax saving solutions in place!

Towerpoint Wealth | Sacramento Financial Advisor near me | Money Bucket Tax Saving Solutions

Many individuals know well enough that RMD taxes are a “necessary evil” of contributing to, and investing in, retirement accounts such as 401(k)s, IRAs, 403(b)s, etc. However, what investors often fail to realize is that there are impactful and proactive tax planning strategies that can materially lessen the sting of these RMD taxes.

Towerpoint Wealth | Sacramento Financial Advisor | Keep Your Money-Tax Saving Solutions Required Minimum Distributions

As discussed below, short of enacting a QCD every year for the full amount of your RMD (do the acronyms have your head spinning yet??!!), there is no way to outright avoid paying income taxes on your IRA and retirement account RMDs. However, at Towerpoint Wealth, we are proactive in working with our clients to reduce the pain associated with RMD taxes if and when possible, usually utilizing one or more of the following three planning opportunities, each of which can help:

Tax Saving Solutions

1. Accelerate IRA withdrawals

We get it, as this sounds counterintuitive. Take more money out to save on taxes?? The short answer – yes.

Subject to certain exceptions, age 59 ½ is the first year in which an individual is able to take a distribution from a qualified retirement plan without being subject to a 10% early withdrawal tax penalty.

Consequently, the window of time between age 59 ½ and age 72 becomes an important one for proactive RMD tax planning. By strategically taking distributions from pre-tax qualified retirement accounts between these ages, an individual may be able to lessen their overall lifetime tax liability by reducing future RMDs (and the risk that RMDs may push them into a higher tax bracket) by reducing the retirement account balance.

This strategy becomes particularly opportune for an individual that has retired before age 72, as it often affords the individual the ability to take these taxable distributions in a uniquely low income (and lower income tax) period of time.

2. Execute a Roth conversion

Roth conversion is a retirement and tax planning strategy whereby an individual transfers, or “converts,” some or all of their pre-tax qualified retirement plan assets from a Traditional IRA into a tax-free Roth IRA.

While ordinary income taxes are owed on any amounts of tax-deferred contributions and earnings that are converted, a Roth conversion, when utilized properly, is a powerful tax planning strategy to reduce a future IRA RMD, and concurrently, RMD taxes, as Roth assets are not subject to required minimum distributions since they generate no tax revenue for the government. Further, Roth conversions also 1) maximize the tax-free growth within a taxpayer’s investment portfolio, 2) provide a hedge against possible future tax rate increase (as Roth retirement accounts are tax-free), and 3) leave a greater tax-free financial legacy to heirs.

Towerpoint Wealth | Sacramento Financial Planner | Graph Tax Savings Solutions

3. Use the IRA RMD to make Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs)

When an individual becomes subject to an IRA RMD, in lieu of having the IRA distributions go to them, they may consider facilitating a direct transfer from their IRA to one, or more, 501(c)3 charitable organizations (up to $100K annually). This is known as a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD).

As long as these distributions are made directly to the charity, they 1) satisfy the RMD and 2) are excluded from taxable income.

This strategy, when executed property, results in a dollar-for-dollar income reduction compared to a “normal” RMD.

Towerpoint Wealth | Sacramento Wealth Management | Charitable Giving Required Minimum Distributions

Fortunately or unfortunately, there is no magic bullet nor panacea when it comes to RMD taxes and the income tax obligation you will have when taking RMDs. However, we feel that you still have an obligation to be aware and/or mindful of the planning opportunities mentioned above, as potentially reducing your income tax liability is certainly better than paying “full boat” every year!

Video of the Week

As a follow up to the subject focus of our most recent 10.15.2021 Trending Today newsletter, click the thumbnail below to watch the educational video we just produced last week, featuring our President, Joseph Eschleman, as he discusses the THREE key ingredients that are crucial when working to successfully build and protect your wealth, and SEVEN specific long-term investing strategies and philosophies that need to be developed and internalized if you truly want to be a successful long-term investor.

What’s Happening at TPW?

We love and are proud of the work hard, play hard culture we have built here at Towerpoint Wealth, and in the spirit of that philosophy, the TPW family took a ½ day “Teambuilding Tuesday” earlier this week, enjoying lunch together at The Station Public House in Auburn, followed by fun and games (literally!) at Knee Deep Brewing Company!

Towerpoint Wealth Family Lori Steve Michelle
Towerpoint Wealth Family Michelle
Towerpoint Wealth Family

Our President, Joseph Eschleman, gave two (!) pints of A- last week, with a “Power Red” blood donation at the American Red Cross in Sacramento.

Graph of the Week

There are just under two months left in the year, and from strictly a seasonal perspective, November and December have historically been two of the better months on the calendar. The chart below shows the S&P 500’s performance during the last two months of the year in the post-WWII period. Overall, the median performance has been a gain of +3.72%, with positive returns just over three-quarters of the time (76.3%).

Towerpoint Wealth | Sacramento Independent Financial Planner | Graph of the Week November 5, 2021

The S&P 500’s 22.6% gain this year is the strongest year-to-date reading through October since 2013. 2021 is just the tenth year since 1928 where the S&P 500 has been up more than 20% YTD through October. In the chart above we have highlighted each of those years in dark blue.

Quote of the Week

It is easy to be an investor when things are relatively “normal” and calm; it becomes much more difficult to be disciplined and stay objective when things get crazy…

Trending Today | Quote of the Week November 5, 2021

Trending Today

As the 24/7 news cycle churns, twists, and turns, a number of trending and notable events have occurred over the past few weeks:

As always, we sincerely value our relationships and partnerships with each of you, as well as your trust and confidence in us here at Towerpoint Wealth. We encourage you to reach out to us at any time (916-405-9140info@towerpointwealth.com) with any questions, concerns, or needs you may have. The world continues to be an extremely unsettled and complicated place, and we are here to help you properly plan for and make sense of it.

Click here to Download

Joseph, Jonathan, Steve, Lori, Nathan, and Michelle

Towerpoint Wealth Sacramento Independent Financial Advisor

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Comprehensive Estate Planning | TPW White paper 03.08.2021

Navigating the Tax Laws to Maximize | Your Beneficiary’s Inheritance | Comprehensive Estate Planning

When most individuals are establishing an estate plan, they generally only think about the tax consequences to themselves. But a truly comprehensive estate plan is one that takes planning a step further and considers the tax consequences the beneficiaries of the estate may face. When creating an estate plan, having a clear understanding of, and properly planning for these taxes will help ensure your beneficiaries get the largest inheritance possible.

When one inherits money as a beneficiary of an estate, there are three different taxes that oftentimes need to be understood and accounted for:

Let’s take a look at these individually:

Estate and Gift Tax

• The 2021 federal estate tax exemption (commonly known as the unified tax credit) amount is $11,700,000 per individual.
• Only the deceased taxpayer is subject to the estate tax when the estate value is greater than the unused exemption.
• Even if the decedent did not have a taxable estate, the estate of the decedent survived by a spouse should file Form 706, Estate Tax Return, to pass any remaining/unused unified tax credit exemption to the surviving spouse.
• When someone dies, their assets become property of their estate. Any income those assets generate is also part of the estate, and may trigger a requirement to file Form 1041, Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts.
• An inheritance is not considered taxable income to the beneficiary.
• Currently, in addition to estate taxes assessed at the Federal level, 12 states and the District of Columbia also collect an estate tax. California does not currently have an estate tax.

Inheritance Tax

• Only six states currently collect this tax (Iowa, Kentucky,Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania).
• Property passing to a surviving spouse is exempt from inheritance taxes in all six of these states.

Income Tax

• Inherited retirement account distributions are subject to ordinary income taxes.
• If you sell or dispose of inherited property that is a capital asset, you will be subject to either a long-term capital gain or loss, regardless of how long you, as the beneficiary, have held the asset.

Additional considerations

Inherited Pre-Tax Retirement Accounts

• Eligible Designated Beneficiaries and Non-Eligible Designated Beneficiaries are subject to different required distribution rules.
• Consider Roth conversions to allow the beneficiaries to take tax-free distributions.

Lowering the Value of Your Estate – Gifting

• Make annual cash gifts to your children, grandchildren, other family members, and even friends. You can also contribute cash to a 529 plan to help pay for future school to any individual you would like. The receipt of cash is non-taxable to the recipient, and, if the gift is below the $15,000 annual exclusion amount, you will not eat into your above-mentioned $11,700,000 lifetime estate and gift tax exemption amount.

Lowering the Value of Your Estate – Philanthropy

• If you are charitably inclined, you can make gifts of any size at any time while alive directly to charities or to a Donor Advised Fund. The donation of appreciated securities provides not only an immediate deduction of the fair market value of the stock at the time of contribution, but also avoids capital gains tax upon sale.
• Charitable contributions due to the death of the taxpayer result in a dollar for dollar reduction of the taxable estate.
• Additional vehicles available include Charitable Remainder Trusts or Charitable Lead Trusts.

Life Insurance

• If you are considering buying life insurance to either pay for the estate tax liability or provide more for your beneficiaries, set up a life insurance trust and have it purchase the policy so the death benefit isn’t included in your taxable estate.

Step-Up in Cost Basis – Take Advantage!

If you have appreciated stock or property and gift it to someone, the recipient gets the carried over basis and will have to pay capital gains when he or she sells the asset. Instead of gifting before your death, have them inherit it after your passing so they get a “step up” in basis and recognize a smaller gain on future disposition.

The Future of Estate Taxes Under the Biden Administration

• During his campaign, President Biden discussed the possibility of decreasing an individual’s federal estate tax exemption amount either to $5 million per individual (and $10 million for a married couple) or to the pre-Tax Cuts and Jobs Act amount of$3.5 million per individual (and $7 million for a married couple). This decrease in lifetime exemption could be paired with an increased top tax rate of 45 percent.
• President Biden also proposed eliminating stepped-up basis on death and possibly taxing unrealized capital gains at death at the proposed increased capital gains tax rates.

How Can We Help?

At Towerpoint Wealth, we are a legal fiduciary to you, and embrace the professional obligation we have to work 100% in your best interests. If you would like to learn more about Towerpoint Wealth and how we can help you achieve your financial goals, we encourage you to call (916-405-9164) or email (mregan@towerpointwealth.com) to open an objective dialogue.