Time may be running out to take advantage of favorable tax rates. In 2013, income-, gift-, and estate-tax rates are scheduled to increase under current law. Here are some tax planning opportunities you may want to consider this year.
Make Tax-free Gifts
In 2012, you can still give up to $13,000 worth of property per recipient to an unlimited number of individuals without the gift being considered taxable for federal gift-tax purposes or using any of your $5.12 million gift- and estate-tax exclusion amount. Unless new legislation is enacted, gift- and estate-tax laws are scheduled to change in 2013. Starting next year, the highest tax rate for gifts and estates will be 55% and the exclusion amount reverts to $1 million.
Recognize Capital Gains
Under current law, qualified dividends and most long-term capital gains are taxed at a maximum rate of 15%. For individuals in the two lowest income-tax brackets, qualified dividends and capital gains are tax free in 2012. You may want to look for opportunities to lock in unrealized capital gains in 2012 by selling appreciated investments that you’ve held for more than one year. If you have capital losses, you can use those losses to offset capital gains on other transactions plus an additional $3,000 of ordinary income ($1,500 if married filing separately) annually.
In 2013, ordinary income-tax rates are scheduled to increase from the 2012 rate of 35% to the top marginal bracket of 39.6%. Dividends will be taxed at ordinary income-tax rates instead of at capital gains rates; and long-term capital gains rates are scheduled to increase from 15% to 20%. In addition, a new 3.8% Medicare tax on investment income for upper income taxpayers is set to begin in 2013.
Take Full Advantage of Retirement Savings Plans
Saving as much as possible in a tax-deferred retirement savings plan may reduce your overall current income-tax liability and potentially boost the amount you’re able to accumulate for retirement. If you qualify, also consider saving in a Roth IRA since qualified distributions will be income-tax free.
Contact us at 585-419-0670 with any questions you may have.
This material is provided for general information purposes only and is not a recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell any particular security, product or service. Past performance is not indicative of future investment results. Any investment involves potential risk, including potential loss of capital. Before making any investment decision, please consult your legal, tax and financial advisors. Non-deposit investment products are not bank deposits and are not insured or guaranteed by Canandaigua National Bank & Trust, or any federal or state government or agency and are subject to investment risks, including possible loss of principal amount invested.