In order to take advantage of planning opportunities, individuals who are not prepared for this potentially seismic shift should speak with their advisors as soon as possible.
High-net-worth (HNW) individuals and their advisors should be aware of the most recent federal tax changes for 2023, especially as pandemic-related tax breaks begin to expire, as the individual tax filing deadline approaches.
HNW individuals can take proactive measures to ensure that their financial plans are aligned with their long-term goals by staying informed on policy and tax changes like the Secure Act 2.0, changes to the estate tax, and shifts in charitable deductions.
Secure Act 2.0
The Secure Act 2.0, endorsed into regulation by President Biden in December 2022, means to extend and further develop retirement reserve funds choices for Americans. For HNW individuals, the new law has made significant changes.
The provision that raises the age limit for required minimum distributions (RMDs) from 72 to 75 in 2023 is one of the most significant. This change lets people keep more of their savings invested for a longer time and extends the time it takes to convert assets that are tax-deferred to assets that are tax-free by using options like a Roth IRA.
It is also essential to keep in mind that the Secure Act 2.0 proposes raising the cap on catch-up contributions for people between the ages of 60 and 63 who are enrolled in employer-sponsored plans like 401(k), 403(b), and 457(b) by 2025. The maximum will be $10,000 or 150 percent of the standard catch-up amounts, whichever is greater. For those who are eligible, this strategy has the potential to increase retirement savings while also lowering gross income.
However, there is a restriction that applies to people with high incomes. For those earning at least $145,000, all catch-up contributions must be made to a Roth IRA account by 2024. As a way to prepare for this change, advisors should talk to HNW clients about their options, including adding more assets to their Roth accounts.
Additionally, Secure 2.0 introduces brand-new options for tax diversification. In the past, all employer contributions to 401(k), 403(b), and 457(b) plans had to be made before taxes, and neither the contribution nor the earnings associated with it were subject to tax until they were distributed. The law now allows plan participants to designate Roth contributions for some or all of their employer-matching contributions and/or non-elective contributions. Clients seeking a balance between pre-tax, Roth, and non-retirement accumulations should be informed of this by advisors.
Penalty-free rollovers from a 529 college savings plan to a Roth IRA are another Secure 2.0 Act change that wealthy individuals should think about. Any rollover counts toward your annual Roth IRA contribution limit of $6,500 (or $7,500 if you are over 50). A 529 plan’s lifetime rollover limit to an IRA is $35,000
Changes to the Gift and Estate Tax
The federal gift tax exemption for individuals will rise to $17,000 in 2023, up from $1,000. The current exemption for married couples is $34,000. Additionally, the individual lifetime gift and estate tax exemption has increased to $25.84 million for couples, up from $24.12 million, while the exemption for individuals has increased to $12.92 million from $12.06 million.
The good news is that next year, individuals who have already reached their lifetime gifting exemption limit can give an additional $860,000 to individuals and $1.72 million to couples without paying gift taxes. However, the bad news is that the gift and estate tax exemption is about to undergo a significant change in 2023, which is one year closer. Toward the end of 2025, the figure is expected to be cut by 50 percent unless the tax code is changed. To take advantage of planning opportunities, individuals who are not prepared for this potentially seismic shift should speak with their advisors as soon as possible.
Deductions for Charitable Donations
Charitable donations are a tried-and-true way to lower your tax bill and can be claimed as a tax deduction by many high-net-worth individuals.
Advisors should investigate the potential advantages of assisting their clients in lowering their taxable income by taking charitable deductions in an environment where interest rates are rising and deductions are changing. The use of charitable remainder trusts (CRTs) is one example. A CRT allows a taxpayer to draw annual income for a predetermined period while also allowing them to donate to charity. This is especially useful if the citizen has major arranged gifts to a noble cause as well as needs an anticipated kind of revenue.
HNW individuals will be confronted with previously unseen tax complexity and tax refund volatility as a result of various tax law changes that will take effect in the coming years. The tax situation of their clients will require advisors to pay even more close attention. Planning a mid-year examination to keep away from shock adjusts at charge time is profoundly prudent. Advisors can use these methods to provide their high-net-worth clients with a tailored analysis that enables them to take advantage of tax planning opportunities.
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