As we head into the holiday season, it's time to check off your year-end financial planning items. Here are several to consider:
If you intend to make charitable contributions prior to the end of the year, please consult your tax advisor to maximize the tax benefits. Transfers of appreciated securities to a non-profit or to a donor-advised fund may have additional tax benefits. Individuals who are 70½ or older can donate all, or a portion of, their required minimum distribution (up to $100,000) directly to charity through a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD), subject to rules. A QCD excludes the amount donated from taxable income, unlike regular withdrawals from an IRA.
To ensure that contributions are reflected in the current tax year, transfers need to be completed by December 31st.
529 College Savings Accounts
Many states, including Illinois, offer tax benefits for contributions to 529 College Savings Plans. To ensure eligibility for a 203 benefit, contributions must be received prior to year-end. Please inform your tax advisor of the contribution.
The annual gift tax exclusion amount for 2023 is $17,000. Gifts up to this amount can be made to anyone— relatives, friends, etc., without the need to file a gift tax form, and do not have any tax consequences for the recipient.
Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from retirement accounts
Generally, RMDs must be taken by year end. Looking just at 2023, individuals that turn age 73 this year must take a RMD in 2023 (or no later than April 1, 2024). Anyone who turns age 72 in 2023 will not have a RMD in 2023. Instead, RMDs begin in 2024 (and no later than April 1, 2025.)
Flexible Spending Accounts
Some employer plans do not allow rolling money over into the next year. If this is the case with your plan, make sure you spend the balance on qualified expenses prior to year-end. Check with your employer to see how the rules apply to you.
We recommend that you check with your tax advisor regarding your specific situation. Best wishes for the holidays and New Year!
Conner is a Senior Associate at Rappaport Reiches Capital Management. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and has a Series 65 license. Conner provides support to the firm’s clients to ensure they receive the best possible service. Please connect with Conner below. He loves to talk about investing, financial planning and sports.