Why put off until tomorrow what can save you money today? Citi Personal Wealth Management can help you better understand how to reduce your 2021 taxes. We have also outlined areas to consider when starting to think about how to confidently grow and protect your wealth in 2021 and beyond.
Prepare for Your 2021 Taxes Today:Check Your Tax Withholding
Use the IRS Withholding Calculator to evaluate whether your employer is withholding too little or too much in taxes. Visit irs.gov/individuals/irs-withholding-calculatorCheck investments by year-end
By selling investments at a loss, you can offset any realized gains and up to $3,000 of ordinary income if your filing status is single or married filing jointly or $1,500 if married filing separately. Any unused capital losses can be carried forward to offset future capital gains.Jump-start education savings
Check with your tax advisor to see if you’re eligible for state income tax deductions on a 529 plan, where you can save on a tax-deferred basis and withdraw tax free to pay qualified expenses for college and K-12. (Please note: Some states have not adopted the federal law allowing the use of a 529 plan for K-12 expenses.)Avoid tax penalties
Pay your federal estimated tax installments on time to avoid tax penalties.Take everyday steps toward retirement
Save more for retirement on a tax-deferred basis and reduce your taxable income by increasing your pretax contributions to employer retirement plan(s), such as 401(k)s and 403(b)s, with limits in 2021 at $19,500, and if you are over 50, an additional $6,500. If you have self employment income, there are more options available.
To learn about the Roth 401(k), please contact your tax advisor. To receive a comparison about Roth and Traditional IRAs, contact your Financial Advisor.Set up your estate today
Reduce the size of your taxable estate by making gifts, up to $15,000 each as of 2021, to as many people as you want. If married and both U.S. citizens, you can gift $30,000 per recipient.
Plan for Tomorrow:Continue to grow your retirement savings
The initial required minimum distribution for a traditional IRA must be taken by April 1 of the year following the year you turn 72 and be taken by December 31 each year thereafter.* But, you do not need to take annual distributions from Roth IRAs. Consider converting a traditional IRA or retirement plan to a Roth, but you should consult with your tax advisor first about the potential tax consequences of a conversion. Keep in mind that you can no longer recharacterize a Roth IRA conversion made on or after January 1, 2018.Keep your estate plan up-to-date
The 2021 federal estate tax exemption of $11.7 million for an individual could change dramatically in the future. Take the time to re-examine your existing estate plan, including wills, power of attorney, revocable trusts and insurance plans alongside your legal and/or tax advisor before making any hasty moves.Give generously
Because the limit on the deduction for cash gifts to public charities is generally 60% of adjusted gross income, consider charitable strategies for larger gifts. You may also consider pooling smaller gifts to overcome the expanded standard deduction amount. Temporary suspension of limits on cash charitable contributions have been extended through the end of 2021. In other words, individuals can, in theory, deduct qualified cash contributions up to 100% of their adjusted gross income.Maximize your business benefits
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act instituted a single income tax rate of 21% for C-Corporations. In addition, any dividend distributions of earnings and profits are also taxed to the shareholders at a rate as high as 23.8%. In other words, the income can be taxed twice. However, business owners of pass-through entities may qualify for a 20% “off-the-top” deduction on qualified flow-through income. Consequently, because LLCs are passthrough entities and the income from the business is only taxed once, they may be more tax efficient than C corporations. With the various changes in business income taxation, a key question to ask your legal and tax advisors is whether you need to make changes to your entity structure.
*If you turned 70 1/2 on or before December 31, 2019, your initial required minimum distribution must have been taken by April 1 of the year following the year you turn 70 1/2 and be taken by December 31 each year thereafter, which will continue. Please contact your tax advisor for additional information.
Remember: Get tax advice on your particular situation from an independent tax advisor. Please read the “Important Information” section at the bottom of this page.