Tax planning considers the tax implications of individual, investment, or business decisions, usually with the goal of minimizing tax liability. While decisions are rarely made solely on their tax impact, you should have a working knowledge of the income or estate tax issues and costs involved. A major goal of tax planning is minimizing federal income tax liability.
This can be achieved by:
By deferring (postponing) income to a later year, you may be able to minimize your current income tax liability and invest the money that you’d otherwise use to pay income taxes. And when you eventually report the income, it’s possible that you’ll be in a lower income tax bracket. You may also be able to minimize your federal income taxes by shifting some income to family members who are in a lower tax bracket.
Part of minimizing federal income tax is about taking advantage of all deductions to which you are entitled, and timing them in the most beneficial manner. Because you can sometimes control whether a deductible expense falls into the current tax year or the next, you may have some control over the timing of your deduction.
You can also minimize tax by making tax-conscious investment choices. Potential strategies can include the use of tax-exempt securities and intentionally timing the sale of capital assets for maximum tax benefit.
Year-end tax planning, as you might expect, typically takes place in October, November, and December. At its most basic level, year-end tax planning generally looks at ways to time income and deductions to give you the best possible tax result.
If you give away wealth, during life or at death, you may incur federal taxes—and possibly additional state taxes. These taxes include gift, estate, income, and inheritance taxes. You can help protect the assets you transfer from excessive depletion by understanding these taxes and the various strategies you can use to minimize them.
Tax issues are never far from the mind of the business owner. It’s likely that many of your decisions will be tax based. It starts with the formation of your business and continues through the sale. Your choice of business entity, how you pay out profits, and your accounting decisions will all have an effect on your tax liability.