What sets Strategic Wealth Planning apart is attention to detail. Consider tax mitigation. Often overlooked, a well-planned tax mitigation strategy can be effective in increasing you overall wealth.
There are two ways that Medicare taxes affect upper-income earners. First, a 3.8% Medicare surtax is levied on the lesser of net investment income or the excess of modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) above $200,000 for individuals, $250,000 for couples filing jointly, and $125,000 for spouses filing separately
To avoid the surtax, you may want to consider reducing your adjusted gross income to less than $200,000 ($250,000 joint). Another often overlooked investment opportunity that avoids the surtax is moving some investments to life insurance.
Required Minimum Distributions. If you have an individual retirement account and are 72 and older in 2020, you must take a required annual withdrawal from your IRA. This compulsory yearly distribution is called your “required minimum distribution” or “RMD”.
The current tax law allows an individual who is 70 1/2 in 2020 to make a yearly charitable contribution from an IRA of up to $100,000 without paying income taxes on the distribution. Donations must be made to one or more qualified charitable organizations or private foundations; the funds cannot be contributed to a donor-advised fund or a supporting organization.
The process for making the donation is simple. The transfer must be made directly from the IRA sponsor to the charity or charities of your choice on or before December 31. All charitable contributions up to the $100,000 limit also qualify as your RMD for the contribution year.
As an example, if you plan on giving $10,000 to a charity by writing a check and you have assets in an IRA, consider making the charitable donation from your IRA instead and spend the $10,000 from your regular account on daily living expenses.
The trade off is that you lose your charitable deduction, but normally the charitable deduction is far less than the tax that you would pay on the IRA distribution, and the cost savings of not paying income taxes on your RMD could add up quickly.