I am so thankful every year to disconnect around the holidays and this year is no exception.
Among the many traditions of the holidays, one has to be navigating our complex tax system. :)
Every year there are a number of end of year activities to consider. They are irregular (as they happen annual) and complex. So they warrant a checklist to remember what should be considered. This is written for myself but sharing publicly if helpful for others.
[ ] Tax Loss Harvesting
Sell stock and fund holdings that have capital losses to offset capital gains or take advantage of $3k offset to ordinary income. Note: losses in excess of $3k carry over year to year indefinitely and can be applied to future gains.
[ ] Capture gains in children's UTMA / UGMA accounts
In 2020, first $1050 of gains is tax free and next $1050 is tax advantaged source.
[ ] Consider extra donations if itemizing deductions
Common itemized deductions are:
- State & local taxes up to $10k
- Mortgage Interest
- Charitable contributions
If these are above the standard deduction ($24,800 in 2020) then you are likely itemizing your deductions. Additional contributions to charity should help reduce taxable income. If you don't know where to donate right away I highly recommend a charitable fund like Schwab Charitable. Also, if possible, donate stock that has high capital gains as opposed to donating cash. This is a tax advantaged approach as the full market value counts as a charitable contribution (the cost basis does not matter in this case). No capital gains is applied.