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2013 tax planning still available

By Leigh A. Kaylor • Tuesday, January 14, 2014

bigstock-Time-For-Taxes-43750849Happy New Year! The calendar says 2014, but there is still tax planning that can be accomplished for 2013 in traditional estate planning areas, like trusts and estates, retirement plans and charities. Below are a few actions you can take in 2014 to affect your 2013 taxes:

  • We have talked in an earlier blog about the possibility of making distributions from trusts as a possible way to save on the new net investment income tax. Distributions from trusts and estates made within 65 days after the end of the year may still be attributed to the prior year. Thus, you have until March 6, 2014 to make decisions about 2013 trust and estate distributions.
  • For estates of decedents dying in 2013, alternate valuation date elections and disclaimers can occur in 2014. The alternate valuation date is six months after death, so estates of people dying in approximately the third week of July, 2013, or later can still make that election, if other requirements for doing so are met. Disclaimers must be made within nine months of death, so might still be made for estates of people dying in approximately the third week of April, 2013, or later, if other requirements for a valid disclaimer are met.
  • You can make a contribution to a traditional IRA or Roth IRA (including spousal IRAs) until April 15, 2014 and have it count as your 2013 contribution, assuming all other requirements for the contribution are met.
  • Contributions to SIMPLE and 401(k) plans that count for 2013 can be made up until the due date for the 2013 tax return, including extensions, as long as the plan was in existence by December 31, 2013. SEP plans for the self-employed can be opened anytime in 2014 prior to the return due date and contributions made to them by that same date still count for 2013.
  • If you just turned 70 ½ in 2013 (you did mark that occasion didn’t you?), you have until April 1, 2014 to take your required minimum distribution from your retirement plan(s).
  • Charitable contributions charged to your credit card before the end of 2013, even though not paid until 2014 may be taken in 2013.
  • Private foundations can make distributions related to 2013 income up until the end of 2014.

These are a few actions you can still take in 2014 to beat the clock for your 2013 tax return(s).

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