No one wants to pay more taxes than they must. Good tax planning can reduce your overall tax burden allowing you to keep more of your earnings.
Tax planning is the analysis of your financial situation to minimize the taxes you pay now and in the future. Generally, the goal of tax planning is to reduce the total taxes paid over your lifetime. The US income tax code does not tax all income the same and our system is progressive; those with a higher income pay a higher rate. Additionally, numerous special deductions and credits reward certain financial choices. These features of our tax code provide opportunities to reduce taxes by timing, deferring or accelerating, various items of income and expense.
In the sections below, we provide some basic information on tax planning and a number of tax tips to lower your overall tax burden. Also see our retirement planning page as retirement planning is an integral part of an individual's tax plan. Tax planning can be complicated, we can assist you in this task. Call us at (507) 334-5516 for an appointment.
Tax planning news
What's new in 2021?
In addition to the planning changes in tax benefit phaseouts and other cost of living (COLA) adjustments, here are changes to the tax code for 2021.
The 2021 Federal Income Tax rates vary from 10% to 37%. Due to the COLA adjustments, the 2021 tax burden is slightly lower than 2020 for the same income level.
Here's a quick review of some of the tax changes you'll see from 2020 to 2021 as a result of inflation adjustments and new tax laws.
Tax planning basics
Understanding Marginal and Effective Rates
The tax code is filled with terms we rarely use in everyday conversation. Two of the more common are Marginal Tax Rates and Effective Tax Rates. Knowing what they mean can help you think differently about your potential tax obligation.
Tax Credits versus Tax Deductions
Every industry and profession has common terms that are used so often those of us in the business often forget that most people do not have the depth of understanding that a person working within the tax code might have. One of these areas is understanding the differences between the tax terms "deductions" and "credits". Is one better than the other?
Tax tips for investors
Don't ignore the impact of taxes on your investments. While taxes should not drive your investment strategy, understanding how taxes affect your earnings will help you minimize taxes and maximize your return. Some things to consider:
Most Common Areas for Tax Breaks
Tax law changes so frequently that you must be concerned with tax planning year-round, or you'll miss opportunities to lower your tax bill. Here are some common areas that can mean big money savings with proper planning.
Below is a collection of tax ideas that you may find useful in lowering your tax burden. These items are often overlooked by individuals when preparing their returns.
Enjoy tax benefits if you own a vacation home
Are you planning to use your vacation home soon? If you're not going to use it, have you considered renting it? Or are you thinking of buying a vacation home? Vacation homes, with proper tax planning, can help create tax benefits.
Ideas to Maximize Your Charitable Gift Deduction
Are you getting the tax break you deserve?
Taxpayers often overlook and underreport their charitable contributions on their tax return. And while there are no hard statistics, the Treasury Department is not looking out for you to ensure you are reporting all your deductible charitable giving. So what can you do to maximize your deduction?