The new year brings with it important dates that may impact your clients’ financial situations and tax deadlines they may need to meet. By providing them with the following information, you can help them plan ahead to avoid financial trouble and avoid penalties for nonpayment or late payment of taxes.
March 6, 2023, is the deadline under the sixty-five-day rule for trust distributions. Under Internal Revenue Code (I.R.C.) § 663(b), distributions made to beneficiaries of nongrantor trusts (and estates) made within sixty-five days of the end of 2022 may be counted as distributions made during 2022. This could be an important tax savings opportunity for your clients, as a nongrantor trust must pay income tax at the trust level on any taxable income it retains. For 2022, a trust is taxed at the maximum rate of 39.6 percent when its taxable income exceeds $13,451, in contrast to individuals, who reach the top tax rate of 37 percent when their income exceeds $539,900. In some cases, the Medicare surtax (net investment income tax) may also apply, meaning that the trust will have an even higher marginal tax rate. As a result, the overall tax savings may be significant when distributions of trust income are made to a beneficiary in a lower tax bracket. An election to treat the distribution as being made in 2022 must be made by the trustee on a timely filed income tax return for the trust.
April 18, 2023, is the deadline for 2022 individual retirement account (IRA) contributions. Encourage clients who are still working to review their 2022 IRA contributions so they can take full advantage of tax-free or tax-deferred growth, as they are permitted to make contributions for 2022 until April 18, 2023. Due to the high rate of inflation, the limits on contributions to traditional and Roth IRAs will increase from $6,000 in 2022 to $6,500 in 2023. Individuals who are fifty years old or over are permitted to contribute an additional catch-up contribution of $1,000 (unchanged from 2022). In addition, remind older clients to take their required minimum distributions: under the SECURE Act, those who reached age seventy and a half in 2020 or later must take their first required minimum distribution by April 1 of the year after they reach age seventy-two.
April 18, 2023, is tax day. Now that a new year has started, remind your clients to gather the paperwork they need to prepare for filing their income tax returns: W-2s, Forms 1099, records of income from other sources, records of IRA contributions, health savings account contributions, and other items that can reduce their taxable income, as well as documentation that will allow them to take advantage of tax deductions or credits, such as charitable contributions and mortgage interest.
Student loan repayments resume sometime in 2023. To provide relief to students holding eligible federal student loans during the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 CARES Act required the US Department of Education to pause loan payments, implement a zero percent interest rate, and stop collection on defaulted loans starting March 13, 2020. The relief was extended by subsequent legislation and administrative forbearance, and in November 2022, the Department of Education instituted another extension of the pause on repayments while Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan is being litigated in the courts. However, in the absence of another extension, the pause on repayments is currently set to end sixty days after the litigation is resolved or sixty days after June 30, 2023, whichever happens first, amid a period of record high inflation. If your clients are among the millions who owe a substantial amount on their student loans, help them create a plan that will enable them to resume payments by helping them determine how much they owe, the size of their payments, how it will affect their budget, and if debt consolidation could be helpful.
Although the Biden Administration’s plan to forgive up to $10,000 in eligible federal student loan debt for non-Pell Grant recipients and up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients was recently struck down by several courts as unconstitutional, if the plan is eventually implemented, be sure to advise your clients that the amount forgiven may be taxable. Although the Internal Revenue Service has indicated that the amount forgiven will not be taxable income at the federal level, it will be taxable in some states.
Your role in helping your clients assess their financial and tax situation and advising them appropriately is critical. If we can help your clients further secure their financial future by creating or updating their estate plan, please give us a call.