While it may be too late to change 2011 taxes, it’s the perfect time to plan moves to make in 2012 and beyond.
As it stands now, when 2013 gets here, taxes are most likely going up. The tax cuts signed in 2001 and 2003 by President George W. Bush expire this year and brackets return to the previous rates of up to 39.6 percent in 2013 from 35 percent now. In addition, the child tax credit expires and capital gains rates go back to 20 percent from zero to 15 percent this year.
The only thing that could stop these changes is Congress. Being an election year, taxes are a hot topic. But it’s also a topic that may not see much action in an election year. A possible gridlock and unknown outcome make it important to get help now with tax planning to head off the potential hike.
Here are some possible areas to plan for:
Convert traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs. While this decision is based on each individual’s situation, those that are considering converting may want to pull the trigger this year. Conversions are considered ordinary income so will be taxed at the individuals’ current tax rate. For the wealthy, it would be better to be taxed at 35 percent instead of 39.6 percent.