Year-End Tax Planning In A Year Of Political Uncertainty

Cash basis taxpayers have a large number of ways to control their 2020 reported taxable income which is even more important this year since we may be moving from historically low tax rates to much higher rates post-2020.

While a Biden victory appears fairly certain, we find ourselves in the position of not knowing whether the Democrats or Republicans will be controlling the Senate.  The two federal Senate seats in Georgia will not be determined until January leaving us with significant tax planning uncertainty.  These seats are unsettled since neither candidate won over 50% of the votes cast. The Republicans just need one of these seats to control the Senate, while the Democrats must win both seats.

Senate control is critical to determining whether the Biden Administration will be able to push though their promised tax increases (see attached summary) including increasing ordinary tax rates (from 37% to 39.6%) and long-term capital gain rates (from 23.8% to 39.6%) for taxpayers with more than $400,000 and $1,000,000, respectively, of taxable income.

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