TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Sunday, December 1, 2013

WSJ: How to Lower Your 2013 Tax Bill

Wall Street Journal:  Lower Your 2013 Tax Bill, by Laura Saunders:


This year's code includes two new taxes, a new top income-tax rate, a new top rate on long-term capital gains and dividends, a new inflation adjustment to the alternative minimum tax, or AMT, and two revived tax-benefit "phaseouts."

The upshot: For many people, it is more important than ever to estimate next April's tax bill before year-end, while it might still be possible to make adjustments.

While the top 1% of taxpayers will bear much of the burden of this year's increases, experts say, the code also has new tax traps for the affluent, roughly defined as people with an adjusted gross income, or AGI, between $150,000 and $500,000. ...

Here are facts about the new pitfalls, plus moves for many to consider making before year-end.

What to Know:

  • The Net Investment Income Tax
  • Personal Exemption Phaseout
  • Pease Limit on Itemized Deductions
  • Medicare Payroll-Tax Increase

What to Do:

  • Minimize adjusted gross income
  • Do an AMT check
  • Take investment losses
  • Harvest investment gains
  • Make charitable contributions
  • Maximize medical and miscellaneous deductions
  • Use an expiring tax break
  • Make annual gifts

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