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Tax Estate Planning Strategies

By Derek McCarty, CPA

For many clients, taxes are only something they consider from January to April 15th of each year. Very rarely do clients consider the potential for tax planning strategies and methods, especially when it matters most.  As we head into fall, now is a fitting time to take a few minutes to review your current income tax situation and think about opportune tax saving strategies, which may help reduce your tax bill to Uncle Sam next April.

Change is the Only Constant

It can be worth the extra time to consider not just traditional income tax savings strategies, but also new and emerging tax saving strategies that can be utilized to not only defer or minimize income tax liabilities, but potentially eliminate them as well. Tax legislation is constantly changing; new regulations are constantly being issued; and tax cases are constantly being decided. As Greek philosopher, Heraclitus says, “change is the only constant in life.” So remember, consistently reviewing your tax plan is the only way to assure you don’t miss anything.

If you are planning on or have had a significant transaction during the year, now is the time to look at the potential tax ramifications and methods for reducing tax on those transactions.

Examples of significant transactions can include;

  • sale of real estate;
  • sale of securities held long term;
  • significant charitable giving;
  • a large bonus or other source of unusual income.

Depending on the situation, certain actions may need to take place prior to the transaction or shortly thereafter in order to take advantage of specific tax planning strategies.

Keeping Your Estate in Order

In addition to income tax planning, taxpayers should also consider reviewing their estate plan as well.  This is even more important if you recently experienced a life changing event, such as the birth of a child or grandchild, an inheritance, or other significant changes.  It is a good idea to review your estate planning documents every few years as a refresher and to make sure your documents align with your current goals and desires.   In addition to reviewing your estate plan yourself, you should also consider reviewing it with an experienced CPA or attorney who is well-versed in estate planning matters.

Estate planning is an ever-changing environment with new strategies and laws being developed that could greatly affect your existing estate plan or provide additional opportunities for new estate planning techniques.   A well thought out estate plan, cannot only provide for your loved ones or organizations you feel passionately about, but can provide more for those individuals and organizations.

We’re Here for You

The world of income tax and estate planning is an ever evolving and complex area. Yount, Hyde & Barbour, P.C. (YHB) is here to help you navigate the sophisticated laws and regulations.  Our team of professionals can help you create and initiate tax and estate planning strategies and also evaluate transactions before and as they occur to help you make smart tax planning moves.  If you would like more information or would like to schedule a meeting with us, please contact our offices and we will be more than happy to assist you in any manner we can.


Derek graduated from Shepherd University with an Bachelor’s degree in Accounting May 2011. He joined YHB that same year and became a licensed CPA in 2013. As a member of the firms Family Wealth Planning team, he has developed a deep understanding in providing tax planning and compliance services to individuals, trusts, estates and businesses. Derek is a member of the AICPA and VSCPA. In addition to taxes, Derek manages the firm’s fiduciary examination engagements for various local financial institutions. – 540-662-3417