Business owners who want long-term financial success must navigate an intricate web of taxes, estate planning and asset protection. Pre- and post-transactional tax strategies, combined with estate planning, can safeguard assets, optimize tax positions and help strategically pass wealth along to future generations or charitable organizations, as reported in a recent article from Forbes, “Strategic Tax and Estate Planning For Business Owners.”
Pre-transactional tax planning includes reviewing the business entity structure to align it with tax objectives. For example, converting to a Limited Liability Company (LLC) may be a better structure if it is currently a solo proprietorship.
Implementing qualified retirement plans, like 401(k)s and defined benefit plans, gives tax advantages for owners and is attractive to employees. Contributions are typically tax-deductible, offering immediate tax savings.
There are federal, state, and local tax credits and incentives to reduce tax liability, all requiring careful research to be sure they are legitimate tax planning strategies. Overly aggressive practices can lead to audits, penalties, and reputational damage.
After a transaction, shielding assets becomes even more critical. Establishing a limited liability entity, like a Family Limited Partnership (FLP), may be helpful to protect assets.
Remember to keep personal and business assets separate to avoid putting asset protection efforts at risk. Review and update asset protection strategies when there are changes in your personal or business life or new laws that may provide new opportunities.
Developing a succession plan is critical to ensure that the transition of a family business from one to the next. Be honest about family dynamics and individual capabilities. Start early and work with an experienced estate planning attorney to align the succession and tax plan with your overall estate plan.
Philanthropy positively impacts, establishes, or builds on an existing legacy and creates tax advantages. Donating appreciated assets, using charitable trusts, or creating a private foundation can all achieve personal goals while attaining tax benefits.
Estate taxes can erode the value of wealth when transferring it to the next generation. Gifting, trusts, or life insurance are all means of minimizing estate taxes and preserving wealth. Your estate planning attorney will know about estate tax exemption limits and changes coming soon. They will advise you about gifting assets during your lifetime, using annual gift exclusions, and determine if lifetime gifts should be used to generate estate tax benefits.
Ready to safeguard your business and your legacy? Contact our office now and take the first step towards a secure financial future.