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Tax, Financial and Education Planning for 2017 Without a Crystal Ball

tax planning

With so many things up in the air for the possibility of change with a new president-elect, it would be wonderful to have a crystal ball.

But we’re all in the same situation. It’s impossible to know for sure what will happen in Trump’s first 100 days.  All we have to go on are the “promises” Trump talked about on the campaign trail. Some of those promises are more likely to be fulfilled than others.

For year-end tax planning, financial planning and estate planning there are a few things to consider that could be helpful.  

For instance, the president elect has talked about lowering tax brackets for next year. This is one area that seems likely to happen. With that in mind, it might be worth it to speak with a tax attorney, CPA or financial advisor about whether deferring some income into 2017 would be advisable. That may mean taking a bonus in January, instead of December, or waiting to redeem a savings bond, or putting off debt forgiveness income.

You’ll also want to keep your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) in mind when considering deferring income.

It may make sense since some tax benefits get phased out depending on your AGI. Those items that get phased out include itemized deductions, personal exemptions, and education and adoption credits.

For college bound children, it’s going to be difficult to make any solid plans at the moment since Trump promised to overhaul the Federal Student Loan program. He wants to remove the government from student lending and return that role to the private sector. He also has talked about abolishing the Department of Education, which would have an effect on education policy from kindergarten to higher education.

Short of being able to see clearly into the future, you may best be served by scheduling an appointment with your attorney or financial advisor to review your circumstances to see what actions will benefit you right now.