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Perspectives

2018 essential tax and wealth planning guide

See a new perspective. Look again.

Take a fresh look at your tax and wealth planning objectives to see beyond the changing landscape. Our planning guide can help you refocus on what is most important—your family, business, and personal goals—and plot a clear path forward.

2018 essential tax and wealth planning guide: Three part installation

Deloitte’s 2018 essential tax and wealth planning guide—released in three parts over several months—covers the issues critical to building and sustaining an effective tax and wealth plan. Each new release provides you with timely, accessible, and relevant insights for conducting an ongoing planning dialogue among you, your family members, and your tax advisers.

Topics covered in each installment include:
  • Installment one (November 2017): Our first installment provides valuable insights on important tax issues that emerged in 2017 and are likely to impact your income and estate tax planning. Chapters presented include individual income tax planning, foundational wealth transfer planning, philanthropic planning, as well as a tax policy and a bonus section on tax-related identify theft.
  • Installment two (March 2018): The second edition delivers insights, planning tools, and new perspectives to take action on more complex issues. Chapters cover family offices, wealth transfer planning alternatives, and postmortem considerations. Our bonus section is on choice of entity and addressing entity conversion considerations in light of the new tax law. We continue the conversation on tax policy, providing you updated perspectives on the new tax law and its implications to your planning.
  • Installment three (mid-2018): Our third release will focus on understanding the tax implications of investments as you shape and refine your planning over time. Chapters will cover globalization, unique investments, and the tax implications of fund investing—along with the latest updates regarding tax policy developments.

With the enactment of US tax reform, the path forward is somewhat clearer, and the advice we provided in our last release—to look again at the important issues at hand—is more relevant than ever as a result. While we now have some clarity on the direction in which tax reform will take us, there are many new unanswered questions. We recognize that tax planning is no longer business as usual. Deloitte’s 2018 essential tax and wealth planning guide can help you challenge traditional thinking when approaching your estate and wealth transfer planning alternatives, assessing family office preparedness, or evaluating appropriate entity structure.

Installment two: March 2018

Family office

Wealth transfer planning alternatives

In this chapter, we address vital preparedness issues associated with the death of a principal, audit readiness, risk management, and cyber risk. We also provide perspective on how family offices can efficiently transform or transition when the need arises.

With the Wealth transfer planning alternatives section, you may experience a sense of déjà vu. The new tax law includes a significant increase to the federal estate, gift, and generation-skipping tax exemption, creating a window of opportunity similar to the one leading up to the last major change in 2013. Now is a great time to take another look at all of your estate and wealth transfer plans and make proactive refinements or new headway.

Download the individual family office section
 
Download the wealth transfer planning alternatives section
 

Postmortem considerations

Tax policy update

This chapter provides you with insights on how a well-thought-out estate plan can remove the friction that may families are left to deal with in the wake of someone’s passing. For those executors left with estate plans that, for many of life’s reasons, were left incomplete or not well constructed, postmortem planning becomes the imperative to shepherd the decedent’s assets to their orderly distribution.

In late December 2017, Congress approved and President Trump signed into law a massive tax reform package that lowers tax rates on corporations, pass-through entities, individuals, and estates. Our tax policy update provides an overview of key provisions in the tax reform law that are likely to impact upper-income individuals, their estates, and business holdings. It also provides resources for staying on top of tax law modifications and guidance that could impact your planning.

Download the postmortem considerations section
Download the tax policy update section
   

Bonus section: Choice of entity

the new tax law created substantial changes in corporate, pass-through, and individual tax provisions. In light of these changes, many companies and their owners are now asking whether it makes sense to change their entity structure. This chapter explores the numerous factors to consider before moving forward with a conversion—including the many facts and circumstances of your business and specific individual shareholder/partner situations.

Download the choice of entity section

 

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Installment one: November 2017

Individual income tax planning

Foundational wealth transfer planning

With the potential for tax reform on the horizon, your peripheral view may include glimpses of change in individual tax rates or deductions. However, as you consider individual income tax planning matters, your goals and objectives need to be front and center. Take another look at planning for your 2017 individual tax matters and concentrate on what is available to you today, based on current law, with an eye toward the issues and opportunities that tax reform may create for you tomorrow. Keeping these perspectives in balance will help you realize tax planning for you and your family based on your overall objectives.

Effective wealth transfer planning is not just about putting an estate plan in place, it is designing the blueprint from which a legacy will be established. It also requires periodic reassessment to ensure it reflects changes such as life events, market and regulatory changes, and evolving legacy objectives. Developing an effective estate plan may not only reduce estate costs and taxes, it can also lessen the likelihood of family conflict and preserve wealth for future generations. Keeping these objectives in constant view and gathering an effective team of advisers can help ensure the success of this ongoing planning process.

Download the individual income tax planning section
Download the foundational wealth transfer planning section
 

Philanthropic planning

Tax policy update

Your legacy is not only how you want to be remembered, but should also comprise a set of guiding principles your family will be encouraged to uphold. Philanthropy can play a large part in establishing your legacy while delivering tax benefits in the process. The path to tax-efficient charitable planning is winding and complicated—particularly in today’s legislative environment. Matching your charitable vision to a real-world planned giving strategy requires thoughtful consideration and continued attention to detail to protect the deductibility of your contributions.

In this year’s philanthropic planning insights, we specifically address what you need to know about making charitable donations to relief organizations serving those locations hit hard by recent natural disasters.

While Congress has made recent progress toward tax reform, the end destination remains a moving target, as does the timing to get there. Despite the stated expectations of congressional Republican leaders that tax reform will be enacted by the end of this year, some are speculating that action on tax reform could slip into 2018. Our tax policy update provides an overview of the key provisions in the House bill of interest to upper-income individuals. It also looks at some of the political and policy challenges ahead as the legislative action turns to the Senate.

Download the philanthropic planning section
Download the tax policy update section
   

Bonus section: Tax-related identity theft

All too often a taxpayer discovers when filing their tax return that someone has already fraudulently filed a tax return under their name. This is tax-related identity theft. It occurs when someone uses your personal information—such as your name, Social Security number, or other information—without your permission to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund. This bonus section closely examines this pervasive issue to uncover the warning signs, offer approaches for mitigating your individual risks, understand what the IRS is doing to prevent tax-related identity theft, and inform you of the steps to take should you become a victim.

Download the tax-related identity theft section

 

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