Nov 09, 2023

2023 Year End Tax Planning Checklist

2023 Year End Tax Planning Checklist

As the year comes to an end, most people’s thoughts turn to the Holidays, Family dinners, Presents and the like. Then there are the strange folks called accountants who think about tax credits, retirement savings and changing tax laws.

There are numerous things to review before the calendar changes to 2024.

Changes to Tax Laws

1099-K – If you do any business on eBay, Venmo, Zelle etc. do not be surprised if you get a 1099-K from these 3rd parties in early 2024. The biggest thing to remember about this is that if you have any reported sales/income, make sure to substantiate any expenses related to the reported amounts. (selling a used item for $100 on eBay does not mean you had $100 in income if you paid $200 for it originally)

Energy Credits – If you are thinking about making some energy efficient improvements around the house, see if you can put it off until 2024. The energy credits that were passed into law with the Inflation Reduction Act start 1/1/2024.

Electric Vehicles – The credits for new and for the first time used electric vehicles have been dramatically changed. If you are considering a purchase, talk to your tax professional first and/or visit


Setup or fund your children’s 529 plans. Funding must be done by the tax filing date (April 15th) to qualify for a deduction on Georgia income taxes of up to $8,000 per beneficiary (married) or $4,000 per beneficiary if filing single. To qualify for this deduction, it must be the state sponsored plan offered at

FSA / HSA Accounts – If you have a high deductible health plan, you can contribute $3850 single or $7750 family to your HSA (this includes any employer contribution). If you have access to an FSA account, make sure to spend the balance by the end of the year since most of these accounts are “use it or lose it.” Although some companies may allow up to $610 of unused funds to be rolled over into the following year.

If you met your health insurance plan's annual deductible, consider incurring any additional medical expenses before the end of the year, after which point your annual deductible will reset.

If you have children in high school or younger who plan to attend college, consider financial aid planning strategies such as reducing income in specific years to increases financial aid packages.

Loss Harvesting – Consult with your advisor to see if it would be prudent to harvest any unrealized losses in your portfolio to offset gains throughout the year. Additionally, up to $3,000 of losses can offset ordinary income after all capital gains are offset.

Retirement Accounts

401(k) – the maximum employee contribution limit is $22,500 for 2023. If you are over 50, there is an additional catch-up of $7,500 to make the total available contribution $30,000. This must be done by the end of the year. The limit is for both Traditional and Roth 401(K)s combined.

IRA – Maximum contribution limit (Traditional and Roth)- $6,500 with catch-up over 50 of $1,000. Due by April 15.

SEP IRAs – Lesser of $66,000 or 25% of eligible compensation

Roth IRA – Income limitation phaseout begins - $218,000 Married Joint $138,000 Single.

Roth Conversions – By converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, those funds are taxed as ordinary income the year of the conversion. They then grow Tax-Free and are not taxable when withdrawn in retirement. Also Roth IRAs are not subject to RMDs.

RMDs MUST be taken before end of year. Penalty for not taking distribution is 25% of the required amount.

Gifting and Charitable Giving

The annual exclusion for gifts is $17,000 per recipient per donor (married couples can gift $34,000 to an individual and qualify for annual exclusion)

The lifetime estate and gift tax exclusion currently is $12,920,000. It is set to drop back to $5,000,000 in 2025.

If you have RMD in retirement accounts, Qualified Charitable Donations (QCD) can be made directly from the account and count against the RMD without being a taxable distribution.

Donating appreciated assets such as stock gives the donor the FMV of the donation as a deduction without having to realize the capital gain as income.

Donation Strategy – Utilizing a donor advised fund may be advantageous to increase charitable deduction in one year while utilizing the standard deduction the new.

Estate Planning basics

Review the named beneficiary on all accounts.

Make sure your will has been updated to include any changes to your family.

Review Living Wills and Durable Powers of Attorneys.

Have your insurance needs changed?

While this list offers a very brief description of items, we would be happy to sit down with you and get into the details of your specific situation and craft a plan that best suits your needs.

Donald Skola, CPA, EA, MTx

Tax and Accounting Associate

Donald joined Narwhal in February of 2021. He brings 15 years of experience in tax compliance and consulting in public accounting specializing in high net worth individuals and their related businesses along with commercial real estate taxation. He received both his BA in Accounting and his Masters in Taxation from Georgia State. Donald is very active as a member of the Grand Lodge of Georgia Free and Accepted Masons. In his free time, you can most likely catch him with a line in the water, either on Georgia's lakes or offshore marlin fishing in Cabo San Lucas.

Let’s start the conversation.

At Narwhal Capital Management, you’re more than just a portfolio, and it’s not all about the numbers. Let’s start with a meeting about your needs and future goals.