Donating appreciated stock can offer serious tax benefits

A fundamental tax planning strategy is to accelerate deductible expenses into the current year. This typically will defer — and in some cases permanently reduce — your taxes. But there are exceptions. One is if the additional deductions this year trigger the alternative minimum tax (AMT). This is a separate tax system that limits some deductions and doesn’t permit others. Here are some deductions that can be AMT triggers:

• State and local income tax deductions,

• Property tax deductions, and

• Miscellaneous itemized deductions subject to the 2% of adjusted gross income floor, such as investment expenses and unreimbursed employee business expenses.

But deductions aren’t the only things that can trigger the AMT. So can certain income-related items, such as:

• Incentive stock option exercises,

• Tax-exempt interest on certain private activity bonds, and

• Accelerated depreciation adjustments and related gain or loss differences when assets are sold.

Fortunately, with proper planning, you may be able to avoid the AMT, reduce its impact or even take advantage of its lower maximum rate. If you’re concerned about any of these triggers or would like to know what else might trigger the AMT, please contact us. We can help you determine the best strategies for your situation.

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