Is any of your personal wealth tied up in your business? Well, for some people, the business is their current life, both in time and wealth. Consequently, can be an especially rude shock to see so much of that wealth snatched away in taxes paid upon the sale of that business in Overland Park or elsewhere.
So, whatever you can do to shelter the business sale from taxation can mean a world of difference for your retirement and even for the whole family.
Turns out there are more than a few important tools at your disposal.
First, why is the tax bite bigger these days? The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) "befriended" a new surtax added through Obamacare and this "friendship" brought the capital gains tax up from last year’s 15% to 20%, or even a whopping 23.8% for some earners.
But wait, there’s more.
An extra provision of ATRA is set to add yet another 1.2% as of the new year - 2014. Then add state taxes. It just adds up, and that is really bad math for you.
Are we having fun yet?
So what are some tools and ways to lessen the tax bite?
Depending on your business, your needs, and your timeline, consider three tested tools discussed in a recent Forbes article titled “Selling Your Business? 3 Ways To Cut The Tax Bite.”
While you will want to read the original article, here are the three ways:
- The ESOP Plan,
- The Qualified Small Business Stock Plan, and
- The C-to-S Corporation Conversion Plan.
Essentially, the plan (as far as capital gains taxes) is to either find a way to defer the taxation until you leave assets to your heirs (to secure the capital gains eliminating "stepped-up basis"), to fall under a discounted category, or to actually change the form of the business to skate right below that low ceiling.
There are a few more ways of doing any one or all of these steps cleanly and efficiently, especially for with those with the foresight to plan well in advance.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
Reference: Forbes (September 6, 2013) “Selling Your Business? 3 Ways To Cut The Tax Bite”