When you get busy with your business, it’s easy to forget about your retirement accounts and medical coverages and plans. But year-end is approaching and now is the time to take action.
Here are the six strategies that you can implement before the end of the year. Five of the strategies increase your tax deductions, and one (the Roth) strategy increases your retirement benefits.
1. Put your retirement plan in place no later than December 31 so you are absolutely sure that you have a plan. Be sure to make a contribution to the plan before December 31.
2. Convert your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. The long-term savings here can be huge. Make sure to leave the converted funds in the Roth for at least five years.
3. If you have a Section 105 plan in place and you have not been reimbursing expenses monthly, do a reimbursement now to get your 2019 deductions, and then put yourself on a monthly reimbursement schedule in 2020.
4. If you have not implemented your qualified small employer health reimbursement account (QSEHRA), make sure to get that done properly now. If you have not yet put a QSEHRA in place and you plan to do so on January 1, do that now and just suffer that $50-per-employee penalty should you be found out. Alternately, consider implementing an individual care HRA (ICHRA) in 2020.
5. If you operate your business as an S corporation and you want an above-the-line tax deduction for the cost of your health insurance, you need the S corporation to (a) pay for or reimburse you for the health insurance and (b) put it on your W-2. Make sure that the reimbursement happens before December 31 and that you have the reimbursement set up to show on the W-2.
6. Claim the tax credit for the group health insurance you give your employees. If you provide your employees with group health insurance, see whether your pay structure and number of employees put you in a position to claim a 50 percent tax credit for some or all of the monies you paid for health insurance in 2019 (and possibly in prior years).
In order to realize the benefits of these tax planning strategies, there are tax compliance requirements which must be designed and implemented in advance as well as maintained throughout the year.