21 Point Tax Planning Ideas Checklist

Looking for some quick tax savings ideas?  I’ve got you covered.


Here are 21 quick ideas that you may be able to take advantage of.  Some apply to business owners, and some apply to individual 1040 tax filers.


1. Analyze personal spending to discover potentially and partially deductible expenses not currently being captured.

2. Optimize home office deduction if / when applicable (e.g. larger area, storage area, Administrative Home Office.

3. Optimize vehicle expense (mileage vs. actual, Section 179, bonus depreciation, mileage to regular job if client has home office).

4. Section 139 reimbursement, if applicable.

5. Optimize depreciation deductions, if applicable (e.g. Section 179, bonus depreciation, de minimis safe harbor, cost segregation, Qualified Improvement Property).

6. Optimize the Qualified Business Income Deduction (e.g. increase W-2 salary, evaluate Unadjusted Basis Immediately Before Acquisition, aggregation election).

7. Hire spouse, relatives (even your children!), friends? Must be legitimate and properly documented.

8. Avoid underpayment of estimated tax penalties.

9. Deferred tax retirement plan.

10. Create a pool of “after-tax” retirement money (e.g., Roth IRA, cash value life insurance).

11. Develop sources of non-taxable and lower tax income (e.g., municipal bonds, dividends, Master Limited Partnerships).

12. Unlock passive activity losses (e.g., real estate professional designation, short-term rentals, purchasing additional properties, rent raising analysis for current year).

13. Income acceleration or deferral, a.k.a. “Tax Rate Arbitrage.”

14. Rent your home to your business, a.k.a. “The Augusta Rule.”

15. 1031 Exchange into higher-value, higher-ROI rental real estate.

16. Section 121 home sale exclusion.

17. Donate appreciated stock or cryptocurrency.

18. Business-ize Your Hobby. You must be and stay in compliance with IRS Hobby Loss Rules.

19. Business meals (and entertainment) categorization (e.g., sponsorships instead of client gifts, in-office meals for team vs. meals with clients).

20. Health Savings Account (HSA).

21. Restructure business activity (e.g., S corporation election, division of business moved to C corporation)

This is by no means all inclusive.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.