June 5, 2023
Planning Considerations for the Massachusetts Millionaires Tax
In November 2022, voters in Massachusetts approved a 4% increase in income taxes for those earning over $1 million. This brings the state’s top tax rate to those earning over $1 million from 5% to 9%. The increase is expected to bring more revenue to fund the state’s education and infrastructure initiatives.
The changes, known informally as the “Fair Share Tax” or “Millionaires Tax” will affect approximately 0.6% of Massachusetts households. If you are in this tax bracket, here are some key factors you may want to consider as you prepare for the new tax rate.
Options to Consider
- Spreading out your income – Because the new law applies to income over $1 million, taxpayers may be able to spread out their income to remain under the threshold in a given year. This might involve married couples choosing to file separately, or by spreading out payments when selling an asset through an Installment Sale agreement or transferring the assets into trusts. In some cases, there is the possibility of accelerating or deferring income into a separate tax year to keep each year below the threshold.
- Embracing trust planning – Trusts can be a powerful tool for managing wealth. Both revocable and irrevocable trusts can be utilized to help minimize your tax burden, and you may be able to use an out-of-state trustee to change jurisdiction.
- Changing your state of residency – An extreme, though not unheard of, option to avoid additional tax is to move out of the state of Massachusetts. To be effective, you should change your state of domicile that would include spending less than 183 days within the Commonwealth. For taxpayers who do not live in the Massachusetts, only income derived from an in-state source (such as a MA business or rental real estate) will be subject to Massachusetts taxes.
What This Means for You
As you can see, this rate increase will likely mean a higher tax bill for those in the state’s top tax bracket. However, there are tools and planning strategies that can help minimize its impact. While these are some highlighted factors to consider, you will want to consult with us to determine what options are available to you based on your individual financial position. The advisors at Sansiveri, Kimball & Co. are happy to discuss your tax and wealth planning needs. Please reach out to a member of our team today!