As the end of 2023 approaches, we believe now is a great time to review your current financial status and start developing goals for the new year. Before this year is over, we recommend that you take advantage of all the annual limits, exclusions, and planning strategies available in 2023. We will continue to monitor any legislative changes that may impact these recommendations.

Not every item below will apply to your situation, but this checklist highlights a few items you may want to consider:


  • RMDs generally must be distributed by 12/31/2023 for account holders above age 73 and for some of those who have inherited retirement assets
  • Maximize retirement plan contributions
  • Convert IRA balances to Roth, if applicable, in lower income years


  • Discuss remaining 2023 and future 2024 cash needs going into year-end. Evaluate withdrawal strategy and flexibility of timing (if applicable).


  • Use FSA Funds if necessary (some plans allow for a grace period or rollover of up to $610)
  • Medicare Open Enrollment: October 15, 2023 to December 7, 2023
  • Incur medical expenses before year-end if your health insurance deductible has been met for 2023
  • Maximize Health Savings Account (HSA) contributions before April 15, 2024
  • Notify insurance carriers of any change of address or bank institution so that premium notices are received, and payments occur without causing a lapse in coverage
  • Review and update beneficiary designations in the event of a change in a family situation, such as the birth of a child, death, or divorce
  • Provide homeowners insurance premiums to CPA for rental properties


  • The 2023 annual gift exclusion is $17,000 per person ($34,000 for a married couple)
  • Consider transferring assets out of estate to capture the currently high $12.92 million per person estate exemption.
  • The annual gift exclusion can be used to make contributions to a 529 Plan. Consider accelerating gifts (up to five years).
  • Submit all qualified expenses to a 529 plan for 2023
  • Withdraw 529 funds for K-12 expenses (up to $10,000 as determined by state)
  • Withdraw up to $10,000 from 529 plans for student loan repayment (lifetime limit)
  • Utilize “charitable bunching” strategy to donate two or more years’ worth of charitable contributions in one tax year through a Donor Advised Fund (DAF)
  • Determine best assets to gift (appreciated stock or cash)
  • Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) from IRA directly to charity (up to $100,000 for individuals 70.5+)
  • Review your tax return for charitable contribution carryover that could lapse if not applied
  • Explore Qualified Business Income Deduction for business owners


The SECURE Act 2.0, passed in December 2022, builds upon its 2019 predecessor – the SECURE Act – with adjustments impacting Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs), retirement contributions and catch-ups, 529 plans, and more. Effective 2023, the RMD age increases and RMDs will begin at age 73 instead of 72. Meaning if you turn 72 in 2023 you do not have to take an RMD this year. Discuss the timing and tax implications of your RMDs with your CPA to ensure tax estimates are sufficient and appropriate. RMDs must be distributed by December 31, 2023 (unless it is your first year for an RMD, during which you can delay until April 1, 2024, but would be required to take two in one year). Up to $100,000 of your RMD can be gifted directly to a qualified charity, which is also a strategy to reduce income.

Explore Roth Conversions (converting your IRA to a Roth IRA) in lower-income years, if possible. More information on Roth conversions can be found here. Discuss tax implications with your CPA.

Maximize annual contributions to retirement plans, if possible and applicable (limits listed below).


401(k), Roth 401(k), 403(b), and 457 Plans

Max contributions of $22,500 (as well as additional $7,500 catch-up for those 50+) must be made by December 31, 2023


Maximum contribution of $6,500 (as well as additional $1,000 catch-up for those 50+) must be made by April 15, 2024

Roth IRA

Maximum after-tax contributions of $6,500 (as well as additional $1,000 catch-up for those 50+) must be made by April 15, 2024

SEP IRA/ Solo 401(k)

Maximum contributions (lesser of $66,000 or 25% compensation) can be made until the tax filing date (including the extended filing date)


Maximum contributions of $15,500 (as well as additional $3,500 catch-up for those 50+) must be made by December 31, 2023


Unlike HSA funds, funds in your FSA typically do not roll over from year to year (based on an employer plan, you may be able to elect to roll over $610, or you can elect a “grace period” to use funds). The deadline to use these funds is December 31, 2023. If you elect to use the grace period the deadline is March 15, 2024.

  • Annual HSA contribution limit increased from $7,300 to $7,750 for family plans ($3,850 for single)
  • Annual FSA contribution limit increased from $2,850 to $3,050

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) can be funded through April 15, 2024 for the 2023 year. Maxing out contributions in these tax-efficient accounts is often a good idea.

Medicare open enrollment runs from October 15 to December 7. Before and during the open enrollment period, we believe it is always a good idea to take a fresh look at your employer’s coverage options and enroll if needed. See our article here.


The annual gift tax exclusion for 2023 is $17,000 ($34,000 for a married couple), an increase of $1,000 from the prior year. Remember: there is no limit on how much you can gift in total per year; however, there is a limit on how much you can gift to any single individual per year without triggering a gift tax. Gifts must be completed by year-end to qualify for this year’s exclusion.


Given the standard deduction amounts, combining (known as charitable bunching) two or three years’ worth of charitable contributions into one tax year using a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) may be beneficial. If you are on the cusp of being over the standard deduction, you might consider accelerating your gifts for future years.

Another way to avoid realizing capital gains taxes is to gift appreciated assets held more than a year to charity. In many cases, this may be more tax-efficient than gifting cash. Gifting appreciated assets in conjunction with a donor-advised fund may be a beneficial strategy for many families.

Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) of up to $100,000 can be made from IRAs directly to charities for individuals who are 70.5 or older. Discuss with your advisor and CPA if this might be a good option for you.

Review your tax return for any charitable contribution carryover. Carryover contributions must be applied within 5 years of the charitable gift, at which point the carryover is lost.


Stock/ cash gifts directly to charities

Must have signed transfer memo to SignatureFD by December 15, 2023

Mutual Fund transfers

Must have signed transfer memo to SignatureFD by October 30, 2023

Stock/Cash gifts made to a Donor Advised Fund (DAF), then granted out to charitable organizations

Must have signed transfer memo to SignatureFD by October 30, 2023

Stock/Cash gifts between accounts at the same Custodian

Must have signed transfer memo to SignatureFD by December 15, 2023

Note: The above are suggested deadlines from our Custodians, as it allows for time with paperwork processing. However, some transfers may be expedited by logging into your Custodian website and requesting them there. SignatureFD can help you navigate your options based on the necessary timeframe.


A special provision allows you to accelerate your annual gifts and use up to five years of your annual gift exclusion in one year ($85,000 per person or $170,000 per couple). With this strategy, you must file a gift tax return and make sure not to contribute again within those five years.

Beginning in 2018, some states started allowing distributions from a 529 Plan of up to $10,000 per year for primary and secondary education. Previously, distributions could only be used for “qualified higher education expenses.” Be sure to verify with your state plan provider.

The SECURE Act allows 529 Plan beneficiaries to use up to $10,000 (lifetime limit) towards student loan debt for themselves or a sibling.


Health Insurance Deductible: If you have met your health insurance plan deductible, consider incurring any additional medical expenses prior to year-end, at which point your deductible will reset.

Other Insurance-Related Reminders: If you have had any changes in address or bank institution, notify insurance carriers of the change so that premium notices are received and auto payments continue to avoid a lapse in coverage. Additionally, remember to review beneficiary designations in the event of a change in your family situation, such as the birth of a child, death, or divorce. Lastly, remember to provide CPAs with homeowners premiums for rental properties.

High Estate Exemption Environment Planning Tactics: With the estate exemption at $12.92 million per person, now may be a good time to think about wealth transfer planning. The current estate exemption will sunset back to ~$6 million per person in 2026. We continually watch for possible changes to these tax and estate laws that may impact these strategies, so talk with your estate attorney, CPA, and advisor to see which tactics should be considered for your situation.

Explore Qualified Business Income (QBI) Deduction: The business owner deduction (Section 199A passed with TCJA) for passthrough income except for special service businesses (i.e., accountants, consultants, doctors, etc.).

In summary, there are several planning tactics to consider as we approach the end of the year that can be completed now. The financial advisors at SignatureFD continue to monitor potential laws or changes related to recent tax legislation as the remainder of the year progresses. We will send clients any additions to these recommendations as they present themselves. Please reach out to your advisor with any questions specific to your circumstances.

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