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What the ‘millionaire tax’ in Massachusetts means for the rich

In case you make greater than $1 million a yr in Massachusetts, it’s possible you’ll quickly be topic to a “millionaire tax” authorised by voters this week via a poll initiative.

The brand new regulation creates a 4% tax on annual earnings above $1 million, on prime of the state’s present 5% flat income tax, aiming to fund public schooling, roads, bridges and public transportation.

It is anticipated the levy will have an effect on roughly 0.6% of Massachusetts households, based on an analysis from the Heart for State Coverage Evaluation at Tufts College. 

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“Democrats have been working for a very long time so as to add some tax brackets and progressivity to this technique,” stated Richard Auxier, senior coverage affiliate on the City-Brookings Tax Coverage Heart, pointing to the present 5% flat earnings tax in Massachusetts no matter earnings.

Nonetheless, California voters rejected an analogous tax, aiming to pay for zero-emissions automobile packages and wildfire response and prevention. The measure would have added a 1.75% levy on annual earnings of greater than $2 million, along with the state’s prime earnings tax fee of 13.3%.

“It is very state-specific,” Auxier stated, explaining how the tax poll initiatives might hinge on funding priorities, present state tax construction and different elements.

Tax planners to be ‘very busy’ with Bay State shoppers

Whereas the measure was simply authorised earlier this week, many rich residents have been already discussing the impression with advisors.  

“This has actually been on the minds of parents,” stated Jim Guarino, a licensed monetary planner, CPA and managing director at Baker Newman Noyes in Woburn, Massachusetts. He stated consumer discussions started as soon as the initiative was introduced.

The knowledgeable will now work extra with their advisors and search for methods to attenuate or keep away from the surtax.

Jim Guarino

Managing director at Baker Newman Noyes

The brand new tax is estimated to herald roughly $1.3 billion in income throughout fiscal 2023, based on the Tufts analysis. However Guarino expects decrease numbers attributable to tax planning, and in some instances, “leakage” from some greater earners transferring out of state.

“The knowledgeable will now work extra with their advisors and search for methods to attenuate or keep away from the surtax,” he stated. 

For instance, somebody might think about stretching earnings over a interval of years, moderately than “one large hit” that bumps them over the million-dollar threshold in 2023, Guarino stated.

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In different instances, they might attempt to obtain a few of subsequent yr’s earnings in 2022, earlier than the regulation goes into impact, he stated. “In case you can defer taxable earnings, that is often a superb factor,” Guarino famous. “However on this occasion, accelerating earnings might provide you with a right away 4% [tax savings] on the state stage.

“I feel we’ll be busy over the following six or seven weeks with our Massachusetts shoppers,” he added.

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