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Income Tax Planning for High-Income Individuals: Defined Benefit and Other Plans, Tax Reform Opportunities

Recording of a 110-minute CPE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CPE Pass. Click for more information.
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Conducted on Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This course will outline tax planning opportunities for taxpayers in the highest tax bracket. Tax reform brought new planning opportunities for high-income earners along with the new, slightly lower, 37% tax bracket. These strategies along with existing techniques can be implemented to lessen the tax burden of top-bracket taxpayers. Our panel of experts will explain methods they have utilized to guide practitioners through tried and true techniques as well as new planning strategies in light of tax reform.


Retirement planning provides many opportunities to reduce income tax liability and set-aside assets for the future. Defined benefit plans (DBPs), including cash balance plans, allow high-earners to make tax-deductible contributions of as much as $200,000 annually. Roth conversions and back-door Roth arrangements forego the immediate tax deduction on plan contributions in favor of tax-free growth and an exemption from annual RMDs in retirement.

High-income taxpayers often gift large amounts to charities. Tax reform raised the AGI floor to 60% for charitable contributions, making significant donations slightly more appealing. Charitable gifts to a donor-advised fund, CRT and even a CLT can provide immediate tax breaks if appropriately structured.

In addition to retirement and charitable options, recent tax changes also include opportunities to increase the 199A deduction and capital gains deferral opportunities with the new opportunity zones (OZs).

Listen as our panel of experts discusses retirement, charitable and capital gains strategies to minimize taxes paid by taxpayers in the top bracket.



  1. Identifying taxpayers for high-income planning
  2. Charitable planning
  3. Retirement planning
  4. Tax reform opportunities
  5. State tax planning


The panel will review these and other critical issues:

  • Who is eligible for a defined benefit plan?
  • When is a Roth conversion an appropriate strategy?
  • How can a taxpayer defer taxation using opportunity zones?
  • What is a donor-advised fund, and how are these used to save tax?
  • Should a taxpayer consider a CRT, CLT or other gifting strategies?


Featherngill, Lisa
Lisa R. Featherngill

Head of Legacy and Wealth Planning
Abbot Downing

Ms. Featherngill is the head of Legacy and Wealth Planning at Abbot Downing. She is responsible for a comprehensive...  |  Read More

Nahoum, Alex
Alex Nahoum, EA, FCA, MAAA

Danziger & Markhoff

Mr. Nahoum’s primary focus is the design and implementation of qualified retirement plans for closely held and...  |  Read More

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