Tax reform has turned out to be a mixed bag in terms of its benefits to wealthy clients, according to a panel of tax specialists.

The reform package's rule regarding the repatriation of overseas cash could benefit investors by leading to rising dividends and stock buybacks, they said.

But high-net-worth individuals are increasingly concerned about limitations in their deductions under President Trump’s new tax act.

“Wealthier clients are now limited in their real estate, local and state tax deductions to $10,000 and the rise in standard deductions to $12,000 for single individuals and $24,000 for a married couple may prevent them from itemizing,” said Randi A. Schuster, principal-in-charge of Baker Tilly Virchow Krause’s New York trust and estate group.

High-net-worth individuals may opt to combine charitable contributions for 2018 and 2019 as a way to itemize their deductions in 2018 and secure an advantage, according to Schuster, who lectured on a panel last week hosted by the New York Alternative Investment Roundtable at Grant Thornton’s Manhattan office.

“Financial advisors should absolutely be aware of this so they can plan around their client’s standard and itemized deductions,” Schuster said.

The event was called “Implications of the Tax Reform Package: Insights & Considerations for 2018 & Beyond” and featured an all-women panel in honor of National Women’s History Month.

Panelists included Jamie Fowler, national managing partner in tax services for Grant Thornton; Margo Wolf O'Donnell, partner with Benesch and vice chair of the firm’s labor and employment practice group; and Michele Itri, co-chair of Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt’s tax law practice in Chicago.

“There’s no part of business that doesn’t have an opportunity to be re-examined as a result of this tax bill, which is in many cases an opportunity and in other cases a precaution,” Fowler told Financial Advisor after the panel presentation. “Their strategies, their governments, their risk, their employee opportunities, employer responsibilities, technology and the way their supply chain flows is all up for re-examination.”

That includes the way an advisor earns their money and deploys assets, Fowler said.

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