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November 30, 2017 | Posted in:

Last Minute Moves – A Year-End Tax Checklist

As the year draws to a close, it’s not too late to make tax moves. Alloy Silverstein’s accountants and advisors offer the following tax-saving ideas one could still consider. Use this checklist to make sure you don’t miss an opportunity before the year is out.

 

  • Retirement distributions and contributions. Make final contributions to your qualified retirement plan, and take any required minimum distributions from your retirement accounts. The penalty for not taking minimum distributions can be high.

 

  • Investment management. Rebalance your investment portfolio, and take any final investment gains and losses. Capital losses can be used to net against your capital gains. You can also take up to $3,000 of capital losses in excess of capital gains each year and use it to lower your ordinary income.

 

“Consider selling investments with unrealized gains to offset realized losses,” suggests Associate Partner Rich Middleton, CPA. “If repurchased, this will also lock in the gain and establish a higher basis for future sales.”

 

  • Last-minute charitable giving. Make a late-year charitable donation. Even better, make the donation with appreciated stock you’ve owned more than a year. You can often make a larger donation – and get a larger deduction – without paying capital gains taxes.

 

  • Noncash contribution opportunity. Gather up noncash items for donation, document the items and give those in good condition to your favorite charity. Make sure you get a receipt from the charity, and take a photo of the items donated just in case.

 

  • Gifts to dependents and others. You may provide gifts to an individual tax-free of up to $14,000 per year in total. Remember that all gifts given (birthdays, holidays, etc.) count toward the total. A married couple, according to Rich, can give up to $28,000 to the same individual.

 

  • Fourth quarter estimated taxes. Per Associate Partner Mike Engleman, another addition to your year-end tax list should be paying your fourth quarter state estimated tax payment prior to year-end, which is due January 15th, in order to receive a deduction for it on your current year federal tax return.

 

  • Organize records now. Start collecting and organizing your end-of-year tax records. Estimate your tax liability and make any required estimated tax payments.

 

“After each tax year is over it is important to keep the files in case of audit,” reminds Manager Chris Cicalese. “When you receive your return, make sure to keep the source documents used to prepare the return so you can substantiate everything on the return.”

 

 

Tax planning is not only important come November and December, but it should be a year-round practice. If you would like help determining what year-end tax moves are most beneficial for your individual situation, don’t hesitate to give your Alloy Silverstein accountant a call.

 

 

Further Reading from Rich Middleton, CPA:

 

The information contained in this newsletter is of a general nature and should not be acted upon in your specific situation without further details and/or professional assistance. For more information or for assistance with any of your tax or business concerns, contact our office at 856.667.4100.

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