All too often, taxpayers wait until after the close of the tax year to worry about their taxes, missing opportunities that could reduce their tax liability or help them financially. Fall is the perfect time for tax planning. The following are some events that can affect your tax return; you may need to take steps to mitigate their impact and thus avoid unpleasant surprises after it is too late to address them.
q Did you get married, divorced, or become widowed?
q Did you change jobs or has your spouse started working?
q Did you have a substantial increase or decrease in income?
q Did you have a substantial gain from the sale of stocks or bonds?
q Did you buy or sell a rental?
q Did you start, acquire, or sell a business?
q Did you buy or sell a home?
q Did you retire this year?
q Are you on track to withdraw the required amount from your IRA (age 70.5 or older)?
q Did you refinance your home or take out a second home mortgage this year?
q Were you the beneficiary of an inheritance this year?
q Did you have a child? Time to start a tax-advantaged savings plan!
q Are you taking advantage of tax-advantaged retirement savings?
q Have you made any significant equipment purchases for your business?
q Are your cash and non-cash charitable contributions adequately documented?
q Are you keeping up with your estimated tax payments or do they need adjusting?
q Are you aware of and prepared for the new 3.8% surtax on net investment income?
q Did you make any unplanned withdrawals from an IRA or pension plan?
q Have you stayed abreast of every new tax law change?
If you anticipate or have already encountered any of the above events, it may be appropriate to consult with this office, preferably before the event, and definitely before the end of the year.