One of the first rules of year end retirement planning is to make sure you maximize your contributions each year to your 401k, 403b, or IRAs. If you do have an IRA and are currently over the age of 70½, you need to make sure you take your required minimum distribution before December 31st of this year. If you are approaching age 70½ and would like to consider what impact required minimum distributions would have on your tax situation, you need to contact your tax advisor.
If you’re over age 70½, the tax law has allowed you in the past few years to donate a portion of your required minimum distribution directly to charity and not recognize the income on that distribution. That law has not yet been extended for 2015 but it is believed likely to be extended by the end of the year; but stay tuned (currently legislation in Congress makes this option permanent). And, if for some reason they do not extend that provision, you can still take a charitable contribution deduction for that amount contributed to the charity if you itemize your deductions.
Remember every tax situation is different – if you have any questions please contact us or your tax advisor.
There are many variables when planning for taxes, here are some tips! Remember every tax situation is different and you should contact us or your tax professional for more information.
Our first tip deals with income. If you are in a higher income tax bracket this year than you expect to be in next year, or vice versa, you can either defer or accelerate income into this year or next year to lower your overall tax rate.
If you are in the 15% tax rate or lower, you can recognize capital gains at a 0% tax rate.
Another way to offset your capital gains, if you have them, is to recognize capital losses to offset those capital gains at a 0% tax rate.
Every taxpayer is allowed to deduct either itemized deductions or the standard deduction, whichever is higher.
If your itemized deductions tend to be the same as your standard deduction each year, you may want to double up on your itemized deductions every other year. For example: Paying your real estate taxes for one year in January and then paying again in December of the same year to double up.
Double up on charitable contributions in one year; that way you can deduct your itemized deductions every other year and deduct your standard deduction in the remaining years.