HO HO HO! Happy Holidays from TaxAudit! 

December 21, 2015 by Eric Linden
Lite Christmas tree on the floating barge

Were you a good tax planner this year? We hope so. January is right around the corner, so let’s make a tax list - and check it twice - for last minute tax saving opportunities!
 

  • Did you sell any stocks at a gain this year? If so, it’s not too late to sell some of your poorly performing stocks at loss to offset those gains. This is a popular strategy for reducing taxes.
  • Did you pay for any college or school expenses? There may be some deductions or credits available to you. Make sure to keep orderly records and keep a look out for that 1098-T form from the educational institution. You’ll need this to do your taxes when the time comes.
  • It’s not too late to make a charitable contribution to your favorite qualified charity. Remember, it only counts as a deduction if you itemize and the charity must be on the IRS’s list of eligible charities.
  • Did you donate an automobile? Remember, there are special rules for donating a vehicle. In most cases, your deduction will be the amount the charity is able to sell it for, which they will report to you on Form 1098-C.
  • Did you meticulously document all of your expenses you plan to write off? If not, plan to start digging up those receipts and documents shortly after New Year’s. This way you’ll give yourself plenty of time to find everything you need.
  • Attention sole proprietors! In most instances, you are required to set up your one participant/solo 401K by 12/31. These plans have the same rules and requirements as any other 401K plan. You might want to check into that.
  • Taxpayers who are 70 ½ and older: Have you thought about your Required Minimum Distributions regarding your retirement accounts? It would be a good idea to look into that as well!

Before you indulge in more eggnog and merriment, take a quick look at what you have done tax-wise this past year. You have little time to waste as the year is almost out, but we thought we could bring you a quick reminder. Be sure to always check the rules for every deduction you are planning to claim.

Tags: Tax planning

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