End of the Year Tips
In a recent edition of the Beyond the Number$ newsletter from Bowers Private Wealth Management, you likely read the article discussing some year-end tax planning basics.
There is still enough time left in 2015 to act on a few of the tips provided in the Beyond the Number$ article, so I wanted to reiterate a few of those tips and offer a couple of other ideas so that you can keep more of what you earned in 2015 and beyond. You can also check out a couple of other tax planning concepts that I wrote about by clicking here and here.
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Annual Gift Tax Exclusion
First on the list of tips is to consider making gift of up to $14,000 per person under the annual gift tax exclusion. To amplify this a bit, you could consider using assets in the gift that are likely to appreciate significantly to save on future taxes.
Tips for the Self-Employed
If you're self-employed, some options you might want to think about the possibility of utilizing include:
- deferring the billing of clients until next year
- deferring a bonus until next year
- bunching up as many of your business expenses as possible during 2015 to maximize deductions
- paying your last-quarter taxes before December 31, 2015
Tips for Your Personal Finances
On the personal side of your finances, you can consider:
- selling some of your investments before the end of 2015 that may not have fared so well and perhaps using some of the resulting loss realization to offset any gains that you've taken during the year.
- making your January mortgage payment during December 2015 so that you can deduct the accrued interest during 2015
- maximizing (if eligible) the use of your Health Savings Account (HSA) and bunching any medical expenses that you have in 2015 to be sure you meet the threshold percentage of your AGI (adjusted gross income)
- making extra charitable donations before the end of the year and keeping in mind that this is another situation where using appreciated stock, rather than cash for donations, could be to your advantage both now and in the future.
As you consider your charitable planning, be sure to think beyond 2015. Ask yourself if you have future tax issues on the horizon and be sure to check out the brief articles that I wrote, Planned Charitable Giving and Minimizing Taxes of Highly Appreciated Assets.
Retirement Contributions and IRA’s
Last of all, but most certainly not least, be certain that you're maximizing your various retirement contributions to the best of your ability. This would include
- contributing to your IRA,
- setting up an IRA for each of your children who have earned income, and
- setting up a retirement plan for yourself if you're self-employed.
For more clarity, and help, on implementing the above ideas, please feel free to contact me. And of course, if this information could be to the benefit of anyone that you care about, please pass it along. Finally, be sure that you're following me on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.