TIPS to REDUCE your 2016 TAXES
- Maximize contributions to any current 401(k), 403(b) or any other similar plan;
- Plan contributions to your IRA before April 18th, 2017;
- Sell investments with losses by December 31st to reduce any capital gains and offset against $3,000 of ordinary income;
- Donate appreciated investments, you get the benefit of receiving a charitable contribution for the fair market value of the investment, and not have to report any of the gain on the appreciation of the investment.
- Defer the income you control Wait to exercise stock options. Wait to bill for self-employment work and delay the collection of rents and royalties until the New Year;
- Make the best out of a bad year. If your 2016 income is substantially less than it usually has been you are likely in a lower tax bracket, making it a great time to sell appreciated stock and mutual funds. If this year’s ordinary income tax rate is 15% or less, then your capital gains tax rate is 0%.
- Convert your IRA to a Roth IRA. It is not immediate, but will provide tax savings in the future;
- Take Required Minimum Distributions (RMD’s) from retirement accounts if you are over 70 ½.
- Hold onto investments for at least 1 year if you don’t think the value will drop to get long-term tax rates;
- Pay January Mortgage payment to be received by December 31, 2016;
- Pay 4th Quarter state estimated tax payment by December 31, 2016;
- Pay 2nd Installment of Real Estate Taxes by December 31, 2016;
- Make Charitable Contributions and donate old clothes and furniture by December 31, 2016;
- Pay deductible expenses like business expenses, and medical bills by credit card by December 31, 2016.
New Tax Items of Interest
- Mandate for minimum essential health insurance, penalties are increasing to $695 per adult and $347.50 per child, (up to $2,085 per family) or 2.5% of family income, whichever is greater. For this reason, it is important to bring your 1095 forms to your tax appointment.
- No tax refund will be paid until at least February 15, 2017 if the Earned Income Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit is claimed. Returns can be completed prior to then, but the IRS will not process the payment until after February 15th.
- Money received from crowdfunding sources such as GoFundMe, Kickstarter, and Indiegogo may be taxable when received.
- Bitcoin held in a non-US exchange or wallet, should be indicated on their tax return and reported as a foreign bank account since the penalties are extremely high for failing to report foreign accounts. Additional filings fees may apply to the filing of a foreign bank account return.
- Increased documentation requirements for Earned Income Credit (EIC), Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) and American Opportunity Tax Credit. It is important to bring receipts related to books and education not reported on 1098-T. Other documentation requirements apply to the EIC and ACTC. Additional tax preparation fees could apply to the preparation of these items.
- FAFSA due dates have changed using 2015 tax information for both the 2016-17, 2017-18 school years. This information is to be reported now through 6/30/17 and 6/30/18 for the respective year ends.
- Business mileage reimbursement rate decreases to 54 cents per mile.
- Remember your 1098-T from your college students. This is a source of large tax credits and we are required to see it to deduct it on your taxes.
- The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015, permanently extended many tax incentives -
- Deduction for teacher classroom expenses up to $250
- Deduction for interest on tuition and fees as well as mortgage insurance premiums
- Advantages of charitable giving from IRA’s for required minimum distributions
- Landlords – Must prepare and send 1099’s - For those renting properties it is important that you prepare 1099s for anyone who provided a service to your rental property. This is required for each provider that was paid more than $600 during the year.
Please call us at your convenience so we can set up an appointment and estimate your tax liability for the year and discuss any questions you have.
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