I hope you are in good health and enjoying your time with family and friends. I know that 2014 has been a challenging year for many of you and we are here to help you with your tax, financial planning and cash flow management.
Our office will be sending out tax organizers to those clients that have requested them or used them in the past after Thanksgiving, so look for them in your email. REMEMBER THAT IN ADDITION TO BEING A C.P.A., I AM ALSO A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional, CFP®.
IMPORTANT TAX TIPS TO CONSIDER BEFORE YEAR END:
- If you owe taxes make sure you make your estimated tax payments before January 15, 2015 and state taxes before December 31st. This way you can avoid underpayment and late tax payment penalties.
- It is almost always better to pay taxes later rather than sooner if you expect rates to decrease. I expect, with the new Congress, that tax rates will be lowered. If you have unused capital losses, consider selling your winners to offset these losses.
- If you have investments with losses consider selling them before year end. This makes most sense if you have capital gains in 2011, ’12, or ’13. You can carry losses back to those years.
- If you have already set up a tax free retirement account, make a contribution before your taxes are filed. There is an IRA limit of $5,500 and 401-K limit of $17,500. If you haven’t set up an IRA account please do so before December 31st. If you are over 50 years of age, you can make an additional $1,000 catch-up contribution.
- Donate securities to a qualified charity and take a deduction for the fair market value. This will eliminate any taxes due on the gain and you get a tax deduction to boot. Donating cash and merchandise before the end of the year can save you taxes if you itemize deductions. You must have a bank record or written statement from the charity to take the deduction. Written acknowledgements are required for donations over $250 and an appraisal if one item is more than $500.
- Rebalance your portfolio if the performance has caused certain asset classes to become over or under weighted. Remember that capital assets receive a more favorable tax treatment than interest or dividend income.
- Should you do some long term financial planning? Maybe you could rollover poor performing annuities, 401-K plans, IRA, etc? We can help.
- Start summarizing your tax deductible expenses whether for business or personal tax returns. Remember that every legitimate dollar you can deduct can save you on taxes.
Please ignore any threatening phone calls you receive from people claiming to be IRS agents. The IRS never calls you by phone without first contacting you by letter. This has been a scam which has affected thousands of Americans, particularly older Americans.
Contact our office at 310-374-8832 to get a discounted financial review for you and your family. Please contact this office before you make any serious financial decisions. We are here to help you.
All the best,
Chuck Anderson, C.P.A., CFP®