Written by findlaycpa on August 30, 2017 in Small Business Success Taxes

As fall approaches, we look forward to the holidays. After the thanksgiving turkey and Christmas ham has been eaten, we savor to the promise of spring, only to be reminded that the 2017 income tax filing season will soon be upon us. For many people, the act of filing their income tax returns creates significant disruption and anxiety. Here are some planning tips to help you get your ducks in a row.

  • Summarize your business income and expenditures; gather your receipts in support of your expenditures. If you start now, the process will be less stressful and the risk of omitting one or more tax-deductible expenses will decrease significantly.
  • Summarize your cash and non-cash charitable contributions.
  • If you have investment positions with continuous losses, consider the tax effectiveness of harvesting those losses before the end of 2016.
  • Document any changes to your financial landscape during 2016. For example, the assumption of business debt, purchase of new business assets, purchase of a new home, sale of investments or other assets etc.
  • Consider your need for professional income tax services. If necessary retain a tax attorney, and or income tax professional depending on your situation.
  • Schedule a tax planning appointment with your tax professional. A tax planning consultation produces strategies that specifically address your circumstances. With three months left in the year, there is just enough time to implement the tax planning advice and minimize your tax liability.
  • If possible, increase your retirement contributions. This will help to grow your nest egg and reduce your taxable income.
  • Make an extra regular payment on your mortgage; this will help you pay down your mortgage, decrease your interest expense in the long-term and reduce your taxes in the short-term. However, it is important that your mortgage provider that the payment is not intended as extra principal. Making an additional principal payment will accomplish the long-term interest reduction but the tax benefit will be lost.
  • Clean out your closet and make charitable donations. Charitable contributions are tax deductible and, more importantly, these donations help organizations like Goodwill to create jobs for people with disabilities.
  • Although flexible spending accounts now have a carryover feature, make arrangements to use any excess balances on these accounts.
  • If you have not done so already, make any estimated tax payment due. Failure to make estimated tax payments may result in penalties and could leave you facing a much larger tax bill on April 15.




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