3 Last-Minute Tips That May Help Trim Your Tax Bill

Revisor

If you’re starting to fret about your 2019 tax bill, there’s good news — you may still have time to reduce your liability. Three strategies are available that may help you cut your taxes before year-end, including: 1. Accelerate deductions/defer income. Certain tax deductions are claimed for the year of payment, such as the mortgage interest deduction. So, if you make …

Medical Expenses: What it Takes to Qualify for a Tax Deduction

Revisor

As we all know, medical services and prescription drugs are expensive. You may be able to deduct some of your expenses on your tax return but the rules make it difficult for many people to qualify. However, with proper planning, you may be able to time discretionary medical expenses to your advantage for tax purposes. The basic rules For 2019, …

What is Your Taxpayer Filing Status?

Revisor

For tax purposes, December 31 means more than New Year’s Eve celebrations. It affects the filing status box that will be checked on your tax return for the year. When you file your return, you do so with one of five filing statuses, which depend in part on whether you’re married or unmarried on December 31. More than one filing …

Using Your 401(k) Plan to Save This Year and Next

Revisor

You can reduce taxes and save for retirement by contributing to a tax-advantaged retirement plan. If your employer offers a 401(k) or Roth 401(k) plan, contributing to it is a taxwise way to build a nest egg. If you’re not already contributing the maximum allowed, consider increasing your contribution rate between now and year end. Because of tax-deferred compounding (tax-free …

You may be ABLE to Save for a Disabled Family Member with a Tax-Advantaged Account

Revisor

There’s a tax-advantaged way for people to save for the needs of family members with disabilities — without having them lose eligibility for government benefits to which they’re entitled. It can be done though an Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) account, which is a tax-free account that can be used for disability-related expenses. Eligibility ABLE accounts can be created …

IRA Charitable Donations are an Alternative to Taxable Required Distributions

Revisor

Are you charitably minded and have a significant amount of money in an IRA? If you’re age 70½ or older, and don’t need the money from required minimum distributions, you may benefit by giving these amounts to charity. IRA distribution basics A popular way to transfer IRA assets to charity is through a tax provision that allows IRA owners who …

Selling Securities by Year End? Avoid the Wash Sale Rule

Revisor

If you’re planning to sell assets at a loss to offset gains that have been realized during the year, it’s important to be aware of the “wash sale” rule. How the rule works Under this rule, if you sell stock or securities for a loss and buy substantially identical stock or securities back within the 30-day period before or after …

Use a Coverdell ESA to Help Pay College, Elementary and Secondary School Costs

Revisor

There are several ways to save for your child’s or grandchild’s education, including with a Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA). Although for federal tax purposes there’s no upfront deduction for contributions made to an ESA, the earnings on the contributions grow tax-free. In addition, no tax is due when the funds in the account are distributed, to the extent the …

Take Advantage of the Gift Tax Exclusion Rules

Revisor

As we head toward the gift-giving season, you may be considering giving gifts of cash or securities to your loved ones. Taxpayers can transfer substantial amounts free of gift taxes to their children and others each year through the use of the annual federal gift tax exclusion. The amount is adjusted for inflation annually. For 2019, the exclusion is $15,000. …

Watch Out For Tax-Related Scams

Revisor

“Thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams,” according to the IRS. Criminals can contact victims through regular mail, telephone calls and email messages. Here are just two of the scams the tax agency has seen in recent months. Fake property liens. A tax bill is sent from a fictional government agency in the …