Here are some tips that should trigger you to conduct a full tax planning session to ensure your tax bill next year is not higher than it needs to be.
1. You owed tax last year. If you have not adjusted your withholdings, you could be in for a big tax bill. Time to take a look and plan accordingly.
2. Your household income changes dramatically. Whether higher OR lower, a change in income will impact your taxes, especially if it impacts availability of deductions or credits.
3. You are getting married or divorced. Married filing joint brings benefits and tax surprises. So does the impact of being single once again.
4. You have kids attending college next year. There are a number of tax programs that can help.
5. You have a small business. There are depreciation benefits plus the qualified business income deduction to consider. Plus you will need to understand the flow through impact your business profits will have on your personal tax return.
6. You plan on selling investments. Capital Gains tax rates can now range from 0% to 37% (depending on long or short term gains and your income level).
7. There are changes in your employer provided benefits. These changes could impact your taxable income this year.
8. You buy, sell or go through home foreclosure. There are tax benefits AND tax surprises when you buy or sell a home. A planful approach can make all the difference.
9. You have major medical expenses. The threshold for itemizing medical deductions is 7.5%. This means to itemize these expenses, they must exceed 7.5% of your income. But with proper planning, there are other ways to pay these expenses with pre-tax money!
10. You recently lost or changed jobs. Federal unemployment benefits are taxable and need to be accounted for in your tax plan.
11. Your estate has not been reviewed in the past 12 months. New gift tax and estate tax laws make 2013 a key year for an estate tax review.
12. You have a new child or dependent. These treasures bring joy AND a different tax obligation!
If any of these triggers apply to you, please schedule a tax planning appointment.