Guest Article by Amanda Romine, Accountant at CDPA, P.C.
The end of the year is fast approaching. This is an important time to look at your finances and to focus on your upcoming taxes. Jeremiah asked me to share a few useful end-of-the-year tax tips. Here are a few things to consider:
- Accelerate Deductions: If you take advantage of itemized deductions, you may want to accelerate next year’s deductions into the current year for which the tax rates are known. For example, you might make January’s mortgage payment in December in order to have an additional month of interest to deduct, or you might move forward with an elective medical procedure or give additional funds to charity.
- Donations: When making charitable contributions keep the rules in mind. All deductions must have a receipt. Donations in excess of $250 must also have (1) an acknowledgement letter from the charity detailing the amount of the donation, (2) date of the donation, and (3) that no goods or services were received in return for the contribution.
- Tax-Free Transfers: If you are over 70 and 1/2 with an IRA, consider a direct transfer to a charity. These qualified charitable distributions are tax-free transfers that still meet the required minimum distribution. As a result, taxable income is lower.
- Worthless Stocks: You may have stock that was purchased years ago in companies that have since gone bankrupt. Go through your records and memory to determine if you have any “worthless” stock, so those losses can be deducted now.
- ACA: For 2017 all family members must still have qualified health insurance or pay the shared responsibility payment. Many Americans have joined a Healthcare Sharing Ministry which exempts them from paying the penalty; however, there is no tax deduction for the costs associated with a Healthcare Sharing Ministry.