Year End Tax Planning Strategies for Individuals

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Have you Started Year-End Tax Planning?

RETIREMENT PLAN CONTRIBUTIONS

 Maximize your retirement plan contributions. If you own an incorporated or unincorporated business, consider setting up a retirement plan if you don't already have one. It doesn't may not need to be funded until you pay your taxes, but allowable contributions will be deductible on this year's return.

HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNT

Consider setting up a health savings account (HSA).  You can deduct contributions to the account, investment earnings are tax-deferred until withdrawn, and amounts you withdraw are tax-free when used to pay medical bills.

PREPAYING DEDUCTIBLE EXPENSES IN 2017

Prepaying deductible expenses such as charitable contributions and medical expenses this year using a credit card. This strategy works because deductions may be taken based on when the expense was charged on the credit card, not when the bill was paid.

ACCELERATING INCOME

Accelerating income into 2017 is an especially good idea for taxpayers who anticipate being in a higher tax bracket next year or whose earnings are close to threshold amounts ($200,000 for single filers and $250,000 for married filing jointly) that make them liable for additional Medicare Tax or Net Investment Income Tax.

SOLAR TECHNOLOGY TAX CREDITS AVAILABLE FOR 2017

Certain energy-efficient home improvements can cut your energy bills and save you money at tax time. While many of these tax credits expired at the end of 2016, tax credits for residential and non-business energy-efficient solar technologies do not expire until December 31, 2021.

STOCK OPTIONS

If your company grants stock options, you may want to exercise the option or sell stock acquired by exercise of an option this year if you think your tax bracket will be higher in 2018. Exercising this option is often but not always a taxable event; sale of the stock is almost always a taxable event.

HEALTH CARE

If you haven't signed up for health insurance this year, do so now and avoid or reduce any penalty you might be subject to. Depending on your income, you may be able to claim the premium tax credit that reduces your premium payment or reduces your tax obligations, as long as you meet certain requirements. You can choose to get the credit immediately or receive it as a refund when you file your taxes next spring. Please contact the office if you need assistance with this.