Running The Numbers Blog

Tax Tips, Business News and Personal Observations are discussed by Mike Conroy, CPA from Boulder, Colorado.

Year-End Financial Housekeeping Thoughts

Mike Conroy - Sunday, September 16, 2012

There’s still time for year-end financial housekeeping to minimize your 2012 Tax Liability.

Here are a few of my thoughts.

Fund your Retirement Account - Invest the maximum amount if you can.  Maximum contribution limits depend on the type of plan you have. 

True-up your Q4 Estimated Tax Deposit - If you make estimated tax payments, work with a CPA to plan your 2012 tax liability before your Q4 payment is due in January 2013 to avoid overpaying or underpaying.

Sell Losing Investments - You may be able to offset gains from investments by selling losers.

Maximize your Itemized Deductions - If you itemize and you paid sales tax on a large purchase in 2012 (i.e. a new car) you may be able to maximize your tax savings by choosing to deduct Sales Tax instead of State Income Tax.

Upgrade Your Home - This is your last chance to claim a tax credit for making energy-efficient improvements to your principal residence. The home-energy tax credit expires at the end of this year.

Donate to Charity - If you itemize your deductions, you may be able to reduce your tax bill by donating items or money before year-end.

Give to your Family - You can give up to $13,000 this year to any number of recipients and avoid the Gift Tax.

Spend Down your Flex Plan if you have one.

If You Own a Business

Purchase equipment that qualifies for Section 179 or Bonus Depreciation - If you own a business you can reduce income by placing equipment in service before December 31.

Pay Employee Bonuses before year-end.

You can reduce your taxable income by writing off any obsolete inventory.

Make a charitable donation through your business.

There is a good chance that tax rates will increase after 2013 and tax breaks will be harder to find. Be sure to consult a qualified professional about whether these strategies are right for you.

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Certified Public Accountant of Boulder, Colorado