Start Planning Now for Year-End Impact

11-14-2017


There are numerous ways to still save on taxes this year. This end of year checklist covers the most common ways to plan and save money.

Charitable contributions and appreciated stock: Give cash or stocks before the end of the year and reduce your income taxes. When you give appreciated stock (securities that have been held longer than one year), you are unburdening yourself of future taxes so you can give more and have it “cost” less. When you sell appreciated securities, you forfeit a portion of the proceeds to taxes.

Review your gifts to date to ensure you have given to the causes most important to you and in the amounts you intend. Date your check on or before December 31, 2017. If mailing, the postmark also has to be dated by December 31, 2017. Check that you have proper receipts and documentation. You can also set up a charitable gift annuity (CGA) for lifetime income.

Flexible spending accounts: If you contribute to a Flexible Spending Account, make sure you have used all the money in the account. Now might be the time to have that medical procedure you have been delaying.

Increase your 401K: If you won’t hit your maximum on contributions by year-end, consider directing extra dollars to your retirement plan during your last few pay periods. If you receive a year-end bonus, use it to build up your savings.

Mortgage Interest: You can pay your January mortgage payment early and add to your mortgage deduction this year. Just check with your accountant on how do to this.

State and local taxes: Call your accountant now to ask what state and local taxes may be paid in 2017 that will reduce your deferral income taxes for the same year.

Income tax withholding: After calculating your taxes for 2017, work with your accountant to see if you should adjust the withholding on your employers W-2 form.

Please contact Eve Powell, epowell@unitedwayatlanta.org, on how you can make an impactful charitable gift to United Way of Greater Atlanta.