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2601 4th Street SW
Mason City, IA 50401

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Home Blog Attending to Year End Tax Planning

Attending to Year End Tax Planning


At the end of the year, it’s important to think about taxes and year-end tax planning.  We’re going to discuss a few things to consider as you weigh potential tax moves before the end of the year.

if you might be in a lower tax bracket next year, defer income until then. For example, you may be able to defer a year-end bonus or delay the collection of business debts, rents, and payments to postpone payment of tax on the income until next year.

Look for opportunities to accelerate deductions into the current tax year. If you itemize deductions, making payments for deductible expenses like medical, qualifying interest, and state taxes before the end of the year could make a difference on your return.

Also if you itemize deductions, try to make deductible charitable contributions.  And even if you don't itemize deductions, you can receive a $300 charitable deduction ($600 for joint returns) for direct cash gifts to public charities.

Bump up withholding on Form W-4 for the remainder of the year if it looks like you're going to owe federal income tax. The biggest advantage to that is regardless of when the dollars are actually taken from your paycheck, the withholding is considered as having been paid evenly throughout the year.

If you haven't already contributed the maximum amount allowed, consider an increase to your retirement savings. Deductible contributions to a traditional IRA and pre-tax contributions to an employer-sponsored retirement plan can help reduce your taxable income.  The window to make contributions to an employer plan generally closes at the end of the year, while you have until April 15th of the following year to make IRA contributions.

And don’t forget.  If you are age 72 or older, you generally must take a Required Minimum Distribution from traditional IRAs and employer-sponsored retirement plans.  An exception may apply if you're still working for the employer sponsoring the plan).

Weigh year-end investment moves to determine the tax implications.  Though you shouldn't let tax considerations drive your investment decisions, it is worth considering.  Any losses above the amount of your gains can be used to offset up to $3,000 of ordinary income ($1,500 if your filing status is married filing separately) or carried forward to reduce your taxes in future years.

As always, we’re here to help.  Email us at or give us a call at 641-422-1600.


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