Hello to you!
We recently put April 15th and tax returns behind us, and maybe thought happily we wouldn’t have to think about the topic for another year. However, before you put the tax file in the drawer, let’s take this opportunity to see if there is any action to be taken today to positively impact the tax situation next year.
First of all, did you owe money to the government? If yes, did you have to pay a penalty for underpayment? It’s a good idea to check today to see if you are having the appropriate amount withheld from your paycheck or your pension, annuity, or IRA distribution checks. If you would prefer not to have withholding from these distributions, you can make quarterly estimated payments into the IRS instead. The goal is to have enough on deposit with the IRS so that you do not get penalized for underpayment.
Did you get a large refund from the IRS? If so, it would be a good idea to check to see if you are having too much withheld from your check. There is no reason to deposit more with the IRS than you need to.
Has there been a major event in your life, like the death of a spouse, a new marriage, or a new baby? These life changing events do have an impact on your tax situation, so it is important to review your withholding or estimated tax payments with your tax preparer if you experience significant change.
Did your IRA required minimum distribution put you into a higher tax bracket? If you are over 70 ½ , you can have your IRA custodian make your gifts to charity directly from your IRA (up to $100,000). The distribution then would not be considered as taxable income to you.
If you have thoughts you would like to share, please feel free to contact us or leave a comment below.
Ann P. Wiesbrock, CFP®