Now that you are getting organized for getting your 2015 taxes done, it would be remiss not to have an annual review of potential tax saves before you click the button to send your tax filing up to the IRS. There are so many people who don’t look under the hood and assume that once the calendar year closes out that all tax opportunities are lost. Here is my smart money moves list of last minute tax ideas before you file.
FORM 2106- JOB EXPENSES
- The truth is that your employer may not reimburse everything during the year including mileage or other business related expenses. This could be a great opportunity to list out those expenses and take an additional tax deduction if you itemize your tax deductions.
- What’s the catch?- Must Exceed 2% Of Your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)
SELF EMPLOYED BUSINESS EXPENSES?
- Did you get a 1099 this year or do you have a small business? I’m still amazed on how many accountants don’t really go through this with their clients and how many small business owners don’t fully take all of their tax deductions. If you e-mail me, I’ll shoot you over my special list of 80 potential tax deductions.
- What’s the catch?- They Still Need To Be Legitimate Deductions.
- BTW- You can still set up a retirement plan (SEP-IRA) for 2015 if you have the cash!
ARE YOU ELIGIBLE FOR A TAX CREDITS?
- There were a number of tax incentives that got extended for now and some tax breaks for considerable years ahead. You should look at the Consolidated Appropriations Act (December 2015) which extended Residential Energy Efficient Improvements in many areas such as gas furnaces, heat pumps, windows, and much more. You may have made an energy saving home improvement that can save you money.
- What’s the catch? It only counts for certain kinds of properties and you do need receipts.
MAKE SURE YOUR CHARITABLE RECEIPTS ARE IN ORDER
- For eight years now I have been harping on how many people put a big old fat ZERO on line 17(b) of their tax return for itemized deductions when it comes to non-cash charitable contributions. This is another one where accountants typically make you round down versus what is fair to you. Is A Bag Of Stuff Worth $50? You really need to itemize this, get a signed receipt and use www.satruck.com as a guideline.
- What’s the catch?- A used T-Shirt isn’t worth $50. Lol.
MAKE AN IRA CONTRIBUTION
- Many people still don’t understand the rules about Traditional IRA’s, Spousal IRA’s, and Roth IRA’s and what may be tax deductible before you file.
- You can still do a Traditional OR Roth IRA for 2015. The question on whether or not this is deductible will depend on your income level and whether or not your family was eligible for a qualified retirement plan in the workplace.
- $5,500 maximum under age of 50 for 2015
- $6,500 maximum for 50 and above for 2015
- What’s the catch?- You need the money to fund it.
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Ted Jenkin is a frequent guest columnist for the Wall Street Journal and Headline News Weekend Express. He is the co-CEO of oXYGen Financial. You can follow him on LinkedIn @ www.linkedin.com/in/theceoadvisor or on Twitter @tedjenkin.