Your Money Matters: Cliff Morgan’s last minute tax tips

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Cliff Morgan
Strategic Wealth Inc.
www.strategicwealth.com

Cliff's Tips:

File on time, AND… file even if you can’t pay in order to avoid a late-filing penalty fee.

If you’re just not ready, and think that buying yourself some extra time is your best option at this point, you can file for an extension (which buys you 6 more months to file).

Presuming you are filing, here are some practical suggestions:

Consider filing electronically to avoid mistakes, and lines at the P.O.  There are new forms and rules with the Affordable Care Act, and tax prep software guides individuals through the process and does all the math for you.

Pay attention to details and don’t overlook additional questions or checkboxes.  Be sure to read each form thoroughly, right down to the bottom line.

Double check your return for accuracy and avoid simple errors like wrong spellings or bad math. Don’t forget that unemployment pay is taxable.

Mail your forms to the right place – refer to the IRS website “where to file”

Move money:
Contribute to a tax advantaged medical savings account if you have an HSA
Contribute the maximum to your contribution/benefit plans
401ks & IRAs, Roth IRAs

Don’t overlook credits and rebates:

Charitable contributions are deductible if you itemize deductions. If you made charitable contributions, record the names of organization, dates and amounts

Do you qualify for education credits?  (American Opportunity Tax Credit and Lifetime Learning Credit).

Be sure to claim any energy-related tax credits and rebates you may be eligible for

Don’t leave money on the table:

Did you incur expenses related to your work?

Do you quality for a special deduction allowed for paying interest on a  student/educational loan?

You can include deductions for mileage for business, charity, medical and moving; donations to Goodwill and other agencies like it…small things can add up.