End of year tax tips to maximize your returns

MORAINE, Ohio (WDTN) – If you’ve been procrastinating, now is the time to take charge of your finances.

Here are some last-minute tax tips Doug Talmage of Pohlman and Talmage CPA’s, Inc. shared with 2 NEWS:

  • Charitable giving: Talmage says making a donation to your favorite charity or non-profit is a simple and popular tax write-off during the holiday season. He also says those with profitable stocks and securities can donate them and not pay taxes on the gain.
  • Max out Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA): If you use a flexible spending account and still have money remaining, try to maximize the funds by fitting in end-of-year medical and/or dental appointments.
  • Contribute to retirement savings: Putting money toward your 401K or IRA not only helps build savings for retirement, but also reduces your taxable income for the year.
  • Make mortgage or loan payments: You can get a head-start on paying off your home and potentially earn a larger deduction from the interest.
  • Defer income: If you’re able to defer any holiday bonuses, that could reduce your tax liability.
  • Prepay taxes: Talmage says this is key ahead of the recent tax reform package. He expects tax rates to go down next year and even be capped at $10,000.

“Some of these items are going to be deductible this year and next year, but they’re going to be worth more this year because the tax rates are going to be higher than what they are next year,” Talmage told 2 NEWS.

The CPA says staying organized and starting your filings early is the best way to maximize your returns.

“I would propose that everybody does as much as they can to get the data into your tax preparers as soon possible,” he said. “That gives us time to get the returns in an accurate and timely manner and get the best result for the tax payer.”

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