Prepare for the Holidays with these Tax Tips

As the end of 2019 draws near, taxes might not be on everyone’s mind. Between holiday planning, keeping up with the news cycle, and staying on top of today’s complicated business landscape, it’s easy to forget that many cost-saving strategies are available for taxpayers who remember to take advantage of them.

Ferguson Timar wishes everyone a happy and safe holiday season.

If you would like to explore ways to optimize your 2019 taxes before year-end, or would like advice for preparing for tax season early, please give us a call at (714) 204-0100.

Here are a few ways to prepare your taxes for the holidays:

  • Optimize your deductions strategies.

The fourth quarter of every year means many things: more time with family, lots of rich food, and a flood of donation requests from charities. Nonprofits concentrate on year-end donations, not just because they’re trying to meet their annual financial goals. They also know that donors want to improve their income tax deductions.

Charitable giving is a powerful way to lower taxes while also supporting a cause you care about. Always be sure to get a receipt for any gift you intend to claim. If you have the option, think about giving an appreciated asset, like shares of stock, which nets you a double benefit: not only can you deduct the total value of the gift, but you can also avoid capital gains taxes.

Businesses can also optimize their deductions strategies by loading expenses into profitable years. Buying long-term assets, like new computer equipment, can be a good way to make the business’s cash go further and improve the business’s accounting picture.

  • Investors should be looking for opportunities to harvest loss.

Loss harvesting involves selling investments that have not done well. Taxpayers can reduce the amount of taxable gain on stock sales in a calendar year by up to $3,000 in losses. Anything over $3,000 can be carried forward into future tax years.

  • Begin thinking about complex tax situations now.

Some taxpayers have complicated circumstances that will require sifting through piles of records, analyzing alternative tax strategies, and making difficult choices. Individuals who have sold a home or businesses that have completed major transactions, like an acquisition or significant investments in equipment, will want to begin the analysis process early. By developing a good picture of what you will owe, or what you will be getting back, you can better plan for the future while also getting ahead of the tax filing crush.

Ferguson Timar is here to help you explore these and other tax-saving strategies at year-end. Give us a call today for a personalized review of your tax situation for 2019 and beyond.