Are You Just Getting Your Taxes Done, Or Getting The Most Out Of The Process?

Your tax situation has become more complicated over time, hasn't it? Marriage, children, a growing and diversifying net worth — as your assets become more complex, the number of tax considerations and IRS forms grows.

Whether you have a CPA or do your taxes on your own, you can truly maximize your tax savings by examining your tax situation now, when you are not under a deadline. If you need help getting started, contact The Peck Group, LC, to arrange a free half-hour consultation with a lawyer.

Some people hand their files over to a CPA and assume that person will get them the highest possible refund — but you should not. The best accountant in the world cannot take the place of good planning.

A Good Plan Starts With A Beginning-Of-Year Overview

Start your tax plan by understanding your withholding options. If you usually receive a large refund, you may be having too much withheld. Excess withholdings are a tax-free loan to the IRS, so check if your withholding allowances are still accurate.

Also, carefully consider your filing options. For example, while most married couples benefit from filing jointly, don't just follow the crowd. If one spouse could claim substantially more deductions than the other, that imbalance might be a signal that filing separately could be advantageous. Calculate your taxes both ways and file in the way that gets you the larger total refund.

Set Your Goals In January And Begin Collecting Evidence

There are a lot of extremely valuable deductions available, but the IRS often requires evidence to back them up. If you expect to deduct a significant amount in business expenses, job-hunting expenses, uninsured medical costs, or charitable deductions, for example, you may need receipts, appraisals, or other materials to prove those expenses and the value of gifts.

Make Sure To Max-Out Available Deductions

Certain deductions may be valuable enough to bring you down to a lower tax bracket. That is the idea of deductions — they reduce the amount of your taxable income. If a few more deductible expenses would be enough to reduce your taxable income enough to lower your tax bracket, you do not want to find out in April of the next year. Before the tax year is up, take the time to find out where you are so you can prepay your home mortgage or give extra to charity.

Considering Giving Away Or Selling Capital Assets? Offset Capital Gains.

If you have investments beyond a retirement account and family home, you need to understand capital gains and losses. Appreciation of the value of stock, for example, is taxed as a capital gain, essentially meaning you will pay capital gains tax on the difference between the price when you bought the stock and the price when you sold it. Those capital gains, however, can be offset by losses on other stocks or capital assets. You may also be able to avoid the capital gains tax by making a charitable gift of appreciated stock, as opposed to giving cash.

Contact The Peck Group, LC, To Discuss Your Individual Tax Planning Needs

Basic tax planning can help people in any tax situation. Is yours more complex? The Peck Group, LC, offers a free half-hour consultation with a tax attorney to assess your individual needs. Call 770-884-6914 or contact us online. From our offices in Atlanta, we help individuals and businesses prevent and resolve tax problems in Georgia, throughout the Southeast and nationwide.