Get Organized Before Tax Season

End of the Year Financial Checklist: 

The holiday season may not feel like the time to start thinking about tax season, but individual taxpayers and small business owners can get a real jump on what’s to come with just a little planning.  Don’t wait until the last minute, 2018 is almost here and the experts at Broussard Poché, LLP want to help you check off a few financial to-dos to help you prepare for the coming tax season.

Check beneficiaries:  This time of year is a good time to check the beneficiaries on your retirement accounts or insurance policies.  Most experts advise doing this sort of check once a year.  Statuses change throughout the year; take in to accounts divorce and separations as well as anyone who may have passed away.  If this is folded into your end of the year checklist, it will be easier to remember and make routine.

Use IRA funds for charity:
If you are over the age of 70½, you must take required minimum distributions from your traditional IRAs.  These are taxable but you may transfer up to $100,000 directly from your IRA to a charity without any tax consequences.

Roth IRA Conversion:
If you exceed the limit to contribute directly to your Roth IRA, there is still a chance for tax-free investment growth. First contribute to your non-deductible traditional IRA, then convert the funds to your Roth IRA before the end of the year.  You may need a bit of help from your financial planner for this tip.

Issue more stock:
For business owners, consider issuing qualified small business stock (QSBS). As long as certain requirements are met and the investor holds the stock for at least five years, 100% of the gain from a subsequent sale of QSBS will be tax-free.

End of the year hires:
Your business may claim the Work Opportunity credit for hiring a worker from one of several “target groups,” such as food stamp recipients, certain veterans and long-term unemployment recipients.  The maximum Work Opportunity credit is higher for workers from certain target groups. Plus, an employer may qualify for a special credit, with a maximum of up to $1,200 per worker for 2017, for employing disadvantaged youths from Empowerment Zones.

Meet with your financial planner:
The end of the year is a great time to go over odds and ends with your financial planner.  Consider checking-in because your professional may suggest time-sensitive tactics like deferring income.  The experts at Broussard Poché, LLP know that this time of year is a great time to get a jump start on tax planning. Contact your tax adviser to get started.