Taxes are the last thing on your mind between Thanksgiving and Christmas. However, we have only a few short weeks left to take care of some important things and ensure that your 2016 tax return holds minimal surprises. Below are some reminders of deadlines, as well as some tips to help you gather your information for your 2016 taxes more easily.
Items with a 12/31/16 Deadline:
Be sure to get receipts for all non-cash and cash donations
Figure the value of non-cash donations and write it on the receipt
Write the date of the donation on the receipt
529 Plan Contributions must be made by 12/31/16 (may vary by state)
401(k) Employee Contributions for 2016 must be deferred from last paycheck or December 31, 2016
The contribution limit for 2016 401(k) is $18,000, or if over age 50, $24,000
Simple IRA must be open by October 1st and the contribution must be made with the last paycheck of the year or by December 31st, 2016.
The maximum contribution for a Simple is $12,500 - If over 50 there is a $3,000 catch up allowed
SEP contributions are maxed at 20-25% of gross wages and must be contributed by October 15th, 2017 if there is an extension filed
Property Taxes - in order to be claimed on 2016 taxes, must be paid by 12/31/16. Be sure to obtain a receipt
Items with a 4/18/17 Deadline that will still count for 2016:
HSA & IRA (Traditional & ROTH) Contributions
HSA limits for 2016 are: $3350 for Self-only coverage and $6750 for family coverage (age 55+ has an additional $1000 they may contribute)
IRA contribution limits for Traditional & ROTH are: $5500 or $6500 if 50+
Additional Deadlines to Note:
Quarterly Estimated Payments – If you make estimated payments, the last payment is due January 17, 2017
Tips to gather tax information quickly:
New baby in 2016? Be sure to apply for their Social Security Card so that you can include the number on the tax return
Buy and/or Sell a home or land? Keep a copy of the HUD closing statement with your 2016 tax documents
Verify that your employer, bank, investment advisor, and entities you have ownership in, have your correct address so that you receive all of the tax forms they will be mailing to your personal address.
If you have moved in the last year, it may be helpful to fill out a change of address form to ensure that all of your tax documents are properly forwarded to your new address.
Thorough documentation and organized records will reduce the time and expense for your 2016 tax preparation. More importantly, however, good preparation will ensure that you are not missing out on any valuable tax benefits.
So, as you’re enjoying the holidays and preparing the feast for “The End” be sure to gather the necessary documents, information, and get your ducks in a row so that you’re not taken off guard by the invasion of “Tax Season!”
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