It’s already December?! The year is almost over, and we are all simply trying to survive this holiday madness. But, don’t forget that December is your last chance to improve your tax return for 2017. As we all know, tax reform is a hot topic right now. Let’s make sure that we are over-prepared going into 2018 to file taxes in the Spring.
To help, we have four tips that we believe will help with closing out this year on a good note:
1.Clean out your closet.
Do you really wear all of those clothes? Really? Look in your closet, and be honest with yourself. For most basic clothing items, the resale value is minimal. Go ahead and fill a bag with the clothes you are not wearing often or at all. Make a tally of the items you are giving away. Then, take them by a local thrift store or charity. It will be much more gratifying giving away gently used clothes to someone who really needs them than making a few bucks off of a sale. Also, don’t forget to ask for a receipt when dropping off.
2.Write a check to a nonprofit.
Nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations need your help, especially at the end of the year! Nonprofits do not earn any money, and the only way they bring in money is by generous donors. Find one to two nonprofit organizations that have a cause aligning with your passions and/or beliefs, and write a check to them before Christmas. (We know a great one to give to… just click “Donate” above to find out how to donate to us!) You will either automatically receive a receipt, or you can request one for your tax records. This charitable gift will help with your tax deductions for 2017!
3.Out of your pocket?
Teachers can especially benefit from this one, but really, anyone can benefit from comparing their personal expenses with their job day-to-day duties. There is a special educator’s tax benefit, allowing up to $250 to be deducted from income when out of pocket expenses are excessive . However, if working from home or having to leave the office for your job is something you do, think about the bills you are paying. If you are driving and using phone data for a GPS or you work from home and use personally-payed electricity (and are not being compensated), these items can be used as a write-off. Make sure to start calculating these bills/expenses now!
4.Did an apple a day keep the doctor away? Or nah?
Many of us end up at some kind of doctor at least a few times per year. However, some of us may have had an extraordinary year of medical expenses. Did you know that if your medical expenses exceeded your income by 10%, then, your healthcare expenses are eligible as a tax write-off? Don’t let this one pass you by!
We hope this information is relevant to your situation! And, if you have any questions, please find a licensed tax advisor or CPA in your area. I am not a tax professional, so please be advised by someone that is!