Lessons from Your 2017 Tax Return
Once you’ve completed your 2017 taxes and have all the required documents handy, it’s the perfect time to review your return and take stock of lessons learned. Taking time to analyze your finances from last year can make all the difference when planning for next year and beyond.
By thinking through next steps based on your current financial status, you’ll be able to better stay on top of your finances and anticipate how the new tax laws may impact you moving forward.
Set up a meeting or phone call so that we can help you evaluate the outcome of your 2017 tax filing, use the insights gathered to adequately prepare you for 2018 and understand what the changes to tax laws mean for you.
To get started, check out these items:
- Be a Neat Freak: Create a real or electronic file exclusively for your 2018 taxes to store all relevant receipts, statements, W-2s, 1099s, property tax bills and mortgage interest statements throughout the year. Be sure keep track of your purchase price, commission, and sales price for any investment transactions as well.
- Be Smart About Your Refund: Use refund money from Uncle Sam to contribute to a retirement or college savings plan, to pay down outstanding debt or replenish your emergency fund. However, if your refund is larger than a few thousand dollars, it’s time to adjust your income tax withholdings. If you’re self-employed, be sure to lower your quarterly estimated tax payments accordingly.
- Be Cautious with Retirement Savings: If your tax bracket is dropping, this year could be an excellent time to convert your traditional IRA into a Roth. Discuss the tax consequences of the conversion with your wealth manager—it may be worth waiting until the fourth quarter when you know exactly what your 2018 earnings will look like.
- Be Mindful of New Tax Laws: The new tax law affects standard deduction limits, as well as deduction limits for medical and dental expenses, and home mortgage interest. This will impact whether you can deduct charitable gifts, when to schedule medical procedures and how you use home equity loans.
- Be Proactive About Planning: After tax season, check in with your accountant or financial advisor and ask him or her to create mock 2018 returns. Thinking about your new tax situation can be daunting, but it may be better than you expect. But, if not, it’s better to know ahead of time and be able to put a plan in place
Want to learn more about the new tax law and how it may impact your family or business? RSVP to attend our Tax Planning Strategies Under the New Tax Law luncheon this Friday, April 27 at 11:30 am at Koelbel Library in Greenwood Village.
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