Category: 2013 tax planning

Your 2013 return may be your last chance for 2 depreciation-related breaks

If you purchased qualifying assets by Dec. 31, 2013, you may be able to take advantage of these depreciation-related breaks on your 2013 tax return:
1. Bonus depreciation. This additional first-year depreciation allowance is, generally, 50%. Among the assets that qualify … Read More »

2013 higher education breaks may save your family taxes

Tax credits can be especially valuable because they reduce taxes dollar-for-dollar; deductions reduce only the amount of income that’s taxed. A couple of credits are available for higher education expenses:
1. The American Opportunity credit — up to $2,500 per year per … Read More »

There’s still time to get substantiation for 2013 donations

To support a charitable deduction, you need to comply with IRS substantiation requirements. This generally includes obtaining a contemporaneous written acknowledgment from the charity stating the amount of the donation, whether you received any goods or services in consideration for … Read More »

Why the self-employed should consider setting up a retirement plan before year end

For 2013, the maximum IRA contribution is $5,500 — $6,500 if you’re age 50 or older on Dec. 31. (The maximum IRA contribution or deduction may be reduced or eliminated depending on various factors.) But if you’re self-employed, you may … Read More »

Will your donations be more powerful this year?

Maybe. Deductions are more valuable when tax rates are higher, and higher-income taxpayers face higher rates in 2013. But the return of the itemized deduction reduction could make your donation deduction less valuable. Also keep in mind that the amount … Read More »

Year-end tax planning for your investments

While tax consequences should never drive investment decisions, it’s critical that they be considered — especially this year: Higher-income taxpayers may face more taxes on their investment income in the form of the returning 39.6% top short-term capital gains rate … Read More »

Beware of the AMT when doing year-end tax planning

As year end approaches, you may be trying to accelerate deductible expenses into 2013 to reduce, or at least defer, tax. But you must beware of the alternative minimum tax (AMT) — a separate tax system that limits some deductions … Read More »

Even with rising exemptions, 2013 annual exclusion gifts still a good idea

Recently, the IRS released the 2014 annually adjusted amount for the unified gift and estate tax exemption and the generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax exemption: $5.34 million (up from $5.25 million in 2013). But even with the rising exemptions, making annual … Read More »

2013 may be your last chance for a “charitable IRA rollover”

If you’re age 70½ or older, you can make a direct contribution — up to $100,000 — from your IRA to a qualified charitable organization in 2013 without owing any income tax on the distribution. This “charitable IRA rollover” can … Read More »

Maximize your 2013 depreciation deductions with a cost segregation study

If you’ve recently purchased or built a building or are remodeling existing space, consider a cost segregation study. It identifies property components and related costs that can be depreciated much faster, perhaps dramatically increasing your current deductions. Typical assets that … Read More »