TAX TIPS

   
It is helpful to go through your checkbook and identify any tax deductible expenses you incurred such as property tax, DMV auto renewal, and medical expenses just to name a few.

 

It is very time effective to go through your client organizer and identify the items that you deducted the previous year. Your organizer also includes questions for you to answer that will alert your tax preparer of any important changes that occurred during the tax year.

 

Stocks and Bonds

 

You may receive a document in the mail from your brokerage
firm indicating any stocks and/or bonds that you sold during
the tax year. They may also provide that information to you on the year-end statement. If you have not received any written documentation and you sold stocks and/or bonds during the year, you may want to contact your broker for the following information:

 

• Date stock was purchased: Month and Year

• Date stock was sold: Month and Year

• Cost of stock

• Sales price

 

You can also give the broker permission to talk to our office, and our office can call for the missing information.

 

Charitable Contributions

 

If you are going to itemize this year, please keep in mind some simple tips to make sure you get the appropriate benefit for your generous donations. You should include credit card charges and payments by check in the year they are given to the charity, even though you may not pay the credit card bill or have your bank account debited until the next year.

 

Donations of stock or other property are usually valued at the fair market value of the property. When donating a car, fair market value takes into account not only the year, the model and the mileage, but also the local market and the vehicle's condition. As a result, the fair market value of the taxpayer's car may be substantially different than the average price listed in an established used car guide.

 

You should keep appropriate records to substantiate the value of your gifts. For example, for any single gift of $250 or more, a taxpayer must have a written acknowledgement from the charity by the earlier of the date the person files the tax return or the filing deadline, including extensions. A person donating property valued at more than $5,000 must obtain a qualified written appraisal.