7 Year-End Tax Planning Ideas

As hard as it may be to believe, tax time is fast approaching. The following are some year-end tax planning ideas which may help reduce your 2009 tax bill or assist with financial and tax planning for you and your family:

1. The homebuyer tax credit has been extended to April 30, 2010. The credit is up to $8,000 for first time homebuyers and up to $6,500 for those who have lived in their home for at least five years and are relocating to another home. As always, these credits are subject to income limits.

2. If you buy a new car in 2009, you can deduct new car sales tax even if you elect to itemize your deductions.

3. Don’t forget the availability of Federal rebates for the purchase of new “”green” appliances which are generally from between $50 and $250.

4. There are also tax credits available for purchase of energy efficient heating sources.

5. Don’t forget to fully fund your IRAs, 401(K) plans and other retirement plans where economically feasible. The IRA contribution limit for 2009 is $5,000 plus a $1,000 catch-up contribution for those 50 years of age and older. The limits for salary deferrals for your 401(k) and 403(b) plans for 2009 are $16,500 plus $5,500 in catch-up contributions. For SIMPLE plans, the limits are $11,500 plus $2,500 for catch-up contributions. The IRS has announced that the limits for 2010 will not change from the 2009 limits.

6. With uncertainty about the future of the Federal estate tax, making gifts to younger generations not only makes tax sense but is greatly appreciated in these difficult economic times. Each person can give an individual up to $13,000 in 2009 without gift tax consequences. For a husband and wife, gifts up to $26,000 per individual are gift tax free.

7. As a result of the difficult stock market over the last couple of years, many of us have experienced paper losses in our investment portfolios. If you have capital gains from other investments or that have been realized from the sale of securities in 2009, you may want to consider realizing some of those paper losses to off-set realized capital gains that you have in 2009.

We would be glad to discuss these and any other year-end tax or financial planning questions you may have. My best to all for a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.

Curtis & Curtis, P.C. is a full service law firm located in Jackson, Michigan providing superior legal services and advice to individuals, families and businesses throughout mid-Michigan since 1901.

This publication is provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute formal legal or other professional advice. No attorney-client relationship is created with you when you read this information. The above information may be changed without notice and is not guaranteed to be complete, correct or up-to-date, and may not reflect the most current legal developments. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Curtis & Curtis, P.C.