Last-Minute Tax Moves to Consider Before the April Deadline

Last-Minute Tax Moves to Consider Before the April Deadline

Posted on 04/04/2024

As the April tax deadline approaches, the pressure mounts for many of us who have delayed our tax preparation. Whether you've been procrastinating or caught up in life's busyness, now's the critical time to make some strategic moves. These last-minute tax tips can help you navigate the crunch time with potentially better outcomes for your financial health.

1. Contribute to Retirement Accounts
Maximizing your contributions to retirement accounts like an IRA (Individual Retirement Account) can lower your taxable income. You have until the tax filing deadline to contribute for the tax year. This move can reduce your tax liability and bolster your retirement savings.

2. Harvest Tax Losses
If you have investments in non-retirement accounts that have lost value, consider selling them to offset any capital gains you may have. This strategy, known as tax-loss harvesting, can help reduce taxable income. Just be aware of the "wash sale" rule, which prevents you from claiming a tax deduction if you repurchase the same security or one substantially identical within 30 days before or after the sale.

3. Use Up Your Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
Check the balance if you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for healthcare. Some plans allow a grace period extending into the new year for spending the previous year's funds, while others may allow you to carry over up to a certain amount to the following year. Ensure you use these funds wisely to avoid losing them.

4. Consider Charitable Contributions
Making charitable donations can provide a tax deduction if you itemize your deductions. Donations can be in cash, but consider cleaning your closet and donating items in good condition. Ensure you get a receipt for any donations, and remember, the charity must be a qualified, tax-exempt organization.

5. Double-Check Deductions and Credits
Ensure you're getting all the deductions and credits. These could include education expenses, energy-efficient home improvements, or even medical and dental expenses. Each can provide substantial tax savings if you qualify.

6. Request an Extension if Necessary
You can request an extension if you cannot get your taxes done on time. However, be aware that an extension to file is not an extension to pay any taxes you owe. Estimate and pay any owed taxes by the original deadline to avoid potential penalties and interest.

7. Seek Professional Help
Consult with a tax professional when in doubt or dealing with complex tax situations. They can provide personalized advice tailored to your financial situation and help you navigate the complexities of tax law.

The clock may be ticking, but these last-minute tax moves can help you make the most of your situation. By taking strategic actions now, you can reduce your tax bill, take advantage of available deductions and credits, and even set yourself up for better financial health. Remember, it's always better to take action now than to regret missed opportunities after the deadline. Contact The Tax Law Firm of Charles A. Ray, Jr. at (202) 824-8123 for personalized assistance tailored to your tax situation. Their experienced professionals are ready to provide expert insights, helping you maximize your charitable giving while optimizing your financial well-being.