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Smart Moves for 2016

As you begin collecting the paperwork you’ll need to file your 2015 income tax return, you may find things you should have done differently that would have helped save money.  Now, early in the year, is the time to make some changes that might reduce the amount you pay next year at this time.  Consider:

  • Switching to tax-exempt investments, particularly if you are in a high tax bracket.  The higher your tax rate, the greater your tax savings from converting to tax-free municipal bonds.  And the earlier you switch, the more you’ll save.

  • Checking your withholding and estimated payments.  If your tax liability is likely to be different in 2016 — either more or less — ask your tax adviser to determine how much you need to pay in to avoid an underwithholding penalty.  Remember, a large tax refund means you’ve given the IRS an interest-free loan of your money.

  • Getting organized.  File statements from your bank and broker, save receipts for medical expenses, keep records of the business use of your personal vehicle and hold onto acknowledgments for your charitable gifts.

  • Reviewing your will and/or living trust to see that they still reflect your wishes regarding the disposition of your estate.  Be sure to coordinate the beneficiary designations on life insurance and retirement accounts — which generally pass outside your will — with your overall estate plan.  If you don’t already have up-to-date documents, see an attorney about drafting a plan.  Ask also about living wills and powers of attorney, to make known your wishes regarding life-sustaining medical treatment and who you want to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so.  While you’re having a will drafted or updating an existing will, consider adding charitable bequests to continue supporting the organizations that were important to you during your life.

 

Please contact us for more information.

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