YEAR-END TAX PLANNING LETTER
To Our Clients and Friends:
With year-end approaching, now is the time to take steps to cut your 2019 tax bill. Here are some relatively foolproof year-end tax planning strategies to consider, assuming next year’s general election doesn’t result in retroactive tax changes that could affect your 2020 tax year.
Year-end Planning Moves for Individuals
Generous Standard Deduction Allowances. For 2019, the standard deduction amounts are $12,200 for singles and those who use married filing separate status, $24,400 for married joint filing couples, and $18,350 for heads of household. If your total annual itemizable deductions for 2019 will be close to your standard deduction amount, consider making additional expenditures before year-end to exceed your standard deduction. That will lower this year’s tax bill. Next year, you can claim the standard deduction, which will be increased a bit to account for inflation.
The easiest deductible expense to accelerate is included in your house payment due on January 1. Accelerating that payment into this year will give you 13 months’ worth of interest in 2019. Also, consider state and local income and property taxes that are due early next year. Prepaying those bills before year-end can decrease your 2019 federal income tax bill because your itemized deductions will be that much higher. However, the maximum amount you can deduct for state and local taxes is $10,000 ($5,000 if you use married filing separate status).