I believe that most certified public accountants expected comprehensive tax reform legislation sometime in 2017. Here we are at the end of the summer with not much hope in sight. We may possibly have a tax rate reduction but this might only apply to corporate rates and not to individual rates. As such, we need to tax plan for the 2017 tax year using the laws and rates that are in place now.
As we enter the last third portion of the year, here is a list of things we can do to be prepared for filing our 2017 tax returns:
• Make sure that you have kept up with your mileage logs. Miles driven for your business activities, personal medical travel and charitable purposes are deductible. However, in order to deduct this expense you must have a mileage log in place.
• Confirm that you have kept all of your receipts and that they are filed in a logical format. This will make it easy to total your expenses for the year as well as keep you prepared for an IRS audit.
• It would be wise to determine how your anticipated net income in 2017 stacks up to what you originally estimated. You may need to adjust your last two tax payments accordingly.
• If your company has a large cash surplus, you might consider making a capital purchase of business equipment or furniture prior to the end of the year. This will enable you to take advantage of accelerated depreciation options.
• There is still plenty of time to institute a qualified retirement plan in your company. You can save taxes and plan for retirement at the same time.
• If your marital status changed in 2017, you may need to verify that the current W4 on file with your employer is adequate for the new filing status.
• Meet with your investment advisor to determine the current position of the capital gains or losses in your account. You might want to sell a holding before year-end to either shelter a gain or take advantage of a loss.
• CPAs are qualified to assist you with any of your tax planning needs. It is much more effective to implement changes well before the end of the year than it is to scramble right at the end of December.
Kim Walker is a local CPA and has clients in Southern Nevada, Western Arizona and Southern California. She has more than 35 years of experience in the public accounting arena. Her areas of concentration are small business owners and their specific accounting, planning and tax needs. For more information, visit www.kimwalkercpa.com.