CPA Tom Walpole discussed changes in your tax status to look for as part of a mid year tax review Monday on News 8 at Sunrise.
Walpole said the first step in a mid year tax review is to make sure your 2015 return is complete. If you received an extension, it’s time to get it done and turn the page toward your 2016 return. October 17 is the deadline for those who received an extension.
When looking ahead, Walpole said you need to consider changes that will influence your tax bracket. If your bracket has changed, you should adjust your withholding or estimated tax payments to match the change. He said there can be controllable and uncontrollable changes. Uncontrollable changes are things like like losing a job, the birth of a baby or losing the dependency exemption because a child is too old or has moved out. Controllable items would include selling off investments, taking a bonus, or electing to begin collecting Social Security. Other possible changes could be paying off a mortgage or baby boomers at 70-1/2 years of age being required to begin withdrawing money from their retirement plan.
Once your changes are determined, Walpole said have a projected return prepared to see what may be the 2016 tax liability. That can offer insight for any adjustments, such as taking a gain or loss on investments, changing pretax dollar contributions to a work plan, or adjusting charitable donations.
Walpole said when it comes to your tax return, he recommends avoiding the temptation of a large refund. He argues waiting to receive the money in a large lump sum enables the government to use money you could receive earlier. Walpole says the other danger in planning for a large refund lies with identity theft. Victims counting on a large sum of money in the spring, may have to wait until the fall to get the money. It will come eventually, but could leave you with an unwanted financial burden.
Walpole concluded, a mid year tax review leaves plenty of time to make an adjustment in withholding or estimated taxes so next April the refund or balance due won’t come as a surprise.
For more information, visit the New York State Society of CPAs website, click here.