Top items on your year-end financial review

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — CPA Matt Bryant of the New York State Society of CPAs discussed the top items you should consider while undertaking your year-end financial review Monday during News 8 at Sunrise.

“There was a change in the tax law in 2018, which resulted in lower withholding,” said Bryant. “A good strategy is to estimate your taxes for 2019. Starting with your current paycheck, multiply by the number of pay stubs left, plus your year end totals to get an estimate of your taxable income.”

Bryant said if you take a look at your deductions and credits, less your taxable income figure you may owe, you can use form W-4 to increase your withholding so that you’ll have a bigger refund come tax time.

He added, for a bigger refund you may be able to make some charitable contributions or increase the amount you have going to your retirement fund, which is a pre-tax contribution.

This is also a good time of year to assess your Flexible Spending Account. “If you have FSA money, it’s typically use it or lose it,” Bryant noted. “If you don’t use it by the end of the year, or March 15, it’ll go away. So you can look to get a new pair of eye glasses, schedule a dentist appointment, or use some other transaction that will be a qualified medical expense.”

As part of your year-end review Bryant said, “If you have some credit card debt, the good thing to do as you get ready for the year to end is to pay it down. If you don’t, a good thing to do is to put a budget aside for holidays. If you spend a lot of money on the holidays, let’s start putting away a little money now so you don’t have a big credit card bill to start out the year.”

For more “Smart Money” advice Bryant said consult a trusted CPA or visit the New York State Society of CPAs website.

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