You probably already know where you’re going for Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. And you’ve probably already decided how much of Aunt Jennie’s secret turkey stuffing you can eat without having to overdose on Tums for relief. But have you done your tax homework with your accountant or CPA to find out if there’s anything you can or should do to minimize your 2011 taxes that you’ll file next year?
A key point in preparing your taxes is preparing ‘for’ your taxes. As I’ve stated many times before, taxes are not based on an April 15th deadline…they’re based on planning throughout the whole year. And once the calendar flips over to the next year (i.e. January 1, 2012), 2011 is history for many tax write offs, expenses, and transactions. In other words, unlike a current year contribution to an IRA “for last year,” there are some things that have to be done by year end—no exceptions or extensions granted!!
I stay in touch with my CPA throughout the year. I update them on any significant purchases, transactions, changes in family situations, etc., and I do this to see how these individual transactions will affect my tax liabilities for the year. In doing this, I can more accurately track where “we” (my family) will be tax-wise in the following year when we are filing our taxes.
On that note…If you have a CPA, enrolled agent, or tax preparer that you really enjoy working with, I would be grateful for an introduction to that person. There are a lot of mutual concerns between tax professionals and financial advisors. I’m looking for a few good ones to refer to, and appreciate a great quality referral.