Hundman Wealth Planning shares end-of-year tax thoughts

Jim Hundman
Jim Hundman

CAREFREE – As the end of the year is fast approaching, considering any last-minute strategies that might help reduce your 2019 tax bill. Last year was the first year to be impacted by the TCJA – Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. While there was no significant new legislation in 2019 affecting individual taxes, situations do change from year to year, thus requiring a fresh look at how to approach year-end tax planning.

Bunching Deductions into 2019 – If the total of your itemized deductions in 2019 will be close to your standard deduction amount, alternating between bunching itemized deductions into 2019 and taking the standard deduction in 2020 (or vice versa) could provide a net-tax benefit over the two-year period. For example, if you give a certain amount to charities each year, and if it’s financially feasible, you might consider doubling up this year on your contributions rather than spreading the contributions over a two-year period. If these amounts, along with your mortgage interest and medical expenses exceed your standard deduction, then you should double up on the expenses this year and take the standard deduction next year.

Similar opportunities may be available for bunching property tax payments and state income tax payments, subject to TCJA’s $10,000 limitation on deductions for such payments. This strategy can be especially attractive for single taxpayers because the standard deduction is so much lower for single individuals. It’s important to remember, however, that the deduction for property taxes applies only to property taxes that have been assessed. Thus, if the assessment for 2019 property taxes occurred in 2018 and the taxes are due in 2019, you can deduct in 2019 the taxes assessed for 2019 that you have paid as well as the property taxes assessed for 2020, assuming you also pay the 2020 taxes in 2019.

Learn more by contacting Jim Hundman at 480-625-3134 or jim@hundmanwealth.com. Hundman Wealth Planning is in Pima Norte, 36600 N Pima Rd. #301.