Daily Money Tip: Tips for last-minute tax savings

Scott A. Isdaner (Photo from isdanerllc.com)
Scott A. Isdaner (Photo from isdanerllc.com)
Posted: April 02, 2014

Looking for last-minute tax savings? So were we, so we checked in with Scott Isdaner in West Bala Cynwyd. His firm, Isdaner & Co., provides tax and other financial advisory services.

Here is some advice Isdaner provided his clients to lower their 2013 tax bills. If these were steps you could have taken in 2013 and did not, remember them for your 2014 tax reports.

Year-end gifts. Any person can give any other person up to $14,000 for 2013 without incurring any gift tax. You can increase this $14,000 annual exclusion amount to $28,000 if your spouse also makes a gift. Also, a $14,000 gift check given to and deposited by your grandchild on Dec. 31, 2013, is treated as a completed gift for 2013 - even though the check may not have cleared until 2014.

Higher education. Prepay qualified higher education expenses for first quarter of 2014. Unless Congress extends it, the up-to-$4,000 deduction for higher education expenses will not be available after 2013. So consider prepaying higher-education tuition for 2014 courses if doing so will boost your 2013 tax deduction.

Generally, a 2013 higher- education deduction is allowed during 2013 or for an academic period beginning in 2013 or in the first three months of 2014, Isdaner noted. A payment made in the first quarter of 2014 can be used as a 2013 deduction, he said.

HSA contributions. A taxpayer who opened a health savings account (HSA) as late as December 2013 is treated as having been an eligible individual for the entire year. So, if you had become eligible for an HAS on, for example, Dec. 1, 2013, you could have made a full year's deductible on behalf of 2013's tax filing.

If you made that maximum contribution, you would have received a deduction of $3,250 for individual coverage, and $6,450 for family coverage.

GIC event

If you are interested in the Federal Reserve's policies under new chair Janet Yellen, sign up for "Monetary Policy in Transition: Implications for Growth, Markets and the Dollar," hosted by the Global Interdependence Center and Drexel University's LeBow College of Business.

The seminar will be from 8:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 16, in Drexel's LeBow Hall. The program will feature speakers such as Doug Duncan, Ph.D., senior vice president and chief economist for Fannie Mae; Stu Hoffman, Ph.D., chief economist of PNC Bank; Andre Kurmann, Ph.D., professor of economics at Drexel ; and Catherine Mann, Ph.D., Rosenberg Professor of Global Finance at Brandeis University's International Business School.


erinarvedlund@yahoo.com

646-797-0759

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