Tax Season is Coming: Four Actions to Consider Before 2019

We are quickly approaching the end of 2018, and before you know it you will be ringing in the new year with 2019. Here are five quick actions to consider before the 2019 new year. Just make sure you do these before December 31, 2018 to get the actual benefit for the 2018 year.

1) Donate to a charity

The end of the year is a great time to celebrate giving and clean out your home or any items you won’t be using in the new year. Consider giving a monetary or physical gift to your favorite 501c3 or and get a deduction on your 2018 taxes if you itemize. Think of any causes that you are particularly passionate about - for example, lots of people have committed to giving back to those affected by the recent California forest fires.

2) Consider turning your losses into tax savings

If you had a capital gains from investments in 2018, you might want to consider selling any losses in your portfolio to offset the taxable gains. Just make sure that you understand how to do it effectively and you aren’t triggering a wash-sale.

3) Use up your flexible spending account

Remember that FSA (“Flexible Spending Account”) you set up with your company when you were choosing benefits? Lots of these accounts have a “use it or lose it” clause, so spend some time looking up when you need to use your 2018 dollars by. If it’s by the end of the year, considering squeezing in some last minute appointments, buying eligible health items (e.g., medical, dental, prescription, etc.), or getting reimbursed on things you’ve already spent money on.

4) Start understanding tax changes for 2018

It’s important to understand what has changed in taxes from 2017 to 2018 so you understand what you will be getting into for tax season. Here is a great summary provided by Etrade that gives a breakdown of what major changes you can expect when you will be filing your taxes.

Any of these terms unfamiliar or don’t know where to start? Get geared up for 2019 as Snowball partners with our tax and investment partners to bring personalized sessions to you!

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