I’m Elaina Kogan, and I’ve been with Singer Burke since February 2003. I began as a Senior Tax Accountant and was later promoted to a Tax Manager, but most recently, I’ve been honored with the opportunity to join the partner group. Singer Burke’s focus on planning, client education and teamwork have made me proud of developing within this firm, and the experience has galvanized me for years to come!
The 15th of this month marks the end of the 2014 tax filing season. It is a huge relief for us, as it may be for many of you who just filed your tax returns! However, no sooner than when we end 2014 tax filings, we must start planning for 2015. In fact, the last quarter of the year is the most interesting, dynamic and productive part of the year for us.
As noted by Ben Franklin: Nothing is certain except death and taxes.” For most people, taxes are among the largest expenses each year and substantially impact an individual’s ability to meet financial goals. As a result, we at Singer Burke believe that tax planning is a vital tool to minimize one’s tax liabilities and expand potential financial growth.
During the two months ahead, we will review the financial data of 2015, conduct a thorough analysis and make projections for the remaining year. We will then utilize our projections to compose a customized tax plan designed to meet the varying needs of each individual client, keeping in mind the most important goal of minimizing tax liabilities.
Additionally, we place a high value on client contact and communication. As such, our tax planning approach also includes a year-end personal discussion with many clients, regardless of their investment portfolio size or income.
There are numerous strategies that we review, discuss and implement before year end as part of our tax planning curriculum. Some examples of issues we engage include:
- Should you defer or accelerate income?
- Did you work in another state or country? Will you have tax obligations to those jurisdictions?
- Are you subject to alternative minimum tax? Would prepaying a second installment of property taxes or state income taxes make sense for you?
- Have you paid enough in taxes during the current year to avoid penalties?
- Should you make contributions to your retirement plan?
- Should Roth IRA conversion be considered for you?
- If you plan to make contributions to charity, should you consider donating appreciated stock instead of cash?
- Should additional capital losses be harvested to offset already realized capital gains?
- Do you plan to sell or purchase a new asset (vacation home, rental property, etc.), and what would the tax implications be?
You may have filed your taxes, but don’t put off looking at them again until next year. Tax season can be an incredibly stressful time. A recent study by the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that on April 15 aloneâ€”filing dayâ€”there’s a notable spike in car crashes. Our tax planning options are meant to reduce anxiety during this time of the year, so please reach out to us if you need assistance or have questions about how we can help you.