1. Adjust your withholding. Do your withholdings need to be adjusted? The IRS’ free withholding calculator can ensure that these are neither too high nor too low. Recall that the IRS made a W-4 available in late 2018 that surprised many at tax time. The agency revised the form in 2019 for, it is hoped, better results. (Photo: Shutterstock)
2. Take advantage of bonus depreciation. The tax overhaul changed the bonus depreciation for assets placed in service after Sept. 27, 2017, and before Jan. 1, 2023, to 100% deduction. A few income rules apply for each taxpayer’s individual situation. (Photo: Shutterstock)
3. Consider deferring year-end income until 2020. Taxpayers who receive a year-end bonus or collection of rents, business debts and payments for services may potentially pay less tax, depending on their tax rate and taxable income, by deferring these to next year. (Photo: Shutterstock)
4. Pay off high medical bills in December. The threshold for the medical expense deduction has increased to 10% for 2019 after having been lowered to 7.5% in 2017 and 2018. Those who plan to itemize deductions in 2020 should consider paying for any unreimbursed medical expenses in December rather than waiting for next year. (Photo: Shutterstock)
5. Take advantage of educational tax benefits. Credits may be available for those who paid for any college or school expenses. Have all receipts and records and a 1098-T form from the qualified educational institution(s). Those with a 529 plan should consider contributing before year-end up to the allowable limit. (Photo: Shutterstock)

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6. Alimony payments are no longer deductible. This applies to divorces and separations that took place after 2018. It also means that alimony received is not taxable either under these same guidelines. (Photo: Shutterstock)
7. Contribute to favorite charities. But there will be no additional benefit if one’s standard deduction is higher than one’s itemized deductions. Those who expect to itemize should consider making this year’s and next year’s charitable gifts before the end of 2019. (Photo: Shutterstock)
8. Harvest losses. Those who have sold stocks at a gain this year still have time to sell underperformers to offset those gains. This popular strategy for reducing taxes is commonly referred to as “harvesting losses.” (Photo: Shutterstock)
9. Consider maximizing contributions to current retirement accounts. There are multiple contribution limits for 2019 depending on one’s situation, for example, $19,000 for 401(k) base contributions plus $6,000 for “catch-up” for taxpayers 50 and older. The base contribution for IRAs is $6,000 with $1,000 as catch-up. (Photo: Shutterstock)
10. Keep meticulous records. Exact documentation is crucial for all expenses one plans to write off — and the sooner collected, the sooner one’s tax return can be filed. (Photo: Shutterstock)

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11. Check the rules. Before making any of these moves, understand how they apply to your specific situation. (Photo: Shutterstock)

 

It’s a good idea for taxpayers to be proactive with their year-end tax and financial decisions, as doing so could minimize their tax bill.

This means understanding how the tax overhaul will affect their tax return in the 2019 tax filing season, which will be the second one since the new law came into effect. Taxpayers may still be confused because some changes took effect only in January this year.

TaxAudit, an audit defense service for taxpaying individuals and small businesses, issued eleventh-hour tips on Tuesday to inform taxpayers about the changes in the tax code and suggest strategies to potentially save money on their taxes.

“Despite the end of the year quickly approaching, taxpayers still have time before Dec. 31 to make certain moves that could help lower their tax bill,” David Du Val, TaxAudit’s chief customer advocacy officer, said in a statement.

“And, as always, taxpayers should remember to check with their tax professional about their individual tax situation.”

TaxAudit noted that its tips are only a short list of moves taxpayers should make before the end of 2019. IRS.gov provides comprehensive information about qualifying deductions, exemptions and more that may help to reduce one’s tax burden.

Check out the gallery for the last-minute tax tips and strategies for the 2019 filing season compiled by TaxAudit.

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